Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

Donahue v. Ziv Television Programs, Inc.

245 Cal. App. 2d 593, 54 Cal. Rptr. 130 (1966)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 35,600+ case briefs...

Donahue v. Ziv Television Programs, Inc.

California Court of Appeals

245 Cal. App. 2d 593, 54 Cal. Rptr. 130 (1966)

Facts

In 1955, Frank Donahue and others (collectively, Donahue) (plaintiffs) created the idea for a television show called The Underwater Legion (the Donahue show). Donahue subsequently submitted the idea and several story outlines in writing to Ziv Television Programs, Incorporated (Ziv) and its producer, Tors (defendants). During meetings between Donahue and Ziv executives, the executives discussed the different types of deal options for Donahue to be compensated if Ziv used Donahue’s idea, but no concrete terms were ever decided. In 1958, Ziv aired a television program entitled Sea Hunt (the Ziv show), which was similar to the Donahue show with respect to plot, themes, sequence, and other dramatic features. Donahue filed suit against Ziv and Tor for breach of contract, alleging that Ziv and Tor had used Donahue’s idea and story outlines for the Ziv show without compensating Donahue. Ziv argued that it had not used any portion of Donahue’s idea that was protected by copyright or trademark and that the idea for the Ziv show had been independently conceived by Tors. A jury found in Donahue’s favor, but the trial court granted Ziv’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and a new trial. Donahue appealed and provided substantial evidence that Tors had used Donahue’s idea and story outlines in producing the Ziv show.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kaus, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 619,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 619,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 35,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 619,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 35,600 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership