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   Can she claim grounds for a lawsuit?
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   Author  Topic: Can she claim grounds for a lawsuit?  (Read 2301 times)
Can she claim grounds for a lawsuit?
« on: Apr 27th, 2004, 3:32pm »
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Alright, I'm doing some research for a friend here.
She recently got a publishing contract for a novel that she's supposed to write.  A week or so after it, her roomate and her had a falling out, in which she was locked out of her home, and had to move away.  I'm sure some of her research was on the computer in the now-ex roomates house.
Now, the novel in question has not been written, and she is receiving advances upon the completion of it.  Her roomate has filed a suit against her for half of the advances on the novel, and profits thereof.
Now, this freind of mine used her roomate as a sounding board for some of her ideas, but to my knowledge, this wasn't in a tangible form that could be proof of copyright for the ideas bounced off of her.  Moreso, i am highly suspect that simply being a "sounding board" would net half of the royalties and advances.  But then again, I'm not a lawyer.
Now, to my knowledge, the research done and the amount written before the falling out doesn't even constitute one chaper of the novel.  Further, I'm thinking it would be hit-or-miss on proving who really had the ownership of the files on the ex-roomates computer.  The "working" version being used for the novel, however, is not on the ex-roomate's computer.
Does the Ex-roomate have grounds for a suit for the intellectual property of the novel?  And, if so, would it constitute 50% of the advances and royalties?  
Thanks, i appreciate this Smiley
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M. Arthur Auslander
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Re: Can she claim grounds for a lawsuit?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 28th, 2004, 5:01am »
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My unresearched feeling is that the roomate has no rights at all unless there has been some written agreement.  
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M. Arthur Auslander
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