Tyler Perry Wins Good Deeds Copyright Lawsuit

Judge rules that film did not infringe on Terri Donald's novel.

Posted: 08/27/2013 08:30 AM EDT

Tyler Perry scored a victory in court.  The filmmaker and his longtime distribution partner Lionsgate were successful in having a copyright lawsuit against their film Good Deeds dismissed.

Author Terri Donald filed the suit last November, claiming the film infringed on her 2007 book Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit. She claimed to have sent a copy of her book to Perry's company years before Good Deeds went into production. 

A judge ruled that the similarities Donald pointed out between her book and the film, a romance between a wealthy man and a woman who has experienced hardship, was not sufficient to sustain a copyright infringement claim. Donald was seeking $225,000 in damages and story credit on the film. Good Deeds, starring Perry along with Thandie Newton and Gabrielle Union, grossed $35 million at the domestic box office.

Donald is a military veteran and one-time aspiring actress who got her start in fiction on a chance meeting with Steve Martin many years ago. She found herself writing lyrics for one-hit-wonder Snow and achieved multiplatinum success. Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit was her first novel.

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(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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