As if you needed me to tell you, don’t falsify documents to try to win a lawsuit but not everyone has taken hat advice. You may remember, about a year ago, our fearless leader, Michael Lee, wrote an article about a certain obscure cartoonist, Jayme Gordon, claiming Kung-Fu-Panda was his idea and he owns the copyright to several Kung Fu Panda drawings. You also may remember how this was all a lie. You don’t? Well, allow me to refresh your memory:
In 2011, Jayme Gordon sued Dreamworks, the movie studio behind the wildly successful Kung Fu Panda movie and its now two sequels, for copyright infringement. Gordon claimed that during during the 1980s and 1990s, he created a pair of characters under the name “Panda Power” that were substantially similar to characters in Dreamworks 2008 movie, Kung Fu Panda. From looking at the evidence, Gordon seemed to have one heck of a case since the drawings look so similar. But, this evidence turned out to be totally false.
In 2013, Dreamworks discovered that Gordon traced a Lion King coloring book to create the copyright registrations. Gordon saw a trailer for Kung Fu Panda and revised his drawings and story for “Panda Power” to make the works seem more similar. Also, Gordon had sketches dated in 1993 and 1995 but were based on the 1996 Lion King coloring book. So unless he had a time traveling machine, these documents all have fake dates. Gordon dropped his case after the discovery of the faux evidence but not after Dreamworks was hit with over $3 million in attorneys’ fees in defending the case.
The United States Attorney in Boston filed charges against Gordon for wire fraud and perjury. Prosecutors allege not only the above frauds but also that Gordon deleted evidence from his computer that should have been produced during the trial and that he lied during his depositions about creation of the works in question.
Why am I drudging up old Kung-Fu memories? Because, recently during a federal prosecution hearing, U.S. Attorney Adam Bookbinder dropped a roundhouse kick right to Gordon’s jaw. Bookbinder, who has a fantastic attorney last name, said that “[Gordon] used the legal system as a tool in his effort to defraud DreamWorks.” Bookbinder goes on to explain that Gordon lied under oath about not copying the Disney coloring book, along with Gordon’s attempt to delete drawings and evidence from his computer back during his civil case when Dreamworks obtained his computer after getting a motion to compel discovery. Bookbinder claims that all of these signs point to this being an elaborate extortion attempt on Dreamworks.
All that’s left now is Gordon’s defense, which will have to be pretty strong in order to evade this haymaker. Realistically, Gordon has no chance here and rightfully should be punished for wasting everybody’s time here. Its people like him that give the judicial system a bad name. We will keep you updated as this case develops, but three things we know for certain at this point: Gordon has some explaining to do, the person who was tasked with looking through coloring books dating back 1996 may have gone insane, and U.S. Attorney Bookbinder has an amazing last name.