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Is Disney/Pixar's Inside Out Plagiarized?

A lawsuit has been filed against Disney and Pixar by Nevada's Carla J. Masterson, who claims the 2015 animated flick plagiarized two books of hers.

Masterson's suit, seeking unspecified damages, claims that the kids movie infringes on her books What’s on the Other Side of the Rainbow? and The Secret of the Golden Mirror.

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According to The Wrap, Masterson claims both her books “are original, creative, and artistic stories about how children identify, understand the reasons for, and manage the effects of their emotions. The specific original, artistic, and creative expression and device used by Carla J. Masterson in What’s On the Other Side of the Rainbow? and The Secret of the Golden Mirror is to depict the childhood emotions of Joy, Fear, Sad, Anger, Laughter, Friendship, Love, and Shy as characters that appear throughout the book in consistent and continuing configurations and colors.”

Inside Out ironically focuses on characters, whose different emotions are embodied by quirky personalities, and are represented by a signature color, which Masterson says lifts directly from her work -- “The animated movie Inside Out and its characters are substantially similar to original and protected elements of Carla J. Masterson’s copyrighted works, in both the use of its individual components and its combination of components into a single story."

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The claim believes that with What’s on the Other Side of the Rainbow? being included in gift bags for Emmys ceremonies in 2010 and Academy Awards ceremonies in 2011, Masterson has grounds because “many Disney executives and affiliated persons were in attendance … and had access to gift bags that included Carla J. Masterson’s book.”

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