The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by NBUniversal to review a lower court ruling that reinstated a complaint alleging that the company’s NBC network stole the idea for its Syfy series Ghost Hunters. Parapsychologist Larry Montz and publicist Daena Smoller had claimed in a 2006 suit that between 1996 and 2003 they had pitched the idea of paranormal investigators using technology to investigate claims of haunted properties to entertainment companies including NBC and its subsidiary, then called the SciFi Channel. They lost in district court on the issue of copyright, but the case was reinstated on appeal on grounds of implied breach of contract. NBCUniversal, with the backing of the MPAA, argued to the Supreme Court that federal copyright law trumped state contract law. The high court on Monday declined to review the appeals court ruling, which allows the suit by Montz against NBCUniversal, Pilgrim Films & Television (which produces Ghost Hunters) and other defendants to proceed.
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