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Author Topic: Author Claims "The Matrix" & "The Terminator" Were Ripped Off From Her?
Capt 30
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http://daghettotymz.com/matrix/sophiaupdate.html

What's the real deal with this story? Can Snopes verify if it's legit?

An author named Sophia Stewart apparently has filed multiple lawsuits against several Hollywood bigshots claiming that they infringed on her rights. The court documents are there. Is this legit?

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Greg of Winter
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Is this a joke website? Da Ghetto Tymz? Sheesh. Anywayz...excuse me, anyways, I'll bite.

The writer/director of "The Terminator," James Cameron was successfully sued by Harlan Ellison for taking details from several of his stories, namely "Soldier" & "Demon with a Glass Hand." Skynet also seems to be based on the insane supercomputer AM, from "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream."

Harlan Ellison was given credit in the new DVD releases.

All of these stories predate 1981, the basis of her screenplay, "The Third Eye." However, it does show that Cameron is sloppy when it comes to citing the works of others.

As for "The Matrix," I think Philip K. Dick or William Gibson would have a decent case against the W brothers. Or are they brother and sister now?

Her logic that the movie was cut from 2 hours & 40 minutes down to 30 minutes to "hide" the theft is a bit silly. Studios are always nervous about releasing films that near the 3-hour mark, and since this was before the Matrix was even released, the Wachowski brothers certainly wouldn't have had the clout to fight it. That is, even if the "long version" even exists.

I searched through the article, and all it is is "her case is so strong! It must be theft!" without even a basic side-by-side comparison. Sorry, I'm not paying to hear your evidence.

OK, this part doesn't make ANY sense:

quote:
In the beginning of the movie, there's an intro that scrolls up the screen just like in the movie Star Wars that layz out the plot. It speaks of a nuclear war that happened in the year 2110AD, where humanz were now used as fuel for the machines like batteries
Why the NFBSK would this be in any version of The Matrix? The whole NSBSKing point of the movie is that Neo (and we the audience) DON'T KNOW HE'S IN THE NFBSKING MATRIX! Why on earth would you spoil this for the audience?

Sorry...also, if it is in "her" version, all it proves it that they ripped off "Star Wars."

Frankly, they'd have a better case against her, for ripping off the stylized "MATRIX" logo to promote her book.

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Kamino Neko
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It's legit in that a lawsuit was filed, and not summarrily discarded. (Although she also had RICO claims against the Warchowskis, James Cameron, and several other people involved in the Matrix and Terminator movies, which were thrown out.) It's legit in that she has a registered copyright on The Third Eye.

Beyond that, does anyone remember the woman who tried to sue JK Rowling for stealing Harry Potter a couple years ago? Pretty much the same deal.

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RealityChuck/Boston Charlie
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Gee, and I thought it came from the author of "Dark City" (who had a pretty strong case, since "The Matrix" used the leftover sets).

These nuts come out of the woodwork for every successful film. They never get anywhere for several reasons:

1. No one in Hollywood ever reads an unsolicited script.
2. You can't copyright ideas, in any case.
3. The movies can afford better lawyers.

Cameron lost a lawsuit to Harlan Ellison over The Terminator already, but he stated in public that the story came from an Ellison story. It's hardly likely he repeated that mistake.

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Cosmo
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A couple years ago, I ran into a woman in San Francisco who handed out little flyers for a rally to help "reclaim her rights to several major motion pictures". According to the flyers, she and her husband had written several stories in a notebook and the notebook was stolen out of their car. These stories were then made into several movies. She claimed also to have absolute proof that she would reveal at the rally. I don't remember all the movies, but 'A Clockwork Orange' was one of them. I'm sure Anthony Burgess was very suprised. I should have gone to the rally. Darn.

What's the story with the J.K. Rowling lawsuit?

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sureshot
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The same thing happened with "The Truman Show" a few years ago.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/183572.stm

sureshot

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ULTRAGLORIA
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JK Rowlings won the suit that was brought against her. She was overwhelmingly shown to have NOT taken any of her ideas from Nancy Stouffer.

http://www.nylawyer.com/news/02/09/091902h.html

http://www.authorslawyer.com/case/02USDL17531.html

The judge's decision was issued several months before Order of the Phoenix came out.

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Greg of Winter
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Here's one that actually won. Art Buchwald sued Paramount over the Eddie Murphy film, Coming to America.

Buchwald V. Paramount

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Capt 30
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Excellent. Just the replies I had expected.

The latest is that the RICO hasn't been 'thrown out'.

The author was asked to amend and during that process the court decided that the RICO stuff was going to be handled anyway regardless if she had filed or not. Since the FBI were the original investigators and concluded she was the true author of the works in question that information is probably why the RICO end will be handled regardless.

I too thought the Matrix was 'Dark City' upgraded. Same with the Ellison works. I was a kid when they aired on tv during the old 'Outer Limits' show.

In this situation for them to say her rights were infringed upon regarding the Terminator is gonna have to be alot of evidence to prove that one to me.

Matrix however is another issue. Something weird going on.

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evilbeard
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i also think Grant Morrison might have a little claim next to Dick and Gibson.

The Matrix does seem to have taken just a few riffs from the Invisibles.

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Capt 30
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Well, if all the authors felt the films infringed on their rights then they should have pursued in the courts.

The bottom line is the court hasn't dismissed her suit and it's going to trial or before the judge. If the court didn't feel there wasn't sufficient evidence to take the suit to court it WOULDN'T be allowed to continue.

Plain and simple.

You can file all the lawsuits you want to BUT if the court doesn't find sufficient evidence/grounds you'll be told to take a hike.

In this case, she's been finally given the big green light so there has to be something there.

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RealityChuck/Boston Charlie
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Not necessarily. All it means is that the court wants to hear both sides.

Buchwald vs. Paramount is one of the few cases where the author won. And Buchwald was hired by Paramount to write a treatment that became "Coming to America." It is very rare for someone alleging infringment* to have any case at all.

*Note that, despite her claims of copyright violation, nothing she alleges is a violation of copyright. Ideas are not copyrightable; only the expression of those, so unless the script matches on many more points, she had no case.

For instance, I can write a book about a world where people are used to power machines, but unless I call it "The Matrix" or use characters like "Neo," I am not infringing.

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Greg of Winter
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That reminds me...whatever happened with White Wolf suing the makers of Underworld?

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Capt 30
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Reality Chuck good points on basic copyright issues but in this case it had already been established by the FBI that the defendants infringed and conspired to conceal.

There's a difference with 'maybe' and 'derived' from outright theft and conspiracy to defraud etc.

Of course ideas can't be copyrighted. We're not talking ideas. We're talking she was solicited to send in treatments and scripts, those works were established by the FBI as being the source material for a good deal of the manifested properties. See the difference?

What part of 'FBI' is not understood here? It stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation, not Futzin' Bullsht Investigators.

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Kamino Neko
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Sorry, but you're wrong.

1) The RICO was thrown out. She can try again, but the case, as she presented it, does not constitute a RICO case.

2) The case wasn't dismissed because the requirements for the grounds the defendants lawyers put forward to dismiss - statute of limitation and laches - IE, that any infringement took place too long ago, or the defendant waited too long to file claim - weren't met. The plaintiff didn't prove that her case had merit, the defendants just didn't prove she'd done anything to deny her the chance to do so.

3) The reason Gibson or Morrison haven't filed claims against the Wachowskis because they realise that they would achieve nothing but trashing their own reputations. They don't feel the films violated their copyrights - because they didn't.

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Capt 30
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Nekogami, NOPE.

The RICO was dismissed WITH the plaintiff given the opportunity to AMEND.

The court then decided that the RICO was an issue for law enforcement to handle so the final word on her RICO lawsuit is no longer an issue on HER part.

Far as I'm concerned she shouldn't have filed under RICO anyway. If the feds presented the evidence enough to merit RICO then THEY should have followed that through.

She DID prove her case had merit or the court wouldn't have accepted it.

I'm quite sure she'll be putting out a new press release with the latest updates soon.

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Capt 30
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Better yet.

Do what I did to find out the latest.

Go to the website listed above and ASK her.

Her phone # and email address are displayed there.

She sends copies of documents etc.

Laters gators, this will be a fun thing to watch for in the news to see if she prevails or not.

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Kamino Neko
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Read the decisions, Capt 30, not her press releases or sensationalist 'news' stories.

And certainly don't ask HER. Seriously, do you honestly think she's the one you should be asking about this? Of course she's going to be claiming her claims have merit. Tell you what. You call the Wachowskis and ask THEM how much merit her case has. The answer will have as much proof behind it.

The RICO case was dismissed because she failed to present anything that supported a racketteering case. That she was given the opportunity to amend doesn't change that the case was dismissed. Thrown out. The court will not hear it, unless actual proof is presented.

The motion to dismiss the copyright infringement case was denied on the basis that the Defence lawyers failed to prove it should be dismissed on a proceedural grounds. It hasn't even gotten to the point that she has to prove her case.

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vanilla
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Ummmm.... why exactly is the FBI doing investgative work for this case?

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vanilla
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Just read the OP article and I must say that I doubt she has much of a case if her "nail in the coffin" evidence is based on 3 scenes, 2 of which are superficial changes to the action.

If she wrote a story that resembles The Matrix in any way that could conceivably look like it ripped off, she would not have to look for boot-legged tapes of an 'original' screening that includes 3 scenes that are no longer in the film. I seriously doubt that a court will find that her story was stolen based on the placement of a tattoo. If she wrote a story with a similar plot and an extremely similar scene where a woman with a tattoo of a white rabbit appeared at a man's door and he follows her because of her tattoo, there would be evidence for a lawsuit.

The placement of the tattoo or the exchange of programs instead of money are just minor details in a lawsuit like this and would have no bearing as to whether or not she has a case.

vanilla(just stating my opinion)pink

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Capt 30
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Yo, I talked to Sophia Stewart at length on the phone. An amazing lady with many accomplishments to her name.

You will be blown away at the witnesses she has to the crimes sited in her documents. Just astounding to say the least.

She will be on 'The Jeff Rense Program' Monday Dec 13th at 8:00pm Pacific time. You can hear it from her own lips.

The website is at: www.rense.com You can listen live I'm told via a link on the page. The show is from 7-10pm Pacific but she'll be on at 8pm She said she'll also be sending copies of the documents so they should be up on that site by Monday.

She said the RICO stuff is still going. That's the latest. The trial is supposed to start July 2005.

We'll see how this ends by then.

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snopes
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quote:
She will be on 'The Jeff Rense Program' Monday
Definitive evidence of loonhattery, as if any more were needed.

- snopes

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ParaDiddle
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quote:
Originally posted by Capt 30:
Yo, I talked to Sophia Stewart at length on the phone. An amazing lady with many accomplishments to her name. . .{snip}

Yo, the needle on my "sockpuppet-O-meter" just spiked and is hovering at the high edge of the yellow zone. I'm wondering if Ms Stewart may soon ask Capt 30 to post a message written by her or maybe, she'll soon register on the board herself.

- ParaDiddle

Quote of posts as of Sunday 12 December 2004.
1.
quote:
http://daghettotymz.com/matrix/sophiaupdate.html

What's the real deal with this story? Can Snopes verify if it's legit?

An author named Sophia Stewart apparently has filed multiple lawsuits against several Hollywood bigshots claiming that they infringed on her rights. The court documents are there. Is this legit?

2.
quote:
Excellent. Just the replies I had expected.

The latest is that the RICO hasn't been 'thrown out'.

The author was asked to amend and during that process the court decided that the RICO stuff was going to be handled anyway regardless if she had filed or not. Since the FBI were the original investigators and concluded she was the true author of the works in question that information is probably why the RICO end will be handled regardless.

I too thought the Matrix was 'Dark City' upgraded. Same with the Ellison works. I was a kid when they aired on tv during the old 'Outer Limits' show.

In this situation for them to say her rights were infringed upon regarding the Terminator is gonna have to be alot of evidence to prove that one to me.

Matrix however is another issue. Something weird going on.

3.
quote:
Well, if all the authors felt the films infringed on their rights then they should have pursued in the courts.

The bottom line is the court hasn't dismissed her suit and it's going to trial or before the judge. If the court didn't feel there wasn't sufficient evidence to take the suit to court it WOULDN'T be allowed to continue.

Plain and simple.

You can file all the lawsuits you want to BUT if the court doesn't find sufficient evidence/grounds you'll be told to take a hike.

In this case, she's been finally given the big green light so there has to be something there.

4.
quote:
Reality Chuck good points on basic copyright issues but in this case it had already been established by the FBI that the defendants infringed and conspired to conceal.

There's a difference with 'maybe' and 'derived' from outright theft and conspiracy to defraud etc.

Of course ideas can't be copyrighted. We're not talking ideas. We're talking she was solicited to send in treatments and scripts, those works were established by the FBI as being the source material for a good deal of the manifested properties. See the difference?

What part of 'FBI' is not understood here? It stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation, not Futzin' Bullsht Investigators.

5.
quote:
Nekogami, NOPE.

The RICO was dismissed WITH the plaintiff given the opportunity to AMEND.

The court then decided that the RICO was an issue for law enforcement to handle so the final word on her RICO lawsuit is no longer an issue on HER part.

Far as I'm concerned she shouldn't have filed under RICO anyway. If the feds presented the evidence enough to merit RICO then THEY should have followed that through.

She DID prove her case had merit or the court wouldn't have accepted it.

I'm quite sure she'll be putting out a new press release with the latest updates soon.

6.
quote:
Better yet.

Do what I did to find out the latest.

Go to the website listed above and ASK her.

Her phone # and email address are displayed there.

She sends copies of documents etc.

Laters gators, this will be a fun thing to watch for in the news to see if she prevails or not.

7.
quote:
Yo, I talked to Sophia Stewart at length on the phone. An amazing lady with many accomplishments to her name.

You will be blown away at the witnesses she has to the crimes sited in her documents. Just astounding to say the least.

She will be on 'The Jeff Rense Program' Monday Dec 13th at 8:00pm Pacific time. You can hear it from her own lips.

The website is at: www.rense.com You can listen live I'm told via a link on the page. The show is from 7-10pm Pacific but she'll be on at 8pm She said she'll also be sending copies of the documents so they should be up on that site by Monday.

She said the RICO stuff is still going. That's the latest. The trial is supposed to start July 2005.

We'll see how this ends by then.


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Kamino Neko
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I take back what I said about not going to her as a source. She's a perfect source of proof she's off her rocker.

From an audio interview with her on daghettotymes:

quote:
I wanted to tell you that I don't have to read any books, because like I told you before, in my evolutions of consciousness, my consciousness has evolved, way back in the eighties, and I tap into universal knowledge. I don't have to read anyone. None of us have to read anyone. The knowledge that they're putting in those books are available through the universal source.


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ParaDiddle
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After Googling, I'm reasonably sure the OPer is not "connected" to Sophie Stewart but an interesting character nonetheless.

- ParaDiddle

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Capt 30
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Matrix

A well in depth look at the film, the mythos, the controversy.

It shows how stories regarding machines taking over humanity go back to the early 1900s.

My favorite 'machine gone wrong' movie is 'Forbidden Planet'. It's a great detective story and the way it teases the imagination to think about what had happened to the 'Krell' is what makes a good story. They didn't have to show everything and all the gore, just 'suggest' it with storytelling.

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snopes
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quote:
None of us have to read anyone. The knowledge that they're putting in those books are available through the universal source.
I don't think this works. I didn't study for my geography exam (I just tapped into the "universal source"), and I still got an F.

- snopes

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Capt 30
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Well breaking news is:

Sophia Stewart has won to amend her RICO charges.

This time they'll go through with flying colors considering who's signed on to help her out.

This is getting more interesting all the time.

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Capt 30
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Oops! Correction.

The court had previously dismissed her RICO with an option to amend. She amended it and her RICO was accepted this time.

Sooo let's see where this goes now that it appears to be a major criminal case.

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snopes
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Someone forwarded this to me; I don't know its source:

-------------------------------------

Black Woman wrote the "Matrix" & The Terminator

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 09:16:15 -0500

Black Author wins The Matrix Copyright Infringement Case

This little known story has met a just conclusion, as Sophia Stewart,
African American author of The Matrix will finally receive her just due
from the copyright infringement of her original work!!! Monday, October
4th 2004 ended a six-year dispute involving Sophia Stewart, the Wachowski
Brothers, Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Stewart's allegations,
involving copyright infringement and racketeering, were received and
acknowledged by the Central District of California, Judge Margaret Morrow
residing.

Stewart, a New Yorker who has resided in Salt Lake City for the past five
years, will recover damages from the films, The Matrix I, II and III, as
well as The Terminator and its sequels. She will soon receive one of the
biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood, as the gross receipts of both
films and their sequels total over 2.5 billion dollars.

Stewart filed her case in 1999, after viewing the Matrix, which she felt
had been based on her manuscript, "The Third Eye," copyrighted in 1981. In
the mid-eighties Stewart had submitted her manuscript to an ad placed by
the Wachowski Brothers, requesting new sci-fi works.

According to court documentation, an FBI investigation discovered that more
than thirty minutes had been edited from the original film, in an attempt
to avoid penalties for copyright infringement. The investigation also
stated that "credible witnesses employed at Warner Brothers came forward,
claiming that the executives and lawyers had full knowledge that the work
in question did not belong to the Wachowski Brothers." These witnesses
claimed to have seen Stewart's original work and that it had been "often
used during preparation of the motion pictures." The defendants tried, on
several occasions, to have Stewart's case dismissed, without success.

Stewart has confronted skepticism on all sides, much of which comes from
Matrix fans, who are strangely loyal to the Wachowski Brothers. One on-line
forum, entitled Matrix Explained has an entire section devoted to Stewart.
Some who have researched her history and writings are open to her story.
Others are suspicious and mocking. "It doesn't bother me," said Stewart in
a phone interview last week, "I always knew what was true."

Some fans, are unaware of the case or they question its legitimacy, due to
the fact that it has received little to no media coverage. Though the case
was not made public until October of 2003, Stewart has her own explanation,
as quoted at aghettotymz.com:

"The reason you have not seen any of this in the media is because Warner
Brothers parent company is AOL-Time Warner... this GIANT owns 95 percent of
the media... let me give you a clue as to what they own in the media
business... New York Times papers/magazines, LA Times papers/magazines,
People Magazine, CNN news, Extra, Celebrity Justice, Entertainment Tonight,
HBO, New Line Cinema, Dreamworks, Newsweek, Village Roadshow... many, many
more!... They are not going to report on themselves. They have been
suppressing my case for years..."

Fans who have taken Stewart's allegations seriously, have found eerie
mythological parallels, which seem significant in a case that revolves
around the highly metaphorical and symbolic Matrix series. Sophia, the
Greek goddess of wisdom has been referenced many times in speculation about
Stewart. In one book about the Goddess Sophia, it reads, "The black goddess
is the mistress of web creation spun in her divine matrix"

Although there have been outside implications as to racial injustice
(Stewart is African American), she does not feel that this is the case.
"This is all about the Benjamins," said Stewart. "It's not about money with
me. It's about justice."

Stewart's future plans involve a record label, entitled Popsilk Records,
and a motion picture production company, All Eyez On Me, in reference to
God. "I wrote The Third Eye to wake people up, to remind them why God put
them here. There's more to life than money," said Stewart. "My whole to the
world is about God and good and about choice, about spirituality over
'technocracy'."

If Stewart represents spirituality, then she truly has prevailed over the
"technocracy" represented in both the Terminator and the Matrix, and now,
ironically, by their supposed creators.

Stewart is currently having discussions with CBS about a possible exclusive
story and has several media engagements in the near future to nationally
publicize her victory. June 13th 2004. Sophia Stewart's press release read:
"The Matrix & Terminator movie franchises have made world history and have
ultimately changed the way people view movies and how Hollywood does
business, yet the real truth about the creator and creation of these films
continue to elude the masses because the hidden secret of the matter is
that these films were created and written by a Black woman... a Black woman
named Sophia Stewart. But Hollywood does not want you to know this fact
simply because it would change history. Also it would encourage our Black
children to realize a dream and that is... nothing is impossible for them
to achieve!"

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ParaDiddle
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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So the case was settled long before Capt 30 posted here? Now that I've searched, the article has been posted on every nerdblog on the net. Guess we all missed the boat on answering his original questions, huh?

- P

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Traveller
Deck the Malls


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Same Story with an Addendum

quote:
CORRECTION REGARDING PREVIOUS STORY

In reference to the recent article entitled "Mother of the Matrix Victorious," some information has been deemed misleading. Ms. Sophia Stewart has not yet won her case against Joel Silver, Time Warner and the Wachowski Bros. The decision on October 4th enabled Ms. Stewart to proceed with her case, as all attempts to have it dismissed were unsuccessful. Ms. Stewart's case will proceed through the Central District Court of California.

Thanks,
The Globe Staff


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Basketball Joan
The Red and the Green Stamps


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http://www.slccglobelink.com/news/2004/11/16/News/Corrections-805777.shtml

"In reference to the recent article entitled "Mother of the Matrix Victorious," some information has been deemed misleading. Ms. Sophia Stewart has not yet won her case against Joel Silver, Time Warner and the Wachowski Bros. The decision on October 4th enabled Ms. Stewart to proceed with her case, as all attempts to have it dismissed were unsuccessful. Ms. Stewart's case will proceed through the Central District Court of California.

Thanks,
The Globe Staff"

http://davidpoland.typepad.com/thehotblog/2004/12/more_on_termina.html

"On October 28, a student newspaper at Salt Lake Community College printed an erroneous story on Sophia Stewart's RICO lawsuit against The Wachowskis, Jim Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, Fox and Warner Bros and others.

Poorly reported by one Martha Carter, the story says that "Monday, October 4th 2004 ended a six-year dispute" and that Ms. Stewart has " will recover damages" and that "she will soon receive one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood, as the gross receipts of both films and their sequels total over 2.5 billion dollars."

None of that is true. What is true is that on September 27, 2004, US District Court Judge Margaret M. Morrow made a preliminary ruling that the RICO element of the suit would not be thrown out on purely legal grounds, though some of the charges were dropped against Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox. There was no finding of fact emerging from this hearing and not even the glimmer of a trial that would find guilt or innocence.

The story ran on the community college website, was picked up by Manhunt.com, which bills itself as "The digital resource for blazin' urban news." Eventually their story was passed to and published by Ain't It Cool News. By the time I was alerted to the posting and went to AICN, the link was gone. Presumably, someone explained just how inaccurate the story was and AICN did the responsible thing at that point."

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lynnejanet
Happy Holly Days


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Quite aside from the fact that the article is clearly biased toward Ms. Stewart, the following bit a pretty good tip-off that this is not responsible journalism:
quote:
Fans who have taken Stewart's allegations seriously, have found eerie
mythological parallels, which seem significant in a case that revolves
around the highly metaphorical and symbolic Matrix series. Sophia, the
Greek goddess of wisdom has been referenced many times in speculation about
Stewart. In one book about the Goddess Sophia, it reads, "The black goddess
is the mistress of web creation spun in her divine matrix"

I'm with Para Diddle on this one.

ETA: I stand corrected. After googling, it seems that our Capt 30 isn't one and the same with Ms. Stewart. Perhaps he is rushing to her defense, as a fellow writer of screen-plays.

--------------------
lynne"insert appropriate punny phrase here"janet

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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Over here the ABC has been showing Doctor Who again; this week's was The Deadly Assassin, written by Robert Holmes. I think he'd have a case, if anyone did... [Wink] See here for more info.

Part of the adventure has the Doctor entering the Amplified Panatropic Computer Net, also referred to as the Matrix, to combat his old Nemesis, the Master. One scene stands out; the Doctor, wounded, tries to deny the reality he is caught up in and wipe away a wound - the Master simply puts the wound back.

--------------------
You fool! That's not a warrior, that's a banana!
- a surreal moment in a role-playing game

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