Author files copyright infringement lawsuit against NBC and 'Heroes'

Jason Barnes, also known as Jazan Wild, has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against NBC Universal, claiming Heroes had stolen plot details from his own graphic novels. Barnes, the author of three Carnival of Souls books — which follow a “traveling circus of damned souls that moves between this world and the next, between reality and dreams” — claims NBC infringed on his copyright during the fourth season of Heroes. According to the suit, “The first two episodes of Heroes…introduce a traveling carnival virtually identical to that in [Barnes]‘s original, copyrighted works. The settings and the storylines are virtually the same. The main character in both stories leads a carnival of lost souls and outcasts.”

Other similarities noted in the suit: Both Heroes and Carnival are centered on a carnival that can magically disappear and reappear, boast Jamaican Vodoo witchdoctors, and have scenes that feature a character “running through a remote wooded area while being chased by an angry mob, who believes the Carney or Hero has committed murder.” UPDATE: An NBC Universal spokesperson issued the following response to EW: “We believe this lawsuit is meritless and expect to prevail in the litigation.”

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  • Momo

    This sounds like any other carnival storyline that I have ever read or seen in movies. It’s more a testament at how unoriginal Heroes had been in it’s last season. Oh well, haven’t read the graphic novels this guy had written…maybe someone can shed more insight.

    • Sheesh

      Heroes already ripped off The 4400, Watchmen, X-Men, Rising Stars, and others.

  • Chris Richards

    These seem like very superficial differences, so I’m not sure how strong this guy’s case really is. Heroes already ripped off half of the x-Men, not to mention a dozen other comics, so this is not really all that shocking. What’s sad is how cool Heroes once was, and how quickly it all turned to rot. Other than that, I am really not that prone to caring.

  • Geo

    Wait, so someone is actually trying to take credit for something on “Heroes”? As bad as “Heroes” has gotten, if the show ripped me off, I’d be like “oh, no, really, that was all theirs. I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Nothing whatsoever. Not me!”

    Besides, this dude thinks he invented the old carnival of souls trope? Maybe Ray Bradbury should sue this guy for “ripping off” his nearly fifty-year old novel “Something Wicked This Way Comes” which is about a, you guessed it, carnival of lost souls led by an evil guy that magically appears,” etc.

  • Evan Meadow

    Someone tell Jason Barnes he needs to spend more time wondering why Gene Simmons hasn’t sued him for taking his “original” idea right out of Kiss: Psycho Circus?

    He’s doing nothing original.

  • DW

    But Tim Kring has never read any comic books! Just ignore the fact that Heroes totally rips off Watchmen, “Days of Future Past,” and now apparently Carnival of Souls as well.

  • Frank from NYC

    You know it’s a sad day for creativity when a guy is suing Heroes–one of the least original shows around–even though it appears that the guy has himself ripped off the “Dark Carnival” idea from . . . the Insane Clown Posse?!

  • jon eli

    Jazan is an extremely amazing writer..If he says this i bet its true!!!try reading his work before u guys comment

  • Really?

    When you really think about it there is no such thing as an original idea. Perhaps Ray Bradbury should consider joining in and going after Mr. Barnes? After all Mr. Bradbury wrote Something Wicked This Way Comes back in 1962.

  • The Facts

    At first I kinda rolled my eyes, then I read the lawsuit at Wild’s site and it’s very specific and had side by side images that I had not seen anywhere else online. Here’s a note / statement taken from the site-

    Note: Nowhere does this complaint state that Jazan Wild ever suggested that he owned any carnival story but his own. That story alone… not ferris wheels, house of mirrors or magical carnivals. But rather the below storyline, which is only found in two carnival stories. Heroes and Jazan Wild’s Carnival Of Souls. Again this story was first published in 2005. Has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. Featured in the LA Times and was the 1st. digital comic on Blackberry’s App World in April 2009 and was the number one downloaded ebook for several months. It is currently number three.

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  • HRH Adam

    Yawn. The carnival plot was so awful and embarassing to what turned out to be the show’s final season, that even if it was lifted word-for-word from my work, I wouldn’t admit it.

  • deedeer

    So because Heroes stole his work and sucked at it. Does not mean his book is bad. I have it on my phone, and liked it. Hope he wins.

  • doobey

    that story plot has been down on tv 500 million times. this is retarded. Heroes was good the 1st season and a couple of episodes the 2nd, but it fell off pretty bad.

  • Paul C

    The comments are what’s retarded. They clearly take the author’s work, and people say he should be sued, the show was awful, blah blah blah. Perhap’s people should read the lawsuit before making ill informed comments. Every carnival story is not being debated or claimed. These two stories however, do have sections that are the very same. So why shouldn’t the author have a problem with heroes?

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