A high school English teacher in North Carolina is suing Netflix’s ‘Outer Banks’, claiming copyright infringement.
The creative writing instructor and author, Kevin Wooten, alleges that showrunners Jonas Pate, Joshua Pate and Shannon Burke stole the plot of ‘Outer Banks’ from his young adult novel ‘Pennywise: The Hunt for Blackbeard’s Treasure!’ (2016), which is also set in the outer banks of North Carolina.
“The Series is strikingly similar to the Novel in its plot, locations, protagonists, antagonists, and scenes,” alleges Wooten in his lawsuit, shared by Deadline.
Both the novel and the series follow a group of teens who acquire a map and hunt for treasure after a shipwreck, only to be hunted themselves by a rich villain after the same loot.
In his lawsuit, Wooten also cites an interview where the co-creators of the show said “they were inspired to write the Series based on inspiration from third-party adventure novels.”
“Furthermore, Mr. Jonas Pate and Mr. Josh Pate also stated in that interview that they were inspired to write the Series by their time spent in Wilmington, North Carolina, the same city in which Mr. Wooten sold physical copies of the Novel,” the lawsuit continues.
Some of the similarities that Wooten cites in his legal document include that both the book and series “consist of a group of four protagonists where two characters have similar upbringings and absent parents, the third character is studious and throws away his chance at academia, and the fourth character is fiercely protective of the group” and “both include antagonists consisting of a rich benefactor and a corrupt member of law enforcement”.
In addition, “both groups of protagonists discover similar rounds objects at the bottom of the ocean, which leads them to more clues including old portraits, churches, mausoleums, and eventually the treasure in a recess of a shaft.”
So far and to public knowledge, Netflix has not responded to Wooten’s claims, according to reports.