Seth MacFarlane is being sued for stealing idea from popular web series for his 2012 movie "Ted". Bengal Mangle Productions launched a lawsuit against the filmmaker, Universal Pictures and producers of the movie at Media Rights Capital, claiming that "Ted" was an "unlawful copy" of its own teddy bear animation.
Bengal said in its copyright infringement lawsuit that Ted the foul-mouthed teddy bear in the Universal movie was too similar to Charlie the teddy bear in two different web series "Charlie the Abusive Teddy" and "Acting School Academy". Both aired in 2009 and 2010 on YouTube, FunnyOrDie.com and other streaming websites.
"Both Charlie and Ted reside in a substantially similar environment, including that both Charlie and Ted spend a significant amount of time sitting on a living room couch with a beer and/or cigarette in hand," the suit stated. "Charlie and Ted each have a substantially similar persona, verbal tone, verbal delivery, dialogue, and attitude."
The company went deeper in details by pointing out several similar scenes. In the Charlie webseries, the bear was "describing what he wants to do to a prostitute; talking about not wanting to go to rehab; yelling at Amy for making him peas; telling his mother he has spread catnip on his testicles; suggesting he and his father go to the strip club together, and pistol whipping someone to get his point across."
In one scene, Ted was "showing a woman all the lewd acts he wants to perform with her; using violence to get his point across to John; talking to Nora Jones about their sexual history, and making fat jokes even when his life is in danger." The lawsuit also contained similarities in Charlie and Ted's online postings on Twitter and Facebook among others.
Media Rights Capital, MacFarlane and Universal had no immediate response. "Ted" grossed $550 million worldwide and spawns a sequel which will be released on June 26, 2015.