Netflix’s popular teen drama that goes by the name Outer Banks got released in April 2020, which wasn’t long before quarantine boredom left the viewers looking wistfully at the exotic locations and the mysterious vibe of the series. But while Netflix has the opportunity to celebrate and rejoice the show’s popularity, an unfortunate turn of events took place almost eight months later wherein, Netflix as well as the creators of Outer Banks, namely Jonas Pate, Josh Pate and Shannon Burke were found to be involved in a new lawsuit. As per the Lawsuit, the author of the novel Pennywise: The Hunt for Blackbeard’s Treasure, Kevin Wooten, claims that the plot of the TV series was copied from the aforementioned novel[1]. He maintains the stance that the novel builds upon a group of young adults who were encouraged by folklore to look for the hidden treasure that was said to have been part of the legendary shipwreck. On top of it, the plot of the novel takes place completely on the outer banks of North Carolina, where the series is set too. 

Beyond the overall synopsis, Kyle Wooten also blames the producers of Outer Banks for imitating their main characters, their antagonists, and some plot concepts. He argues that the show has copied the wealthy benefactor and corrupt cops from his novel involving pirates and hidden treasures, and asserts that some part of the clues that teenagers discover are nearly identical along with the places where those clues lead to. In addition to that, Kyle Wooten certainly doesn’t believe this is just a mere coincidence, either. He states to have sold numerous copies of the novel in Wilmington, North Carolina, including physical copies.[2] Considering that the Pate brothers have publicly admitted that Wilmington was a great source of inspiration behind the creation of the show, Wooten believes that they must have come across his Pennywise and used it as the premise for their Netflix show. As per the lawsuit, Kyle Wooten is certainly attempting to be compensated for the damages for the alleged plagiarism. He also wants Netflix to provide for a title card in Outer Banks’ credits that says, “Story by Kevin Wooten, based upon the novel Pennywise: The Hunt for Blackbeard’s Treasure!”[3]

This is not the first time Netflix has got itself involved in a lawsuit for plagiarism.  Previously, in July 2020, Netflix as well as the creators of one of the most popular Netflix series, Stranger Things, were sued for copyright infringement arguing that the show had striking similarities to a screenplay called “Totem”[4]. As of now, Netflix has not reacted to either the lawsuit or the allegations mentioned earlier


[2] Id.

[3] https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/ct-ent-outer-banks-copyright-infringement-20210105-cvv7awjfurhjper2h5kxdk2q7m-story.html

[4] https://www.thewrap.com/netflix-stranger-things-copyright-infringement-lawsuit/

Disclaimer: This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, expressions and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee, The IP Press or other group or individual.

About Areena Kausar 2 Articles
Second year law student from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad with interests in Intellectual Property Rights and Fashion Law. Through IP Press, I hope to nourish my blogging and research skills alongwith my knowledge on IPR.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.