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Judge rules for Kelley, CBS

A federal judge said in a preliminary ruling yesterday that he found no evidence television producer David E. Kelley, CBS, or 20th Century Fox had intentionally copied the trademark of two New Hampshire filmmakers in the creation of the new CBS television show "The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire."Michael J. MacLeod and Jefferson Dutton had alleged in their lawsuit that the TV show, about three brothers living in a fictional New Hampshire town, had unlawfully copied the "title, theme, idea, characters, and story" of their New Hampshire-based movie "Brotherhood," which was written and filmed last year in Derry, N.H. That 30-minute film, about five college-age friends, has aired publicly only twice, in a diner in Derry and at a theater at Brandeis University. MacLeod and Dutton have been actively seeking distribution.

The duo had sought a preliminary injunction to stop the CBS show from premiering last night in New Hampshire. That motion for an injunction was denied late Tuesday. The lawsuit, filed Sept. 10, remains on the docket, with no trial date set.

Judge Joseph A. DiClerico Jr. said in his ruling yesterday that "the evidence submitted by the defendants demonstrates that . . . Kelley had never heard of the plaintiffs or their film before April 2003, long after the pilot had been registered with the copyright office as `The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire,' . . . and Fox performed due diligence in August 2003 which failed to reveal the existence of `Brotherhood.' "

The court finds, DiClerico said, "that there is little likelihood of confusion between the plaintiffs' film title and the name of the defendants' television series."

MacLeod and Dutton said in a statement yesterday that "we are not discouraged by the judge's ruling. . . . The strong merits of our case extend beyond the title `Brotherhood.' . . . As the series goes forward, we are confident that the similarities in our projects will become stronger."


11 a.m.: "Friends" expert Angela Shaw, a news producer, chats about the show's last season.Noon: Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert talks about the tube.

Globe on NECN

Here's what's happening on "Around the Globe" today on NECN:

* 12:30 p.m.: "Globe at Home" -- Music critic Joan Anderman and Amanda Palmer, of The Dresden Dolls, on the debut of the Boston band's first full-length CD.

* 4 p.m.: "Around the Globe"

* 6:30 p.m.: "New England Business Day"

* 8 p.m.: "NewsNight" Schedule is subject to change.

Talk of the dial

5 p.m. WBNW-AM (1120) -- "PM Magazine." Guests: Peter Lance, author, "A Thousand Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI"; Ron Nash and Karl Jennings, Nash & Company.

Midnight WBZ-AM (1030) -- "The Steve LeVeille Broadcast." Guest: Jay Foley, Identity Theft Resource Center.

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