June 2017. Artist Jayme Gordon faces a hefty two-year jail sentence and a three million dollar fine for fraudulently claiming 12 million dollars in a copyright lawsuit against Dreamworks, makers of the film Kung Fu Panda.
The cartoonist claimed the story and characters that featured in Kung Fu Panda had been stolen from him. To back up his claim, he produced sketches of cartoon characters very similar to those in the film.
However, in 2013 it was discovered that Gordon had copied one of the drawings from an old Disney colouring book. Further investigation revealed that he had fabricated the entire claim based on fraudulent emails and copyrights registered in bad faith.
The case eventually backfired on Gordon like a boomerang, with even the US Cybercrime Unit involved at one stage due to the possibility of ‘wire fraud’. At the beginning of May, Gordon’s 12 million dollar claim turned into a two-year jail sentence and a demand for three million dollars in damages to cover the legal costs incurred by Dreamworks.