NY judge: 'Disturbia' did not copy short story

** FILE ** In this photo originally provided by Paramount Pictures, Shia LeBeouf in a scene from "Disturbia." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures/Suzanne Tenner, file)

September 22, 2010 6:55:07 PM PDT
A federal judge in New York has dismissed a copyright lawsuit that claimed the 2007 thriller "Disturbia" ripped off Alfred Hitchcock's classic "Rear Window."

Federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain tossed out a lawsuit late Tuesday in which Steven Spielberg and others were sued by the estate of the literary agent who owned the rights to the short story on which "Rear Window" was based. The short story was written by Cornell Woolrich in 1942. Woolrich died in 1968.

"Disturbia" stars Shia LaBeouf as a kid who spies on neighbors, including a man he suspects is a serial killer.

Swain said similarities between the story and "Disturbia" were not protected by copyright. She said they were similar only "at very general levels of abstraction."

Messages left with lawyers on both sides were not immediately returned.