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A federal judge ruled in favor of ‘Falcon Crest.’

Anita Clay Kornfeld, author of “Vintage,” had sued CBS, Lorimar Productions and Earl Hamner for copyright infringement on her historical novel about three generations of wine makers in the Napa Valley. Hamner’s TV pilot, called “The Vintage Years,” became the highly successful “Falcon Crest” series on prime-time television. U.S. District Judge Richard A. Gadbois ruled in Los Angeles that, although the defendants had access to the 1980 novel, “there is no substantial similarity between the two works.” The judge also said that he found Hamner, who had denied any familiarity with the novel, to be “an honest witness.”


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