The district court correctly denied defendant’s Anti-SLAPP motion to strike in this case in which plaintiff claimed that defendant had stolen his screen play idea which it then used a successful series of motion pictures without paying plaintiff for the use of his idea. To determine whether the Anti-SLAPP applies, the court must first identify the precise act that constitutes the misconduct on which the plaintiff’s claim is based. Here, plaintiff alleged an implied-in-fact contract to compensate him for his screen play idea, a contract that defendant breached by using the idea and then not paying plaintiff for it. Since the implied agreement to pay and its breach were what distinguished this claim from a copyright infringement claim, the key element of wrongdoing was non-payment rather than unauthorized use of the idea. Payment or nonpayment for an idea is not protected activity under the Anti-SLAPP statute. So the Anti-SLAPP motion was correctly denied.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Pregerson, J.); June 20, 2017; 2017 WL 2637350