I was watching one of my childhood cartoons and realized one of the scenes was directly uplifted from Matrix.

What I wonder about is. Can movies get sued because they copy the camera angles and stuff like this? Can Warner Bros sue TRT in this example? Sorry I am not specific it's just I don't know how to explain it.

Altough the camera system used in the Matrix wasn't borrowed. The angles are borrowed in this one.

  • You can't patent a style only an invention. You might be able to copyright it but even then it's doubtful.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 21:30
  • 1
    This might be something you could ask on law.stackexchange.com Surely if it was possible, then any TV show/film that uses a pan or tracking shot could potentially be sued? Plenty of films replicate/homage other films with similar shots.
    – Longshanks
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 10:07
  • 1
    See: Ken Burns Effect. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Burns_effect Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 13:16
  • Every artist is a cannibal. Every poet is a thief. If the makers of The Matrix sued for bullet dodging, someone could sue them for everything that someone else did firth, such as "protagonist on a ledge". Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


@Paulie_D has it right; patents are for inventions. Section 101 of the patent code defines the patentable subject matter, and camera angles are not in there, nor shooting styles, editing styles, or any other styles.

I can imagine patenting software that does editing; e.g. if your software found the right place to edit footage from two camera angles during an action so that it looks smooth, then anyone who used that technique in other editing software might be infringing. However, it wouldn't be the movies themselves infringing, it would be the software companies who sold the editing software.

Copyright law could conceivably apply, but again, no: that covers the expression of an idea, not the method of expressing it. If they used the actual shots from another movie, that could be a copyright infringement.

As Fred Allen said, "Imitation is the sincerest form of television."

  • www.legalzoom.com: A motion picture copyright protects the artistic expression in movies, short films, and videos, including the camera work, dialogue, and sounds. It does not cover the idea behind a movie or the characters portrayed in it.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 12:06
  • I loved that article about the Ken Burns Effect. But note: the permission was for using his name, not for just copping his style. The real enforcement for stealing someone's style is, people might make fun of you for it. Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 16:41

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