A former north suburban poet who claims her work was used without permission in an episode of the popular police-procedural CBS drama “Criminal Minds” has filed a federal lawsuit against the network.
Susan Lynn Kugler wrote the poem “Mask” in December 2007, later publishing it online and releasing it with a collection of her work called “Poetry in Emotion,” according to the copyright infringement suit filed Friday in U.S. District Court.
Kugler — who lived in Waukegan when she alleges she wrote the poem but now lives in Wisconsin — claims it was copied and adapted into lyrics for the opening theme a May 2010 episode of “Criminal Minds.” The fifth-season finale, titled “Our Darkest Hour,” is about a serial killer who targets victims during rolling blackouts caused by a heat wave, according to a CBS synopsis.
Kugler claims the poem was copied “verbatim” and combined with another verse for the show, which has been released on DVD. It had been marked with a copyright notice when she published it, the suit says.
A CBS spokesman did not immediately respond for comment Friday evening.
The three-count suit against CBS Studios and distributors Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment seeks at least $175,000 plus court costs.