“In the plaintiffs’ version, a dog embarks on a mission to save Christmas from a witch threatening to drain the world of holiday cheer with her magic icicle. In Disney’s version Santa Paws combats an evil icicle that threatens Christmas.”
[Source, TheWrap: "Judge Dismisses 'Santa Paws' Copyright Lawsuit Against Disney" 9/20/2012]
The precedent established here is that you cannot copyright the idea of a dog combating an evil icycle. One wonders, of course, what the outcome would have been if Disney had been the plaintiff, had produced its movie, and the plaintiffs here had come along and published their short story.
While I agree with the Court’s decision (federal trial court, Missouri), I rue the inherent ambiguities and unfairness of the laws and their litigated enforcement in our courts.