Top Film Company Hit With Devastating New Lawsuit Over Top Gun Sequel
(TargetLiberty.org) – Top Gun: Maverick is raking in millions at the box office as movie fans rush to see Tom Cruise back in one of his most famous roles. Now, an Israeli family is suing to have the blockbuster pulled from theaters. Did Paramount Pictures base the movie on material they legally can’t use?
Top Gun maker Paramount sued over copyright breach https://t.co/UKGTkyBn7B
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 7, 2022
On June 6, the widow and son of Israeli journalist Ehud Yonay filed a lawsuit against Paramount in a Los Angeles federal court stating the original 1986 Top Gun movie was inspired by a 1983 article belonging to Yonay. The movie launched Cruise’s career, and rightfully mentioned Yonay in the credits. However, according to the lawsuit, in 2018, the Yonays reminded Paramount that the studio’s rights to the article would expire in January 2020 under US copyright law unless they renewed it — which it didn’t.
Now the Yonays say Paramount is in violation of Ehud Yonay’s copyright, and they’re asking for financial compensation plus an injunction to halt screenings or distribution of the movie. Meanwhile, Paramount says the movie began production in 2018, while the copyright was still valid.
Copyright is legal protection for intellectual property such as writing, music or artworks. According to US law, the creator of a work has exclusive rights to make or sell copies or derivatives of it, and a movie like Top Gun: Maverick is a derivative of Yonay’s article about the Top Gun fighter school. Copyright holders can license their work to someone else, like a movie studio, but generally the license expires after a fixed amount of time. Paramount says it used Yonay’s work within the time frame; the Yonays say it didn’t. Now, a court will have to decide who’s right.
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