Paramount Sued Over ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Copyright Infringement

Paramount Pictures on June 6 faces a copyright infringement lawsuit over their blockbuster hit, “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The family of Ehud Yonay, the author whose 1983 magazine article inspired the original 1986 “Top Gun” film, has sued Paramount in California federal court, claiming that the studio failed to reacquire the rights to the article.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

Yonay’s widow Shosh and son Yuval alleged in the lawsuit that they sent a notice to Paramount in January 2018 that they would reclaim the copyright in January 2020, but the studio “deliberately ignored this, thumbing its nose at the statute.”

“This case arises out of Paramount’s conscious failure to re-acquire the requisite film and ancillary rights to the Yonays’ copyrighted Story prior to the completion and release of their derivative 2022 Sequel,” the lawsuit alleged.

The heirs claim that they sent Paramount a cease-and-desist letter regarding “Top Gun: Maverick” on May 11, two weeks before its theatrical release, but the studio allegedly denied that the movie was a derivative work of the copyrighted article.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including some profits from “Top Gun: Maverick” and to block the studio from distributing the movie or more sequels.

In a statement, Paramount said that the claims were “without merit” and that they will defend themselves “vigorously.”

While it is unclear when Paramount officially finished the film, the studio has insisted that the sequel was “sufficiently completed” prior to the termination date.

“Top Gun: Maverick” was initially slated for release in 2019, but it was postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It finally hit theaters in May and has earned $550 million globally.

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