Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Paramount files motion to dismiss ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ copyright lawsuit

Hollywood studio Paramount recently filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that claims that ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ infringes on the copyright of the 1983 magazine article that was the source material for the original film, reports Variety.

Shosh and Yuval Yonay, the widow and son of writer Ehud Yonay, filed the suit in June, arguing that the studio made the sequel without first renewing the rights to the article.

In the motion to dismiss, Paramount, according to Variety, argued that it did not need to obtain the rights, because ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is a work of fiction that has almost nothing in common with the non-fiction article and that the facts and ideas conveyed in the article cannot be copyrighted.

“Any similarity between these vastly different works derives from the fact that Top Gun is an actual naval training facility,” the studio’s lawyers argue. “Plaintiffs do not have a monopoly over works about ‘Top Gun’,” Paramount said.

Variety states that Paramount did secure the film rights to Yonay’s article for the original ‘Top Gun’, which was released in 1986. Copyright law allows authors to reclaim their works after 35 years. Yonay died in 2012, but his widow and son filed a notice in 2018 terminating the studio’s copyright to the article.

The lawsuit takes pains to document numerous alleged similarities between the article and the sequel. The complaint also argues that Yonay used “vivid and cinematic” language to enliven what otherwise could have been a mere recitation of facts.