Top Gun: Maverick – Copyright Infringement Issue

Top Gun: Maverick was released on May 27, 2022 and has generated over $250 million nationally and over $500 million globally to date. The film was produced by Paramount Pictures as a sequel to the original Top Gun movie released in May of 1986. The original film was based on a story titled “Top Guns” published in California Magazine by Ehud Yonay in 1983. At the time, Paramount immediately obtained exclusive copyrights to produce the original film. Copyright law allows authors to take back the rights to their work after 35 years, which is what Ehud Yonay did when they sent Paramount a notice of termination. The Yonay’s claim that Paramount deliberately ignored this notice. The studio’s rights to the story and thus producing a sequel lasted only until January of 2020. Top Gun: Maverick was done with production on the 8th of May 2021, meaning that Paramount has exceeded its rights by over one year. The lawsuit filed on June 6, 2022 by the heirs of Ehud Yonay, seeks an injunction to stop Paramount from gaining further profits off the film. They are additionally seeking unknown damages that include some profits from the film. Paramount strongly feels that the Yonays’ claims are without merit and state that they will defend themselves “vigorously”. The outcome of this suit is sure to be an interesting one!

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