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Makers of Tom Cruise's 'Top Gun: Maverick' sued for copyright infringement

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Makers of Tom Cruise's 'Top Gun: Maverick' sued for copyright infringement

The film ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ has joined the billion-dollar club as it continues to dominate at the box office. The studio behind it, Paramount Pictures, is embroiled in a legal dispute over the blockbuster though.

The widow and son of Ehud Yonay, who wrote a 1983 article in California magazine titled, "Top Guns," about fighter pilots and the Navy's elite Top Gun program, has sued the studio for copyright infringement.

The lawsuit claims that although the first film credited the story and its writer, the studio did not have the right to produce this year's box office smash, which they allege is a derivative work of the original article.

In 2018, the family sent a letter to Paramount saying they recovered the copyright, under a provision that lets artists do so after 35 years, and it would be handed back to them by January 2020.

The family alleges that Paramount "deliberately" ignored their letter sent in 2018 to recover the copyright of the story.

As the movie was released in 2022, the writer's family believes they own the copyright to the sequel too.

They are seeking unspecified monetary damages from the studio and an injunction to stop screenings and distribution of the movie.

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has insisted the sequel was sufficiently completed before that date [and the delay was due to the pandemic] and that “these claims are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously."

The movie has surpassed US$1 billion in collections from domestic and overseas ticket sales.

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