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Top Gun: Maverick: Copyright suit filed against Paramount by source 1983 magazine article owners, seek injunction to stop film screenings

The original 1986 film Top Gun was based on a 1983 magazine article authored by Ehud Yonay

  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 04.56 AM, Jun 07, 2022

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Top Gun: Maverick: Copyright suit filed against Paramount by source 1983 magazine article owners, seek injunction to stop film screenings
Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Makers of Top Gun: Maverick, Paramount Pictures, have been sued over copyright claims. The original 1986 film is based on a 1983 article titled 'Top Guns' authored by Ehud Yonay who passed away in 2012 and subsequently the copyrights were obtained by his heirs in 2020. Ehud Yonay's widow Shosh Yonay and their son Yuval Yonay of Israel have now filed a copyright suit against Paramount arguing that the studio hasn't obtained the new license to use the source material (1983 material).

The legal action demands unspecified but whopping damages from the studio along with an injunction to stop the further screenings and distribution of the film. The Yonays, represented by Marc Toberoff, claim that the studio did not repurchase or refresh the rights to use the source material for the 2022 sequel and have termed it derivative. Following the passing of Ehud Yonay in 2012, his heirs filed a notice in 2018 to reclaim the copyrights that eventually came into effect in 2020. The lawsuit also states that Paramount Pictures ignored the copyright and went ahead with the production regardless.

The claims also bring a slightly tricky timeline into the picture with the studio stating that the film's production was concluded before 2020, when the copyright was reclaimed by the Yonays. However, the lawsuit asserts that the filming of Top Gun: Maverick wasn't completed until May of 2021 which results in copyright infringement. Paramount Pictures has rubbished the claims by stating that they carry no merit and that they will be fighting vigorously to counter them.

Top Gun: Maverick, directed by Joseph Kosinski, released in theatres on May 27 to tremendous reception across the globe. The film sees Tom Cruise's Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell return to the revered TOPGUN aviation program to train an "elite group of aviators" for an urgent mission. The sequel came out 36 years after the original (directed by Tony Scott) and is now well on course to join the billion-dollar club in terms of box office revenue.

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