Paramount sued over ‘Top Gun’ copyright claim

Jun 7, 2022, 9:51 AM | Updated: 10:05 am
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Tom Cruise portraying Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchel...

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Tom Cruise portraying Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in a scene from "Top Gun: Maverick." The widow and son of the man who wrote the 1983 article that inspired the original "Top Gun" are suing Paramount Pictures over its sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick." (Scott Garfield/Paramount Pictures via AP)

(Scott Garfield/Paramount Pictures via AP)

The widow and son of the man who wrote the 1983 article that inspired the original “Top Gun” are suing Paramount Pictures over its sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick.”

In a complaint filed in California federal court Monday, Shosh Yonay and Yuval Yonay claim that the rights to Ehud Yonay’s story reverted back to them on Jan. 24, 2020. The lawsuit contends that Paramount, which produced and distributed the sequel, did not reacquire those rights before releasing the film in May.

A spokesperson for Paramount Pictures said in a statement that the claims “are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”

The lawsuit says that Paramount has been on notice since 2018 that the Yonays intended to recover the copyright under a provision that lets artists do so after 35 years. According to the suit, the Yonays sent a cease-and-desist letter in early May to which Paramount responded that the film had been sufficiently completed by Jan. 24, 2020, and was not derivative of Yonay’s article. The Yonays counter that the film is a derivative of the 1983 article and that “Top Gun: Maverick” didn’t wrap until May 2021, over a year after the rights expired.

Yonay’s original article about the Navy Fighter Weapons School training program and two pilots in the course, the hotshot “Yogi” and his friend “Possum,” was published in the May 1983 issue of California magazine. Soon after, Paramount Pictures acquired the exclusive motion picture rights. “Top Gun” was released in 1986 and went on to become the No. 1 film of the year.

The sequel has been in development for years and was originally set for a July 2019 release but was delayed many times — first for normal reasons and then because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Top Gun: Maverick” finally opened in theaters on May 27, has spent two weeks atop the box office and has already made over $557 million in ticket sales worldwide.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Mississippi justices block more DNA tests in death row case

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled that a death row inmate will not be allowed to seek additional DNA testing on crime scene evidence from the shooting deaths of two college students nearly 30 years ago. Willie Jerome Manning, now 54, remains in the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. He was […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

UK military investigates hacks on Army social media accounts

LONDON (AP) — British military authorities are trying to find out who hacked the army’s social media accounts over the weekend, flooding them with cryptocurrency videos and posts related to collectible electronic art. The investigation was launched after authorized content on the army’s YouTube account was replaced with a video feed promoting cryptocurrencies that included […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

NASA satellite breaks from orbit around Earth, heads to moon

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A satellite the size of a microwave oven successfully broke free from its orbit around Earth on Monday and is headed toward the moon, the latest step in NASA’s plan to land astronauts on the lunar surface again. It’s been an unusual journey already for the Capstone satellite. It was […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

It’s a new era for funding on both sides of abortion debate

NEW YORK (AP) — The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has ushered in a new era of funding on both sides of the abortion debate. With the legality of abortion now up to individual states to determine, an issue long debated by legislators and philanthropists — when it was largely theoretical because only […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Top NGO calls Switzerland ‘safe haven’ for Russian oligarchs

LUGANO, Switzerland (AP) — A leading Swiss nongovernmental group on Monday called out Switzerland as a “safe haven” for Russian oligarchs and as a trading hub for Russian oil, grain and coal. Public Eye urged the Swiss executive branch to “use all levers at its disposal to stop the financing of this inhuman aggression,” in […]
6 hours ago
Some 25 tractors parked outside a distribution center for supermarket chain Albert Heijn during a b...
Associated Press

Dutch farmers block entrances to supermarket warehouses

ZAANDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch farmers angry at government plans to slash emissions used tractors and trucks Monday to blockade supermarket distribution centers, the latest actions in a summer of discontent in the country’s lucrative agricultural sector. The Netherlands’ busiest aviation hub, Schiphol Airport, urged travelers to use public transport to get to its terminals […]
6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Paramount sued over ‘Top Gun’ copyright claim