Yuma Sun

Paramount sued over ‘Top Gun’ copyright claim


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-anddesist 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.

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