7 min

Paramount is Ready to Dogfight in Top Gun Maverick Copyright Lawsuit The Briefing by the IP Law Blog

    • Business

In this episode of The Briefing by the IP Law Blog, Scott Hervey and Josh Escovedo discuss Paramount's motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit relating to 'Top Gun: Maverick.'



Watch this episode here.



Show Notes:



Scott:



Paramount came into the Top Gun Maverick copyright lawsuit guns hot by filing a motion to dismiss claiming that the sequel to the 1986 motion picture, Top Gun, does not infringe the copyright in Ehud Yonay’s magazine article.  We are going to talk about this…



Scott:



In May 1983, California magazine published the article Top Guns, by EHUD YONAY.   This article was an inside look at the real  Navy Fighter Weapons School Top Gun based out of Miramar California.  The article begins with a vivid description of  two Top Gun F14 Tomcat avaitors, Yogi and Possum, on a hop,  simulated dog fight training, against Top Gun instructors then continues with a deep dive into what makes Yogi and Possum (and other fighter pilots) tick, a  look at the Top Gun training regimen, life on base and the history of Top Gun.  When the article was published, it was optioned and in the credits for Top Gun Yonay is credited on the original movie as a writer of the magazine article



Josh:



On January 23, 2018, the Yonays properly availed themselves of their right to recover the copyright to the Story under the sent Paramount a statutory notice of termination under Copyright Act, and then filed it with the Copyright Office.As we have discussed previously on this program, Section 203 of the Copyright Act permits authors (or, if the authors are not alive, their surviving spouses, children or grandchildren, or executors, administrators, personal representatives or trustees) to terminate grants of copyright assignments and licenses that were made on or after January 1, 1978 when certain conditions have been met. Upon the effective date of termination, all rights in the work that were covered by the terminated grant revert to the author, however any derivative work prepared under authority of the grant before its termination may continue to be utilized under the terms of the grant after its termination, but this privilege does not extend to the preparation after the termination of other derivative works based upon the copyrighted work covered by the terminated grant.  The Yonays sued Paramount for copyright infringement claiming that the Top Gun Maverick infringes the Yonay’s right in the original article.



Scott:



When we previously reported on the complaint, we stated our belief that is case is going to be about whether Maverick is actually a derivative of the article, and, more interestingly, would Maverick even infringe the article given that the article is not a work of fiction but rather a factual work.  It seems that Paramount agrees.



Josh:



In its motion to dismiss Paramount correctly argues that in order to state a claim for infringement a plaintiff must show substantial similarity between the works’ protected elements.  Determining whether works are substantially similar involves a two-part analysis consisting of the ‘extrinsic test’ and the ‘intrinsic test.’” The extrinsic test “assesses the objective similarities of the two works, focusing only on the protectable elements of the plaintiff’s expression, whereas the intrinsic test “examines an ordinary person’s subjective impressions.  Although a plaintiff must prove both to establish substantial similarity,a finding of substantial similarity under the extrinsic component is a necessary prerequisite to considering the intrinsic component,

In this episode of The Briefing by the IP Law Blog, Scott Hervey and Josh Escovedo discuss Paramount's motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit relating to 'Top Gun: Maverick.'



Watch this episode here.



Show Notes:



Scott:



Paramount came into the Top Gun Maverick copyright lawsuit guns hot by filing a motion to dismiss claiming that the sequel to the 1986 motion picture, Top Gun, does not infringe the copyright in Ehud Yonay’s magazine article.  We are going to talk about this…



Scott:



In May 1983, California magazine published the article Top Guns, by EHUD YONAY.   This article was an inside look at the real  Navy Fighter Weapons School Top Gun based out of Miramar California.  The article begins with a vivid description of  two Top Gun F14 Tomcat avaitors, Yogi and Possum, on a hop,  simulated dog fight training, against Top Gun instructors then continues with a deep dive into what makes Yogi and Possum (and other fighter pilots) tick, a  look at the Top Gun training regimen, life on base and the history of Top Gun.  When the article was published, it was optioned and in the credits for Top Gun Yonay is credited on the original movie as a writer of the magazine article



Josh:



On January 23, 2018, the Yonays properly availed themselves of their right to recover the copyright to the Story under the sent Paramount a statutory notice of termination under Copyright Act, and then filed it with the Copyright Office.As we have discussed previously on this program, Section 203 of the Copyright Act permits authors (or, if the authors are not alive, their surviving spouses, children or grandchildren, or executors, administrators, personal representatives or trustees) to terminate grants of copyright assignments and licenses that were made on or after January 1, 1978 when certain conditions have been met. Upon the effective date of termination, all rights in the work that were covered by the terminated grant revert to the author, however any derivative work prepared under authority of the grant before its termination may continue to be utilized under the terms of the grant after its termination, but this privilege does not extend to the preparation after the termination of other derivative works based upon the copyrighted work covered by the terminated grant.  The Yonays sued Paramount for copyright infringement claiming that the Top Gun Maverick infringes the Yonay’s right in the original article.



Scott:



When we previously reported on the complaint, we stated our belief that is case is going to be about whether Maverick is actually a derivative of the article, and, more interestingly, would Maverick even infringe the article given that the article is not a work of fiction but rather a factual work.  It seems that Paramount agrees.



Josh:



In its motion to dismiss Paramount correctly argues that in order to state a claim for infringement a plaintiff must show substantial similarity between the works’ protected elements.  Determining whether works are substantially similar involves a two-part analysis consisting of the ‘extrinsic test’ and the ‘intrinsic test.’” The extrinsic test “assesses the objective similarities of the two works, focusing only on the protectable elements of the plaintiff’s expression, whereas the intrinsic test “examines an ordinary person’s subjective impressions.  Although a plaintiff must prove both to establish substantial similarity,a finding of substantial similarity under the extrinsic component is a necessary prerequisite to considering the intrinsic component,

7 min

Top Podcasts In Business

People Magic: How to Build a $1M Community
Mighty Networks & Pod People
REAL AF with Andy Frisella
Andy Frisella #100to0
Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin
Money News Network
Habits and Hustle
Jen Cohen and Habit Nest
The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett
DOAC
Young and Profiting with Hala Taha
Hala Taha | YAP Media Network