Apple has recently been hit by a new lawsuit which alleges that the company illegally used a book authored by Gizmodo’s editor-in-chief as the plot basis for the “Tetris” movie currently streaming on the Apple TV+ service, as reported by Reuters.
Dan Ackerman, Gizmodo’s editor-in-chief, filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court Monday against Apple and other parties involved with the production of Tetris. The other parties sued by Ackerman include the Tetris Company, its CEO Maya Rogers, screenwriter Noah Pink, Marv Studios, and others. Ackerman in his lawsuit is asking for damages worth at least 6% of the movie’s production budget which is said to be set at $80 million.
Ackerman’s Book, “The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World,” was published in 2016. According to the suit, Ackerman sent a copy of his book to the Tetris Company in July 2016, during which the Company refused to license any intellectual property related to Tetris for any media adaptation. Not only that, but the Tetris Company went a step further, issuing a “strongly worded” cease and desist letter to Ackerman’s agent warning him of legal action in case he further discusses any media licensing deals with other companies for the book in question.
Unknown to Ackerman at the time, the Tetris Company began developing its own movie based on the company’s history shortly after he sent them his book. As alleged in the lawsuit, the company began using Ackerman’s book in the process as a groundwork for the movie’s screenplay without his knowledge or explicit consent. Apple and other defendants declined to comment to Reuters on the matter.
Ackerman’s attorney Kevin Landau said in a statement reported by Reuters that the lawsuit “aims to right a wrong and provide the respect and justice to the work, diligence, and ownership of someone who is entitled to such respect and acknowledgment under the law.”
Upon the release of the “Tetris” trailer in March 2023, Ackerman promptly identified significant similarities to his book. Consequently, a cease and desist letter was sent to Apple, urging a temporary pause on the movie’s broadcast while awaiting the outcome of particular legal matters. The lawsuit alleges that Apple was fully aware of the cease and desist letter, yet opted to ignore it, proceeding with the movie’s debut on Apple TV+ just one week later.