Apple is facing a new lawsuit, but it’s not from another tech company or competitor like Epic. Instead, the Cupertino company is facing a lawsuit filed by one Dan Ackerman, who is perhaps better known as the editor-in-chief of the tech news website Gizmodo.
According to a report by Reuters, Ackerman is suing Apple over the movie ‘Tetris’, which Apple produced and distributed via Apple TV+. If you’ve not watched it, it is essentially a biographical movie based on the story of how the video game Tetris came to be with its murky Soviet origins. While the movie might be pretty good, Ackerman argues that Apple copied it it from his 2016 book ‘The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World’.
Specifically, Ackerman is suing Apple and the Tetris Company too for adapting his book illegally. He states that when his book first came out, he had sent a copy of it to the Tetris Company, who returned the favour by threatening to sue Ackerman if he were to adapt it into a film or television series. The book itself talks about the history of the game, looking through its Soviet history and how people struggled to get the global licensing rights, all framed as a ‘Cold War thriller’—which if you watched the movie would actually sound pretty familiar.
Kevin Landau, Ackerman’s lawyer, said that the lawsuit will attempt to right a wrong, and provide the respect and justice to the work of his client. The lawsuit states that Maya Rogers, Tetris Company CEO, together with screenwriter Noah Pink started copying The Tetris Effect for the Tetris movie screenplay in 2017, with the film ‘liberally borrowing’ many specific sections from the book.
As such, Ackerman will be seeking for money damages equaling at least 6% of the USD 80 million production budget that went into it, accusing Apple and the Tetris Company of copyright infringement, unfair competition and illegally interfering with his business relations.