In an unfolding drama, Gizmodo’s editor-in-chief, Daniel Ackerman, has initiated legal action against tech giant Apple, among other entities, pertaining to the 2023 film ‘Tetris’ available on Apple TV Plus. At the crux of the contention is the belief that the movie overtly mirrors his 2016 publication, ‘The Tetris Effect.’ Ackerman’s stance is that Apple, the Tetris film’s crew, screenwriter Noah Pink, and the Tetris Company (the game’s rightsholder) have unduly replicated “the exact same feel, tone, approach, and scenes” as detailed in his book, especially its rendition of the game’s launch set against the backdrop of a “Cold War spy thriller.”
As per details emanating from Reuters, the lawsuit unveils Ackerman’s extensive communication trail with the Tetris Company during the time he was penning ‘The Tetris Effect.’ He puts forth that the company, not only was in the know of his book but had also legally challenged him when he attempted to explore film and TV adaptations of his work. Following this, the company is alleged to have heavily borrowed from his version of the Tetris narrative for their film. Ackerman vehemently states, “The film liberally borrowed numerous specific sections and events of the book.”
Although Apple and the Tetris Company are yet to issue their stand on the matter to The Verge, Ackerman’s legal journey might face challenges. Given that both the movie and ‘The Tetris Effect’ are anchored in actual historical events (which usually don’t come under copyright protection), Ackerman’s lawsuit leans predominantly on the assertion that the film apes the ambiance of ‘The Tetris Effect’. His contention also ropes in elements of the movie that, he believes, are grounded in his book’s speculative narrations.
This lawsuit underscores the intricate tapestry of intellectual property rights in the realm of content creation. While history remains a common domain, its portrayal and the emotions it evokes can often lead to heated debates over originality. As the case unfolds, it will be intriguing to observe how the lines between fact, interpretation, and creative liberties are delineated in the courts.