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The author of a book about the history of Tetris has sued Apple and The Tetris Company, claiming they adapted the book into a movie without his permission.
Journalist and author Dan Ackerman released the book The Tetris Effect: The Game that Hypnotised the World in 2016, and – according to his lawsuit – sent a pre-release copy of the book to The Tetris Company.
As reported by The Guardian, Ackerman alleges that the company refused to licence its IP for projects related to the book, discouraged producers from adapting it and sent him a “strongly worded cease and desist letter”.
Ackerman then claims that The Tetris Company CEO Maya Rogers and screenwriter Noah Pink started working on the Tetris movie screenplay in 2017, allegedly using his book as the source material.
Although the Tetris movie is based on the true story of the race to license and patent the game in Russia, the film takes some creative liberties with the story to make the plot more exciting.
Ackerman’s book, meanwhile, presents the story as “a cold war thriller with a political intrigue angle”, as the lawsuit describes it.
According to Ackerman, the film “liberally borrowed numerous specific sections and events of the book” and was “similar in almost all material respects”.
The suit accuses Apple and The Tetris Company of unfair competition, copyright infringement and illegally interfering with Ackerman’s business relations, and asks for damages equaling at least 6% of the film’s $80m budget (at least $4.8 million).