Gizmodo Editor Sues Apple and Tetris Company


The editor-in-chief of tech publication Gizmodo, has taken legal action against Apple and the Tetris Company.

The lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan federal court, alleges that his book on the iconic video game “Tetris” was used as the basis for a movie without his consent, reports Reuters.

Dan Ackerman’s book, titled “The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World,” detailed the Soviet origins of the renowned puzzle game and its bumpy journey to global licensing. He describes it as a “Cold War thriller with a political intrigue angle.”

In 2016, before the book’s publication, Ackerman claims he sent a copy to the Tetris Company. However, instead of collaboration, he received a stern “cease and desist” letter, discouraging potential producers from adapting his work.

The “Tetris” film made its debut on Apple TV in March. Ackerman is seeking damages amounting to at least 6% of the movie’s $80 million production cost. Check out the film’s trailer below:

YouTube video

Here’s the synopsis of Ackerman’s Tetris book:

The definitive story of a game so great, even the Cold War couldn’t stop it

Tetris is perhaps the most instantly recognizable, popular video game ever made. But how did an obscure Soviet programmer, working on frail, antiquated computers, create a product which has now earned nearly 1 billion in sales? How did a makeshift game turn into a worldwide sensation, which has been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, inspired a big-budget sci-fi movie, and been played in outer space?

A quiet but brilliant young man, Alexey Pajitnov had long nurtured a love for the obscure puzzle game pentominoes, and became obsessed with turning it into a computer game. Little did he know that the project that he labored on alone, hour after hour, would soon become the most addictive game ever made.

In this fast-paced business story, reporter Dan Ackerman reveals how Tetris became one of the world’s first viral hits, passed from player to player, eventually breaking through the Iron Curtain into the West. British, American, and Japanese moguls waged a bitter fight over the rights, sending their fixers racing around the globe to secure backroom deals, while a secretive Soviet organization named ELORG chased down the game’s growing global profits.

The Tetris Effect is an homage to both creator and creation, and a must-read for anyone who’s ever played the game-which is to say everyone.

The lawsuit further alleges that the Tetris Company’s CEO, Maya Rogers, and screenwriter Noah Pink began drawing from Ackerman’s book for the movie’s script in 2017. The film, according to Ackerman, heavily mirrors his book, borrowing specific sections and events.

Kevin Landau, representing Ackerman, stated that the legal action seeks to “provide the respect and justice” that his client rightfully deserves under the law.

The case is officially listed as Ackerman v. Pink in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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