A journalist has brought a copyright infringement claim against the creators of All Eyez on Me, a newly released film depicting the short life of rapper, actor and Poet, Tupac Shakur. Separately, according to Vulture, the film, which was released earlier this month, has been criticised by those who knew the rapper over alleged factual inaccuracies.
Journalist Kevin Powell claims the film is based on his interviews with the rapper, published in Vibe magazine in the 1990's. Historical factual events are often recited without issue as copyright does not protect facts but, in qualifying circumstances, the expression of the same or, for example, a copyright work based on or inspired by facts.
According to the Hollywood reporter, Mr Powell has revealed that his interviews were not entirely factual and were in fact an embellishment of the truth; Powell claims to have created a character named 'Nigel' to support his published interviews. Powell uses this fictional character, which is also included in All Eyez on Me, along with other similarities between what are described in Powell's court documents as the original work and the infringing work, as the basis for his claim. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this case, and it will certainly be all eyes on the Judge when the case makes its way to a hearing.
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