According to the Hollywood Reporter, Zlotoff, who created the 1985-1992 ABC “MacGyver” series, is sending cease-and-desist letters to executives at Relativity Media, the company responsible for the “MacGruber” movie, hitting theaters in April.
Apparently, Zlotoff retained the rights to the “MacGyver” franchise and a movie version of the popular Richard Dean Anderson television show is in the works (though there is no word as to whether Anderson will be involved), so Zlotoff and his lawyers feel they might have a case of copyright and/or trademark infringement and are seeking “an injunction against the film’s release.”
In copyright cases, “Fair Use” is the umbrella encompassing most arguments. Within the “Fair Use” doctrine lies the cover of “parody,” which creators of “MacGruber” will probably argue. It will be interesting to see if Zlotoff can get any traction in keeping “MacGruber” out of the theaters, but we don’t think it would take much to demonstrate that “MacGruber” is a parody and not part of the “MacGyver” franchise.
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