Godfather Author Mario Puzo's Estate Sued by Paramount in Copyright Action
By Bob Van Voris – Feb 21, 2012 10:46 AM ET
Paramount Pictures Corp. (0001184D) sued Anthony Puzo, the executor of the estate of author Mario Puzo, to prevent the publication of new sequel novels to “The Godfather.”
Paramount, which says it bought the copyright to Puzo’s novel in 1969, is trying “protect the integrity and reputation of The Godfather trilogy,” according to a complaint filed Feb. 17 in federal court in Manhattan.
Paramount claimed that, after Puzo’s death in 1999, the company agreed to allow Bertelsmann AG (BTG)’s Random House unit to publish a single Godfather sequel, “The Godfather Returns,” in 2004. The estate published another novel, “The Godfather’s Revenge,” in 2006, without Paramount’s approval, according to the complaint.
“Far from properly honoring the legacy of ‘The Godfather,’ the unauthorized ‘The Godfather’s Revenge’ tarnished, and in the process, also misled consumers into believing that ‘The Godfather’s Revenge’ was authorized by Paramount, or otherwise affiliated with or connected to ‘The Godfather’ and Paramount’s ‘Godfather’ franchise,” Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc. (VIAM), said in the complaint.
Paramount is seeking damages and an order barring the Puzo estate from publishing a third sequel novel, “The Family Corleone,” this year.
The case is Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Puzo, 12-CV-1268, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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