All Eyez On Me copyright infringement case blurs the lines between fact and fiction

FP Staff

Jun,24 2017 14:01 29 IST

Entertainment journalists have to be a bit dramatic when they are reporting — afterall they are capturing the lives of the rich and famous, the actors who often themselves play larger than life personalities on the silver screen.

Tupac Shakur. All Eyez on Me. Image via Facebook.

Tupac Shakur. All Eyez on Me. Image via Facebook.

But does this mean they can embellish a few facts in their reports to make the story more dramatic?

This seems the quandry in a new lawsuit launched against Lionsgate, Morgan Creek and others associated with All Eyez on Me, the biopic about the late rapper, Tupac Shakur.

The Hollywood Reporter claims that in a complaint filed in a New York federal court, journalist Kevin Powell claims that the biopic has lifted the content off several of his articles from Vibe magazine. However (and this was the defendant's initial argument) isn't a public figure like Tupac Shakur's life events in public domain?

How can you sue a filmmaker about writing about a figure whose life was watched so closely by everyone in the world?

To go ahead with the complaint, Powell admitted to something that would get you fired up. The complaint states, "While some of the content in these articles was factual, some portions of the article were changed or embellished by Plaintiff."

This means Powell admitted to making up a character in the film, 'Nigel' along with stating in the complaint that All Eyez on Me, like Powell's work, "centers around Tupac Shakur’s duplicative identity as a progeny of the civil rights revolution era and a contemporary of the gangsta rap era."

When the case finally goes to trial, it will mean it will raise a debate on the journalistic credibility and if reporters do try and seperate fact from fiction.