The Tetris Effect author sues Apple & The Tetris Company over use of his book in film

Author Dan Ackerman claims The Tetris Company limited his ability to market his book and 'liberally borrowed' from it for much of the recent Tetris movie.

Image via The Tetris Company

Drama and legal issues are hitting The Tetris Company today in the wake of a lawsuit filed by The Tetris Effect: The Game that Hypnotised the World author Dan Ackerman. Ackerman has brought this lawsuit against The Tetris Company and Apple, alleging that they used large portions of his book for the story of the recent Tetris film. Ackerman further alleges that The Tetris Company also sent a Cease-and-Desist to him and limited the publicity of the book prior to using it for the film.

Dan Ackerman’s lawsuit against The Tetris Company and Apple was reported this week via The Guardian. Editor-in-chief of the tech news website Gizmodo and the author of The Tetris Effect, Ackerman filed his lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court, accusing Apple, The Tetris Company, and other related parties of adapting his book into a film without his permission. Ackerman further alleges that he sent his book to The Tetris Company in 2016 around when it was published, but the company sent him a Cease-and-Desist, refusing to license the Tetris IP and threatening legal action against any TV or movie projects.

Dan Ackerman's The Tetris Effect book cover
Dan Ackerman's The Tetris Effect was a thriller that covered Soviet history of Tetris and the fight for its global licensing rights.
Source: Dan Ackerman

Ackerman’s lawsuit claims that not only did The Tetris Company purposefully stifle his business and the publicity of his book, but they went on to “liberally borrowed numerous specific sections and events of the book” for use in the Apple TV Tetris movie which launched earlier this year. Ackerman goes on to allege that the movie was “similar in almost all material respects” to his book. He is seeking monetary damages of at least 6 percent of the film’s total $80 million USD production budget.

The bottom line of Ackerman’s lawsuit accuses The Tetris Company and Apple of copyright infringement, unfair competition and illegally interfering with business. No response from Apple or The Tetris Company have been noted at this time. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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