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Harlan Ellison Files Copyright Suit Against Andrew Niccol’s In Time

Harlan Ellison isn’t happy with Andrew Niccol. The Hugo-winning sci-fi author has filed a copyright-infringement suit against the Gattaca director as well as New Regency for the upcoming dystopian future flick In Time, starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy.

Ellison wants to prevent the movie’s Oct. 28 release, and to see that all copies of it are destroyed, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He claims the movie infringes on his 1965 short story Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktockman, which the legal brief apparently refers to as “one of the most famous and widely published science fiction short stories of all time.” (Really?) The THR report goes into more detail on the similarities between the two works, and the legal obstacles Ellison will face in attempting to prove that In Time infringes, so go check it out.


  • Kiel Phegley

    As a guy who was formerly heavy into the sci-fi community, I can attest that that story is really well known – one of Ellison’s signature works for sure. Of course, I’ve never read that particular one (hence the whole “formerly heavy” bit), but I know the title well, and it’s certainly something that any movie producer could pick up at just about any well-stocked book store in America.

  • Lady’sMan217

    My question is, with the millions (hundred of thousands?) of writers out there, how is one to know if their story is very similar to another writer’s? Sure, you can google it, and so forth, but many, if not all of us strive to create something new, or different. If you just went about creating something masterful, where’s the search parameter doohickey to prevent you from getting sued for copyright?