One day after the Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust filed their latest Adjustment Bureau suit in state court, defendants Media Rights Capital responded. The company today filed an action in federal court to determine whether “Adjustment Team”, the Dick short story on which the 2011 film was based, is in the public domain or not. (Read the filing here.) This has been a source of contention between the parties since the film was released March 4, 2011. A court ruling could settle any suits over payments and profit participation allegedly due the trust from the film by resolving whether the trust actually had a binding ability to option rights to director George Nolfi back in 2001. “When the Philip K. Dick Trust filed its initial lawsuit in federal court, we looked forward to the court ruling on whether the underlying story to the Adjustment Bureau is in the public domain,” MRC said in a statement released today. “We were disappointed when the trust dropped its lawsuit before the court could reach a decision. The issue remains an important one, so today MRC filed an action in federal court asking the court to rule on the public domain issue. We look forward to a prompt resolution of this issue.”
The suit the filed yesterday came after Dick trustees abandoned a previous federal case against Nolfi and MRC on February 17, when the judge dismissed key claims citing lack of jurisdiction. Yesterday’s suit claims that Nolfi, producer Michael Hackett, MRC and its subsidiaries owe the trust at least $500,000 plus fees and other damages “to be proven at trial” from the film starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, which has grossed $127.9 million theatrically worldwide.