UPDATE! Since this story was originally reported by Yahoo News, new information has come to light over on Airlock Alpha. Apparently the whole thing may be a hoax, perpetrated by a faulty editorial system at Yahoo News which, if AA is accurate, for some reason allows anyone to post stories whether or not they’re true. They claim Harlan’s lawsuit has not been settled as they falsely reported.
We’re attempting to contact Mr. Ellison’s representation for a clear confirmation on which version of this story is correct. We’ll let you know when we get it.
In the meantime, here’s our original report, on the story run by Yahoo:
Harlan Ellison is a pretty good science fiction author who these days is probably better known as that guy who will sue you at the drop of a hat. He’s infamous for trying to use the law to get money or credit out of screen productions which have almost nothing to do with him. For instance not long ago he tried to stop JJ Abrams from making the last Star Trek movie, via some bogus legal injunction which never made any sense.
He does this sort of thing so much, that most have stopped taking anything he has to say on the subject of people stealing his work seriously. So when a few months ago he launched a lawsuit against In Time claiming it ripped off his story, Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman, everyone said “yeah right.”
But Yahoo News says he won.
The stories do have similarities and apparently the courts believe they’re similar enough that Ellison deserves some credit. His name will now be added to the credits of In Time, which is a big step back from his previous demand that all copies of the movie be destroyed. That of course, was never going to happen.
Ellison may have won the lawsuit but I’m not sure he’s really the winner here. In Time is one of the biggest flops of the year, reviled by critics and audiences alike. He’d probably be better off not having his name involved with such a big failure, but I guess Harlan’s long past caring about his public persona.