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In this combination photo, filmmaker Steve McQueen, left, appears at The London Critics Circle Awards, in London, on Feb. 2, 2014 and rapper Tupac Shakur attends a voter registration event in South Central Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 1996. McQueen is set to direct a documentary about Shakur. Shakur Estate trustee Tom Whalley and Amaru Entertainment said Tuesday, May 9, 2017, that the film is fully sanctioned by the late hip-hop artist’s estate. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP, left, and Frank Wiese/AP, File)

A music journalist filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Tupac filmmakers



More than two decades after prolific rapper Tupac Shakur's death, a music journalist filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the creators of a new biopic documenting the late singer's life, according to The Associated Press. The filer, Kevin Powell, sad in the lawsuit filed Friday that portions of the film are based on his articles.

Specifically, he argued that "All Eyez on Me" used articles he published and interviews he conducted with Shakur in the 1990s for "Vibe" magazine.

A music journalist filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Tupac filmmakers

WATCH | Had Shakur been alive, he would have recently celebrated his 46th birthday. 

The lawsuit alleges that the film's fictional character, Nigel, is based on the characterJacques "Haitian Jack" Agnant, whom Powell had wrote about in one of his articles. 

"There are stories with fictional characters and re-worked narratives that are unique to the Original Work that appear in the Infringing Work," the suit said.

It continued, "Rather than contact Plaintiff, Defendants, while fully aware of Plaintiff's copyright in the Original Work, willfully and improperly developed, produced, filmed and released the Infringing Work derived from Plaintiff's Original Work."

The music writer is suing Lionsgate, Program Pictures, Morgan Creek Pictures and the film's producers and screenwriters.

All Eyez on Me Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Trailers

WATCH | Check out the "All Eyez on Me" trailer

Powell's lawyer, Keith White, said the his client's "exclusive and intimate access" was the result of a trusting relationship that took years to build.

"The narrative that Kevin developed from many intense and exclusive moments with Tupac should not have been used in any film without Kevin's approval and consultation," White said in a statement Saturday.

"All Eyez On Me" debuted last weekend at No. 3 with $27.1 million. 

A close friend of Shakur's -- Jada Pinkett Smith -- contradicted multiple scenes in the film and called her portrayal "deeply hurtful."

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