Dick estate drops ‘Adjustment’ suit

Judge had dismissed many of the claims against MRC

The estate of author Philip K. Dick has dropped its four-month-old suit against MRC, director George Nolfi and producer Michael Hackett over a share of the returns from “The Adjustment Bureau,” based on Dick’s short story.

MRC announced Friday that the estate moved to dismiss after U.S. District Court Judge Otis D. Wright had dismissed many of the claims in the Oct. 27 suit.

“We could not be happier for our partner George Nolfi now that the lawsuit concerning ‘The Adjustment Bureau,’ brought by the heirs of the Philip K. Dick estate, has been dismissed,” MRC said in a statement. “George is not only a talented artist but an individual of the highest integrity, and to claim or suggest otherwise is both offensive and completely unwarranted.”

The suit alleged that the defendants had reneged on an agreement for a share of the returns from “The Adjustment Bureau” by claiming Dick’s short, “The Adjustment Team,” was in the public domain.

The story first appeared in a magazine in 1954, which would mean the copyright had expired. But the estate asserted that Dick never authorized the publication and there was no evidence that he received payment.

The estate said that the copyright for “The Adjustment Team” was secured in 1973, when it was published in a collection called “The Book of Philip K. Dick,” and remained in effect. Dick died in 1982.

Nolfi optioned the story from the estate and paid to renew it multiple times. MRC paid the purchase price to exercise the option for over $1.6 million, found that the material was in the public domain and demanded its money back — triggering the estate’s suit.

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