Ad Exec Threatens To Sue Over Copyright On Hitler's Globe In Tom Cruise Movie

from the you-copyrighted-what-now? dept

A bunch of folks have been submitting the story that ad exec Robert Pritikin is claiming that Tom Cruise's new movie, Valkyrie, about the plotted (and failed) assassination of Adolf Hitler, abuses his copyright on Hitler's globe. Apparently, Pritikin purchased Hitler's globe many years ago, and then somehow registered the copyright on it. He claims that he did this to prevent neo-Nazi groups from using the globe for propaganda, but it's never explained how Pritikin has the right to copyright such a globe in the first place (it simply doesn't make legal sense that buying the globe alone granted him the right to copyright it).

In truth, this actually seems like Pritikin looking for a way to pump up the value of the globe. There's no indication of any actual lawsuit -- just the complaints from Pritikin, complete with him saying he's sure it was just an "oversight" that will be fixed soon. On top of that, there's the news that Pritikin just coincidentally (uh, yeah, sure) happens to have put the globe up for sale, and (oh, look at that) wouldn't mind if Tom Cruise purchased it. So rather than a legitimate copyright claim, these complaints are looking more and more like a way to force someone to buy the globe.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Jan 5th, 2009 @ 7:56am

    He May Not Even Own it

    On Against Monopoly I commented that:
    "The Huffington Post article states: "When Pritikin bought the globe, he paid 5 times it's pre-auction estimate. It was sold by an American soldier named John Barsamian who had found it in the ruins of Hitler's "Eagle's Nest" in the Bavarian Alps in May 1945."

    Seems that a case could be made that this was stolen property and that Pritikin would be obligated to return it to whoever the rightful owner would be today.

    The Independent in 2000 had the following article: "Nazi loot returned to owner" This is one of many such articles. The Independent wrote: "But new research by the Bavarian State Collections in Munich and the Commission for Looted Art in Europe showed the triptych had been unlawfully taken from the Gotthilf family, who later changed their name to Glanville." Actually the issue was not simple, but complicated. Nevertheless, the point is that this globed was looted."

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Buying opportunity

    Well, I have to globes for him.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 8:28am

    Re: Buying opportunity

    two not "to"
    Damn! Ruined the joke.

     

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  4.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 8:55am

    Uh...right

    I am not a copyright attorney, but I fail to see how anyone can copyright something they neither produced nor purchased the rights for from someone else. Pritikin merely purchased a looted globe. I am unable to see how he can obtain a copyright. The original manufacturer of the globe might have an argument for copyright infringement, but Pritikin? I agree with Mike's assessment in this case. Sounds as though Pritikin is trying to drum up interest in the globe in order to increase its value.

     

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  5.  
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    Jesse, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    If that is the case, then I am going to claim copyright on every CD I have ever purchased. Warner won't see it coming.

    Jesse

     

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  6.  
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    tk2000, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Work of art?

    Maybe the globe is considered a work of art. I believe the copyright for works of art are assumed to belong to the owner of the original artwork. The artist's claim to the copyright disappears if he sells the original artwork (as apposed to selling prints or copies of the work and keeping the original).

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    I would like to first state that i am not a tom cruise fan sense he became a scientology nut but I would love to see Tom take it to court and fight him then turn over the information to the German authorities and have the state department seize the globe and returne it to the proper owners if its known.

     

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  8.  
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    Ima Fish, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    I think I'll take some pictures of Robert Pritikin's house and car and then have those pictures copyrighted. And then when he goes to sell his house or car, I'll sue him for copyright infringement.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    Re:

    Why would Tom give a damn he got paid for the movie and its not his responsibility to deal with it.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    ...about the plotted (and failed) assassination of Adolf Hitler

    Next time warn us of plot spoilers!!!

    :-)

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    I bought my car... I think I am going to copyright that platform (How many GM w-bodys are out there) I will make bilions off of the law suits. (think class action in reverse)

     

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  12.  
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    shmengie, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 11:00am

    well, pritikin may own te copyright, but i own the trademark.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 11:58am

    I'm putting a copyright on every printable character (numbers, letters, punctuation, etc) for every language. You'll all owe me millions.

     

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  14.  
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    MAVric, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Re:

    plot spoiler? if you read your history book in world history like a good child should you'd know about this story. the pleasure or displeasure of this movie is in the historical accuracy. believe me, the story is in there along with Rommel being known as the desert rat in the African campaign, and that he was just as brilliant as Patton but lacked the supplies to beat him. then again i just remembered the decrepit state of our educational system...

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Rommel was known as the "Desert Fox" not rat. Apparently the decrepit condition of the American educational system goes back further than previously estimated.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Hey Jesse, no one cares what your name is douche bag.

     

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  17.  
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    Jazz, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 1:50pm

    Normally I would agree with Mr Masnick and most comments here, but anything that's aimed at ripping off Scientologists, like that douche bag Tom Cruise, gets the big thumbs up from me.

     

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  18.  
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    Copyright hater, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 2:03pm

    it seems sueing others is the only thing this copyright guys can do ho ho ho

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 2:05pm

    I agree that it's not particularly fair, but I really dislike Tom Cruise, so I'm feeling neutral about this.

    And for those that claimed that the globe should return to the descendants of its former owners: The globe was HITLER'S. He has no descendants.

     

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  20.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Jan 5th, 2009 @ 3:12pm

    Globe ownership

    The phrase used was "Seems that a case could be made that this was stolen property and that Pritikin would be obligated to return it to whoever the rightful owner would be today."

    I don't know anything about German law, but just because you have no decedents doesn't mean that someone can appropriate ownership. Hitler could have had a will. Hitler could have had relatives who are still alive who would be entitled to a what would be left of any estate. Even if he didn't leave a will or have relatives the property could revert to the German State.

    Anyway if this guy Pritikin had any moral integrity (as he claims) he should donate it either to the Wiesenthal Center or back to the German government.

     

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  21.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Jan 5th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Globe ownership

    PS: It may even be possible that the State of Israeli has a lien of Hitler's estate through a lawsuit to recover his theft of Jewish property. Potentially this could make the Israel the owner!

     

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  22.  
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    Cygnus, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 5:40pm

    Re:

    Winner, winner chicken dinner! A perfect analogy.

     

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  23.  
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    William, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 10:08pm

    Re: Re: Buying opportunity

    Your mess up made the joke more enjoyable anyways.

     

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  24.  
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    Elvis, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 10:40pm

    Unethical Pritikin

    This globe is War loot and should be returned to the rightful
    owner. Bob Pritikin is an opportunistic dirtbag.
    He also has art work in his house that does not belong to him, and he is fully aware of it.

     

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  25.  
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    Bob Hope, Jan 5th, 2009 @ 11:56pm

    Somebody sue this Prickikin guy for stupidity.

     

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  26.  
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    Christina, Jan 6th, 2009 @ 12:07am

    Dear Mr Tom Cruise,

    Do not let this stupid Bob Pritikin waste your time. I hope you will not buy this globe at any cost. I have read about Bob Pritikin on line http://www.yelp.com/biz/chenery-house-san-francisco
    He seems to be a strange one.

     

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  27.  
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    TP, Jan 6th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    HITLERS GLOBE

    Hitler's globe (Pritikin) was started by scam artist, Peter Marino. He is a 3rd rate Ozzy Osbourne impersonator from San Rafael, Ca. I don't believe Bob Pritikin even knows about this scam.

     

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  28.  
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    Tim, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 10:27am

    That's a bunch of crap. Pritikin is behind all of this.
    He is a ad man who know exactly how to generate publicity.
    He is doing this because of his plans to sell the globe and Pritikin hopes this publicity will increase interest in this piece of junk globe in order to make as much money as possible. Pritikin and Peter Marino know each other well and are friends.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    This looks great for Jews -- trying to control the world in a new way, trying to squeeze some money out of German industry, threatening lawsuits -- really it all feeds right into the stereotypes Hitler promoted in the first place.

     

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  30.  
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    pritikin sucks, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 11:19pm

    I have just recently had a run in with this man as a customer and he is a horrible person who thinks that just because he has money, he can do whatever he wants. Then when he has to deal with the consequences of his actions, he tries to lie about it. Typical rich douchebag.

     

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