Marvel Should Keep A Tighter Leash On Its Lawyers

from the yikes dept

On Tuesday, Mike Arrington of TechCrunch took a straw poll on Twitter and decided to set up a screening of the new movie Iron Man, based on the comic. By Wednesday morning the details were set. He had rented out the Metreon by calling the “Group Sales” phone number on the Iron Man website, and paid for 600 seats for the showing. He posted the info to his blog, and asked people to pay $1 per seat in order to hold the spot (and to avoid no-shows). All this was perfectly reasonable. And then… a lawyer from Marvel Comics sent Arrington a threatening cease-and-desist letter demanding that he pull down the information about the show, claiming that Arrington wasn’t authorized to set up such a showing. Again, the whole thing was arranged by Arrington by calling the “Group Sales” line on the Iron Man website. All of the tickets were paid for. It’s hard to see what Marvel can possibly be complaining about. Also, I know for a fact that Arrington’s event is hardly the only such event… because I got invited to a different one (also tomorrow, though at a different time and location and organized by a different group) and have a ticket on my desk for the show.

As a guess, perhaps Marvel is upset that Arrington made his an open invite system. The other showings I’m aware of are all private invite-only showings. But, even if that’s true, it’s rather ridiculous for Marvel to be complaining, and this is giving the company a ton of totally unnecessary bad press for an event that was generating plenty of enthusiasm and excitement for the movie. It appears to be yet another case where a lawyer is complaining because he can, and not because it’s a good business move. As of right now, AMC Theatres, which sold Arrington the tickets, is standing behind the showing, and hopefully someone higher up at Marvel is figuring out what a ridiculous move this is, and will apologize by morning.

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Companies: marvel comics

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Comments on “Marvel Should Keep A Tighter Leash On Its Lawyers”

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JS Beckerist (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I share feelings about the Baldwins (who hail from near my hometown.) While I would never listen to any of their advice on parenting, voting or ANYTHING to do with Hillary, I think 30 Rock is one of the funniest shows on TV right now.

Hate the player, not the game.

Besides, I got GTA4 so I’ll wait until FXG or AXXO gets a hold of Iron man first anyway 😉 …or not.

tubes says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I guess you’re waiting for the next installment of Harry Potter or something closer to your level like the remake of Troll. Go back under your bridge or even your mother’s basement!!!!!

Did you even hear of Iron Man before? Actually Iron Man looks like one of the best superhero movies made so far. I have been waiting for this movie for almost 10 years (And I’m glad they waited 10 years) when they first said they were planning on making it & from the previews it looks like I won’t be disappointed one bit.

BlowURmindBowel says:

Re: Re: Not to worry


I think theaters have pretty much run their course, I have a home theater that I would rather experience any given movie in. Theaters are waaaay overpriced and generally pointless nowadays…

I’ve had too many experiences with stupid tween girls jabbering about nothing through a whole movie…

oregonnerd (user link) says:

iron man, marvel, comics, asses

Marvel: comic book publisher. I read them in between books.

Americans as idiots: we have Bush as president, and Windows Vista as the most widely-used OS. Yup, we’re idiots.

The comic was a blow-off on earlier ones–and Gwyneth Paltrow is the spittin’ image of a welsh princess if I ever saw one. I’ll no doubt see the movie.

Comics as stupid…um. Duh. They never pretended to be classroom material (although in an interesting psychosociological way they are).

JS Beckerist (profile) says:

Re: iron man...defense

A: Marvel, yeah…not much literary substance but you have to admit those artists are talented!

B: Americans, Bush, whatever, he’ll be gone in a few months and as for Vista? Everyone I know that used Vista has since reverted to XP and everyone I know that currently uses XP has no plans to upgrade. Blame Dell, or HP. Not Americans for that.

C: Comics are just another form of entertainment. No need to hate, just ignore it if it’s not your cup o’ tea!

By the way, saying any single nationality as “stupid” goes about as far as saying any single ANYTHING is stupid. Feel free to throw me into any box you like, just don’t be surprised if I (or any one of us) happens to change your mind.

Anonymous Coward says:


I wonder how it works as a practical matter. Does Marvel retain the services of a lawyer who makes it part of their day doing google searches for trademark marvel terms?

Does the lawyer check out each result, eagerly hoping that they’ll find something that they can justify suing over? If that’s how it works, no wonder that they launch so many frivolous suits. And I’m sure this is entirely separate from the creative/productive side of the company; they no doubt hate the lawyers as much as everybody else.

John (profile) says:

Um, yes

>”Right …you’re gonna skip the movie because some lawyer is an ass?”

Um, yes.
It’s time to send a message to companies who let their lawyers run free. I agree that Marvel may need to enforce their copyright when it needs to, but going after a guy who used their own website is just wrong.

Maybe if we start a protest, Marvel will stop using lawyers like these.

Get Real! says:

Get Real - Lawyer IDIOTS!

This lawyer must be really bored with his job at Marvel.

So he decides to go around getting bad press from Marvels affciandos and friends. What a piece fo shit!

He must be another Creative ex-employee VP

Here is one guy who is trying to create hype for IronMan which will bring so much more returns in the long run and an asshole of a fu*k lawyer whose head is up some asshole.

spiderman (user link) says:

Marvel game called Mugen

Did anyone know that there was a Marvel Comics based game called Mugen? Its a free game and features Spiderman, X-men, The Avengers and more. There is like Spidermna, Venom, Carnage, Armored Spiderman, Symbiote Spiderman and too many more to mention. You can ploay as the good guys or the bad guys. Anyhow, I thought this would be a relevant post and get some more people into playing Mugen since you can create your own Marvel characters or modify the existing ones.

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