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.

Filed Under: , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

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

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Steve R. (profile) says:

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.”

Lonnie E. Holder says:


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.

MAVric says:

Re: 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…

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Tim says:

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.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...