Twilight Producers Sue To Stop Fashion Design Firm From Pointing Out That 'Bella' Wore Its Jacket

from the factual? dept

As recently mentioned, we’ve been seeing more and more “publicity rights” type claims, that seem pretty problematic from a basic free speech standpoint. Take, for example, this new lawsuit, filed by Summit Entertainment, the studio that produces the Twilight movies, against fashion designer B.B. Dakota. The backstory here is that, apparently, the character of “Bella” in the Twilight movies was supposed to wear a brown hoodie, but it didn’t look right:

‘I was planning to use the brown hoodie for that sequence, but the director of photography hated the fact that her hair and the jacket were both brown and felt she got lost in it,” says Chuck, who then made a last-minute run to outlet store Nordstrom Rack to hunt for a replacement. ”I literally brought that blue one on set just before they rolled cameras. Then Catherine said, ‘Wendy saved the day!’ That made me a hero.”

Sensing an opportunity, B.B. Dakota reissued the jacket with an advertising campaign around the fact that it was worn by Bella in the movie. That’s a factual statement. But, of course, Summit doesn’t want anyone profiting from what it’s done without paying them first, so it’s suing. This isn’t new for Summit, of course. It’s sued to stop a documentary about the town where the Twilight movies take place, as well as shut down a Twilight fanzine. Now, to be fair, B.B. Dakota did rename the jacket the “Twilight Jacket.” So, yes, it’s clearly trying to capitalize on the association. But, it’s a factual association. Why should that be illegal?

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Companies: b.b. dakota, summit entertainment

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Comments on “Twilight Producers Sue To Stop Fashion Design Firm From Pointing Out That 'Bella' Wore Its Jacket”

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37 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

not so. just having a movie called jeans wouldnt make selling jeans a problem either. but the move by the jacket company is to profit not only from an appearance in the movie, but also to attach themselves to the movie and profit from the movies fame. basically, it is hijacking the movies image without rights.

Modplan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Except nowhere does it hijack anything. All it claims is that the jacket was seen in Twilight.

is to profit not only from an appearance in the movie, but also to attach themselves to the movie and profit from the movies fame.

The 2 are one in the same. What is so terrible about boasting how your product was featured in a film, which it factually was.

Rick says:

When...

Does anyone remember when this country changed over to being purely focused on greed. This does nothing to deter the Twilight franchise or Summit. In fact, it’s probably beneficial cross promotion that costs them nothing. Going after the designer for renaming an outfit and stopping a documentary of the town where the film was made can only be motivated by their greed to get every penny possible out of the movie.

I got swatted when I was a kid for screaming, “MINE, MINE, MINE!” and not sharing.

Grow up people.

John Doe says:

Re: When...

This is exactly the attitude that TechDirt preaches against. Short sighted greed ruins what should be a symbiotic relationship. They get to sell sweatshirts all the while freely promoting your movie.

As long as they don’t make any claim to being officially endorsed there shouldn’t even be a second thought to what they are doing.

lux (profile) says:

Re: Re: When...

“Short sighted greed ruins what should be a symbiotic relationship. They get to sell sweatshirts all the while freely promoting your movie.”

Last time I checked, capitalistic society isn’t really buddy-buddy with other companies making millions of their idea. The way they see it – I’ll sue you for selling sweatshirts, steal the idea, and sell them myself.

Sad but true, but remember, this is America!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: When...

Uhhh,
My recollection from reading American history is that this country:
Was discovered due to greed
Colonized due to greed
Proclaimed independence due largely to monetary issues
Alomost ripped itself apart in large part due to greed
Expanded due to greed
Won two world wars due at least in part to enriching people who produced superior weapons and other supplies…

Hello!!!!

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

If only clothes were copyrighted

then B.B. Dakota could counter-sue, DMCA the hell out of everything Twilight on the ‘Net and, god willing, get an injunction on the filmmakers barring them from ever producing anything again. It would save many from the desire to slash their wrists out of sheer boredom and the unquenchable desire to ‘punch-an-emo’.

Thankfully, I rented. The first five minutes were plenty of abuse for me.

Brock Phillimore (profile) says:

I am no lawyer, but could the clothing manufacture sue them for using the jacket in the movie without permission? Seems like the next logical step. However if they held off until after the free advertising they are getting from being sued in the first place started to wane, they could refresh it with this suite. Both the movie and the clothing line are gaining from being in the news. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out they had gotten together on this in advance and were both in on it.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Branding

There are two issues here. Branding the jacket “The Twilight Jacket” is a clear abuse of Summit trademark and could easily lead to confusion from customers as to whose merchandise is being sold. That’s a legitimate complaint.

What’s not legitimate is Summit’s claim that BB Dakota can’t even mention that their jacket was worn by one of the characters in the movie. Selling the “Adventure Jacket” (or whatever it’s previous brand name was) and then adding on a tag-line like “as worn by Bella in Twilight” is perfectly legal and doesn’t violate anything actionable by Summit.

hmm (profile) says:

well

If I was BB Dakota I’d apologize for my product having in some way been used to create the christ-pants-shittingly-awful twilight movies……

Then I’d DMCA the hell out of the movie, have it stripped from the shelves/download sites until the offending scenes were completely removed (and not just photoshopped over).

Then I’d calculate the exact percentage of the movie the jacket there, claim people only went to watch that part of the movie FOR THE JACKET and demand that % of the movie’s gross profits as compensation.

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