Legal Issues

by Carlo Longino

Sony Settles Fake Critic Lawsuit, Guess Who Wins?

from the so-sue-me dept

Sony Pictures has finalized a settlement in a lawsuit stemming from some of its employees making up a movie critic and using quotes from him in advertisements in 2001. It will pay $1.5 million, with people that went to go see any of the movies for which ads featured bogus quotes can get 5 bucks. What, they're not going to reimburse me for the popcorn too? So this has dragged on for a few years over $1.5 million, the majority of which probably won't find its way back to people who saw these movies, and nevermind the fact that these made up quotes probably didn't push too many people over the edge to see such classics as "The Animal" and "Vertical Limit". The Sony employees did a stupid thing, but does this lawsuit benefit anybody except the lawyers that sued? Maybe the government should waste some of its resources, too, and look into this. Oh, wait.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    nonuser, Aug 4th, 2005 @ 7:01pm

    this kind of guerilla marketing

    seems spunky and clever when it's done by a small, struggling outfit, but tacky and over the top when one of the big guys does it. Microsoft's astroturfing campaign is another example. It comes down to role awareness, I guess.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Ivan Sick, Aug 4th, 2005 @ 8:32pm

    No Subject Given

    What happened, a class action suit was started because people believed and then disagreed with somebody they never even heard of before? It was a goofy thing for Sony to do, sure, but why does stupidity continue to be mollycoddled?
    I'd like to know what the basis of this suit is. "The fake guy said Hollow Man was a good movie and it wasn't! Wwwaaaaaaahh"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    thecaptain, Aug 5th, 2005 @ 4:52am

    No Subject Given

    The sad part is how many people will have the receipt or ticket stub to even COLLECT that measly 5 bucks?

    The only winner here were the lawyers on both sides...I mean, the fine was low enough that Sony would consider that "the cost of doing business" and simply continue or find some OTHER way of misleading the consumer (yeah, those quotes on posters and adds might not have sold the movie to people...but what pisses me off is the fact that they tried and figured they could get away with it....lets have some accountability)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Boilerbob, Aug 5th, 2005 @ 7:01am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I'd like to know what the basis of this suit is.

    It's called false advertising. Granted the damages to movie goers was small (who hasn't left a movie saying that was a waste of money) but Sony LIED on their advertising. The marketting people that authorized the quotes were fired and the public is aware that you can't just listen to whatever the ads say. That's the benifit of the lawsuit not to get my $5 back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Beck, Aug 5th, 2005 @ 7:09am

    One Judge Had It Right

    From other coverage:
    When the California courts agreed to let the suit go forward as a class action, a dissenting judge called it a "farce" and "the most frivolous case with which I have ever had to deal", saying: "We should be occupying ourselves with resolving legitimate disputes instead of laughable cases designed not to gain anything for the plaintiffs, but rather to generate fees for the only true beneficiaries of this disgrace, the attorneys."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    GunGeek, Aug 5th, 2005 @ 7:43am

    No consumers will collect

    Here's my prediction:

    NOBODY will get their $5 or even a fraction of it.

    The settlement provides for only a maximum $750,000 payout to the people that weren't specifically named as plaintiffs, and that gets spent at a maximum of $5 per claimant. If the amount per person gets down less than $1.50, then the WHOLE chunk goes to a charity and NONE of the moviegoers gets a penny.

    And you just KNOW that more than 500,000 people are going to put in for their free $5.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    spam, Aug 5th, 2005 @ 11:14am

    Re: One Judge Had It Right

    that judge is very right.

    The lawyers should be barred from collecting any money unless the consumers do as well.

    Lawyers are overpriced greedy leeches on society.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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