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?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Branding it like that implies it's official authorized merch. Sell "Shizzy Jacket" advertised as "worn by sparklpires" is different from "Official sparklpire jacket of sparkling, favored by his shiny lordness himself"

     

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

  2.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Re:

    Where do they say official jacket. If a series comes out called Evening can we no longer sell evening gowns?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    It probably isn't illegal and definitely should not be illegal

    Where money is involved, everything is illegal until the appropriate checks are written.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Rick, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    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.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    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.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Comboman (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Google House

    My house is visible on Google Earth, therefore I'm going to rename it Google House and sell Google branded merchandise. Do you think I'll get in legal trouble?

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    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.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    only one thing to do

    EULA for clothes

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    rabbit, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    Re: When...

    i believe it was october of 2006...

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Matthew Krum (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Google House

    You're probably okay so long as it reads, "As Seen On Google Earth."

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Google House

    Uhm... I'm going to sue Google because they are benefiting from images of my house on their server!!!!

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    GXO, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    Licensing

    I'm sorry. Did Summit Entertainment license that jacket for commercial use from B.B. Dakota?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 1:52pm

    Gee...

    Could the Hollywood bastards BE any greedier?

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Re: When...

    "Does anyone remember when this country changed over to being purely focused on greed."

    When was it ever NOT focused on greed?

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    Brock Phillimore (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    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.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    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!!!!

     

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  17.  
    icon
    JTO (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Google House

    Well yes, as "Google" is a brand-mark. "Twilight" is a common use word.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    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.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    Re:

    nope. the clothing is sold commercially, without restriction. most film makers will go out of their way to remove or disguise any logos and such that are visible, unless they are paid for product placement.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re:

    no, but you can bet that if there were a spike in evening gown sales as a result, some idiot would sue over it.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    lux (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    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!!

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    Modplan (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 3:42pm

    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.

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "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"

    Isn't that what the movie did in using the jacket? Why is it a one way street?

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re:

    Would the same logic apply if music was involved instead of clothing?

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    RD, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Re: When...

    "Does anyone remember when this country changed over to being purely focused on greed."

    When was it ever NOT focused on greed?"

    Yes, right up until 1913 and the formation of the Federal Reserve.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Burgos, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Licensing

    Exactly.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: When...

    The history of, well... the whole damned world, right there.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    mattarse (profile), Jun 17th, 2010 @ 1:09am

    Re: Re: Google House

    I now want to paint that on my roof and wait for it to show up in Google Earth :)

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 3:42am

    Re: Re: Re: When...

    LOL, if we still lived in a capitalist society, that would be a great point.

    But in a society where Ford and Toyota show up to ask Congress to bail out GM, maybe you can note that monopolies don't equal capitalism.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Licensing

    But... they bought it. So they can do whatever they want with it, right?

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    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.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Hasan Luongo, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    get the original here

    you can still purchase the original Bella twilight Hoodie at hoodiepeople.com http://bit.ly/6SIi2o

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Frederico, Aug 24th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    Let's be honest, this designer is not the first one to capitalize on the movie and name their product after Twilight or one of their stars. Is the company go after everyone?

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Dave B, Dec 14th, 2010 @ 6:52pm

    Renaming

    When they went and renamed the jacket they messed up any defense. They tried to pull a fast one and got caught. A PR piece and some free publicity without renaming the jacket would have been the smart move.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    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.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 9:34am

    next for summit

    Is to sue all satellites in orbit because as they film the earth going from day to night, they're making their own "twilight" movie........

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    then...

    Apple sues Summit because twilight is a soft kind of light and that kinda sounds like "soft rounded corners".....and twilight is dark i.e. black and apple now has 100% control of both the concept of everything below 90degree angles AND the color black.....

     

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


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