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?

Filed Under: bella, branding, facts, jackets, twilight
Companies: b.b. dakota, summit entertainment


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  1. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 18 Jun 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.

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