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Pablo Escobar's Brother Gives Up His Quest For A Billion Dollar Extortion Of Netflix Over 'Narcos'

from the unsurprising-news dept

You will likely know that we've been following the absurd threats that Roberto Escobar, brother to and former accountant for noted drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, launched at Netflix and the makers of its hit show Narcos. The threats kicked off as something of a publicity rights challenge, with Roberto Escobar demanding one billion dollars over a show in which he does not appear and is not named. Escobar has appeared to believe that his knowledge of the inner workings of the Escobar cartel somehow granted him authority over the show, while pretty much everyone else has agreed that the First Amendment would ultimately torpedo any lawsuit that might actually get filed.

But then things got even stranger. Escobar's lawyers began making noises that indicated the show was about to capitulate to the threats and demands. Meanwhile, the legal team on the other side were at the exact same time pointing out just how absurd and ficticious some of Escobar's claims were, such as that he had been using the term "Narcos" in conjunction with operating a website and providing computer gaming services on a computer network since 1986. For those of you who are too young to remember a time without a widespread internet, there basically was no such thing as a publicly facing website in 1986. Meanwhile, a location scout for the show was murdered in Mexico while scouting for the series' fourth season, with Escobar offering cryptic and coy commentary on the matter that bordered on suggesting he was somehow involved.

All of that had just been happening in the fall, which might make it slightly less surprising that this whole thing will now go away.

The Escobar fam doesn't usually back down from a fight, but it waved the white flag in a showdown with a TV powerhouse ... TMZ has learned. Escobar Inc. -- the company run by Pablo's bro, Roberto -- folded in the battle to cash in on the terms "Narcos" and "Cartel Wars." Both were made famous recently by the popular Netflix show, and the related video game.

According to new legal docs, the company filed an abandonment of its trademark application in November. We broke the story ... lawyers for "Narcos" called BS on Pablo for filing paperwork claiming ownership of "Narcos" in connection with a website.

As TMZ goes on to note, there is no official word if any kind of settlement was reached as a part of the trademark abandonment, but one has to assume that even if there were a settlement that the result would be considerably less than the billion dollars Escobar once dreamed he would receive. The laughably flimsy claims in the threat letters along with the firm protection of the First Amendment in the American court system ought to have precluded Netflix and the show's makers from having any fear over any of this. Indeed, given the sure status of the laws protecting them, I could argue that Escobar's saber-rattling only served as free publicity and advertising for the show.

Regardless, the one-time accountant for his brother's drug mega-operation has not managed to beat down Narcos.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 3:42pm

    Dear FTC, I wish to register the trademark "Family" in the categories "violent torts, addictive toxins, and moral turpitude". Henceforth use of the term "family" while engaging in aggravated felonies shall require royalty payments to me.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2018 @ 3:45pm

    Netflix didn't want to

    peso they didn't.

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

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Jan 2018 @ 3:48pm

    Which user folded?

    Was it that Pablo stopped doing drugs long enough for reality to creep in, or was it the lawyers who abstained long enough for a flash of where things were going? Either way, the fog of the 'Narco Wars' has lifted and Netflix will no longer have to fund the defense of illusions of druggies and their also addled attorneys.

    /s

    The previous is an opinion of the state of things and has nothing to do with any actual knowledge of any actual drug use by any relation of a known narco trafficker or their legal representatives who also likely know that their clients are in fact possibly narco traffickers.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2018 @ 10:28am

    How can you copyright something based on a relative that was a murderer, drug runner, human rights abuser, paedophile, [alleged] cannibal and necrophiliac corpse fucker?

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 28 Jan 2018 @ 3:14pm

    For those of you who are too young to remember a time without a widespread internet, there basically was no such thing as a publicly facing website in 1986.

    There's no "basically" about it. Tim Berners-Lee didn't invent the underlying HTML/HTTP technology that makes up the Web until 1989.

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


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