Using Hollywood characters

Stuff reports:

Lucasfilm, owner of the Star Wars movies, has prevailed upon online electricity retailer Powershop to drop an advertisement featuring evil movie character Darth Vader.

In the online advert, Vader is pictured as a kind of Maria von Trapp figure from The Sound of Music. He is dancing across a field with mountains in the background and carrying a guitar case.

Lucasfilm’s lawyers said they had been instructed to write to Powershop asking it to cease use immediately of the advert, and undertake not to make further use of the Darth Vader character without the prior consent of Lucasfilm. …

Its chief executive, Ari Sargent, said he responded immediately to the request from Lucasfilm by withdrawing the advert, but was also surprised at having attracted the attention of Lucasfilm “Empire”.

“Powershop is not a member of any rebel alliance. I’m surprised the Empire considers small companies like Powershop to be a threat; perhaps our force is stronger than we thought,” Sargent said.

The advert is part of Powershop’s “Same Power, Different Attitude” campaign which shows dictators and tyrants engaging in unlikely acts of charity and goodwill. 

It can be amazing how thorough those law firms can be in tracking down infringements and sending out nastygrams.

In 2000, when I worked for the National Leaders Office, we set up a website to fight Labour’s proposed employment law changes. We called it Walking with Dinosaurs, and a logo from Jurassic Park was used.

Around two months later the nastygram letter turned up. But instead of sending it to the Leader’s Office, they sent to the then National Party President, who was rather alarmed to be having Universal Studios threaten him with legal action over a site he actually had nothing to do with.

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