Godzilla Battles Goodby, Comcast

August 7, 2009Article

Charles N. Shephard, lawyer for Toho and partner at Los Angeles law firm Greenberg Glusker, said the studio wants to be paid for the "reasonable value of what [Comcast and Goodby] have taken," an amount he estimates at "certainly in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more."

"Take any major iconic, copyrighted fictional character -- whether it be Mickey Mouse or Darth Vader. If you are going to use those figures as the centerpiece of a national advertising campaign, you have to pay the dollars to do so," Mr. Shephard said.

A spokeswoman for Goodby declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the marketer would say only: "Comcast does not believe there has been any copyright infringement."

In its suit, Toho claims that, as soon as it learned of the commercial in March, it wrote to Comcast and demanded the company pull the campaign. "When defendants finally responded, they denied that the campaign featured the Godzilla character but nevertheless promised that the commercial would stop airing on television and on the website after April 11, 2009." Toho claims the ad remained on the air "at least until May 2009."

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