Forced Entertainment - Tim on Sun, 14 Apr 2002 12:16:01 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] copyright the view from your window now

> Ad man vs Spiderman in NY billboard battle
> Oliver Burkeman in New York
> Saturday April 13, 2002
> The Guardian 
> It takes a lot to tarnish the reputation of Spiderman. Thanks to his
> superhuman ability to shoot webs from his hands and scale skyscrapers, the
> public-spirited Marvel comics superhero is credited with doing an even better
> job than Mayor Rudy Giuliani in eliminating New York crime. But now he appears
> entangled in a legal web of his own devising.
> A lawsuit filed in Manhattan accuses Columbia Pictures, producers of the new
> Spiderman movie, of digitally manipulating shots of Times Square to block out
> an advert for Samsung, arch-rivals of Sony, which owns Columbia.
> Sherwood Outdoor, which controls the illuminated billboards and plasma screens
> on the 2 Times Square building - otherwise known as the Renaissance Hotel -
> says Columbia replaced the Samsung logo with a USA Today advert in the movie
> trailer, and with a plug for the phone company Cingular in the TV version.
> "Our client feels that they have a property right, they own the signage, and
> for someone else to come along and change the image is inappropriate when the
> scene is otherwise depicted as how it really is," Sherwood's lawyer, Anthony
> Costantini, said yesterday.
> His concerns over the film's realism did not extend to the fact that the lead
> character gleans magical powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider.
> Both companies refused to comment.
> In fact, it is something of a miracle that the film - starring Tobey Maguire
> as Spiderman, out on May 3 - ever got made, due to understandable fears among
> the makers that plots involving tall buildings might be in poor taste.
> Although this is thought to be the first case of a lawsuit being brought for
> digital manipulation of a fictional movie, it is not the first time Sherwood
> has responded angrily to misrepresentations of its ads.
> In 1999, during New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, the CBS
> television network superimposed its logo on a facade owned by Sherwood to
> cover one for its rival, NBC. The CBS anchorman, Dan Rather, was later forced
> to make a public apology on behalf of the network.

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