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Madonna sued over Brando image

By | Published on Monday 22 October 2012

Madonna

Madonna is facing trademark and image rights litigation in the US from the estate of Marlon Brando for using footage of the late actor in her current MDNA live show, according to The Wrap. Footage of ‘The Godfather’ star appears during Madonna’s performance of the Brando-name-checking ‘Vogue’ in her current live show.

The case could centre on some interesting areas of US law regards image rights, given the Brando estate doesn’t seem to be claiming any control over the actual copyright in the footage Madonna uses.

Though there is a contractual element to the dispute as well, given Team Madonna did negotiate permission to use Brando’s image during her Superbowl half time show earlier this year, but then couldn’t agree on fees with Brando Enterprises when trying to negotiate similar permission for the MDNA tour. The Estate says that that meant Brando Enterprises had implicitly barred Madonna from using the Brando image in her shows, but she did so anyway.

There’s also reportedly a second lawsuit going on here, between CMG Worldwide and Brand Sense, which respectively represented Madonna and Brando Enterprises in those negotiations regards the use of Brando footage in the MDNA shows. CMG says Brand Sense initially agreed a $5000 fee but then unreasonably ramped that up to $20,000 with little warning.

Brando Enterprises wants general and special damages, costs, and an injunction banning the use of Brando’s image at future Madonna shows.



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