Church of God sues Sony Pictures for copyright Infringement

Typically, the biggest threat to the summer movie is a bad review. This year, however, it seems to be intellectual property.

In April, S. Victor Whitmill filed a lawsuit to block Warner Bros.’ May 26th release of the Hangover 2, which featured, without authorization, a tattoo that Whitmill had designed for and applied to boxer Mike Tyson’s face. Last week, the Church of God filed a lawsuit against Sony Worldwide Acquisitions claiming the comedy Salvation Boulevard  reproduces, in mirror image, the Church of God’s cross mark.

The film, which opened in limited release on July 15, stars Greg Kinnear as a former Grateful Dead fanatic who catches his evangelical preacher (Pierce Brosnan) in a compromising situation. Based on Larry Beinhart’s book of the same title, the movie co-stars Ed Harris, Marisa Tomei and Jennifer Connelly.

According to a complaint obtained by TorrentFreak, the Church of God – which considers itself to be more than 6 million members strong around the globe – is accusing Sony Pictures, Mandalay Pictures, IFC Films and Comcast of “copyright infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition by using a mirrored version of the church’s logo in the film.” (as seen below)

The church has asked the courts to stop the distribution of the film, as well as to burn all copies, promotional materials and merchandising relating to the motion picture. They also – and here’s the important part – seek “compensation” for the damages caused by the film.

You know, the film that nobody went to see that weekend. Salvation Boulevard opened in four theaters last weekend and earned a grand total of $7,208, according to BoxOfficeMojo. The movie has an 8% Fresh grade on Rotten Tomatoes, and isn’t about to set the world on fire. This isn’t like the Church of God is going after Harry Potter, or suing the producers of The Hangover over a facial tattoo. Filing a lawsuit only brings attention to a film that likely wasn’t going to earn any more from this point out, and likely won’t help either party in the end.

Posted on July 28, 2011, in Christan, Movies, Religious and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Regardless of the “Box office sales”. Copyright Infringement by corporations are as illegal as private. SONY BMG ZOMBA continues to be held responsible for Intellectual Property thefts around the World. Check out profile, Dean Hajas on Reverbnation. Britney Spears released Dean Hajas song creation “Take Me Higher” as Slave for You, without prior written consent. As a result, all those responsible for this theft, will continue to observe the value of SONY BMG ZOMBA to be substantially below market value and trade at all time lows. Howard Stringer and Gary Wade Leak will see a reversal of this financial trend, when they observe the ownership of this Intellectual Property by it’s true and authentic originator Mr. Dean Hajas. Full compensation, and public apology are the only acceptable protocol in this situation.

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  2. Wow very informative thank you for the comment.

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