Sony Sues Kevin Butler

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Wong_Fei_Hung

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#1  Edited By Wong_Fei_Hung

UPDATE 2:

Bridgestone have issued a statement:

Mr. Lambert is one of the actors who appeared in the commercial as a Bridgestone engineer. Bridgestone denies that 'Kevin Butler' appears in the Bridgestone commercial discussed herein and thus denies that he speaks or does anything whatsoever in the commercial.

UPDATE 1:

Sony have issued a statement:

Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a lawsuit against Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek, Inc. on September 11. The claims are based on violations of the Lanham Act, misappropriation, breach of contract and tortious interference with a contractual relationship. We invested significant resources in bringing the Kevin Butler character to life and he’s become an iconic personality directly associated with PlayStation products over the years. Use of the Kevin Butler character to sell products other than those from PlayStation misappropriates Sony’s intellectual property, creates confusion in the market, and causes damage to Sony. - Sony statement

Hilarious..I think they're only are making it worse for themselves, this action will only highlight the case in the broader media channels, potentially giving Nintendo and WiiU more coverage at this prime time.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=42927505&postcount=1

sorry, had to bump:
Sony are suing for this! Not only are they suing Bridgestone for the commercial, they're also suing Wildcat Creek, Inc.
Who are they? Well, evidently they're the advertising company hired by Bridgestone for the commercial.
***According tothistheir president is none other than Jerry Lambert.***
Sony sues Kevin Butler lol
Summary
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cal...v04753/258962/
Court filing 1
http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal...4753/258962/8/
Court filing 2
http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal...753/258962/14/

Sony should do ad's like those comparison pics, they could call it "Spot the Kevin Butler".

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JasonR86

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#2  Edited By JasonR86

Why would they even bother? He isn't helping to sell the Wii. He's an actor in an ad to sell tires. What a fucking waste of resources and time. Plus the bad press because the whole thing looks so moronic.

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Sploder

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#3  Edited By Sploder

That's preeetty lame, Sony.

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TheHT

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#4  Edited By TheHT

*sigh* Stupid shit.

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xyzygy

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#5  Edited By xyzygy

Wow.

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John1912

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#6  Edited By John1912

I dont know what happened. I went out to buy a PS3, and came home with a tire!

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Grissefar

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#7  Edited By Grissefar

So who decided this was a good idea? Probably the same guy who greenlighted the Vita.

ZING!

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Wong_Fei_Hung

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#8  Edited By Wong_Fei_Hung

I think sometimes in any business there are occasions where you just have to bow out gracefully...

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Phatmac

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#9  Edited By Phatmac

Makes sense. I'm sure there is something in the fine print about not being able to promote competitors in other commercials.

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BabyChooChoo

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#10  Edited By BabyChooChoo

God-fucking-dammit, Sony. God-fucking-dammit.

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randyf

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#11  Edited By randyf

Unless the guy who plays Kevin Butler signed something which made him exclusive to Sony, I don't even see how there's a case here. He's an actor and he's acting. Are the Kevin Butler commercials even still happening? I haven't seen one in a while. Granted, I don't watch that much TV.

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Slag

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#12  Edited By Slag

I thought this was a joke.

Wow that is dumb by Sony, makes them look dumb (for not having contractually locked up with a non-compete) and petty for something so insignificant.

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Hailinel

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#13  Edited By Hailinel

@RandyF said:

Unless the guy who plays Kevin Butler signed something which made him exclusive to Sony, I don't even see how there's a case here. He's an actor and he's acting. Are the Kevin Butler commercials even still happening? I haven't seen one in a while. Granted, I don't watch that much TV.

I believe that the Kevin Butler ad campaign ended some time ago. I don't recall seeing any new ads with the character in quite a while.

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Draxyle

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#14  Edited By Draxyle

Lawyers being lawyers.

They sort of have the right to do this (we assume there is some contract thing that prevents him from working for Sony's competitors), but it doesn't not make it a really bad idea for Sony. If this were just anyone, it'd be no big deal, but the Kevin Butler character is too "beloved" to attack for something relatively harmless.

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SomeDeliCook

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#15  Edited By SomeDeliCook

Does this mean no Kevin Butler in All Stars Battle Royale?

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Wong_Fei_Hung

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#16  Edited By Wong_Fei_Hung

@SomeDeliCook said:

Does this mean no Kevin Butler in All Stars Battle Royale?

lol, I'm guessing not, shame.

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LiquidPrince

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#17  Edited By LiquidPrince

Wait, I'm confused... What's going on? Why is he being sued?

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Wong_Fei_Hung

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#18  Edited By Wong_Fei_Hung

@LiquidPrince said:

Wait, I'm confused... What's going on? Why is he being sued?

It's in the quote. Jerry Lambert, aka Kevin Butler, is the president of the advertising company in question.

RT@TheKevinButler Good luck in court!

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sodacat

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#19  Edited By sodacat

Console wars. Console wars never change.

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TheBioLover

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#20  Edited By TheBioLover

Wow, overreactions from some people here. This actually makes sense if you think about it.

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chaser324

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#21  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

Non-compete clauses are pretty standard these days, and depending on how restrictive and specific it was, this might actually be a slam dunk for Sony attorneys.

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DukesT3

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#22  Edited By DukesT3

Haha I did catch that commercial and thought it was funny with him playing on the Wii. Fucking Sony, guess he won't be at next years E3.

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Wong_Fei_Hung

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#23  Edited By Wong_Fei_Hung

@Chaser324 said:

Non-compete clauses are pretty standard these days, and depending on how restrictive and specific it was, this might actually be a slam dunk for Sony attorneys.

Do you think the president of a advertising company would knowingly break such a clause if it existed in a contract with a high profile company such as Sony?. I personally think Sony suing their mascot is a slam dank of different sort.

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DarthOrange

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#24  Edited By DarthOrange
@John1912 said:

I dont know what happened. I went out to buy a PS3, and came home with a tire!

ha!
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#25  Edited By LiquidPrince

@Wong_Fei_Hung said:

@LiquidPrince said:

Wait, I'm confused... What's going on? Why is he being sued?

It's in the quote. Jerry Lambert, aka Kevin Butler, is the president of the advertising company in question.

RT@TheKevinButler Good luck in court!

What has he and his company done to draw the ire of Sony?

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MiniPato

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#26  Edited By MiniPato

I guess Sony has a right to do it and it probably makes business sense, but it's still pretty damn tasteless if you ask me. The guy behind the PS3's most (maybe only) successful ad campaign getting sued by Sony itself. Hope the monetary gain is worth the bad publicity.

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Vextroid

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#27  Edited By Vextroid

@LiquidPrince said:

@Wong_Fei_Hung said:

@LiquidPrince said:

Wait, I'm confused... What's going on? Why is he being sued?

It's in the quote. Jerry Lambert, aka Kevin Butler, is the president of the advertising company in question.

RT@TheKevinButler Good luck in court!

What has he and his company done to draw the ire of Sony?

Making a bunch of Bridgestone tyre commercials that promote the Wii.

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Ghostiet

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#28  Edited By Ghostiet

@SomeDeliCook said:

Does this mean no Kevin Butler in All Stars Battle Royale?

Oh God. That's what All-Stars should be in the first place - Tretton, Kaz Hirai, Kevin Butler and Sakaguchi dishing it out.

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Wong_Fei_Hung

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#29  Edited By Wong_Fei_Hung

@John1912 said:

I dont know what happened. I went out to buy a PS3, and came home with a tire and a Wii!

Corrected.

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mnzy

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#30  Edited By mnzy

@John1912 said:

I dont know what happened. I went out to buy a PS3, and came home with a tire!

Same thing happened to me and I didn't even realise it before reading your post!

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deathstriker666

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#31  Edited By deathstriker666

@TheBioLover said:

Wow, overreactions from some people here. This actually makes sense if you think about it.

Yeah, Kevin Butler, the character, is property of Sony just as Nathan Drake or Sackboy. Using it without permission and not paying royalties, which is probably what Sony alleges, very much makes for a legitimate case.

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Wong_Fei_Hung

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#32  Edited By Wong_Fei_Hung

@deathstriker666 said:

@TheBioLover said:

Wow, overreactions from some people here. This actually makes sense if you think about it.

Yeah, Kevin Butler, the character, is property of Sony just as Nathan Drake or Sackboy. Using it without permission and not paying royalties, which is probably what Sony alleges, very much makes for a legitimate case.

How was he playing Kevin Butler in that ad?

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toowalrus

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#33  Edited By toowalrus

It's a damn shame, the ad where he 'comes back' is probably the best console ad ever- specifically the part where he pulls the framed photo of Jack Tretton out of his desk and says "you ARE the boss of me."

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TheVideoHustler

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#34  Edited By TheVideoHustler

I know the saying is "Any press is good press."

But it's shit like this that really makes a business look bad.

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Wong_Fei_Hung

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#35  Edited By Wong_Fei_Hung

UPDATE:

Sony have issued a statement

Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a lawsuit against Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek, Inc. on September 11. The claims are based on violations of the Lanham Act, misappropriation, breach of contract and tortious interference with a contractual relationship. We invested significant resources in bringing the Kevin Butler character to life and he’s become an iconic personality directly associated with PlayStation products over the years. Use of the Kevin Butler character to sell products other than those from PlayStation misappropriates Sony’s intellectual property, creates confusion in the market, and causes damage to Sony. - Sony statement
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nightriff

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#36  Edited By nightriff

I understand where they are coming from on this, personally I don't know why the hell they would get rid of him, the commercials were actually funny, but it is stupid of them to do this.

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williamhenry

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#37  Edited By williamhenry

@Nightriff said:

I understand where they are coming from on this, personally I don't know why the hell they would get rid of him, the commercials were actually funny, but it is stupid of them to do this.

Ad campaigns eventually run their course, usually after people have stopped caring.

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Spoonman671

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#38  Edited By Spoonman671

Vita really needs some games, guys.

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SethPhotopoulos

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#39  Edited By SethPhotopoulos

@Spoonman671 said:

Vita really needs some games, guys.

How about Phoenix Wright with Kevin Butler and the Sony law team.

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NoobSauceG7

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#40  Edited By NoobSauceG7

I don't think that is fair to sue the person. He's just a dude, didn't do anything wrong.

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nightriff

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#41  Edited By nightriff

@WilliamHenry said:

@Nightriff said:

I understand where they are coming from on this, personally I don't know why the hell they would get rid of him, the commercials were actually funny, but it is stupid of them to do this.

Ad campaigns eventually run their course, usually after people have stopped caring.

I get that but I was still enjoying those commercials. I don't watch a lot of tv so maybe I didn't see it run its course but they were still funny to me.

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Dad_Is_A_Zombie

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#42  Edited By Dad_Is_A_Zombie

It's funny, when I saw this commercial I said to myself "I bet Sony's legal department will have something to say about this..." Guess they did.

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darkdragonmage99

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#43  Edited By darkdragonmage99

Wait are these guys basically trying to claim they own a man and I thought slavery was over.

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DoctorWelch

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#44  Edited By DoctorWelch

Maybe I'm confused because of how stupid this is, but do they have any legal claim to him contractually, or are they just being pissy morons.

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darkdragonmage99

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#45  Edited By darkdragonmage99

@deathstriker666: character my ass they are trying to a copyright a man's likeness no one ever said the name kevin butler in that commercial the only thing they have to go on is the same man played the part. In other words what they are saying is you are not allowed to work for anyone else because you look like you.

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Hailinel

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#46  Edited By Hailinel

@DoctorWelch said:

Maybe I'm confused because of how stupid this is, but do they have any legal claim to him contractually, or are they just being pissy morons.

They very well might have a claim. His contract might contain a non-compete clause stating that he's prohibited from appearing in advertisements related to rival hardware or software until a specific amount of time has passed. He might have violated the terms of his contract by appearing in this ad.

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bagrm

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#48  Edited By bagrm

Man legal contracts can be strange. He is in a commercial that not only never mentions the name Kevin Butler, but the character also shares no likeness in personality to Kevin Butler, and the commercial is advertising a promotion designed to sell tires, not Wii's. However, I bet Sony has a pretty good case here if there was some clause in his contract about appearing in commericals with rival products.

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KaneRobot

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#49  Edited By KaneRobot

Okay, so it's 1996, Sony is the WWF, Bridgestone Tires is WCW, "Kevin Butler" is "Razor Ramon," and Jerry Lambert is Scott Hall.

...if the next Bridgestone ad has Phil Harrison showing up as Lambert's ally, I'll be...kind of excited.

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DukesT3

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#50  Edited By DukesT3

@Hailinel said:

@DoctorWelch said:

Maybe I'm confused because of how stupid this is, but do they have any legal claim to him contractually, or are they just being pissy morons.

They very well might have a claim. His contract might contain a non-compete clause stating that he's prohibited from appearing in advertisements related to rival hardware or software until a specific amount of time has passed. He might have violated the terms of his contract by appearing in this ad.

So he just needs a new agent cause its pretty obvious whoever he has now is a moron.