Since the religious comedy Salvation Boulevard did not have the expected success, The Church of God decided to sue Sony Pictures, IFC Films and Comcast for infringing the copyright of the church’s logo with the hope of stopping the film’s distribution.
One of the largest and known Christian movements, Church of God has no more than 6 million members from 150 countries and 1 million in the U.S. and it was founded in 1886. Their cross logo was registered back in 2010 so that third parties would not abuse or, god forbids, make money out of their mark.
And since this seemed to be a smart move, a lawsuit was filed against the makers of the movie Salvation Boulevard, which premiered in the U.S. theatres last Friday.
Salvation Boulevard’s plot relates to a pastor by the name of Dan, played by Pierce Brosnan. With the help of his church, he turns, through unconventional methods, faith into a business empire. To add more fatalism to the story, Dan’s church uses a logo clearly inspired by the Church of God.
TorrentFreak obtained the complaint in which Church of God accuses the labels (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 their movie. The lawsuit was filed at the U.S. District Court of Eastern Tennessee last week.
“Defendants are using a certain ‘cross’ design to promote the Salvation Boulevard film. The design also appears within the film to identify a ‘religious group’ at the center of the film’s storyline,” the complaint reads.
“Exemplary frames from a promotional trailer of the Salvation Boulevard film are shown below, wherein Defendants’ Cross Design is shown on the upper left of the ‘church’ appearing in the frame on the left and on the vest apparel item in the frame to the right.”
Through this suit the Church hopes that any distribution of the film will be put to a hold and, why not, burned just as the witches back in the dark ages. A substantial compensation is required, naturally, to boost up God’s confidence.
This, however, is not the first time when major labels are sued. For example, some time ago Mike Tyson’s tattooist sued Warner Bros. because it used a copy of his artwork in The Hangover II. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.