DirecTV Asked How to Say 'Not Funny' In Russian

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DirecTV Asked How to Say 'Not Funny' In Russian

Thu Apr 17, 2008 @ 11:17AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Petrosyanevgeni Some of the most memorable commercials in the past few years have been the series of the DirecTV spots that spoof films like "Misery," "Major League," and "Star Trek" by overdubbing dialogue about DirecTV programming in place of the actual movie dialogue.

You'd think a company that does that sort of thing would be supersensitive about intellectual property rights. But one comedian, Evgeni Petrosyan (left), is calling foul. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York, Petrosyan claims that DirecTV spots that promoted its Russian-language programming violated his publicity rights.

Petrosyan, who compares his fame in the complaint to Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld, wants more than $10 million for this breach. No joke.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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