Attention studio marketers: run that ad at your own risk

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Attention studio marketers: run that ad at your own risk

Thu Apr 01, 2010 @ 10:34AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Picture 7 Two cases on the court docket show that it's not so easy for entertainment companies to promote shows and movies without running into legal trouble.

The first case involves a promotion run by A&E Television to showcase repeats of "The Sopranos." The network created a game called "Sopranos Photo Hunt" that tests whether fans can correctly identify the names of characters from the show. 

A&E is now being sued by AMI Entertainment Network, the developer of game apps for touchscreen devices. In its complaint, AMI claims to hold the trademark on "Photo Hunt" as it relates to games.

The second case concerns an individual, Victor Lozano, who claimed that 20th Century Fox had violated telemarketing laws by sending several text messages to his cell phone advertising the availability of new movies. 

Fox moved to dismiss the claim under the theory that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act limits the prohibition on automatic dialing systems to "calls" not "text messages." In a decision last week, a U.S. District Court judge in Illinois rejected that argument and also said the TCPA was not an abridgement of constitutional free speech. The case goes forward to trial.

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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 [email protected]

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