News Article

Kevin Butler Actor Seen Near Wii Console... Sony Takes Him to Court

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Yes, really

Some of you may remember a news article that we posted around a month ago that starred fictional Sony VP Kevin Butler, which we did so with tongue firmly in cheek. We highlighted a Bridgestone tyre advert in which the actor who plays the character, his real name is Jerry Lambert, was seen near a Nintendo Wii, possibly causing indignation among a minority of dedicated Sony fans. As an actor doing a job it was a slightly awkward situation, but surely no sensible individual could see that seriously as "Kevin Butler plays a Wii", right?

It seems that Sony has seen it exactly that way, allowing concerns about branding to override sanity: it's taken Jerry Lambert's production company and Bridgestone to court. This is despite Bridgestone actually removing the original trailer from sites such as YouTube, and replacing it with a version that doesn't feature the comedic actor. Here's what Sony has said in a statement to Kotaku.

Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a law suit 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.

While we understand the value companies place in marketing imagery, it still seems slightly incredible that Jerry Lambert being seen near a rival's system constitutes a misappropriation of Sony's intellectual property, especially when he's clearly not playing the Kevin Butler character. This court case has been rumbling for a few weeks, meanwhile, with Eurogamer reporting that after being "close to agreement" back on 26th September, Sony now has until 12th October to withdraw the motion or proceed to a hearing.

Although it's not ideal for a face recognisable to Sony gamers to be seen enjoying a game on Wii, we can't help but feel that this represents litigious madness. Do you agree with Sony in suing the actor's representatives and Bridgestone, or do you think the company's lost its grip?

[via kotaku.com, eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (116)

NintyMan

#2

NintyMan said:

Ah, the court system at its finest work!

I thought they were just joking at first.

BenAV

#3

BenAV said:

For me personally, the fact that Sony is taking decent people to court over something as ridiculous as this hurts their respectability a lot more than some actor that they're paying being seen near another console.
I hope they don't actually win any money out of it.

Aviator

#6

Aviator said:

Some ridiculous as breaking a contract.

Nobody has been criticised for this before.

Yep, let's send the mob to Sony.

ajcismo

#10

ajcismo said:

Nice move Sony. Just keep giving me more reasons to not buy your products. Sue an actor because he was working near a Mario Kart game.

Chunky_Droid

#11

Chunky_Droid said:

I do wonder what was in Jerry Lambert's contract with Sony, if he's got a clause which disallows him from advertising the competition in any way then he's in trouble.

Aviator

#13

Aviator said:

Also, this title is precisely why Sony is suing Mr. Lambert.

Headline wrote:

Kevin Butler Actor Seen Near Wii Console... Sony Takes Him to Court

He is not seen as Jerry Lambert, but rather Kevin Butler.
"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."

It's not a stupid move by Sony's part.

Any company would fight to protect their IPs.

Imagine if Charles Martinet used his Mario voice to sell Kinect Voice Control. Nintendo would sue Microsoft, and yet a lot of people on this site would approve of what Nintendo was doing.

Linkuini

#16

Linkuini said:

I'm not even sure whether they're mad that he was seen near a Wii console or just that he was in a commercial for tires. Either way, sounds like kind of a tight contract. :(

PinkSpider

#17

PinkSpider said:

I really don't think Nintendo would sue Microsoft they have a sense of humour unlike Sony who seem to take everything serioisly
Sony are just idiots

PinkSpider

#20

PinkSpider said:

So is this guy aloud to play a wii in a shop or has he got to worry about being sued lol

Aviator

#21

Aviator said:

He is being portrayed in the public image.

This ad was online and on televisions across America.

Much more exposure than a few people seeing him play a Wii in a shop.

PinkSpider

#22

PinkSpider said:

Honestly who really gives a ... Sony and you it seems, it really isn't that big a deal and.. If it were the other way round I wouldn't care either , Sony are usually stealing Nintendos ideas anyway so sony they should let it go :-) (bet that ain't gonna please him) ;-)

MAB

#23

MAB said:

I feel sorry for Lambert... Poor guy might be sick of COD and just wants to play him some Mario Kart for once :P

Lalivero

#26

Lalivero said:

@Aviator One of the rare times I'd actually have to agree with you. Nintendo would be ______ to all hell if Charles did such a thing; so for once I can see Sony's side on this, even if it does appear to be a bit...far.

ejamer

#28

ejamer said:

@Aviator
Can't agree with your interpretation.

Protecting IP is fine. But Sony doesn't own an actor, or that actor's physical appearance. This ad does not appear to contain the Kevin Butler character or make any reference to that character which Sony created. If there is a very clearly stated clause in his previous contract - something we can't know - then Sony are doing the right thing. If not, then Sony are just being and preventing him from doing honest work for other, non-Nintendo companies.

Your Charles Martinet comparison isn't a reasonable. Nintendo would have more of a case if he used the "Mario voice", just as Sony would have more of a case if the actor was clearly reprising his Kevin Butler role (which doesn't seem to be the case IMO). However, if Charles Martinet physically appeared in a commercial for Sony or Microsoft then what could Nintendo do? Nothing, unless they have specific wording in their contract preventing such behavior for a set period of time.

Of course, the catch is that none of us know what the specific wording was in his contract with Sony. That is the heart of the matter. Is working for another company during a time-period when that company is running a short-term promotion with Nintendo breaking his agreement? Possibly. Possibly not. None of us really know either way. I do know that "Sony suing Kevin Butler" is possibly an even funnier headline than "Kevin Butler plays Wii"... but maybe Sony is happy with the free advertising either way.

bezerker99

#30

bezerker99 said:

Charles Martinet had a voice in Skyrim and last I heard he isn't getting sued by Nintendo.

WesCash

#31

WesCash said:

Cry some more, Sony. You don't own Mr. Lambert and he has been doing Bridgestone Tire commercials (as well as many other things) for a long time. He wasn't portraying Kevin Butler and it wasn't even a commercial specifically for Nintendo.

Charles Martinet has done a ton of voices for games on all systems. Look it up. It would be different if he was using his "Mario" voice and misrepresenting the character of Mario (owned by Nintendo). But Mr. Lambert was doing no such misrepresentation of the Kevin Butler character.

Kid_A

#32

Kid_A said:

Not to the "that guy" but it should say "Which we did" instead of "which we did so."

Also this is the most ridiculous lawsuit ever.

hydeks

#33

hydeks said:

why is this on a Nintendo site? It's sony news, and sony has all right to sue lambert over breech of contract :P

Schprocket

#34

Schprocket said:

"... and the animals looked from Sony to Apple and Apple to Sony and could not tell them apart..."

V8_Ninja

#35

V8_Ninja said:

@Aviator Yes, everybody should be criticized and put in their place because Sony is trying to claim ownership over a person. Also, even if Sony created a section in the contract stating that Jerry Lambert couldn't be seen in a commercial with a competitors product, the logical connection that we should instead entirely blame Jerry Lambert for signing the contract is asinine. Yes, I agree that that contract could not be put forth as evidence for a court case without Jerry Lambert willingly signing it, but not blaming Sony for creating that contract is the same as not blaming the man who only marries to take whatever valuables his partner has.

EDIT: That comparison may be a bit wrong upon posting the comment, but my point was that we should criticize companies for making ridiculous contracts more than criticizing people for signing them.

Kyloctopus

#36

Kyloctopus said:

As much as I love the Kevin Butler commercials, and tweets, he broke a contract. He should have seen this reaction, not only from Sony, but also from fans. He broke his contract. There truly is no problem with him doing BridgeStone Commercials. But he is advertising for Sony's competition in the commercials.

turtlelink

#37

turtlelink said:

I don't see why you people think this is crazy. Things like this happen when you break a contract.

AVahne

#38

AVahne said:

Sounds exactly like what Sony would do. Seems like Sony views Lambert as their property, a slave. Say what you want, but this is what it looks like to me.

iphys

#39

iphys said:

I guess I'd have to know what was in his contract with Sony, but if they're not paying him to be a full-time employee, it only seems reasonable that he should be allowed to act unrelated roles in other ads.

WesCash

#40

WesCash said:

I like how Sony's statement is completely invalid:
"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."
Kevin Butler wasn't used in the commercial...derp.

ejamer

#41

ejamer said:

(I was in the process of posting the exact same thing as WesCash, above.)

Maybe there is more to the suit than we know. Maybe not. But based only on the information that has been made public it seems like Sony feels they own the actual actor and his appearance instead of just the character that he played.

Then again, depending on his contract maybe they do own his appearance (preventing him from doing anything related to their competition) for a certain period of time.

TrueWiiMaster

#44

TrueWiiMaster said:

@Aviator
"Imagine if Charles Martinet used his Mario voice to sell Kinect Voice Control. Nintendo would sue Microsoft, and yet a lot of people on this site would approve of what Nintendo was doing."
No. That actually isn't the same at all, for multiple reasons. First, the voice Martinet uses for Mario was created for Mario, and isn't his normal voice. Jerry was just appearing as himself, which was not created just for Sony. He was himself before Sony met him. In fact, he was probably an actor long before they met him too. Second, Jerry wasn't selling Wiis, he was selling tires. You just got a Wii with your purchase. He didn't encourage buying a Wii, and certainly didn't suggest it was in any way better than PS3. This lawsuit is pretty much garbage. It would be one thing if he actually appeared in a Nintendo commercial, but he didn't. It would be another thing if he actually appeared as "Kevin Butler" but he didn't. This is just sad on Sony's part.

McHaggis

#45

McHaggis said:

@V8_Ninja, it's not uncommon for contracts to contain a clause preventing a conflict of interest from occurring. Many, if not most, employment contracts do. This prevents, say, a pie salesman who works for Pukka by day from taking a night job as a Square Pie salesman. This is a conflict of interest because there's nothing stopping that salesman from advising his customers to buy the product he makes the most money on, potentially damaging sales of the other product.

@Aviator's Charles Martinet analogy wasn't a great one, but he does have a very valid point regarding the fact that Sony may actually have a case. As much as I dislike Sony for the whole fiasco of suing hackers who had done nothing illegal, I can't really form an opinion here because I don't know all the facts, and neither does anyone else who's commented so far.

Generally, reports on litigation in the news are terrible due to the lack of information available; the reporter's own bias or; the reporter's lack of legal experience and expertise. All of which seem to apply here, no offence intended to TW.

EDIT: Actually, according to the Kotaku article, it looks like they're suing for trademark infringement. After seeing the advert, there's no clarification that the character isn't Kevin Butler. Arguably, the two characters could be distinguished, but their are damning similarities ― like the hair style and facial expressions ― that could be seen to back up Sony's claims of "misappropriation" and "causing confusion". IANAL, so I wouldn't hedge my bets either way (I'd like to think Sony will lose), best to leave it to the courts.

Hokori

#46

Hokori said:

Like if Charles Martenet was a voice in a non Nintendo game that sold millions last year? IDK maybe Nintendo should do the same
This was sarcasm BTW, I don't think people should be sued for what they look like or even if Charles Martenet voiced the dragon in Skyrim like Mario he shouldn't get sued either, I mean Tom Kenny does SpongeBob on Nick and the Ice King in Adventure Time on CN and they've both appeared on said channel as themselves but ones not suing the other.

MegaAdam

#47

MegaAdam said:

Sony can't claim ownership over a person. Jerry Lambert does not equal Kevin Butler, and suing him for appearing in a tire commercial is ludicrous.

kyuubikid213

#49

kyuubikid213 said:

Sony... Why? We had such great times when I was younger...what have you done to yourself?

I don't know what's wrong. He's an actor. I'm pretty sure he can do whatever he wants. If he WAS Kevin Butler, I'd see why they would sue, but this makes no sense. If he gets sued, I hope Sony takes a hit.

bro2dragons

#50

bro2dragons said:

I could see Sony coming away with something from all this... but never winning on all counts. Tortious interference is difficult to prove, even based only on a preponderance of evidence.

C-Olimar

#51

C-Olimar said:

Companies get desperate when they are losing monwy. Thinking of Segagaga here.

Mickey

#55

Mickey said:

WELCOME TO SONY! WE NOW OWN YOUR SOUL SO YOU CANNOT APPEAR IN ANY COMMERCIALS THAT SHOW YOU INTERACTING WITH OR LOOKING AT (in the wrong way) A COMPETING CONSOLE!!!

Hokori

#58

Hokori said:

Maybe Sony will lose and have to team up with Nintendo and put there stuff on the WiiU and 3DS

AltDotNerd

#59

AltDotNerd said:

"Kevin Butler" hasn't been in a Sony commercial in 2 years! Maybe if Sony gave him more work, he wouldn't have to do other commercials!

NTELLIGENTMAN

#60

NTELLIGENTMAN said:

I totally support Sony on this one. There should be a certain amount of time before he is allowed to be in commercials for other publishers and console manufacturers.

Wheels2050

#61

Wheels2050 said:

I'd like to hear more of the facts. As others have said, I think there's more to this than has been reported.

Time will tell.

jkshaz

#67

jkshaz said:

@Aviator I really hope I am misinterpreting you. So a human being's (not a character mind you) likeness is part of their intellectual property. If so I fear for society when I company can own someone's likeness. Your other comparison is apples to oranges unless that is the individuals true voice and not just a caricature. Just my opinion though.

Hokori

#69

Hokori said:

So let me get this straight... Some of you here are actually FOR Sony suing someone for LOOKING a certain way... Ouch seriously he can't help he was the FACE of PS and his FACE is on a TIRE COMMERCIAL that so happens to promote a FREE wii you know, seriously if I were to see Charles Matrenet, who I recongnize as Mario promote a free Kinect or a Free PS4 I wouldn't care in the slightest...

theblackdragonAdmin

#70

theblackdragon said:

we don't know all of the facts here, but it's common for companies to have contractual expectations of their high-ranking employees and face-acting spokespeople — a spokesperson for Nike showing up at an event wearing Adidas shoes would be a definite no-no, wouldn't it? This seems to be the same sort of issue; if nothing else, since it's his production company, couldn't Lambert have had another person do the commercial in place of himself? or would it have been possible to sub out a Playstation-based racing game instead of a Wii game?

Also, nothing's really set in stone just because there's a contract involved and the lawsuit gauntlet has been thrown. Someone has already mentioned that Lambert was already doing Bridgestone commercials and had been for a while before working for Sony, so there's a chance that somewhere in his contract there's a loophole for prior agreements and the like. Either way, it's up to the courts to decide now whether or not Sony's contract with him will hold water, but i for one know I'll be sad to see Kevin Butler go tbh. :(

Robo-goose

#71

Robo-goose said:

@Aviator
"It's not a stupid move by Sony's part.

Any company would fight to protect their IPs.

Imagine if Charles Martinet used his Mario voice to sell Kinect Voice Control. Nintendo would sue Microsoft, and yet a lot of people on this site would approve of what Nintendo was doing."

In Charles Martinet's case, he would be using a voice that he made for Nintendo to sell Microsoft's merchandise. It would still be silly of Nintendo to sue him over that, but, at the same time, it would be understandable.
What we have here is Jerry Lambert merely showing his face in the same room as a Wii console. It wasn't even a commercial made for a Nintendo product, Jerry Lambert was helping Bridgestone sell tyres. Sony is essentially saying that they, partly at least, own Jerry Lambert's face.
What would you say if George Lucas sued Harrison Ford for appearing in a fast food advertisement that was giving away tiny Galacticas or tiny Scorpion Kings as toys for their kid's meals?
Would it be wrong for Ford to show his face near something from a science-fiction movie or adventure movie that wasn't StarWars or Indiana Jones?
There's a gigantic contextual difference between your example, and what actually happened.

Tasuki

#72

Tasuki said:

I remember something like this happening many year ago with the Mortal Kombat franchise which is the real reason Johnny Cage wasn't in MK 3. The actor that played Johnny Cage in the first two MK games apparently wore his Johnny Cage outfit for an advertisement for a rival fighting game. Midway than fired the actor and didn't hire another one for MK3. So having an agreement like that in an actors contract isn't unheard off in fact its even in normal jobs. I remember a friend of mine getting fired when he worked at two rival pizza places. Its called conflict of interest.

Robo-goose

#73

Robo-goose said:

^ In the Johnny Cage example, you have him appearing AS Johnny Cage with his Johnny Cage outfit in a rival game's commercial.
In Lambert's case, Lambert's face, not the character Kevin Butler, was appearing NEAR a Wii console. He wasn't even there to sell Nintendo Products.

Tasuki

#74

Tasuki said:

^No where did it say in the advertisement was he Johnny Cage though he just looked like him. Much the same how in this case he never said he was Kevin Butler but yet other people said he was.

Bankai

#76

Bankai said:

1) some people here are clearly not contract lawyers. Not sure why these people are in any way qualified to comment on contract law.

2) this article - especially that headline and sub - are clear trollbait. No doubt you got a lot of traffic from it though. Congrats.

Sakura_Moonlight2421

#77

Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

@AltDotNerd That's what a day job is for. Most commercial actors have a day job when they don't get roles to play. There's a guy here in Hawaii that has a day job working at Costco and acts in a Oceanic Time Warner Cable commercial when his character is needed.

LittleKing

#79

LittleKing said:

So, he's getting sued for starring in a commercial for tires because they happen to have a thing going on for a free Wii. Yes, he shouldn't be able to promote Sony products then do a commercial for the Nintendo Wii U. But not being able to promote tires because the commercial contains a contest to get a Wii? He's directly promoting tires, not Nintendo goods, and any promotion done for Nintendo is in a quasi-indirect way. I'm not going to be boycotting Sony over something as ridiculous as this, as it is kind of understandable, but this does seems like a stretch.

Zombie_Barioth

#80

Zombie_Barioth said:

If this is a case of conflict of interest and it was written in Jerry's contract which he signed, why would he knowingly do something that would breach his contract? This sounds like a case of Jerry assuming there would be no harm in it.

After all, all hes doing is basically saying "look how fun this is, buy our tires and you can get one free!" and most people are aware that every actor they see appear in other programs. So Sony are suing because people might associate Jerry Lambert with his alter ego and assume they are one and the same, resulting in some sorta subliminal messaging.

grimbldoo

#82

grimbldoo said:

@Tasuki #76
Perhaps you should put a little more thought behind your logic. The actor was dressed in clothes that were uniquely designed for Johnny Cage and he did not have to wear those clothes, he could have worn anything else that he chose to. Lambert's face was not designed for or by Sony, they do not own it and he cannot change it.

Bankai

#84

Bankai said:

@grimbldoo As Lambert's face was for many years associated exclusively with Sony, it was likely written into his contract from the very start that he would not represent a competitive brand.

By being associated with a Nintendo product, however tangentally, Lambert likely breached this noncompete clause in his contract and Sony would be well within its rights to seek damages.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you analyse contract law. Believe it or not, contract law doesn't work like high school playground politics.

BlatantlyHeroic

#85

BlatantlyHeroic said:

The Wii is more popular than the PS3, thus was why it was in a tire commercial, and none of you can ignore the fact that Sony is acting as though it owns the man himself.

Either way, contracts are immoral and a bane to an ideal society.

WaxxyOne

#87

WaxxyOne said:

This is too funny, and I doubt Sony has a case, but it depends on whether they can sell the argument that Bridgestone (who has no obvious interest in selling Wiis) intentionally used the actor to imply the Kevin Butler character endorsing their competitor's console. Technically he doesn't even have to be helping to sell a Wii, simply using their character to sell a product for another company that didn't create the character. (Kind of like if a character strongly resembling Mickey Mouse was used to sell toilet paper by another company without Disney's permission.)

Unfortunately since the original ad is not available for viewing, it's hard to say whether his portrayal in this commercial is close enough to Sony's character to have constituted infringement.

And yes, it's also possible that Sony put something in the contract that forbid him from being seen selling other people's products, but if they did and he signed it he has the worst agent in the world.

Token_Girl

#88

Token_Girl said:

Whole lot of BS here. It's not like Sony's made any Kevin Butler ads in at least a year. A man's gotta eat.

Tasuki

#90

Tasuki said:

@White_Knight: Thank you for explaining it that way thats how I was trying to explain it but I couldnt think of a way to put it.

@grimbldoo: Just like what White Knight said as much as the clothes that Daniel Pesina wore to make him Johnny Cage people saw Jerry Lambert as the face of Sony.

Hokori

#91

Hokori said:

It's odd Nintendo fanboys are defending the image of there sworn enemy right? Would Sony fanboys be this quick to defend Charles Martenet if he decided to advertise a PS product?
Seriously the things people sue over......

grimbldoo

#92

grimbldoo said:

@WhiteKnight #86
I understand what you mean, but that is not related to what I said at all. Sony did not design Lambert's face so they can't sue him on the premise of appearing as Kevin Butler just because he showed his face.
But for endorsing Nintendo, I agree that they can if the contract stated that he could not appear alongside a Nintendo product.
But Sony did not say that, what they said was,

Use of the Kevin Butler character to sell products other than those from PlayStation misappropriates Sony's intellectual property

And since Lambert did not appear as Kevin Butler (even if people associate his face with Kevin Butler), Sony doesn't really have the right to sue.

@Tasuki #92
That is completely understandable and I have no argument against it, but those two are not comparable. The actor was dressed up in clothes that are unique to Johnny Cage. Lambert was not wearing the slacks, dress shirt, and tie that make up Kevin Butler, he just has the same face and that belongs to him and not Sony.

nindocrash

#93

nindocrash said:

@BenAV: For me personally, the fact that Sony is taking decent people to court over something as ridiculous as this hurts their respectability a lot more than some actor that they're paying being seen near another console. I hope they don't actually,win any money out of it.

I agree with you there.

turely, sony only consider people to be generic, programs... when they can't even have the rights to there own face.

Tasuki

#94

Tasuki said:

@Grimbldoo: I agree with what you are saying in that its his face not Sony's but people see him as the face of Sony thats where the problem lies. Kinda like the Snappy Lady from the Snapple commericals in the late 90s . I know it sucks but this problem plagues alot of people who do commericals and appear as spokes people or made up executives of said company.

Shock_Tart

#96

Shock_Tart said:

so because he was in a bridgestone commerical that had a wii u in it he get sued now? yeah. sony has lost it.

grimbldoo

#97

grimbldoo said:

@Tasuki #96
Yup, completely true. If this does go to court, though, I think that they will side with Brigestone and Lambert. Because even though it's easy to see Lambert as Kevin Butler (heck, I thought he was a real person for a while), he was not acting as Kevin Butler and therefore it does not misappropriate Sony's IP. They will probably just ask Bridgestone to take the commercial down and they have already done that.

grimbldoo

#98

grimbldoo said:

@HarmoKnight #93
Sworn enemy is a little extreme, I would say distant friend. The PS1 was amazing and the PS2 had a great library...but the PS3 does not have nearly enough exclusives to justify $200+ on the system alone.

Bankai

#100

Bankai said:

@jkshaz As long as people are in so desperate need for education, I will remain on this pedestal. One would hope that by pointing out how silly they are being, people will stop voicing silly opinions and expecting to be taken seriously. Unfortunately we seem to live in a world where sheer ignorance is protected by calling it an "opinion."

But I continue to fight the good fight.

@grimbldoo - actually what you said means absolutely nothing whatsoever if Lambert signed a contract with a clause not to represent competitive brands.

Believe it or not but we live in a society where "BUT MUM ITS MY FACE" is not an acceptable excuse for breaching a contract. Not when you've associated your face with a brand in a legally-binding contract.

See how I keep using the word "contract?" That's because that's the bit that's important here. You, sir, clearly don't understand "non-compete" clauses. I would bet my house it is such a clause that is why Sony is able to sue over this.

Hokori

#101

Hokori said:

@WhiteKnight You know it's one thing to state your opinion, but you don't have to say mean things like "desperate need of education" that right there is the sole reason my Pride and ego are rising.
Seriously calling people out as ignorate and stupid is just low...

Bankai

#102

Bankai said:

@HarmoKnight Nah bro. What's low is when people who don't know anything about a subject use a public forum to express their completely uninformed opinions. Because then there's the chance that someone might read the comment, think it's a good idea, and then take that ignorance into the world as fact.

My momma always told me that if I don't know what I'm talking about, I should shut up. I think a few million people on the internet should have learned that same lesson.

grimbldoo

#104

grimbldoo said:

@WhiteKnight #103
Didn't I agree with you on that? Oh! Yes I did,

I agree that they can [sue] if the contract stated that he could not appear alongside a Nintendo product.

But, in the same response to you, I also brought up the point that Sony said,

Use of the Kevin Butler character to sell products other than those from PlayStation misappropriates Sony's intellectual property

and not, "Jerry Lambert is not supposed to appear alongside a Nintendo product." Which is what I based my argument off of.

Tasuki

#105

Tasuki said:

@Grimbldoo#99: That is true unless he has it somewhere in his contract that he couldn't appear in any commercial with a Nintendo product whatsoever.

The thing is though Sony will argue with the Court on how Jerry is well known as Kevin Butler and that the Bridgestone commercial showing Jerry with a Nintendo product damages their image of Kevin Butler because people unfamiliar with Jerry as an actor will assume that he is Kevin Butler rather than Jerry.

Truthfully what I think Sony should do is make some humorous commercial out of the events as a way to replace the Kevin Butler character.

Raptor78

#106

Raptor78 said:

What confuses me is why they (Sony) allow One Direction to do the 1D in 3D short videos and adverts for the wii and 3DS and they cant allow an actor not even claiming to be Kevin Butler in the advert.
I understand by allowing One Direction to produce these videos and adverts will also shift their (Sony) albums and singles whilst promoting games such as Mario Kart but at the end of the day One Direction IS a Sony Product promoting whats considered a rivals product and Jerry isnt allowed to use his OWN face in another advert.

And yeah I know Sony music isnt the same as Sony games but it just seems ironic that they let their star performers be Ambassadors for a rival company even going as far as releasing promotional gold pant miis... mabey Nintendo should release a special "Jerry Lambert" gold pant mii. ;) lol

I just dont understand Sony sometimes.

Bankai

#107

Bankai said:

"and not, "Jerry Lambert is not supposed to appear alongside a Nintendo product." Which is what I based my argument off of."

The thing is that when there is a specially recognisable face, then the actor and character are often considered for commercial purposes inseparable. Again, this would be in the contract, as I would assume Sony would not sue without some evidence backing it up.

@Raptor78 Sony's music (and film) divisions are run entirely separate to the other Sony business units. They have different managing directors, different legal teams, and different approaches to marketing. Big companies like Sony tend to be competitive in some areas with other big companies, and allies in others.

"I just dont understand Sony sometimes."

I wouldn't worry about that. You're in the majority there.

MAB

#108

MAB said:

Alright Bridgestone! you have twisted my arm long enough... 50 Sony tyres thanks :P

Chunky_Droid

#109

Chunky_Droid said:

@MadAussieBloke I can always trust you to make me squirt milo through my nose after reading over a hundred people being serious ;)

@WhiteKnight I don't pretend to know contract law, I merely think it's safe to assume there would have been a contract in place somewhere, I'm surprised there aren't more who think that, but keep in mind there was a time I used to defend Nintendo for everything back in my high school days, so I can see how some of these opinions are formed :)

Araknie

#110

Araknie said:

Quote "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."

But he didn't do that! WTF, Sony?! I love the guy myself even being a Ninty person. They clearly don't know that some Sony fans are born with him. Reactions won't be good.

theblackdragonAdmin

#113

theblackdragon said:

y'know, with us all now requiring masters' degrees in whatever topic we're discussing in order to be able to leave a comment on an internet forum, the internet's gonna be a much quieter place overall i think. /eyeroll

grimbldoo

#115

grimbldoo said:

@Tasuki #108 and @WhiteKnight #110
This is where I agree with you. It is extremely easy to see Lambert as Butler and, as I stated in comment #99, I even thought Butler was real person for a bit of time. But since he was acting as Lamber and not Butler, Sony's IP was not misappropriated. Bridgestone will be asked to take down the commercial in order to reduce confusion and, whatdoyouknow, they already did.

@WhiteKnight #110
You assumed wrong. I am sure you already saw it, but a recent news article stated,

Jerry Lambert did have an exclusivity agreement to not promote products rivalling Sony's systems, but that it expired three days before the infamous Bridgestone advert first aired.

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