Sony Settles Claims Over Moonlighting Actor


     (CN) – Sony has settled its claims against an advertising firm over the use a fictional vice president named Kevin Butler it used to promote video games.
     Played by actor Jerry Lambert, the Butler character has appeared testing PlayStation 3 (PS3) video game systems in more than 30 commercials for Sony Computer Entertainment America.
     Wildcat Creek, an advertising firm that Lambert controls, contracted with Sony from Aug. 7, 2009, through Aug. 1, 2012. Sony said its contract contained a noncompete provision and exclusive rights to the Kevin Butler character.
     Three days after the deal, Lambert appeared in a “Game On!” tire promotion for Nintendo and Bridgestone.
     Finding the Nintendo character similar to its own, Sony sued Bridgestone Americas and Wildcat in September 2012.
     Considering the work and time involved in shooting a commercial, Sony alleged that Lambert was working for a competing company while his contract with Sony was still in effect.
     Sony settled its claims against Wildcat this month, with U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer signing a stipulated injunction between the parties.
     The injunction bars Lambert, for the next two years, from appearing “in any advertisement, commercial, promotion, or co-promotion, in any media, that features, includes, or mentions any other video game or computer entertainment system or video game company.”
     It means Lambert’s “likeness, image, photograph, and/or voice many not be used in any way in which the actor Lambert is identifiable.”
     Lambert must also give Sony at least 10 days notice prior to appearing in any advertisement or commercial, ample time for Sony to decide whether the appearance will violate its rights to the Kevin Butler character.

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