This is totally stupid.. (sorry if this has been posted, please delete if it is).
For the last two seasons, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier has worn a mask that honors the city's movie industry, with a film reel and the iconic "HOLLYWOOD" sign depicted on its right side.
According to Kings blogger John Hovan of Mayor's Manor, the owner of the Hollywood sign's trademark is now yelling "cut."
From the Mayor:
Apparently the folks who own the Hollywood sign have been in touch with the NHL regarding Jonathan Bernier's mask. According to sources, Bernier either needs to remove the sign from his current mask or he must pay royalties for using it.
After his pre-game skate this morning, Bernier appeared frustrated by the entire issue, saying 'I don't understand. Guys here have been using the Hollywood sign on their masks going all the way back to Kelly Hrudey."
Hovan spoke to Hrudey, the former Kings netminder, who expressed disappointment that the trademark issue has come up over Bernier's mask.
The word "Hollywood" isn't trademarked. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, however, owns "certain trademark rights for usage of the Sign or its likeness for commercial purposes." (The commissioned creation of a goalie mask, we imagine, would fit that description.)
That is pretty stupid. Kelly Hrudey had it on his mask and I never heard of any trademark issues. Just another faction out to get $. They probably figure oh our city is screwed up, we can go after a rich hockey player and make him pay royalties. Would it go where it was supposed to if he chose to pay the royalties? I'd really wonder.
Plenty of goalies in the NHL have mask designs that infringe on copyright violations. They don't make a single penny off of their custom mask designs and its sole purpose is for creative expression.
I agree, and I wonder, should the Kings/Bernier elect to argue this, if they can show neither the team nor the player makes royalties off of this. If not, they shouldn't have to pay, arguably. I'm sure our legal beagles on this board can show me 1,400 ways in which I'm wrong though
I wonder if precident can be used as well to argue it, since Hrudey wore it for years in the exact same fashion but was never (to our knowledge) asked to remove the logo or pay royalties.
Personally, I wonder if the Kings pissed off someone with the Chamber of Commerce and this is a bit of pay back. Are the Kings members of the Chamber of Commerce, or ever were?
This is so dumb yet dangerous precedent. Goalies may revert to boring masks if Miller decides to threaten Ryan Miller for "It's Miller Time," Chuck Norris threatens Lehtonen for his mask, or the Simpsons creators threaten Budaj for his Flanders depiction.