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Terry Rozier of the Boston Celtics, or as some call him "Scary Terry," has been slapped with a copyright lawsuit for selling 500 sweatshirts and t-shirts with his cartoon likeness while donning the iconic Scream mask without prior authorization from the alleged copyright owners.
Steal the Ball, Not My Mask!
Easter Unlimited Fun World claims it is the original designer of the "Ghost Face Mask," and officially licensed it for use in the slasher film and other movies, but that Rozier has not obtained a license to sell its likeness with his. As such, they are seeking unspecified damages plus $150,000 per infringement, as well as an injunction to keep Rozier from selling future items with the Ghost Face Mask.
Will Easter Unlimited Fun World Prevail?
To win a copyright lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove they own the copyright, and that there was actionable copying of the copyright by the defendant. Typically, in a copyright lawsuit, if the plaintiff prevails, they are entitled to some, or all, of the profits made from the violating product. In this instance, Rozier, who makes $3.1 million per year playing in the NBA, could probably relinquish his share of the profits with no pain. But others involved, such as those in his marketing agency, might not be sitting so pretty, financially speaking.
If you feel your copyrighted material has been used by others without your consent, contact a local intellectual property attorney. You may be entitled to a percent of their profits, and perhaps more importantly, protect the sanctity of your assets.