Here’s an idea- when you make a fake film about “real events” and try to market it as such, perhaps it’s not the best idea to use names of real newspapers in your marketing.
Universal Pictures learned that the hard way, as they recently had to pony up a ton of cash to pay for some lawsuits. See, in trying to cash in on the found footage genre Universal created a bunch of bogus online news articles and used the names of actual Alaskan publications (such as the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner) to bolster the feeling of authenticity for the obviously fake movie.
They were sued, and they gave in right away. In the settlement the studio agreed to take down the offending documents and pay for damages against the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, The Nome Nugget, and a handful of other Alaskan papers with ridiculous titles. The Alaska Press Club is getting a total of 20,000 bucks, which is apparently double their yearly revenue. Not a bad chunk of change. A further $2,500 will go towards a scholorship fund for the Calista Corp., and attorney John McCoy notes that “We’ll spread this around and try to put this toward training for journalists around the state.”
For the full story head on over to the News-Miner.
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