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Spawn Charcter Costs $15 Million

Posted by Davbmn on 06/21/06 at 08:07 AM

imageTony Twist fights to market his own name.

A 3 judge appeals court panel upheld the ex-Blues defenseman’s lawsuit against the creator of “Spawn”.  Tony Twist successfully argued that Todd McFarlane Productions Inc., had used his likeness without permission when it had named a violent crime boss in the Spawn comics, Antonio “Tony Twist” Twistelli.  Mr. McFarlane had amitted to using the hockey player as a model for the character in a magazine article. 

Mr. Twist originally sued because of the effect this could have on his marketability as a product spokesman, but this has turned into something bigger.  What is at stake here is a persons right to market their own name vs. a first amendment right of a writer to use any likeness they wish, without compensation.  Missouri’s Supreme Court recognizes the right of individuals’ right to market their own name. 

Mr. McFarlane is vowing to appeal all the way to the U.S. supreme court if necessary, but this seems to be a winner for “The Twister”.  Does anyone seriously think that had this been an actor such as Tom Cruise or a bigger name in sports such Tiger Woods that this lawsuit would be any less a slam dunk for the plaintiff.  Next time Mr. McFarlane creates a new villan he would be better off not telling everyone he based it on a real person of some notoriet

Here is a link to the spawn character.
Here is the AP newswire story

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