Nike in legal stoush with production house over copyright infringement

Righteous Films' video featuring Nike work

An Australian production house is facing legal action from Nike after it posted a reel featuring brand work which the sports giant claims was uncommissioned.

Sydney-based post house Righteous Films has also been accused of misleading potential customers by posting on its site a fictional list of people who it claims are staff.

Nike Australia’s brand protection team has sent two legal letters demanding that the company deletes a video that features Nike trademarks and imagery from its website. The 30-second video is a mash-up of Nike skateboarding footage.

However, Righteous’s owner Lindsey Hughson claims that the video was commissioned by a contact at Nike in Europe, although he declined to tell Nike or Mumbrella who it was.

In a letter to Hughson, Nike said it became aware of the claims after he sent a marketing email within the industry claiming Nike was a client.

Lindsey Hughson

Hughson said of Nike’s letter: “You want to sue me and take my house? You want to ruin us financially and put a bunch of creative people out of work, fans of the brand that did Nike a favour and got paid nothing because they respected everything that came before and were excited to do some work for Nike?”

Mumbrella has seen the letter from Nike. It does not threaten to take Hughson’s house or ruin him financially. It asks him to either provide details of who commissioned him or to withdraw his claim that Nike is a client and remove the work.

Nike declined to comment on the matter, but pointed out that the content has now been removed.

Righteous Films featured the Nike video, plus a selection of others under the heading “latest work“, on its website. After Mumbrella called for comment, it has removed the section altogether.

The site also features a lengthy list of ‘our key people’ Hughson concedes are not officially affiliated with the company. Some are pseudonyms to protect the identities of moonlighting agency executives, Hughson claimed.

Hughson claims that Righteous Films is making a documentary about its legal tussle with Nike called Swoooshed: Put down that logo, and no-one gets hurt.

Comments


  1. Jean-Luc Picard
    21 Sep 12
    11:51 am

  2. Pseudonyms indeed…. “Jordy LaForge / Visual Collateral” isn’t he a character from Star Trek the Next Generation?

  3. Golum
    21 Sep 12
    12:06 pm

  4. how embarrassing to be caught out like that. doesn’t help production houses’ reputation for creative writing with respect to quotes and invoices

  5. Tim
    21 Sep 12
    12:12 pm

  6. I like how the pictures of their offices around Australia are actually a collection of images from http://www.eclecticbuddha.com/.

  7. Blue
    21 Sep 12
    12:23 pm

  8. I note that Jahari Westwood’s (now taken down) page uses stock photography as his image. http://righteousfilms.tv/image.....stwood.jpg
    http://www.freepik.com/free-ph.....559123.htm
    And who would’ve thought Jordy LaForge wasn’t a real person?

  9. Blue
    21 Sep 12
    12:37 pm

  10. As of course is Stella Rondo – http://www.stockvault.net/data/s/121745.jpg
    http://righteousfilms.tv/images/Stella-Rondo.jpg OK, we get the idea. I’m sure they’re all moonlighting executives, even Maxine Liparini “Production assistant Learning the business from the ground up. Started as work experience intern while studying film & video production, now assists producers with all assignments”. Yeah, I can see why she’s moonlighting!

  11. John Hollands
    21 Sep 12
    12:59 pm

  12. sigh – what wonderful names their staff all have; Tiger Massimo, Jordy LaForge, Stella Rondo, Cheyvonne DeBussey, Blade McGovern and the unforgettable Vito Vampatella!

    Wasn’t Kimberley Hope (the Editor) the Casting Director for Law & Order?? (IMDB)

    Joelene Crnogoroc was in Neighbours.

    “Tiger! Blade! Vito! Come here quick, Cheyvonne’s got Stella on the line”

  13. Peter Rush
    21 Sep 12
    1:54 pm

  14. I do a shitloads of Nike stuff too.

  15. Blade McGivern
    21 Sep 12
    1:57 pm

  16. Hey, Blade McGivern here.
    If anyone doubts it, I can confirm that I am a real person and it is my real name.
    A simple google search would confirmed this.

    Check me out Here:
    blademcgivern.com.au

  17. {H}
    21 Sep 12
    2:13 pm

  18. Most of the agencies in town are full of freelancers who get presented to clients as “our ………………………….. department”. Surely that’s less honest? I can also understand not wanting to rock the boat by using your real name if you’re in agency land especially when you’re on a sinking ship and there shooting deserters, just like all the anonymous comments on here.

    I think this is more of an example of an evolution of a creative model rather a malicious attempt to misrepresent? As for who commissioned the work from Nike, who knows? I know for sure that on a number of occasions multinationals have stood on internal toes then denied it till the cows come home.

    Only recently an Australian wing of a multinational vastly exceeded their remit, then engaged in a massive game of pass the parcel.

  19. Joe Smith
    21 Sep 12
    2:14 pm

  20. I’m going to go to these people for a new name. I feel insignifcant and very un-cool with such a boring name.

  21. Lindsey Hughson
    21 Sep 12
    2:19 pm

  22. Come on. Jean-Luc Picard can’t be a real name. And what about Blue. Is that like being Shakira. This thing with having just one name has to stop. And don’t even get me started on Golum.

  23. Lindsey Hughson
    21 Sep 12
    2:22 pm

  24. Blade, they’re not talking about you. They’re talking about Blade McGovern. You know, George’s son.

  25. Lindsey Hughson
    21 Sep 12
    2:28 pm

  26. Hey Tim, do an ABN search on eclecticbuddha. Well what do you know?. Don’t feel bad. You’re probably not in research or copy proofing. Doh!

  27. Tiger Massimo DeJulio
    21 Sep 12
    2:30 pm

  28. I don’t exist?. Everything makes a lot more sense now.

  29. Missy Jubilee
    21 Sep 12
    2:33 pm

  30. Yeah, this is all wrong. Who has a name like Simon Bloom?. That sounds like a florist in South Yarra. At least they could be original.

  31. Mo Brown
    21 Sep 12
    2:37 pm

  32. I agree. The use of stock photos should be a criminal offense.

  33. SImon Bloom
    21 Sep 12
    2:44 pm

  34. Hi I’m Simon Bloom. No relation to Orlando Bloom.

  35. Lindsey Hughson
    21 Sep 12
    3:27 pm

  36. Hey John Hollands, you’re right, Joelene Crnogoroc was in Neighbours. And she’s Amy Bruce’s sister in law. Good research. Well done!

  37. Patrick
    21 Sep 12
    4:46 pm

  38. Oh I know some of these names!

    Tut tut indeed

  39. {H}
    21 Sep 12
    6:03 pm

  40. Joe: Add your first childhood pet’s name
    and your Mother’s maiden name to get your own (VCMP) “Very Cool” Mumbrella Pseudonym! Mine is actually Trixie Clifford!

    Lindsey: Sorry Jean-Luc Picard does exist, I saw him making an arse out of himself at a UK awards show recently.

    Tiger: Sorry about that.

    Bloom: Missy?

    Mo Brown: Yes I agree you about stock photography but horses for courses?

    Hold on Patrick’s here everybody hide!

  41. LW
    21 Sep 12
    9:39 pm

  42. Lindsey, your ‘doh, caught you out in a mistake’ response to Tim is quite laughable in the circumstances! They do say attacking is a good form of diversion though.

  43. Trent
    21 Sep 12
    10:07 pm

  44. There’s a lot of bullshite in this industry, this is just at one end of the scale.

  45. Ann
    22 Sep 12
    12:09 pm

  46. I am real person too

  47. Lindsey Hughson
    23 Sep 12
    10:52 am

  48. LW, I’m not actually sure what your comment even means, but let me do the research for you and Tim. Eclectic Buddha and Righteous Films have the same ABN. Simple Google search will confirm this. So I’m not sure what the ‘laughable’ that you refer to is about – your primitive trolling, or your lack of attention to detail?. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts as the saying goes. Also, why do you and Tim hide behind a first name only or initials when making your comments? What are you scared of?.

  49. Lindsey Hughson
    23 Sep 12
    11:10 am

  50. I do find it interesting that the people who have a problem with us protecting the identity of freelancers that we use who are employed in agencies, or staff that simply do not want their photo or name on the website are the ones hiding behind pseudonyms. What’s wrong with this picture?. The meaning of hypocrite is “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings”. Just saying…..

  51. Andy Polchak
    24 Sep 12
    10:41 am

  52. I don’t know what’s more sad, the article giving light to what this “agency” has done wrong-ish or the fact that Lindsey Hughson is trying his best to justify everything in the comments section.

  53. LW
    24 Sep 12
    6:53 pm

  54. Hi Lindsey, are you really having a go at Tim and I for not using our names when commenting on a story about your company not using real names? That’s seriously post-modern!