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.


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