Disney forces ‘Passing off’ company to destroy ‘mockbusters’

A whole half-page story in tonight’s Evening Standard about a firm who have been creating poor imitations of Disney blockbuster films.

Brightspark Productions Ltd (not to be confused with Brightspark Studios who have updated their homepage with the message below) have been forced by the courts to destroy their infringing films.

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Passing off is nicely defined by Wikipedia:

The law of passing off prevents one person from misrepresenting his or her goods or services as being the goods and services of the claimant, and also prevents one person from holding out his or her goods or services as having some association or connection with the plaintiff when this is not true.

In this case parents were buying DVDs such as Tangled Up and Braver below, and finding their children were disappointed with the films inside the cases. They didn’t come close to the Disney level of quality of storyline or animation.

Brightspark’s managing director Jeremy Davis seemed relatively unrepentant when he said: “I really believed no one in their right mind would buy Braver thinking it was Brave. It was on sale for £2-something in Tesco. You’ve never seen a Disney title for anything near that. I obviously wouldn’t want any kids upset, but the feedback we get is our titles are cheap and cheerful.”

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