Louis Vuitton Wins Spears Video Lawsuit
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
PARIS Luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton has won a lawsuit that alleged a Britney Spears music video violated counterfeiting laws by showcasing a pink Vuitton-upholstered dashboard.
A Paris civil court ordered Sony BMG and MTV Online to stop broadcasting or marketing the video for "Do Something" in any form and fined them 80,000 euros ($117,000) apiece, a spokeswoman for Paris-based Louis Vuitton said Monday. The ruling was handed down last week.
In the opening scenes of the video, Spears appears in the driver's seat of a hot pink Hummer floating on make-believe clouds. One shot shows fingers drumming on a dashboard covered with what looks like Vuitton's "Cherry Blossoms" design: dark pink blossoms on a pale pink, weblike background, embossed with the "LV" logo.
The court did not find Spears herself guilty but ruled that Sony BMG and MTV Online were guilty of violating counterfeiting laws. The ruling said the video constituted an "attack" on Louis Vuitton's brands and its luxury image, the spokeswoman said.
It was not immediately clear how the ban would be enforced, or whether the companies would appeal.
MTV declined to comment on the ruling. Sony BMG did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The video was still on YouTube and other music Web sites visible in France on Monday. On a few sites, however, links to the video led to a blank screen, or one reading, "This video is no longer available."
Louis Vuitton, whose signature handbags are a prime target of counterfeiters worldwide, has fought vigorously through French and other courts to protect its trademark goods.
Louis Vuitton is a division of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA.
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