Who would have thought that the cute, cuddly personalities dreamed up by Walt Disney and the folks at Warner Bros. would one day be summoned to a court of law in Naples, Italy?
All it takes is one entrepreneurial Chinese gentleman who dabbles in counterfeiting with a penchant for cartoon characters to order these household names overseas to bear witness in a case that I had to Google for myself to see if it was true!
VoiceOverTimes.com reported today that a court in Naples, Italy has called Mickey Mouse, Tweety Bird, Donald Duck and his girlfriend Daisy in a summons. They were called as part of a trial of a Chinese man accused of counterfeiting products created by Disney and Warner Bros. The court summons cites ˜Titty, Paperino, Paperina, Topolino™ – the Italian names for the characters – as damaged parties in the trial.
Instead of naming only the companies and their legal representatives, clerks also wrote in the witness list the names of the cartoons that decorated the toys and gadgets the man had allegedly reproduced. ˜Unfortunately they cannot show up, as they are residents of Disneyland,™ said Fiorenza Sorotto, vice president of Disney Company Italia.
˜It certainly pleased us that the characters were considered real, because that™s what we try to do.™
The Naples court will have to rewrite the summons, although this will probably delay the trial, said Disney lawyer Cristina Ravelli. ˜Let™s hope the characters will not be prosecuted for failing to appear,™ she said.
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Image Â© Warner Bros.