Brazil's Catholic Church Sues Columbia Pictures For Destroying Jesus Statue In 2012… In Violation Of Its Copyright
from the you-can't-make-this-stuff-up dept
Sometimes you come across stories that are more bizarre than you could possibly imagine. The Hollywood Reporter points us to the news that the Catholic Church of Brazil is suing Columbia Pictures, claiming copyright infringement in last year’s blockbuster 2012, because the movie depicts a famous statue of Jesus being destroyed. Brazil allows copyright on sculptures for life, plus seventy years, and the guy who made the statue (now a huge tourist attraction in Rio) died in 1961, meaning that the statue is still under copyright — and the archdiocese claims to hold the copyright. It apparently turned down Columbia Pictures request to use it in the movie 2012 because the people there didn’t like the idea of seeing the statue destroyed.
Columbia Pictures still showed the statue getting destroyed — and claims that it did get the proper permission… but from the estate of the sculptor, rather than the church. Apparently, everyone’s negotiating this out, and the Church says it wants the movie studio to admit it “meant no offense.” Of course, I’m sure the studio meant no offense, but it does make you wonder, yet again, why copyright law should prevent a statue from being shown in a movie. Not that Hollywood tends to be a big fan of fair use, but you would think that it would have a pretty strong claim to the idea that, even if the statue is covered by copyright, this particular use was not infringing.