Warner’s Sab­rina sued over logo use

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

NEW YORK — The Sa­tanic Tem­ple has filed a law­suit against Warner Bros. and Net­flix, al­leg­ing copy­right vi­o­la­tion of its goat-headed statue, which it says ap­pears in the new Sab­rina se­ries.

The tem­ple ob­jected to the use of the statue’s like­ness in the Chill­ing Ad­ven­tures of Sab­rina, which fea­tures a much darker por­trayal of the teenage half-hu­man, half-witch im­mor­tal­ized decades ago in Archie comics.

In the law­suit, filed Thurs­day in U.S. District Court in Man­hat­tan, the plain­tiffs ask for mil­lions of dol­lars in dam­ages for each al­leged in­frac­tion: copy­right in­fringe­ment, trade­mark vi­o­la­tion and in­jury to the busi­ness’ rep­u­ta­tion. They also re­quest an in­junc­tion bar­ring the com­pa­nies from re­dis­tribut­ing the se­ries with the image of the statue.

The tem­ple ar­gues that the tele­vi­sion show not only copied its con­cep­tion of the de­ity — a mus­cled fig­ure with two young chil­dren star­ing up at it — but also that it gives the statue and the Sa­tanic Tem­ple it­self a bad rap.

The Sa­tanic Tem­ple, based in Salem, Mass., de­fines its mis­sion, in part, to “re­ject tyran­ni­cal au­thor­ity” and to “en­cour­age benev­o­lence and em­pa­thy among all peo­ple.” Last year, the tem­ple drew head­lines for spon­sor­ing a bill­board in Texas that con­demned cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment.

The Sa­tanic Tem­ple de­signed the statue, called Baphomet With Chil­dren, about five years ago as a re­sponse to re­li­gious dis­plays on pub­lic prop­erty. In 2015, the Sa­tanic Tem­ple pushed to in­stall a bronze statue of Baphomet — hooves, horns and all — to counter a Ten Com­mand­ments dis­play at the Ok­la­homa Capi­tol. (The state Supreme Court later out­lawed the Ten Com­mand­ments dis­play from ap­pear­ing there.)

The Sa­tanic Tem­ple is seek­ing to in­stall a sim­i­lar statue in Lit­tle Rock on state Capi­tol grounds. It is ar­gu­ing that with state ap­proval of the place­ment of a mon­u­ment to the Ten Com­mand­ments near the State House re­quires other re­li­gions be given the chance to dis­play their sym­bols.

When the Sa­tanic Tem­ple tried to join a case the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union of Arkansas had al­ready filed against the state over the Ten Com­mand­ments mon­u­ment, the ACLU asked the court to bar the in­ter­ven­tion. A judge has not yet ruled whether the Sa­tanic Tem­ple can join the case.

Bruce Le­d­er­man, a lawyer for the Sa­tanic Tem­ple, said the statue was com­mis­sioned as a sym­bol that they could bring out when they felt gov­ern­ment wasn’t sep­a­rat­ing church and state, But in Sab­rina, the law­suit ar­gues, the statue is an evil sym­bol rep­re­sent­ing the show’s an­tag­o­nists.

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