Los Angeles – It doesn’t appear that the Church of God is willing to turn the other cheek when it comes to protecting its copyrights. In a copyright infringement complaint filed against Sony Pictures, Mandalay Pictures, IFC Films, and Comcast, the Church is alleging that the parties involved in the making of the comedy film “Salvation Boulevard” used an image that is identical to the Church’s trademarked cross logo without its permission.
The Church of God, which claims to have more than 6 million members around the world is accusing the filmmakers of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and unfair competition by using an identical version of the cross logo in the film. “Salvation Boulevard”, which opened in select theatres July 15, stars Greg Kinnear as a former Grateful Deadhead-turned-born-again Christian who catches his church’s beloved preacher (Pierce Brosnan) committing a sinful act that becomes the center of a church cover-up. The comedy is based on the Larry Beinhart book with the same title.
According to the complaint, the Church is asking the courts to ban distribution of the film, and to destroy all copies, promotional materials, and merchandise related to the movie. The Church of God is also seeking unspecified compensation for damages caused by the misuse of the logo.
The Church was founded in 1886 and has been using the trademarked cross logo to identify itself for twenty-five years. Just last year, the cross’ copyright was registered to prevent third parties from abusing the Church’s image and faith.
“Salvation Boulevard”, which earned a whopping $7,208 in its opening weekend, received only 8% positive reviews on the website rotten tomatoes.com.