IBJNews

Curtis sues pizza chain over Rockwell painting in ad

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Curtis Publishing Co., which produces a magazine with origins dating back to 1728, has sued a Michigan-based chain of pizza restaurants for copyright infringement.

The suit, filed June 3 in federal court in Indianapolis, accuses Hungry Howie’s Pizza & Subs Inc. of Madison Heights, Mich., of infringing the copyright to a Saturday Evening Post cover first published in 1943. The cover, “Freedom from Want,” is by the late Norman Rockwell, and features the image of a family at a Thanksgiving dinner as a large roast turkey is being brought to the table.

Curtis and the Saturday Evening Post Society, both based in Indianapolis, accused the pizza chain of using the Rockwell painting in an “unauthorized, multistate advertising campaign," according to court papers. The ads, which began in November 2009, featured a “precise mimicry of the various nuances” of the Rockwell painting,” with the alteration of replacing the turkey with a pizza, Curtis said in its complaint.

Despite having been sent a cease-and-desist letter and “numerous other communications,” the pizza chain continued to use this advertisement throughout the 2009 winter holiday season, according to court papers.

Curtis, which commissioned Rockwell to paint the cover art, says this particular image is one of the “most popular and valuable” of the images it and the Saturday Evening Post Society owns and licenses.

The publisher asked the court to bar the pizza chain from any additional use of the image, and for an award of both the chain’s profits attributable to its alleged infringement, and for money damages. Additionally, Curtis and the society seek recall and destruction of all infringing materials, and for litigation costs and attorney fees.

The publisher is represented by law firm McNeely Stephenson Thopy & Harrold of Shelbyville.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Copyright protection
    Whether or not you like Curtis or SerVaas, the principal needs to be protected and "owned" or copyrighted images and words are not simply free for anyone to appropriate. I admire SerVaas for buying the SAP, not because he turned it into a crap, imitation magazine, but because he got the real treasures in the bargain- the Rockwell originals and rights.
  • Greed and more Greed
    Bert Servas and his family did not commission Rockwell, he just went out and con them all into letting him sieze control of all their artistic works promising big bucks to himself and a trickle down cents to the families of the artists. Saturday Evening Post is out of business despite the pseudo mockup that Servas and his curtis publishing tries to maintain. Hope he looses.
  • What happened to
    the law suite Curtis had with The Bronx is Burning" which used the NR image of the 3 umpires?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
ADVERTISEMENT