General Marvel

Piñatas Get the Copyright Beatdown

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There’s a crackdown on pirated piñatas depicting some of our favorite comic book characters the New York Times reports.

…officials from the attorney general’s office and the federal police seized more than 100 of the papier-mâché party accessories, Spider-Man prime among them, and took into custody several real-life piñata vendors as well. The authorities said the raid was a response to a complaint filed by Marvel Entertainment, which owns the rights to the characters in question. Hulk, another Marvel character, was also overwhelmed by the men in black that day, as was Captain America.

But, befitting a comic book storyline there’s a twist to this raid.  The attorney general’s office said there’s no record of Marvel ever making the request.  Existing law requires this before a raid is conducted and the company has claimed it has nothing to do with it.

The lawyer for the vendors claims this was an attempt at extortion and that after the seizure the items were then sold on the street by the officials who also offered to sell them back to the vendors.

Some vendors have eliminated the Marvel characters from their shops but other characters remain in the city’s piñata-selling zones.  The New York Times has more on the fascinating subject.