View Full Version : Florida Production Company Sues Sharapova Over Tennis Documentary

Nov 24th, 2005, 08:44 PM
Found this at MosNews.com

Created: 24.11.2005 10:50


A Florida production company has sued 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova in federal court, seeking approval to sell a documentary about Russian women tennis players, Associated Press reported.

According to the suit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Sharapova objected to the use of her name and image in the documentary, “Anna’s Army: Behind the Rise of Russian Women’s Tennis,” which was produced by Byzantium Productions, Inc., of West Palm Beach.

The documentary, whose title refers to former WTA Tour pro Anna Kournikova, has been sold in DVD format since May in the U.S. and abroad, and has also been broadcast on television in the U.S. and Russia.

“In this country...we have the right to make documentaries about current events, subjects of interests. Those documentaries often involve celebrities,” said attorney L. Martin Reeder, Jr., who represents Byzantium. “My clients hope to earn a profit on this one.”

In late September, an attorney for IMG, the agency which represents Sharapova and her company, SW19, Inc. sent a letter accusing Byzantium of misappropriating Sharapova’s identity, infringing on her company’s commercial trademark and legal rights, and on Sharapova’s personal rights, privacy rights and common law trademark rights, according to the suit, which was assigned to U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas.

“They sent a cease and desist letter demanding that Byzantium stop using her image and name, either in advertising or in the documentary itself, and threatening to sue,” Reeder said.

IMG Associate Counsel Julie E. Lewis, who sent the letter to Byzantium, could not be reached Wednesday. Messages left on her voice mail and with an associate in IMG’s legal department in Cleveland, Ohio were not answered.

Work on the documentary began in late 2003. Byzantium President Philip C. Johnston, former chief sports editor for The Moscow Times, and vice president Peter N. Geisler interviewed former tennis champions Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and others for the documentary, which includes historical material noting that writer Leo Tolstoy played tennis and was the first president of the Moscow Tennis Club.

The 18-year-old Sharapova, ranked fourth on the WTA Tour, was the first Russian to win Wimbledon when she caputed the 2004 title, and the first to achieve the No. 1 ranking, according to the suit.

Nov 27th, 2005, 06:10 AM
Oh, I heard this. Why are they sueing her? It's not fair. They should just accept her choice and move on.

Nov 27th, 2005, 12:45 PM
Suing her for what? :confused:

Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

Nov 28th, 2005, 01:28 PM
I think it's because she doesn't want to be in the video and they want her to be.

Josh B.
Nov 28th, 2005, 05:45 PM
what a bunch of tossers!! :armed: