Did You See Those Zombies in the Mall?

Dawn of the DeadDawn of the Dead 

You know that old adage, “Seen one zombie, you’ve seen them all?”

No, well neither have I.  But MKR Group, a boutique investor relations firm specializing in the representation of small companies across a broad spectrum of industries filed a lawsuit against Japanese video gamer Capcom Entertainment Inc. on Monday, February 25, alleging Capcom infringed on the copyright of the 1978 film ‘Dawn of the Dead’ to which it owns rights.

You remember ‘Dawn of the Dead’ the 1978 and 2004 remake movies scripted by George A. Romero – well, MKR contends that Capcom’s “Dead Rising” stole the idea  of people trapped in a shopping mall full of zombies from Romero’s original script.

“Dead Rising” was released on Xbox 360 in August 2006 and sold more than a million units in its first five months of sale.

Both ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and “Dead Rising” provide “thoughtful social commentary on the ‘mall culture’ zeitgeist” as well as “a sizeable portion of sensationalistic violence”, wrote MKR in its court brief.

“Mall Culture Zeitgeist”??!!  Geez, since when have mall zombies become part of youth culture?

 MKR’s court action follows a complaint filed by Capcom earlier in February in which it claimed, “Humans battling zombies in a shopping mall” was a “wholly unprotectible idea”.

Why is this lawsuit being filed anyway? Money! So much for copyright infringement.

Seems Richard Rubenstein president of MKR and a major shareholder was also a producer on ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and its remake.

Actually, Rubenstein’s quest to profit from the gaming window that he missed in structuring the movie deal started a few months before the 2006 release of “Dead Rising”.

MKR licensing agent New Line Cinema originally contacted Capcom in March 2006 claiming that the game infringed on the movie. On and off talks between Capcom and MKR took place over the next year and a half. 

Talks led nowhere prompting the present legal action.

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Author: movie boss

Scott Rosenberg is an award winning entertainment journalist covering stories bridging the United States and Asia. He is also managing director of AMW International Co. Ltd., a Bangkok based pr and marketing boutique. Wearing his journalist cap, he serves as Asian Pacific Bureau Chief of US based Film Journal International and former editor of Monsters and Critics. Formerly Scott was Thailand correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and Southeast Asian correspondent for Variety. Scott has served as consultant to many international film festivals, most recently serving as director for the inaugural Phuket Film Festival in Phuket, Thailand in October 2007. Scott was presented the “Friends of Thailand” Award by the Thai Government in 2002 for his contributions to the Kingdom through his journalistic endeavors while having received from His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia, that same year the royal titles Commandeur de l'ordre Royal du Sahametrei and Commandeur de l'ordre Royal du Cambodge. As a hobby, Scott raises rare breed, pedigree Thai Ridgeback Dogs and "hangs-out" with Thai Elephants in northern Thailand as they paint. Their paintings can be found at www.elephant-paintings.com

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