Friday, June 01, 2007
"With the success of The Passion, Gibson has come as close to trademarking the crucifix itself as one can hope to get just now. Will Icon license crucifixes with James Caviezel dolls on them? And how far will the penumbra of this right to exploit spread - to any bloody Jesus who vaguely resembles James Caviezel (which most do)? As Spielberg managed to prevail in a trademark infringement lawsuit against a theme-park operator who used the word 'Jurassic' in the name of an attraction ('Jurassic Jungle') - drawing a rather elusive remainder of the almost wholly vanished commons into the rule of the master race of corporations - Gibson's film looks like an effort to draw some of the potentially profitable ephemeralities and imagery of Christianity into the portfolio of Icon's assets. The success of the film, whose underlying material is in the vanishing public domain, heralds a flood of copyright infringement lawsuits, for it will not be easy for any future creator of cultural product based on this same source material to avoid all detectable resemblance to the blockbuster. "