You may know that the Harry Potter Alliance, known for its charitable efforts in the Potter fandom, recently launched a campaign to save hunger tied to the release of The Hunger Games.
Today we’re learning that parent studio Lionsgate is not happy with the way the HPA is using The Hunger Games brand to spread its campaign.
The following letter was sent to the Harry Potter Alliance from Lionsgate (thanks to ThinkProgress.org):
This morning I left 2 phone messages for your CEO Mr. Jim Daniell regarding your campaign “Hunger is not a Game” piggy backing off of our motion picture “The Hunger Games” and using Lionsgate’s fans and fan internet sites to promote your cause.
As I mentioned in my phone message, Lionsgate has formed a partnership with two large organizations fighting hunger, the UN’s World Food Program and Feeding America. We are encouraging fans to support this effort by going to www.wfp.org/hungergames.
What is not a part of the Lionsgate plan is the distortion of our Motion Picture title. That is what Oxfam has done with your “Hunger is not a Game” logo. And with the many websites you have incorporated into your campaign. This is causing damage to Lionsgate and our marketing efforts.
We understand and support your cause and mission. We are on the same side. We are looking for an amicable resolution. For a start we request that you immediately remove any mention of “Hunger is not a Game” from all of your websites and its affiliates and stop using the slogan in your interviews and publicity or press releases. Additionally, please contact the undersigned so we can work out a mutually acceptable plan to go forward where we do not infringe on each other’s rights.
We are truly making an effort to work with you on this. We have the ability to take down your sites as a violation of our trademark and other intellectual property laws. We hope that will not be necessary as this is too serious a subject.
All rights reserved. Thank you.
Liat Cohen, Esquire
Senior Vice President Business Affairs & Litigation
Think Progress also quotes HPA leader Andrew Slack in response to this letter:
“Fans have been changed by this story and have expressed a wish to change the world based on the message of this story,” Slack emailed me. “I would hope that Lionsgate would celebrate fans, not pick on them, for taking the message of their own movie seriously. It’s amazing that they’re working with two great partners already to fight hunger. But why get in the way of fans who are working with a third one?”
In recent weeks the HPA has worked with many Hunger Games fansites to promote the cause. At the same time, Lionsgate has been working on its own charity efforts (see our report).
Do you think Lionsgate has a good argument or has it taken this too far? We’ll keep you updated on any future developments as they happen.
In the meantime, do check out the Harry Potter Alliance’s ‘Hunger is not a Game’ campaign.