Marlon Brando ”Vogue” lawsuit to be settled
Madonna is about to resolve litigation with Marlon Brando’s estate over the use the late actor’s image on the backdrop videos of “Vogue” during her MDNA Tour concerts.
The parties have informed the court that they had reached a settlement in principle but need time to execute the settlement agreement. Terms haven’t yet been revealed.
Madonna was to pay $5,000 each to the estates of the late stars used in the video, and CMG thought it had agreed to a likewise deal with reps for the Brando estate. But according to a suit filed in September, Brando’s licensing reps increased their demands to $20,000, which represented a problem since it meant that Madonna would then have to also pay $20,000 to each of the other dead celebs thanks to “most favored nation” contractual clauses. It might have made “Vogue” too costly to be performed as intended.
The Indiana-based firm sued first, looking to protect Madonna, seeking a declaration that Brando’s estate and its agents be prevented from bringing any lawsuits against CMG, Bakhti and Madonna for violations of Brando’s intellectual property. The plaintiff claimed to have a valid and enforceable contract.
The Brando estate nevertheless returned fire with its own lawsuit against Madonna in October, accusing her of having “intentionally, negligently, and/or willingly used the Brando IP Assets for the purposes of attracting attention to the Tour, to the individual concerts and to the song ‘Vogue’ itself and for the purpose of enhancing the advertising and marketing thereof.”
Suing for misappropriation of publicity rights and trademarks, the Brando estate sought $100,000 for each non-willful use and $1 million for each willful use.
The Brando estate is known for its litigiousness in protecting rights, suing in the past over such allegedly exploitative items as motorcycle boots and sofas. The actor, who died in 2004, won Oscars for “On the Waterfront” and “The Godfather” and also starred in such films as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Wild One” and “Last Tango in Paris.”
From an article by the Hollywood Reporter via NBCNews.com.