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Batman vs. Batman:

Variety reports:

The mayor of [Batman,] an oil-producing city in southeastern Turkey, ... is suing ... Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. for royalties from mega-grosser "The Dark Knight."

Huseyin Kalkan, the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party mayor of Batman, has accused "The Dark Knight" producers of using the city's name without permission....

The mayor is prepping a series of charges against Nolan and Warner Bros., which owns the right to the Batman character, including placing the blame for a number of unsolved murders and a high female suicide rate on the psychological impact that the film's success has had on the city's inhabitants.

Former natives of Batman are also said to have encountered obstacles when attempting to register their businesses abroad....

Thanks to Jacob Berlove for the pointer.

BRM:
If Lesbos can do it, why not Batman?
11.12.2008 11:43pm
J. Aldridge:
The mayor must be an American trained lawyer.
11.12.2008 11:44pm
Albatross (www):
I bet that's why Joaquin Phoenix dropped out of the Hollywood scene. He was afraid of lawsuits coming from Arizona.
11.12.2008 11:45pm
Hoosier:
He's suing about our use of "Batman." But calling his country "Turkey" is just dandy?
11.12.2008 11:48pm
Skyler (mail) (www):
Seeing as how all the DVD sales in Turkey come from pirated copies, I'd say they have nothing to lose by ignoring the summons.
11.12.2008 11:49pm
krs:
This makes me think of Borat, somehow.

And also the primarily geographically misdescriptive thing from trademarks class.

Also, based on this,


The mayor is prepping a series of charges against Nolan and Warner Bros., which owns the right to the Batman character, including placing the blame for a number of unsolved murders and a high female suicide rate on the psychological impact that the film's success has had on the city's inhabitants.


I'd guess that Jonathan Lee Riches is behind this somehow.
11.12.2008 11:54pm
pete (mail) (www):
Holy geography, Batman!

I blame Joker, Texas and Penguin, Tasmania for this fiendish plan.
11.13.2008 12:05am
Joshua:
The people of a certain town in Austria must be kicking themselves over this news. Think of all the money they could have extorted from pornographers all over the world in this manner!
11.13.2008 12:22am
Can't find a good name:
It's ironic that the city of Batman waited to sue until the release of The Dark Knight, a movie which does not use the word "Batman" in its title.
11.13.2008 12:28am
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Why isn't the mayor suing the estate of Bob Kane or Bill Finger?

Media reports say the mayor got the idea from visiting journalists. Why does that sound utterly plausible?

An easy fix, BTW, would be to stop calling this city Batman and instead use the Kurdish name Êlih. The oil-producing city is, after all, in the SE part of Turkey, where the population is predominantly Kurdish. The mayor himself is pro-Kurdish, so it looks like a win all around!

If the legal threat continues, perhaps a new villain can be found for the Caped Crusader to sort out. Huseyin Kalkan doesn't fit the mold, but as he is a Kurd, perhaps 'Cheesehead' could make his debut in an upcoming film...
11.13.2008 12:31am
Hoosier:
Joshua

There's an Austrian town named Chesty LeBumm vs. Three Puerto Rican Plumbers?

How odd.
11.13.2008 12:33am
SMatthewStolte (mail):
There's a Mr Batman in my local cemetery. There's a Bruce Wayne, too. This is true. Not the same guy, after all.
11.13.2008 12:38am
Daryl Herbert (www):
I can't wait for discovery to begin . . . we can learn the true reason for the high female suicide rate.

I'm guessing it has to do with the various inadequacies of Turkish men.
11.13.2008 12:40am
ObeliskToucher:

The mayor is prepping a series of charges against Nolan and Warner Bros., which owns the right to the Batman character, including placing the blame for a number of unsolved murders and a high female suicide rate on the psychological impact that the film's success has had on the city's inhabitants.

If he investigates some more, he'll probably find out that they were watching the George Clooney movie, not one of the new ones...
11.13.2008 12:52am
Jim Tyre (mail):
Still to be determined is whether Batman, Uzbekistan will intervene in the action
11.13.2008 12:57am
Kat (www):
Hm, almost like a reverse of the net humor classic Sun Microsystems Sues Island of Java
11.13.2008 1:02am
Peter J Moriarity (mail):
There's a Mr Batman in my local cemetery. There's a Bruce Wayne, too. This is true. Not the same guy, after all.

How do you know?
11.13.2008 1:36am
Hoosier:
Peter J Moriarity
There's a Mr Batman in my local cemetery. There's a Bruce Wayne, too. This is true. Not the same guy, after all.

How do you know?


Because they're buried separately (?).
11.13.2008 1:54am
BGates:
a number of unsolved murders
This sounds like a job for....
11.13.2008 2:04am
Milhouse (www):
Wow. Melbourne was founded by John Batman, and there's a city park, a train station, a road in Tasmania, and a seat in the federal Parliament that bear his name. I wonder whether Johnny Turk is planning to sue us next.

PS: There's a suburb in Melbourne called Balaclava, where I grew up. It has an Alma Road, an Inkerman Street, two Sebastopol Streets (different post codes, so the post doesn't get lost; I lived on one of them until I was 12), a Malakoff Street, and a Crimea Street. (Also Nightingale, Cardigan, and Raglan Streets.) Wait till the Crimeans get wind of this!
11.13.2008 3:34am
PersonFromPorlock:
But the report doesn't say where the suit will be filed; could a suit this silly be filed in any American court without the lawyer being sanctioned?

I suspect the answer will be depressing.
11.13.2008 4:38am
James McEnanly (mail):
They might have said something back in 1939 when the first comic book came out, or in 1966 with the television series.
However what is interesting is that in English, a batman is an aide-de-camp to a British officer. So in Batman, the real batman is Alfred.
11.13.2008 7:14am
Hoosier:
BGates:
a number of unsolved murders
This sounds like a job for....

For the love of God, DON'T SAY IT!
11.13.2008 7:15am
Angus:
They might have said something back in 1939 when the first comic book came out.
Well, the seal of the city says "1955" on it, so I'd say that DC Comics and Warner Brothers should counter sue for copyright infringement and grab some of those oil revenues!
11.13.2008 7:52am
rbj:

But the report doesn't say where the suit will be filed; could a suit this silly be filed in any American court without the lawyer being sanctioned?

I suspect the answer will be depressing.



PfP,

Oh yes. Yes it could. It might not make it past summary judgment (has the town been damaged in anyway?) but I doubt Rule 11 sanctions will come in to play.
11.13.2008 7:59am
jjj185 (mail):
Isn't it likely that the intended effect is to draw attention to the area itself, potentially increasing tourism and business? I suspect that is the true motive for the suit.
11.13.2008 8:19am
geokstr:
John Burgess:

"...If the legal threat continues, perhaps a new villain can be found for the Caped Crusader to sort out. Huseyin Kalkan doesn't fit the mold, but as he is a Kurd, perhaps 'Cheesehead' could make his debut in an upcoming film..."

Oh yeah? They better not try it, or they'll see just how uber-fanatical the inhabitants of Green Bay can get, they will.
11.13.2008 8:24am
Fedya (www):
Joshua:

I've actually been to that Austrian town, and have pictures someplace. The best thing about those signs is that in Austria, the town name signs also signify when you're entering an area with different traffic laws, especially a reduced speed limit. Since you need to know when you're leaving such a zone, on the other side of the signs, they have the name of the town -- with a slash through it!
11.13.2008 8:28am
Happyshooter:
However what is interesting is that in English, a batman is an aide-de-camp to a British officer.

The batman is an enlisted aide. An ADC is an officer, best thought of as a personal assistant to a general.
11.13.2008 8:45am
John Burgess (mail) (www):
goekstr: That thought had crossed my mind.

I wondered whether the famous level-headedness of Wisconsinites would prevail and hoped, 'Yes'.

I might be wrong, of course...

In that case, I suggest the character of the mayor be named in honor of Miss Muffet.
11.13.2008 8:58am
JB:

PS: There's a suburb in Melbourne called Balaclava, where I grew up. It has an Alma Road, an Inkerman Street, two Sebastopol Streets (different post codes, so the post doesn't get lost; I lived on one of them until I was 12), a Malakoff Street, and a Crimea Street. (Also Nightingale, Cardigan, and Raglan Streets.) Wait till the Crimeans get wind of this!


I bet all of those are named after the Crimean ones. To honor Australian soldiers who fought there.
11.13.2008 9:58am
NaG (mail):
Considering "Batman" the comic book has been around for decades, I'm pretty sure that laches will dispose of this fairly readily.

But to more esoteric concerns, I don't think there's much any town can do to protect its name from use elsewhere. Let's say Dubai decided to create a new city and name it "New York City." Could Bloomberg then sue Dubai and demand that the name be changed so that people would not be confused between the two cities? I doubt it. What if Oregon decided to name a coastal town "New York" and then designate it as a city? Could Bloomberg sue over that? I don't know, but my guess is no. Now, if either of these new "New York Cities" put out ads saying, "Come to NYC, Dubai" or "Come to NYC, Oregon," and featured a picture of the original New York City skyline, I could see that possibly being actionable as deceptive.
11.13.2008 10:16am
Seamus (mail):
Let's say Dubai decided to create a new city and name it "New York City." Could Bloomberg then sue Dubai and demand that the name be changed so that people would not be confused between the two cities?

The simple solution would be for the Dubai city to change its name to New New York City.
11.13.2008 10:36am
Seamus (mail):
I bet that's why Joaquin Phoenix dropped out of the Hollywood scene. He was afraid of lawsuits coming from Arizona.

I haven't heard much from Chevy Chase lately, either. I thought his career had gone into the doldrums, but I now realize he's laying low, hoping to avoid lawsuits from Maryland.
11.13.2008 10:37am
wohjr (mail):
Hi-

This is way OT, but are we getting a post on the Summums?
11.13.2008 10:53am
Guest101:
"Now, if either of these new "New York Cities" put out ads saying, "Come to NYC, Dubai" or "Come to NYC, Oregon," and featured a picture of the original New York City skyline, I could see that possibly being actionable as deceptive."

I'm not sure about that-- what about the New York, New York hotel in Las Vegas?
11.13.2008 11:12am
Katl L (mail):
Peter , are you Doctor?
I can help you suing for defamation in the UK
or right of publicity
11.13.2008 11:12am
Katl L (mail):
However what is interesting is that in English, a batman is an aide-de-camp to a British officer. "
In a baseball game the man with the bat , how is called?
11.13.2008 11:15am
Light Hearted (mail):
"There's a Mr Batman in my local cemetery. There's a Bruce Wayne, too. This is true. Not the same guy, after all."

Perhaps the plots have an underground connection through the batcave....
11.13.2008 11:46am
Hoosier:
In a baseball game the man with the bat , how is called?

"Drug addict."
11.13.2008 1:09pm
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
The simple solution would be for the Dubai city to change its name to New New York City.

That would just provoke a lawsuit from Matt Groenig.
11.13.2008 1:09pm
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
He should be suing Joel Schumacher for making "Batman Turkey" a phrase describing the worst Hollywood dreck of the '90s.
11.13.2008 1:11pm
statfan (mail):
According to the 1913 edition of Webster's:

Batman, n. [Turk. batman.] A weight used in the East, varying according to the locality; in Turkey, the greater batman is about 157 pounds, the lesser only a fourth of this; at Aleppo and Smyrna, the batman is 17 pounds.
11.13.2008 2:55pm
one of many:
The simple solution would be for the Dubai city to change its name to New New York City.

Sorry, Futurama already grabbed that name, so Fox could sue Dubai for using their name. I'm not sure about New New New York City though.
11.13.2008 3:31pm
bjr26:
I've actually been to Batman, Turkey. Trust me when I say there are many non-cinematic explanations for the high suicide rate.

There's another town to the north called Satan's Bridge. No word yet whether the Prince of Darkness has filed a copyright infringement claim.
11.13.2008 3:52pm
Hoosier:
at Aleppo and Smyrna, the batman is 17 pounds.

Even with the utility belt and Batarangs?
11.13.2008 4:38pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Funny how the residents of Gotham City don't mind so much.....
11.13.2008 5:32pm
leogex (mail):
The simple solution would be for the Dubai city to change its name to New New York City.

Sorry, Futurama already grabbed that name, so Fox could sue Dubai for using their name. I'm not sure about New New New York City though.





How about New New Amsterdam?
11.13.2008 6:27pm
KenB (mail):
Sorry, Futurama already grabbed that name, so Fox could sue Dubai for using their name. I'm not sure about New New New York City though.
K.I.S.S.

Newer York City.
11.13.2008 6:28pm
Hoosier:
So . . . does this mean Batman can change his name to "Constantinople"? I mean, if he wants to.
11.13.2008 9:12pm
Dell Adams:
Hoosier: only if Batman bin Suparman doesn't file first.
11.15.2008 3:36am
Hoosier:
Dell

Um . . . wow?

Is that for real? How completely strange.

(I'll have to tell my buddy Biff Greenlantern about this. He'll get a good laugh.)
11.15.2008 7:31am
CDR D (mail):
I dunno if very many people are reading this post anymore, but just in case there are some pettifogging shysters who are, and want to try to make a few bucks:

http://en.comuni-italiani.it/059/011/

Info on the city of Latina, Italy, with contact information for the city fathers.
11.15.2008 5:13pm