“Christmas Spectacular” update: Wanzie wins!

“Christmas Spectacular” update: Wanzie wins!

We recently reported that Watermark columnist and Orange Blossom Trail Living Nativity Christmas Spectacular creator Michael Wanzie received a cease and desist letter from attorneys for Radio City Music Hall, accusing him of infringing on their trademark of the phrase “Christmas Spectacular.”

Wanzie posted an update, that he’s been back and forth with the attorneys since, discussing the boundaries of satire and the legal battles he has fought (and won) regarding other parody productions. Find out what happened after the jump: 

We went back and fourth a little more and finally I requested that if I wrote an appeal directly to Radio City would the law firm share it with the appropriate executives and legal department, which they agreed to do. I wrote a heartfelt essay on my love of Radio City and the Rockettes, recounting my many visits as a child, and my employment there as a tour guide in the mid 80’s, concluding with – “My use of the words “Christmas Spectacular” is not merely satirical, it is my personal nod to an institution that I cherish and hold in great esteem. It honestly hurts my heart to think that Radio City would now seek to interfere with my artistic voice and the use of two words that are not in any way intended to be harmful to a place and a show that honestly owns a piece of my heart and in connection with which I have so many fond memories.”

Next thing I know, a phone meeting was requested by the law firm and scheduled for yesterday, which occurred. The end result: Radio City offered they would concede that my use of their trademark in the title of “Wanzie’s Orange Blossom Trail “Living Nativity” Christmas Spectacular” is fair use as parody IF I would agree to run a short disclaimer in the program and on the bottom of the posters. I agreed to do so, IF Radio City allowed that in keeping with the spirit of the production, I could tweak the disclaimer to make it “whimsical”. Radio City and I agreed, they will send me in writing the main points they would like to see related in a very brief disclaimer while giving me “full artistic license to make the disclaimer funny.”

End Scene!

Orange Blossom Trail Living Nativity Christmas Spectacular survives! Thanks for fighting the good fight, Wanzie, and thanks for sharing it with your fans.

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