"The Hunger Games" has accused "Harry Potter" fans of using its intellectual property to promote a good cause. Lionsgate, the studio which is distributing the new movie, has issued a takedown notice to "Hunger Is Not a Game" campaign by Harry Potter Alliance's Imagine Better Project, asking them to remove any mention to the slogan.
The studio claims that the project, which is spreadheaded by the socially-conscious fan group in partnership with Oxfam, is "piggy backing off of" its motion picture and "causing damage to Lionsgate and our marketing efforts." It additionally says that they are on the same side in food sustainability issue and it has teamed up with the UN's World Food Program and Feeding America to fight hunger.
Noting that it wants to solve the issue delicately, SVP Business Affairs & Litigation, Liat Cohen, states in the letter, "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."
In its campaign, Imagine Better uses such references to the movies as "The Water Games" and "districts". An activist has since launched a petition in response to Lionsgate's demand, asking fans to support the project and telling "Lionsgate to stand with us, not against us."
The trademark violation issue aside, "Hunger Games" has had a good start by raking in $1.3 million in IMAX midnight shows on Thursday, May 23. The movie is estimated to earn as much as $125 million in its first weekend.