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OFF BEAT: Judge gives fake Oscar statue vendor a short run


Movie professionals as well as cinema wannabes dream their entire lives about bringing home an Oscar, but one would-be entrepreneur’s efforts to fulfill that dream — albeit with the minor caveat the Oscar was fake — was not appreciated by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which is in charge of distributing the real thing.

According to a report in the Hollywood Reporter, the Academy learned Jaime De La Rosa was selling an “Academy Award Hollywood Metal Movie Acting Trophy Prop Replica” on eBay and Etsy.

The Beverly Hills, California-based Academy contacted Mr. De La Rosa and asked him to surrender all replicas in his possession. Although he appeared to have cooperated at first, he then allegedly sold more statues online. The Academy then filed a copyright and trademark lawsuit against him in U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas, earlier this year.

“Given the willful and recidivist nature for De La Rosa’s copyright infringement and his prior misrepresentations under penalty of perjury, the need for deterrence is especially acute,” said the Academy in its lawsuit.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks imposed a $375,000 fine on Mr. De La Rosa, including $300,000 for his use of the Oscar statuette design and his use of the “Oscar” and Academy Award” terms, and $75,000 for copyright infringement.

The judge also asked him to deliver all statuettes in his possession, submit a report under oath about his compliance, and temporarily enjoined him from manufacturing and selling Oscar statuettes, according to the Hollywood Reporter.