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The Drum: Rugby World Cup threatens legal action over Greenpeace protest video

The climate campaigners’ video flooded the Stade de France with oil in protest of TotalEnergies’ sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup – now it’s facing backlash.

In a letter seen by The Drum, a representative from Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) contacted Greenpeace regarding the video ‘Total Pollution: A Dirty Game,’ which utilizes a number of RWCL’s registered trademarks, including the Rugby World Cup and Rugby World Cup France 2023 logos, as well as the trademarks and logos of its member unions and commercial partners of the tournament.

“Your use of the RWCL IP has not been authorized by RWCL and/or the relevant commercial partner or member unions and therefore infringes RWCL’s and their intellectual property rights,” it reads.

It goes on to order that “in order to avoid the need for formal legal proceedings,” Greenpeace should “immediately cease and desist” on the grounds that the intellectual property of RWCL has been used without authorization and that, if Greenpeace wishes to avoid legal proceedings, it should remove the video and “refrain from any such use again in the future.”

A spokesperson from RWCL told The Drum it is not currently pursuing legal action but said: “There is guidance around the use of Rugby World Cup IP, which Greenpeace could have sought. This can be rectified.”

They added: “The France 2023 organizing committee reached out to engage with leading campaign groups and NGOs on shaping the tournament’s sustainability program. Greenpeace was the only one to decline.”

But Greenpeace maintains that its use of RWCL trademarks in the video is perfectly lawful, writing in its response to RWCL: “You state no legal basis for the demands issued to us and we fail to see that such a basis exists.”

Written by: Ellen Ormesher

Source: The Drum

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