For the last two seasons, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier has worn a mask that honors the city's movie industry, with a film reel and the iconic "HOLLYWOOD" sign depicted on its right side.
According to Kings blogger John Hovan of Mayor's Manor, the owner of the Hollywood sign's trademark is now yelling "cut."
Apparently the folks who own the Hollywood sign have been in touch with the NHL regarding Jonathan Bernier's mask. According to sources, Bernier either needs to remove the sign from his current mask or he must pay royalties for using it.
After his pre-game skate this morning, Bernier appeared frustrated by the entire issue, saying 'I don't understand. Guys here have been using the Hollywood sign on their masks going all the way back to Kelly Hrudey."
Hovan spoke to Hrudey, the former Kings netminder, who expressed disappointment that the trademark issue has come up over Bernier's mask.
The word "Hollywood" isn't trademarked. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, however, owns "certain trademark rights for usage of the sign or its likeness for commercial purposes." (The commissioned creation of a goalie mask, we imagine, would fit that description.)
The sign trademark was an issue in April 2011 when the town of Wellington, New Zealand, attempted to create a "WELLYWOOD" sign to promote its film industry. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce demanded they needed permission to do so and threatened legal action.
We reached out to Bernier mask artist Dave Gunnarsson for comment and will update if he offers one.
Meanwhile, Hovan reports that Bernier could debut a new mask "designed by an L.A. graffiti/tattoo artist" before the end of the season. His retro mask, seen here, also didn't include the "HOLLYWOOD" sign. (UPDATE: Here's Bernier's mask, sans Hollywood.)
Clearly, if Bernier is forced to remove the Hollywood sign from his mask, there's only one sensible reaction: Creating a new mask that's a tribute to the illegal downloading of movies on the Internet.
How does one visualize a torrent?
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