The BBC and Top Gear are none too pleased with London's free daily newspaper, Metro. Why the frosty feelings? The newspaper recently ran a large ad to promote a green-themed motoring event, and used a Stig-like character in the spot.

The driver, called Clive, is wearing a white racing suit with mutli-colored flowers, and is shown standing in a manner similar to Top Gear's tamed racing driver. The ad copy even goes on to tout ridiculous "facts" about Clive, in the same vein as the ones used by Jeremy Clarkson to describe their Stig.

BBC Worldwide is reportedly talking to lawyers about the proper course of action. The Guardian tried to reach Metro for comment, but the paper is clearly enjoying playing Stig and had nothing to say. Top-shelf copyright infringement or much ado about nothing? Have you say in the Comments.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      Boost Retard
      • 3 Years Ago
      He's not the Stig, but he's the Stig's homosexual, eco-friendly cousin.
      hmmwv
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds to me more like free advertisement.
      Jason
      • 3 Years Ago
      Doesn't look like Janet Stig Porter to me and he died.
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      The BBC folks need to wear looser underwear and get over themselves
      Jason
      • 3 Years Ago
      How long before the book about Clive's identity is out.
      Gorgenapper
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a dick move by the BBC... this can only help Top Gear by paying homage to the character. Imitation is the best form of flattery.
      Randy
      • 3 Years Ago
      In the USA in regards to © issues this spin is covered and completely okay under the "Parody" clause / section!
      Tim
      • 3 Years Ago
      The comments about parody are interesting. I'd have thought the point of parody or satire is to make fun of a person or situation, for the purpose of the fun itself (i.e. because it's simply funny) or to ridicule it. This seems to be blatant use of someone's elses brand to promote your own commercial interests - and deserves to get sued for that imo.
      Temple
      • 3 Years Ago
      Parody and satire are protected under fair use in copyright laws, but UK laws on parody are more restrictive than the US in regards to this. Tad hypocritical that Top Gear/BBC get their panties in a bunch over what is clearly a joke when Top Gear themselves have been sued by things such as faking the results of their program and making racist comments about Mexicans. Responding by saying people 'can't take a joke' and that its for the sake of entertainment.
        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Temple
        "Parody and satire are protected under fair use in copyright laws, but UK laws on parody are more restrictive than the US in regards to this." They are? In what way exactly? Can you cite the specific areas of legislation in both countries to validate your comments? The article gives very little detail as to what aspect of Metro's parody gave rise to the BBC's concerns over protecting its intellectual property rights by going as far as taking legal action against the newspaper. And it's highly unlikely to do so merely over a picture and accompanying prose of a satirical Stig-like character on the cover.
          Kyle
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Do you think Space Balls was licensed by George Lucas? Look it up yourself.
          Temple
          • 3 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          >>They are? In what way exactly? Can you cite the specific areas of legislation in both countries to validate your comments? Seriously? You haven't seen parodies and spoofs in your daily life. Look at South Park, look at all the parodies of politicians; Obama, George W Bush, etc. Also, in the US, parody is protected under the First Amendment in the US. Precedence? Hustler Magazine v. Falwell 485 U.S. 46. Which was about Hustler parodying Jerry Falwell; they even made a movie about it staring Woody Harrelson. Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569; which was 2 Live Crew's parody of the song "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison. As far as UK parody laws: http://www.ehow.com/about_4794268_uk-copyright-laws-parody.html
      TC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just so everybody non-UK is aware, the Metro is a free newspaper run by the Daily Mail, which is a notoriously anti-BBC propaganda outlet: http://www.upyourego.com/blog/index.php/2010/09/20/daily-mail-in-campaign-to-promote-the-bbc/ No doubt the BBC asked their lawyers if action was necessary (as if you fail to take action to protect your trademarks, you set a precedent for future cases) but I'm not surprised a negative spin has been put on the story. Ask yourself how do the newspapers even know the BBC is 'talking' to their lawyers?
        rocketmoose
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TC
        It's better written and less over-the-top than the Mail, although it is still a Tabloid and there isn't a great deal of news in there. It's okay as a quick read for the morning commute. (As free newspapers go the Evening Standard is _vastly_ superior.) It's not run by the Mail, it's owned by Associated Newspapers anyway, and although they have an anti-BBC bias -- as nearly all right-wing papers do -- the editing staff are different to the Mail's. Trademark laws mean that you cannot selectively defend something though; if you fail to defend it once in the past then you no longer are eligible to defend it in the future. I wonder if the same applies here?
      goVintage
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seriously what is BBC thinking? - lets sue everyone that dons a racing suit and clean white helmet...I'm afraid they are wasting their time. To top it off the Stig wears a Simpson helmet.
      P
      • 3 Years Ago
      Satire. Parody. Here in the US, it's the cornerstone of free speech (and Comedy Central's business model). Deal with it I say.
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