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Spider Man caught in legal web

The Associated Press
Friday April 12, 2002

NEW YORK — The owners of several Times Square buildings have filed a lawsuit against the makers of the upcoming “Spider-Man” movie for digitally altering a sign appearing in the motion picture. 

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, the owners of 2 Times Square allege that Columbia Pictures digitally replaced a Samsung advertisement on the side of the building with one for USA Today. The sign appears three times in the film, according to court papers. 

Samsung is a competitor of Sony, which owns Columbia Pictures. 

“We think it’s inappropriate to substitute your own image for the one that exists,” Anthony Costantini, a lawyer for building owners Sherwood 48 Associates, told the Daily News in Thursday’s editions. 

Heidi Henderson, a spokeswoman for USA Today, said the paper was not paid for having its name appear in the movie; she said the filmmakers simply picked the newspaper’s logo to place on the building. 

A call to Sony was not immediately returned Thursday. 

The Samsung advertisement also was changed in some television commercials promoting the movie with an ad for a wireless telephone company. 

The movie, starring Tobey Maguire as the Marvel Comics superhero, is scheduled to be released May 3.