Italian Company Countersues Big Red

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

An Italian media conglomerate being sued by WKU's licensing company for $250 million in copyright infringement is countersuing licensing agent Crossland Enterprises for defamation.

The countersuit stems from a comment made by Crossland's CEO who said Mediaset had "hijacked" the image of WKU's mascot Big Red when they created the TV character Gabibbo in 1990. Gabibbo has sold millions of merchandise tie-ins to his popular TV show, money Western and Crossland believes was illegal because of international copyright laws.

Western's lawyers say this latest countersuit is a "legal smokescreen" to distract from the merits of the case, which include a magazine interview in which WKU's lawyers say Gabibbo's creator admitted copying Big Red.

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