Berlusconi's empire, victim of "unfair competition" from Italian activists
Mediaset Italian televised network formed as a trust, whose main shareholder is Silvio Berlusconi, head of the Italian Government. The network employed Antonio Ricci to present "Striscia Notizia" (the crawling news), a satiric talk-show starring Gabibbo: a sort of giant red cuddly toy frog. In 1996, among his other stars, Vana Marchi who was selling amulets, oils, ointments, salts and pentacles supposed bring love or fortune and provide sure therapy to cure illnesses, at a starting price of 100-euro.
Antonio Ricci remained deaf and blind concerning 20 complaints filed in Milan against these practices. Ten years after, Vana Marchi and her daughter were sentenced to ten years prison and to refund 2.2 million euro to 140 victims. In 2007, the giant Mediaset obtained the judgment of the voluntary activists who had fought for the victims with standards, for unfair competition!
Telefono Antiplagio is an organisation of volunteers founded by Giovanni Pannuzo in 1994, to fight against the sects and the charlatans of magic. Among their first customers were the victims of Vanna Marchi, her daughter Stefania Nobili and the Brazilien wizard, Donaisimento. Reserves of the buyers would give places to death threats and spells of diseases, which the wizard, could only wave in exchange of minimum 1000-euro charge.
The televised publicity of "Striscia Notizia" brought the charlatans 305.964 customers, which for an average a minimum of a ten minutes telephone call charged 1.80-euro the minute, had provided them at least 5.5 million euro. They had 45 telephone operators and 5 storekeepers. The postal expenses rose to 250-euro and the fee to remove the bad spell had climbed with 5000-euro.
Five years and thirty-five additional complaints had been necessary before Mediaset decided to send the charlatans in prison and for the Italian justice to move. The Net benefits of the Marchi band were estimated at a minimum of 33 million euro. The most fantastic extortion of funds had reached 309.874 euro and a woman had admitted having prostituted herself to pay the money which had been claimed.
No one knows if the wizard had a premonition or a telephone call, but he took the first plane for Brazil. As the police force came to arrest her, Wanna Marchi melted in tears: - And all this publicity for "Striscia Notizia", she sighed!
The journalists played the heroes for having stopped the Marchi band, but Mediaset continued to make publicity for the salesmen of amulets, oils, ointments, salts and of magic numbers to win at the lotto. Rather to present his apologies for having discarded Telefono Antiplagio advises, Antonio Ricci filed a complaint against them for... slandering of his person!
In 2002, association made a parody site on the domain name www.striscialanotizia.net. It talked of Antonio Ricci's behaviour with the charlatans and publicity praising the occult powers, generally regarded as misleading, therefore illegal.
An old article in the Novella magazine appeared. Berlusconi's superstar had believed funny to reveal there that the famous Gabibbo was actually just a vulgar copy of Big Red, one of the most famous American mascots, belonging to the basketball team of the Western Kentucky University (WKU). He had stated to have torn it form a life of deprivations and humiliation in the far end of Kentucky where he would have just been a clown, to turn it in one of the most loved stars in Italy.
Big Red was born in the United States in 1979. It had earned several prices and was chosen to make commercials, whose incomes enabled to finance grants to the students. The profits protected from the royalty and the trademarks of the American universities can reach several million dollars per annum. Big Red was under the high protection of Crossland Enterprises, Inc, a company which holds licences of trademarks and royalties.
Discovering that Mediaset had exploited Big Red's image for televised transmissions and advertising campaigns on various press supports, Crossland filed a complaint for violation of the royalties and unfair competition. The profits made by Mediaset were estimated at 250 million dollars, which belongs to the University of Kentucky, since Mediaset had never bothered to buy the licence to exploit Big Red... nor to change it in "Gabibbo", an Italian clown, promoter of the occult sciences for the young people.
The Italian giant found itself vis-à-vis an American giant, with the best lawyers, who claimed the profits belonging to Big Red, therefore to the grants of the university of Kentucky students. Antonio Ricci multiplied the formal complaints for defamation against Telefono Antiplagio, as if the activists had grown rich with the publicity made to the charlatans, or that it was them which had transformed Big Red into Gabibbo. Mediaset claimed 50.000 euro from Antiplagio to have used www.striscialanotizia.net. The domain name was given up and Mediaset repurchased it, so as to recover a site with great success free of charges.
Five years passed. Mediaset had just uttered threats to prohibit in Telefono Antiplagio the use of the domain name www.striscia.net, (crawl.net) when on June 3, 2007, Giovanni Panunzio was advised of having been judged without having been informed of the audience, therefore without right to a defence, guilty of unfair competition with Mediaset for the use of www.striscialanotizia.net during 7 months. The organisation of volunteers was condemned to pay 45.000 euro, that is to say 250-euro per days when the activists worked free, with the publicity of Mediaset!
Telefono Antiplagio made a mistake that it regrets, but could not imagine having made an unfair competition to the 12.8 billion dollars of Silvio Berlusconi with a few men and slogans such as "no to garbage", intended to people like Vanna Marchi, or her daughter Stefania Nobile which had reconverted herself into pornographic cinema, after having brought people in hell.
The lawyers of Mr. Berlusconi are aware that the judgement will be broken for violation of the fundamental right to a fair trial. Meanwhile, the judgment being executory, the defect of funds to pay 45.000-euro in waiting for the appeal, will allow trust of Italian information to demand the dissolution of the association of fight against the sects and the charlatanism.
Will we see
Mediaset or the wizard’s trade-union register statutes to take over
the name "Telefono Antiplagio"? In all cases, the Berlusconi
group will have made a fantastic publicity and will have succeeded in
tightening international solidarity between the activists of the protection
of the groups at the risk of swindle and mental manipulation.
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