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Uri Geller sues Nintendo's Pokemon 269

The-Forge writes "In this article at IGN's Sci-Fi Network, everyone's favorite spoon bending psychic, Uri Geller, is sueing Nintendo over a Pokemon charcter. The Pokemon, #65, is named Alakazam. At this point, you're probably asking yourself why. In Japan this Pokemon is called Un-Geller and carries bent spoons around all the time. And the fact that Geller got mobbed when he went X-Mas shopping in Tokyo by kids wanting him to sign their Un-Geller Pokemon cards didn't help much either. " The great part of this whole deal is the dollar amount - Geller's asking for $97 million.
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Uri Geller sues Nintendo's Pokemon

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... but I'm backing him on this one. I mean, an "Un Geller" who bends spoons? Not to mention the fact that a poor OCR system could confuse "n" and "ri". I can't believe that they didn't even bother to consult him or ask his permission. Or failing that, create another character who can bend spoons. !!
  • Maybe this will slow down the pokemon buzz. Would this be a bad thing?
  • I speak for me. Not my employer, not slashdot, not Xenu.

    Uri Geller is a fake. He's an opportunist. He's doing this for the money. He's described as a real-life spoonbender, which he may well be. But he does it using regular, non-psychic methods.
  • I can see Uri's point... Un Geller is rather similar to Uri Geller, and he surely has a right to be at least consulted before they do something like this, but as for the bent spoons... surely that's up to him to patent?
  • I do not care if he wins or lose, I just hope he autographed the kids Un-Geller Pokemon cards. As a matter of fact, if he didn't, I hope he loses. If he did, I hope he wins, but perhaps the sum of $5mil.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @04:43AM (#1407799)
    If this pokemon character can really bend spoons, then there is little similarity to Mr. Geller
  • by dayeight ( 21335 )
    my uncle looks like pokemon. can i have a dollar?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm going to sue them, too.

    Because of their character charmander:

    After I eat lots of curry my arse is on fire too.
  • by Powers ( 118325 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @04:45AM (#1407802)
    Yeah, Uri Geller's a fake. His lawyers had a bit of a row with Cecil Adams back when they thought he was criticized in one of the Straight Dope books. Well, I suppose he actually was criticized -- Cecil does that to most anyone, particularly frauds -- but it wasn't anything they could sue over.

    Anyway, as much as I hate to say it, Uri Geller clearly has a case here, and he ought to win, but $97 is far too much. Yes, Pokemon has been a huge moneymaker, but how much of that can be attributed to that one, single Pokemon? If it was Pikachu, maybe, but Un Geller? No way.

  • This guy hasn't been on TV since the Mike Douglas show went off the air. This is the best publicity he's gotten in decades. He should be paying Nintendo.
  • by froz ( 69551 )
    Is it too late to legally change my name to pikachu?
    C'mon i'm sure there's enough /. readers willing to change their names so we can get all the pokemon off the market.

    Gotta sue 'em all!
  • by gnarphlager ( 62988 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @04:45AM (#1407805) Homepage
    Shesh. Pathetic. If anything he ought to be flattered; he'd been out of the public eye for a while, and despite the fact that it IS a pokemon we're talking about, it's not like he's being slandered. If anything, he ought to sue every entry level psychology course that DOES make fun of him when they introduce parapsychology.

    Besides, there's a little thing known as Fair Use. Ask Negativland [] . . . they've been fighting this battle longer than anyone I personally know. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against suing the Big Evil Corporation(tm), but I DO have something against frivolous lawsuits.

    oh yeah, vote for me for best dressed ;-)

  • Everyone is sue happy. I do not know much about japanese or anything. Does that word have some other meaning? Anyone here know? Before he gets away with that much money you need a LITTLE more than a freaking spoon that is bent ( I can bend them to. I use the deadly frozen ice-cream trick ) Okay the name thing is close but Uhm. Ive never heard of the guy and he has not really trademarked or copyrighted any of the spoon bending stuff (has he?) so how can he dream of pulling this off? *shrugs* IANAL so I would be interested in hearing what anyone has to say.
  • 97 Million? What the fsck?! How the hell did they come up with this amount. Lawsuits like these just really get my back up. Surely the best thing to do would be to dump Uri and these Pokemons on some planet and leave them there. Lets see him bend himself out of that one...

    "Some smegger's filled in this 'Have You Got A Good Memory?' quiz!"
  • I think I remember seeing the Johnny Carson show, where Johnny's stagehands set up the props(un-bent spoons, etc) for him instead of Uri himself.

    He proceeded up with some weird excuse and didn't even try to bend the spoons. Sure, take away his props, and suddenly he can't perform his magic tricks.
  • by alannon ( 54117 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @04:50AM (#1407810)
    I believe this is just the beginning of an evil plot by Nintendo to replace all the important and famous people in the world with Pokemon characters.

    Picture if you would a grotesque little monster with greying hair named Clintoboinko that defeats his opponents by whipping out his... umm... on second thought, actually, don't picture that.
  • by kzinti ( 9651 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @04:51AM (#1407812) Homepage Journal
    Uri Geller has a long history of filing lawsuits against anyone who criticize him, debunk him, or even just incorrectly describe his past []. Witness, for example, his various suits against James "Amazing" Randi [], who published The Truth About Uri Geller []. I don't recall all the details of Geller's suits against Randi, but you can probably find more info at Fortunately, Randi is a bulldog who doesn't let Geller intimidate him. The long and the short of it is that Geller is a fraud and will sue anyone who dares to say so.

  • by StarFace ( 13336 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @04:51AM (#1407813) Homepage
    It is a simple case of deduction. Uri Geller is psychic, so he knows what will be the outcome. He wouldn't have placed the suit if he knew he would not win.

    So we can all go home now...lawyers step aside, he is obviously more than you can handle.
  • He's actually a former -- lame! -- magician. Since he was'nt skilled enough to do it the honest way, he pretended to do it by supranatural power. This way, he got fame, money, girls ... And HE'S A FRAUD. The magic community is laughing at him. The bent spoon is an ultra easy trick. You can do that really simply with shape-memory (don't know the english term for it) material.

    A group of french skeptics are offering $20000 to anybody who will be able to bent THEIR spoon, which is placed inside a sealed glass tube, without opening / breaking the tube. Oddly, Uri Fraud Geller never tried to do it!!!!

  • Unfortunately, this looks like just another attempt by a fading star to regain their celibrity. From another view though, it's the lone ranger crusading for basic human rights (EG Not to be portrayed as a pokemon card.) Still, that much money is very, very excessive. I severely doubt that it hurt his reputation that much.
  • The character's name is Un Geller in Japanese. Are you sure 'Un' and 'Uri' can be mistaken for one another in Katakana?
  • Uri Geller annoys the hell out of me. He's made a huge fortune winding up gullible people who desperately want to believe in something spiritual. To add to the other debunkings people have mentioned, James Randi went head to head with him a few years ago in the UK. He had no sense of humour then and evidently has no sense of humour now.

    Oh and as for everyone quoting The Matrix, I give you The Tick: Spooooooooooooooooon!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @04:55AM (#1407819)
    i agree with the fake stuff. (well, i am poster #1 if you read what i wrote). why do i believe that uri geller is a fake?

    1. material scientists have repeatedly analysed his bent spoons and found deformations caused by fracture (i.e., he bends the spoon with his hands), not by melting (as he claims).

    2. he has never been able to repeat his claims under proper scientific conditions. apparently one time, he stormed out and never came back again.

    3. various entertainers have demonstrated how they too can bend spoons. once you have got it slightly bent, you just raise the angle of the spoon keeping the end as the pivot in the same place (or something) and voila: optical illusion!

    4. to get the initial bend, you grab the spoon quickly in two hands and bend it. on footage (including the impromptu noels house party), geller has repeatedly been shown a quick slight of his other hand before he starts to "bend" the spoon, i.e., perform the optical illusion #3.

    5. i read how he has set up his own "consultancy" business where he will bring your business good luck. i heard how some business was unfortunate enough to employ him, and he didn't find any oil spots for them on the island they were looking at (which is what they employed him to do), yet he lists it as one of his successes on his website (which I haven't visited).

    6. he is blatantly out to make money. i always deliberately avoid reading his column "uri geller's wierd web" (although i cannot avoid reading the title!) in the times' computer magazine.

    7. most obviously to me ... in his FIRST TV performance, they were asking him something like, if he could really, truly, bend spoons. WATCH HIS BODY LANGUAGE. he raises his hand just above his mouth in response to this question. in ANY BASIC BOOK ON BODY LANGUAGE, THIS INDICATES THE PERSON IS LYING! so uri geller may be deceptive in other ways, he may have even mastered the body language by now, but then he utterly and irretrievably gave himself away as a fraud.

    thank you for listening. i still think that he has a right to his own name and image though and that Pokemon should get done for the lack of asking permission.

  • I think it comes down to whether it is coincidence. There's some SMALL possibility that it was (doesn't seem very likely, but let's never assume anything). If it wasn't, then certainly they didn't have the moral right to do what they did.

    Whether or not they have a legal right, I don't know... I'm not a lawyer, least of all a Japanese lawyer, but in America, it'd proably be covered under Parody clauses of Copyright laws, which basically state that you can pretty much rob someone blind of intelectual property such as names, as long as you're doing it to make fun of them.

    WOOHOO!!! About 400th Post!!!
  • Uri Geller isn't a spoon-bending psychic. He's a money grubbing charlatan who has tried to employ the same tactics as the Scientologists (lawsuits anyone?) against his detractors, albeit with less success. He's now jumped on the new age bandwagon and his latest snake-oil are crystals and tapes on how to develop your ESP and other psychic abilities.

    Suing over the Pokemon card is just another attempt of his to get rich quick. He might be on to something but I doubt it. The Pokemon card could probably be defended as a parody of Uri Geller, a public figure.

    Click here []. Professional skeptic, James Randi (also a shameless self promoter, but hey, at least its for a better cause) has debunked Geller in a book. He's also challenged him to perform his feats of telekinesis under controlled circumstances for a million dollar prize. Given he loves publicity and will do anything for a buck his refusal to compete for the prize speaks volumes about his credibility.

  • Uri Geller's spoon
    Bastard Pokemon stole it!
    Psychic whoop-ass time

    Personally, I find the idea of Uri Geller being mobbed by children asking him to sign their Pokemon cards quite hilarious.

    He should have seen it coming... ;)


  • It seems that Geller's name is becoming a general term for "psychic", at least in Japan.

    It reminds me this story []: a few months ago Dr. Bernard Lewinisky (Monica's father) got upset when the TV Show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit used "lewinsky" as a colloquialism for oral sex. Annoying, but probably not actionable (at least under US law; I don't know about Japan) given proof that the name is in general use as a common word.

  • Well, I know that a while back, some company couldn't get the right (or permission) to use Sean Connory's likeness for some game (another CCG?), so they had to use a shadow that vaguely looked like him. I'm not sure if it was illegal for them to use his likeness without his permission, or if they did it just to be nice. Also, I'm not sure what the laws in Japan. 97 million is pretty steep though, but if it's a company that has a lot of money, I guess you try to take it to the bank. I wouldn't want to see him win either, but it appears inevitable. I guess a fictional character with the same last name as you and who bends spoons (allegedly) like you counts as a likeness.... any thoughts though?
  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @05:00AM (#1407826) Homepage Journal
    Uri Geller has filed suit against Sarah Michelle Gellar, alleging "a conspiracy to defraud and confuse" the public. The main thrust of Geller's suit is that the uncanny similarity between their names and their involvement in the magic field "can't be a coincidence". Attorneys for Ms. Gellar responded with the statement "It's just a TV show, stupid. I mean, it's on the WB, and who even watches that? WB stations are usually in the UHF band, anyways."

    In a related development, NSI responded by immediately placing all related domain names on hold.

    - -Josh Turiel
  • IIRC, one of those suits was in Japan. Geller won because the truth is not a defence against a charge of libel in Japan: its actually more about whether you have insulted the plaintiff than whether what you said was true.

    Geller was awarded $1 in damages.


  • Well, he may be a fake, but then I would keep that news quiet from the oil and mineral companies that hired him during his 'quiet' years and who's pay has brought him a huge house and the need never to work again.... Also, the only time anyone replicated the spoonbending it took about 4 days to set up the scam.
  • Hey, if he loses the case, he can always just autograph a few of those cards and sell them. Not worth $97 Mill, but it's money in the bank (and what's he doing for money these days?)

    "Moderation is good, in theory."
    -Larry Wall

  • Yet

    Pokemon sux
    Pokemon rox
    Pokemon sux rox

    I wonder what a Beowulf cluster of Uri Gellers would be like...

    [Insert your favourite "there is no spoon" quote here]

    [Insert your favourite Natalie Portman naked and petrified nonsense here]

    Et cetera, ad nauseam. There, I've done it for you. Now you can go home.
  • A few years ago Geller was caught by Noel Edmonds on the BBC "Late Late Breakfast Show" (it went out at 6pm, geddit?). The show had a regular spot called the "Gotcha Oscar" in which a celebrity was set up for a practical joke. Geller was filmed in a restraunt by hidden cameras. He did a few of his tricks, and the cameras caught him bending the spoons by decidedly non-psychic means.

    After a few minutes he seems to have smelt a rat, and stopped. Geller's supporters claimed that he had obviously detected the cameras by psychic powers.


  • I agree. Much as I hate to admit it, Geller has a case. It's obvious that Un-Geller is a reference to Uri Geller. If they did this without his permission, then they're definitely in the wrong. The dollar amount is probably far off the mark, though.

    BTW, I'm assuming that Un-Geller straightens spoons, right? 7:^)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @05:05AM (#1407834)
    people have the right to make parodies of celebrities. like it or not.
  • This will spoil the game PG rating ;-)
  • What an a-hole. $97 million, huh? Makes a whole lot of sense to me.....
  • Why does he need 97 million dollars???
    He _bends spoons_ for a living! Is he gonna sue the Wachowski Bros too for the little bald kid?

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @05:09AM (#1407839) Homepage Journal
    First, it's irrelevent as to whether Uri Gellar is "genuine" (whatever that may mean) or not. The argument is not over whether he can bend spoons with his mind, hands or a fork-lift truck. The argument is over whether someone has tried to cash in on his name and image.

    IMHO, if you create a fictional character with a very similar name, and various hallmarks that clearly identify the original person, then you have a clear-cut case of misuse of that person's name, unless they've given permission. You can't get away with saying "any resemblance of real people, living or dead, is coincidental", if there is good reason to believe that that is so much bullshit.

    Now, I'm not standing up and saying "all hail the great and wonderful Gellar!". What I =AM= saying is that the law must apply to EVERYONE, EQUALLY, or it's no law at all. If Uri Gellar feels that his character has been seriously besmirched, or that Nintendo has sought to profiteer off a celebrity's image without permission or recompense then I say "go for it!".

    Nobody should be allowed to covertly or overtly profit off another's name, no matter WHAT people think of that name. To profit like that is flat-out WRONG, and Nintendo deserve everything they get for it. $97 million seems odd, though. Surely a round figure would be better. $100 million sounds much more impressive.

  • In an article I chanced upon about a week ago, Geller said one of his main objections was that the character is described as being violent which he thought was associating defamatory statements with his name. Or words to that effect.

  • Geller receives patent for 1-Glance spoon bending method

    RUSSIA, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading spoon bender Yuri Geller has been awarded a patent for its innovative 1-glance spoon bending method, wich allows one who uses this technique to easily bend spoons. It is rumored that Geller is going IPO. The market is waiting anxiously.

    In other news, Geller is going to sue Matrix movie makers, because of that famous Matrix scene, in wich a boy teaches Neo how to bend spoons.
    -"This is an obvious infingiment of my patent" -angrily said Mr. Geller.

  • I was waiting for that to come along...

  • I'll bet you've been waiting for that opportunity for a long time!
  • Actually, if you read the article, you would see that he's selling for 60 million pounds, which comes to $97 million.

    But of course you read the article, or you wouldn't be posting a comment about it, would you...?
  • Is Geller really a psychic, and is metaphysics reality rather than some fizzy-wozzle ?

    Nobody really knows this beside Geller, and that's beside the point.

    There two important facts here:

    1. People have the right not to be depicted as a little orange monster by a multibillion dollar multinational organisation.

    2. $97 Million has more to do with greed than about redressing one's violated rights.

    If Mr Geller really wants to make a point, I suggest that he declares that if he wins, he will donate the money to charity.

  • Picture if you would a grotesque little monster with greying hair named Clintoboinko that defeats his opponents by whipping out his...

    On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice to have a Bill-Gates-like character? Maybe serving as a dart target or for vodoo porpouses...


  • by Anonymous Coward
    . . . I saw it this past weekend in Borders, while walking past the "new age lunacy" section (why do they put that so close to the cookbooks?).

    Anyway, Mr. Geller is simply looking for publicity. He's got a book on psychic healing (or something equally stupid) and nobody noticed, so he's decided to up the ante by suing someone.

    . . . and while I'm at it, why hasn't he sued Buffy? Isn't her last name Gellar? Sounds like infringement to me!

  • Yeah I didn't read all the way through, but I think I understand the general drift of what yer saying. Unfortunately I can't get past Geller *wanting* to be the definitive "spoons guy". Nice one Uri, it has made you a lot of money, and fame and girls and I would be inclined to defend it for 97 mill if I'd thought of it first. It puts me in mind of the knife-wielding Cassavetes guy from "The Dirty Dozen" duh.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are you sure 'Un' and 'Uri' can be mistaken for one another in katakana?

    No, he means that an OCR program could mistake the Roman characters "ri" for an "n" and vice versa.

    However, the "n" and "ri" characters in katakana are strikingly similar. When I first got interested in Japanese writing, I couldn't tell the two apart. To turn a "ri" into an "n", just tilt the little line in the upper-left corner so it points inward and straighten the longer line that runs from the upper-right to lower-left corners.

    Sometimes Roman characters are used in Japanese writing for abbreviations, English names, and other uses. I've got a Japanese poster listing of all 75 of the Pokémon, and, yes, the names are in katakana.

  • ...Uri Geller clearly has a case here, and he ought to win, but $97 is far too much.
    $97 sounds like just the right amount. maybe $98 if he behaves well.
  • Geller geller? Geller geller geller!
  • aahahahahha%!#%!

    that's so true, who really watches the WB anyways? its like the black hole of the entertainment field.
  • Geller is, as we all know, a fraud. He alone probably did more to harm the reputation of research into the veracity of potentially psychic occurrences than anyone before or since. However, his likeness is his own to profit from, and any idiot ought to associate a spoon-bending twit figure with Uri Geller, so he would seem to have a case ...
  • Everyone wants to sue Nintendo because they have a lot of money. Isn't that the American dream? To sue a large corporation for a lot of money and win?

    What's the matter, Mr. Geller? Bending spoons not as lucrative living as it used to be? Trying to move up to bending corporations? Really, if you don't want media attention, you shouldn't fucking bend spoons for a living. That was supposed to be the whole idea, wasn't it?

  • Actually, I think this could fairly be attributed to parody, and might therefore be legal. At least it is more fun than websites, which usually recieve this exemption, contrast also the various George Bush jr. websites which does such a good job of mocking him.
    On the other hand, doing this for profit might work against them...
  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @05:28AM (#1407859)
    While I don't think this particular case is the final straw, there's enough out there to indicate that Pokemon is very much on the decline:

    • The last Pokemon show has aired in Japan, bringing the total to about 160 some episodes. Warner Bros. current have the rights to about 100+ of those, and will probably get the rest as 4Kids translates them. However, there's only a limited number of episodes left; unlike certain other TV shows in the states that get run into the ground (The Simpsons, for example), the show had a story arc, and it finished it and ended.
    • Pokemon have been reported as tools of the devil, etc etc, by a number of critics.
    • Pokemon toys was the big hit this Christmas. There's yet to have been a single popular toy to continue dominating Christmas sales two years in a row. Anyone remember Cabbage Patch Dolls, Tamagachi, or Furbys?
    • Pokemon card trading has been banned from many schools because students spent more time doing that than learning.
    • A wrongful death lawsuit may be brought against Pokemon and has forced the recall of millions of pokemon toys: a toddler suffocated to death when she placed half of a Pokeball that came from Burger King over her nose and mouth, and couldn't breath.
    • Pokemon, the cartoon, is overplayed way too much on WB networks: Pokemon's on about 7 to 9 times (depending on the weekend schedules) on the WB network, and so far, WB's only had 60-some episodes to rotate through. Doesn't take a math genius to see how fast it would take to get boring.
    • "Pokemon the First Movie" was a practical failure in the states: sure, it got a profit for the WB as they spent nearly nothing to get it, but compared to something like Toy Story 2, it did not get a lot of return viewers as some were expecting.
    • Pokemon's been spoofed by MAD and South Park. :D.
    It's not that Pokemon is bad, but it was pushed in our faces to the point where you could not ignore it, and now people are getting disgusted with the entier concept and are now fighting back.
  • Japanese companies are notoriously afraid of unpredictable U.S. courts and so they settle, settle early, and settle big.

    Not true for any multinational like Nintendo or Sony. Besides, there is no suit in the US (since the US version of the card isn't named after him).
  • 56&cid=38
  • 5. i read how he has set up his own "consultancy" business where he will bring your business good luck.
    Yep. IIRC Reading Football Club (football in the original sense of the word; the beautiful game. Not that USA razzamatazz with 50 heavy dudes in protective harnesses prancing around like they were athletes or something...). Still, last I checked, Reading FC weren't in any danger of threatening the Premier division... Or even anywhere near even being in that division, either...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Rename the pokemon "BHM" (stands for "butthead magician").
  • Justice should be served.

    1. It is just that Geller should win the suit if they did not make the appropriate contacts.

    2. It would also be just for Geller to be slapped with a frivelous filing of suit given the amount of money he is asking. My first response to this story was "Who the heck is Uri Geller?" If the character had been "Pizza the Hut" and it had a red roof looking top half, ok maybe there is a reason for there to be alot of money because the business has a ton of face time with the world and they have paid for that face time. It would be more interesting if the jury was allowed to set damages in cases like this rather than the plaintif.

  • ROFL!! hehehehe, it's a little orange beastie with a moustache, I don't see any physical resemblance at all :-) He's a fraud and a weirdo.
  • I would keep that news quiet from the oil and mineral companies that hired him during his 'quiet' years
    So big companies got scammed. Nothing new here. (Insert Bil Gate / Windows reference here.)
    Also, the only time anyone replicated the spoonbending it took about 4 days to set up the scam.
    Nope. I saw famed debunker James "The Amazing" Randi "bend" a spoon - and even make it break - when he spoke at the physics department at the University of Maryland, College Park about 8 or 10 years ago. Most definitely didn't take 4 days to set up. And he's hardly the only one to replicate it.

    C'mon, if you've seen David Copperfield or Penn and Teller you've seen much more impressive illusions and didn't believe they were the results of "psychic powers". Why would you believe it of Geller?

  • First of all there is no better press than a scandal that you can legalese your way out of. If you look like the underdog being viciously prosecuted by psychos and you win, you are a hero.

    Secondly, Uri should be happy he is getting all this publicity. I am an avid Pokemon television show watcher, and I loved the movie. If it weren't for Pokemon, and this story I would have no idea who Uri Geller was. Now I think he is cool b/c he is modeled after my favorite pokemon.
  • by DaveHowe ( 51510 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @05:54AM (#1407883)
    If this pokemon character can really bend spoons, then there is little similarity to Mr. Geller
    I would suggest the character carries around pre-bent spoons, but then Mr Geller's lawyers would be after me, too :+)
  • Don't forget that there are also pokemon called Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee that are martial arts experts.

    Do you think Marcel Marceau could sue over the pokemon called Mr. Mime?

    Also, Alakazam is the third evolution of the pokemon. The earlier forms are called Abra and Kadabra in English, I wonder what their Japanese names are and if they have anything to do with other con artists.

    I only know about pokemon because I have a four year old!
  • ...they ususally do.

    I love my country but

    I really really don't like our twisted justice system much anymore.

    Uri Geller is a nobody. He is probably not too well off. Poke'mon is a huge franchise with plenty of money, and is very famous.

    Maybe the Poke'mon creators were really trying to have this pun on his name, but puh-lease... $97mil? Maybe a public apology or something but don't be a baby.

    This is the kind of stuff that lends our legal system to ridicule. I sincerely hope that the judge who fields this case gets a good laugh out of it and soundly spanks Uri for being a bit of a twit.

    Of course, I'm no friend of the Pokemon's, either... but one character out of 150 has a bent spoon and you can sue them for it? *sigh*

    Do you think they sue like this in Costa Rica? I've been considering moving... ;-)
    ----- if ($anyone_cares) {print "Just Another Perl Newbie"}
  • If we wins the case, he can probably buy, oh, maybe a box of cards.

    I saw the price in E.B. the other day -- $2.50 / pack -- and only 8 come in a pack? Does anyone remember paying even close to that much for baseball cards? Okay, so I'm 20, and packs of baseball cards only costed $.50 - $1.50 when I was collecting, but you got 15, and until around '90, a stick of gum..

    Nintendo is making more than enough money on this case to pay him off over and over again. Not that I care either way who wins this -- a corrupt wanna-be psychic who discovered a neat trick while he was a child, or a corrupt company who's business practices makes Microsoft look saintly.
  • >This is the kind of stuff that lends our legal system to ridicule.

    For sure. But is it our (I assume you me the US) system that will be subject to ridicule or Japan's?

    Anyone know where the suit is filed? Isn't Nintendo a Japanese company? Please fill us in on how that works - do you file suit in a US court against a foreign company, or do you have to go to court in that company's country?

    (then again, there *is* a "Nintendo America" subsidiary that is based in the US and presumably subject to US legal jurisdiction?)

    Oh, wait - no the article says he is suing for 60 million *pounds*. Does that imply that he's filed suit in the UK? If so, I think "our justice system" isn't going to become part of this?

    >but one character out of 150 has a bent spoon and you can sue them for it? *sigh*

    Yeah, but the article says he once tried to sue timex for a commercial where a psychic tried to destroy a watch. Sounds like publicity stunts to me?

  • Dude, you were obviously *not* around for the Magic: The Gathering craze.

    God, I don't want to know how much money I spent on those things....

    Hell, I remember buying 3-4 *boxes* of cards at a time. I really should get together with some guys and play the game again. I haven't touched the cards in about 3 years.

  • by dancomfort ( 44913 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @06:51AM (#1407932)
    Under U. S. Law, at least, Nitendo could make a case that they are satirizing a public figure and win the suit via fair comment. HUSTLER won when Jerry Fallwell sued over a very nasty satire of him. And the Simpsons have satired Ahhnold as Werner Wolfcastle for years with no fear of law suits.
  • And in related news, Uri Geller has filled an injunction against the Wachowski brothers, to prevent them from making any Matrix sequels.

    Apparently, the sci-fi hit sequels were rumored to involve reviving stopped watches and taking photographs without first taking off the lens cover. Slinky Carrie Ann Moss was also to be featured wearing a skin-tight aura of bio-energy.

    Actor Keanu Reeves was quoted as saying: "Whoa.."
  • by Shaheen ( 313 )
    There is no spoon. I don't see what Geller is worried about if, in fact, there are no spoons to bend.
  • I think its a rightful suit. Uri Geller is famous for spoon bending, etc. Whether its lucrative or not is more or less irrelevant. The point is that his "likeness" (a spoon bender, with his name) is being used to make money for a corporation without his permission.

    Identity theft?
  • Is it too late to legally change my name to pikachu?

    Only if you also change your voice box so that you only communicate by saying your name (or parts thereof) with various inflections. :)
  • Do you think Marcel Marceau could sue over the pokemon called Mr. Mime?

    I'm not sure that he has much to say about it...

  • >and he ought to win, but $97 is far too much

    Yeah, maybe more like US$0.97 ??

    Actually, he is suing (according to the article) for 60 million pounds (which works out to what, like $97 million?) Still way to much, though. Maybe when he wins again he'll get another huge award like the one buck he got previously (or, should that be one quid?) :-)

  • Uri Gellar has a right to sue Nintendo of Japan. Everyone of the Pokémon names is trademarked (at least here in the U.S.), and the fact that the Pokémon is named Ungellar in Japanese obviously isn't coincidental. As has been previously stated, the katakana glyphs for Ri and N are strikingly similar. It can therefore be determined that Nintendo's name 'Ungellar' was a play on Uri Gellar's name. Mr. Gellar obviously would have a winning suit if not for the international complications.

    Gellar cannot sue Nintendo of America - that Pokémon is called Alakazam here and a simple "He bends spoons too!" suit would not hold up in a civil court. The only way for Gellar to get money would be to sue Nintendo of Japan, and then you obviously have international trademark and copyright law coming into play with every one of the Pokémon names being trademarked (at least in the U.S.)

    With all the difficulties that are inherent of an international suit, I doubt that he'll get the money, even though he probably deserves it.

  • Oh, I wouldn't say that. It's no worse than speed racer or any number of other cartoon shows we all watched as kids. I have a 6 year old and a three and I watch the show with them most mornings as they eat their breakfast before school and daycare. It's not all that bad. Some of the story lines are actually pretty good and while there is a lot of repitition for sure, (team rocket tries to capture pikachu almost every episode) there are also a lot of 'moral of the story' type things that I find to be of value.

    I see a lot of good character traits displayed in the three principles - strength, compassion, dedication, respect for nature and living things, selflessness, good personal freindship and other things that I consider to be a positive message for my kids to watch. A lot better than a show like Dragon Ballz that is pure violence.

    The thing that I do hate about this whole frachise is the endless merchandise tie-ins. A couple posters, some cards and the occasional t-shirt to go with the tv show and the video game would be allright, what kills me is the endless Burger-King promotions, 12 different varieties of plastic or stuffed dolls, the stickers, board games, bed sheets and underwear that is constantly shoved in my kids' faces.

    No, I don't buy each and every one of these things for my kids, of course not. My son likes the cards, my daughter the stuffed dolls, not too much beyond that. Its the neverending 'gotta catch 'em all' mentality with 150+ of these things that kinda wears thin real fast.

    To summarize:

    Badly animated -- about on par with average stuff we watched growing up.
    Empty, worthless crap -- not in my opinion. Not the best stuff for my kids to watch (PBS, Discovery Kids and the Learning Channel are on a *lot* in my house) but far from the worst. Fairly entertaining with positive message.
    Over-hyped merchandising machine -- without a doubt.
    Added bonus -- the identical female characters of Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny as a running gag in the series is actually kinda funny.

    total score - 3 out of 5
  • >I only know about pokemon because I have a four year old!

    Yeah, that's the excuse I use! I have 3 year old daughter and 6 year old son who really like the show, but I gotta admit that I watch it with them and try to keep up on which Poke'mon evolves into what and keep track of how many Gym Badges Ash has. :-)

    Sucks though that the WB station here in Chicago shows the episodes all out of order. They air it twice each weekday and probably 3 times over the weekend. They mix current episodes with older ones and it's confusing as hell.

    It's one of my "Guilty Pleasures". I always use the excuse that I watch the show with my kids and that's the only reason I know anything about it - but a couple weeks ago my wife took the kids out to the library early in the morning and came home to find me sitting in the kitchen sipping coffee and eating breakfast cereal with the show on. :-)

    There's something really fun about being the only adult in a room full of first graders that 'gets' poke'mon. They seem facinated by "Andrew's Dad" who has a Pikachu keychain and understands what they are talkingabout when they debate the relative coolness of Mewtwo and Mew. Blew their minds when they asked me what was my favorite Poke'mon and I answered "Jiggly-Puff - he's the one that puts everyone to sleep when he sings and then gets mad and scribbles on everyone's faces."

    In some wierd way its kind of a prestige thing for my son. All of his 1st grade classmates are really impressed.
  • I seem to remember a "Super Mario Bros." cartoon that was out about 10 years ago. It also featured Legend of Zelda shorts. There aren't any new episodes being made, but gamers are playing new releases of Mario and Zelda games. Final Fantasy games inspired several animated films. We're on FF8 right now, right?

    So the TV show is over, and the toys won't be popular Christmas 2000. If the past proves predictive, we'll be looking forward to more Pokemon gaming excitement for the next 10 years-no matter if there's an anime attached or not.
  • ha ha, there's another ME out there! I have a 3yr old daughter and 6 yr old son, and they're the reasons I watch that stupid show, and collect those stupid cards, and spend hours helping them with that stupid Gameboy game. . .

    It IS great, getting dirty looks from the neighbor-kids' parents when I "steal" their kids on the simple virtue that I have a clue who or what a Rhydon is.

    Here's a good joke to play: I've convinced my kids, and their friends that there is a new type of Pokemon out there, that is going to be in the TV show someday, but there are no cards for this one, and it's not in the Nintendo game. It's called "Redrum", (for those of you that have seen "The Shining") and it talks with it's finger. It's a riot to see a bunch of kids running around, saying "REDRUM! REDRUM!" in gruff voices, wiggling their index fingers, just like the kid in the movie. . . I'd really like for this to become a nationwide phenomenon, just remember, when CNN is asking, from whence did this "Redrum" thing appear. . .

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • When I first read this headline, I thought it said:

    Uri Geller sues Natalie Portman

    Only for a split-second, mind you. :-)
  • ...I'd have my $97,000,000 without having to sue anyone.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • Over-hyped merchandising machine -- without a doubt.

    this is the part that bothers me the most. Training kids to be good little consumers. "You'll be happy if you just have this doll...and this one...and this one, etc." I'm seriously thinking that a universal ban on advertising to children under 12 would be a grand idea, isn't it like that in some countries? Children don't have the abstract reasoning needed to see past the actors in commercials, or the need to question what they are told (especially at loud volume). In the end you get Pokemon, which is, IMHO, Japanese for "blind consumerism".
  • ...dowsing, which ironically anyone can do easily...
    Here's a little experiment you can try at home. Get a sealed bottle of water. (You might be able to smell an open cup.) Make three opaque cylinders - closed at the top, open at the bottom, and larger than the bottle - out of construction paper or cardboard. Leave the room and have a friend put the bottle of water under one of the cylinders. Have him leave the room so he can't give you any subtle clues. (Many "psychic" insights are just the subconscious reading of subtle environmental or social cues.) Try your dowsing powers and see if you can figure out where the water is. Repeat 20 or 30 times to get some statistics.

    If you can find it consistently, contact the James Randi Educational Foundation [] and demonstrate your powers and they will give you a million dollars []! Though you should probably read their page on dowsing [] first to learn why no one's been able to do this.

  • It was all covered on Nova years ago.
    The episode is "Secrets of the Psychics", and you can buy it on video online [] at the PBS website.
  • I'm still waiting for the hammer to fall after the 'Leader' episode. The caricature of the leader is a PERFECT L. Ron.

    Maybe the scientologists are just too thick-skulled to get it.

    "Hey Nicole, look at the stupid leader!"

  • The only thing Nintendo did wrong (they own Pokemon?) is they didn't give him about 1,000 Pokemon cards to pass out the last time he was at his highly charged, intelligent, and groundbreaking appearances - namely the Oprah show or an occasional Montel.

    Uri could have really just nipped this in the bud by remotly destroying all the cards, but as he usually states he's 'a believer in love' and probably woudn't do that to the kids.

    I'm pretty sure Pikachu could take him in a fight, release the electric hamster I say.

  • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @12:49PM (#1408021)
    He's an old time magician using modern psi-buzzswords for his show. So what if he won't admit its just 'magic.' Its part of the illusion.

    Does he so challenge you average slashdotters wordview they agree that he's an ass (which he probably is) but an ass that doesn't deserve his own day in court?

    Its an obvious rip-off and the 'bad guy' here are the practices of corporation who have mastered marketing to CHILDREN. Now thats pathetic, at least Uri can make adults look slack-jawed and goofy when he takes their watch and changes it to GMT. But commercializing crap aimed towards the under 10 market is evil incarnate.

    Now Pokemon's masters not satisfied with world domination start fucking around with some guy (regardless of who he is) trademark act AND name.
    Boo hoo slashdotters cry, Uri is psychic he has no rights lets make fun of him cause we're all so smart and hip to the materistic worldview he challenges through a freaking stageshow.

    Its infringement plain and simple. Even if he's litigation crazy he might actually be right one time. Scary I know, its called justice. Can you guys stop being prejudice for 1 minute to read about the issue?

    If he was suing MS, I'm sure we'd have a gaggle of pro-MS geeks crawling out of the woodwork.

  • I'd hate to see a major corporation just use anyone copyright like that. Sure there's fair use and all but using his shtick AND his name is beyond the scope of the fairest use.

    So what is Uri is playing the 'real magic' card game? He knows modern skeptical audiences have trouble suspending disbelief so he puts on the airs of the old 'spritualist.'

    Most, from what I've read, slashdotters giant egos and dogmatic materialistic worldviews can't even face competition from even Uri's lame old and tired shtick.

    Its just a shame that most of the posters can't look past their own prejudices in this case. From a group of people who make efforts to investigate the degradation of rights when it comes to tech and big business this is a refreshing insight into the mentality of US vs. THEM.

    Maybe rights on-line should be renamed rights on-line for geeks only, flakey people need not apply.
  • Yes, he has a great case and I don't see why he's so should be hated. He's a cheesy magician who has a shtick that's older than most slashdot readers.

    Everyone knows he's 'fake' but go to his shows for kicks. Unfortunatly the ultra-sensitive giant egos of slashdot can't remotely handle anything the might even come close to challenging their materistic worldview so they come out complaing and actually ROOTING for the big corporations who do as they please. Sad.

    What does money mean in today's judicial system?

    Lets see, some old crone spills Mcdonalds coffee on her cooter - MULTIMILLIONS.

    Or how about the oft told story of the theif who breaks into a hour, hurts himself in the process, and sues the ownder for - MULTIMILLIONS.

    Its mostly bullshit and intimidation, lawyers pick a big number hoping to scare the defendant or impress the jury. In has no relation to money you and I use everyday.
  • The characters in The Matrix know the real secret to bending spoons:

    There Is No Spoon
  • >If its crap, I let 'em know it by heckling and vocally abusing the rubbish

    This is my tactic as well. My wife doesn't understand why I let my kids turn on shows like Cow and Chicken, Ed Edd and Eddy and Two Stupid Dogs only to sit there and constantly bitch about how bad it is. I'm trying to pass on my sense of what is good to watch and what is crap so they'll learn to distinguish for themselves. Beats just telling them 'no' and snapping off the program. That just makes them more intrigued.

    When we turn on the learning channel and dad sits there and says 'wow, that's cool, huh?' they seem to pick up on it and pay more attention to the show. If my son is going to insist on flipping Johnny Bravo for 1/2 hour, I don't begrudge him that. Sometimes you do need a short amount of mindless crap to just veg out.
  • Like I said "Bullshit intimidation"

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"