iPhone apps are a fast way for small companies to make money. But if you’re not careful you can get sued – by Hollywood agents, no less – as a small Irish start-up has just discovered.
Hollywood hotshot Ari Emanuel looks set to sue an Irish iPhone app developer for using his name in an iPhone game without permission, media reports say.
Emanuel's clients include Martin Scorsese, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg, and he is CEO of one of the largest entertainment agencies in the States, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.
The Irish company, Factory Six, has created a game about life in Hollywood called "Superagent.” The game features a character called Ari, who has a wily client called Vince. Players earn points by making the right decisions for Vince and steering him away from awkward situations – such as going on a bender in Las Vegas for the weekend.
The game’s website suggests: “You are a Hollywood film agent, and you have one client that is going to make you or break you. You must manage his life, on and off screen as both of you navigate the dog eat dog world of Hollywood. If you make the right choices, you could earn the cash for real.”
Player have options such as: “don’t let him go, you know it’s going to end up on TMZ,” or “Vegas baby, wooo! Tell the wife you’re playing golf and borrow Kanye’s jet.”
Co-creators of the "Superagent" app, Rick Larkin and Oisin Hanrahan are currently offering $25,000 the player who gets the highest score on their game by January 2010.
A further problem, says Forbes.com, is that both “Ari” and “Vince” are characters in the HBO comedy “Entourage” – the show centers on a hot young actor (Vince) and his minders. “Entourage” portrays the “heady excesses of today’s celebrity lifestyle,” according to HBO’s website. In the show, superagent Ari‘s job is to “keep Vince’s star rising while making sound decisions for a long-lasting career in a world of fleeting fame.”
And in “Entourage,” the Ari character is based on Ari Emanuel, according to Forbes magazine.
The Irish firm seems to be getting into hot water but it has responded to Emanuel’s lawyers by saying the complaint is “ridiculous.”
Larkin said in an interview: "We refute the claim by Mr. Emanuel's and WME's lawyers that we are using their names in trying to promote the game. We've written back to them to try and clear it up.”
He added, “We've also offered a free copy of the game in case Mr. Emanuel or his colleagues at WME would like to try playing it, its a lot of fun!”