The BBC reports on the trial of Tom Sinclair Junior. Mr Sinclair, an events promoter, falsely claimed that he had secured the services of the comedian Ali G (a.k.a. Sacha Baron Cohen) Haverfordwest carnival in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and became the sponsor of that carnival, selling more than 2,000 tickets at £8 a time, duping the carnival’s organiser in the process. Once Pembrokeshire Trading Standards became suspicious, Sinclair forged a contract with Ali G and hired a look-alike named “Dat Ali Gee”. However, the carnival was cancelled because of a noise limit being imposed and Sinclair was tried and later convicted of making false statements on Friday. He is yet to be sentenced, though the judge has warned that he may face imprisonment.

The IPKat notes that although this was a criminal case, the elements of passing off seem to have been made out – Ali G most certainly has a reputation and a misrepresentation was made. Such an action that suppresses the use of look-alikes could go part of the way towards establishing a de facto personality right for celebrities.

Ali G impersonators here
Pass yourself off as Ali G here and here
Pass your cat off as Ali G here

CARNIVAL TIME CARNIVAL TIME Reviewed by Anonymous on Sunday, December 07, 2003 Rating: 5

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