Why Hollywood a hurdle for new AFL team
A new AFL team has uncovered a shocking truth behind an iconic national symbol.
The first Tasmanian AFL club was given the green light by the other 18 club presidents on Tuesday to join the competition sometime in the next decade.
The club has previously teased naming the newly approved team the “Tasmanian Devils” after the endangered species native to the southernmost state.
However, it has come to realise the name is already trademarked by Warner Bros, the Hollywood studio behind The Looney Tunes cartoons.
Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said she was “shocked” by the discovery and would see “what we can do” to reclaim the national icon.
“I have to say like most Australians I was pretty shocked to realise that Tassie devils was not a name that we had the rights over,” she told 2GB radio station on Wednesday.
She ruled out speaking to US President Joe Biden about the matter – saying he likely has “no control” over the Warner Bros business.
However, she did see the value in returning the name to the Australian public.
“I think most Australians would think that Tasmanian devils was something that we could use,” she said.
“We’ll see what we can do.”
“Tas the Tasmanian devil” has been a fan favourite of the Warner Bros cartoon series since he first premiered on the show almost 70 years ago.
However, it wasn’t until 1997 that Warner Bros trademarked the character – effectively removing the chance for any Australian business to use the title in their branding.
AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon agreed the name should be used by the people of Tasmania.
“I am not across that one, but I do know there is something with Warner Bros, but (I am) not 100 per cent across that one,” he told SEN radio on Tuesday.
“I have got an absolutely open mind, the name of the Tasmanian team should be owned by the people of Tasmania.”
Tasmania’s under-18 side in the Coates Talent League has trademarked the name through the Australian government, but it is understood the new team would require a commercial licence.
The newly approved team will likely take the field during the 2028 season, so there is plenty of time for the a deal to be made with the movie giant.