Colombia agrees to force cancellation of 'Frozen'-inspired musical

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Colombian copyright protection authorities accepted a Disney Enterprises request to block the presentation of a local musical show on grounds it was “unfair competition."

Colombian authorities from the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce recently said it has accepted a request from Disney to block the advertising, marketing and presentation in Colombia of “Frozen, el Musical” (The musical) which is a presentation with live actors playing characters from the animated movie.

The show had been advertised and marketed with tickets already sold for presentations in several cities in Colombia during the coming weeks, which the superintendency judged to be “unfair competition."

Disney Enterprises requested this action from Entertainment Addictive International Group, Grupo Colombia, Ticket Factory Express, Espectaculos y Eventos de Colombia and G12 Congresos y Convenciones, the University of Medellin and Producciones Internacional, entities involved in preparing, presenting or selling tickets for the musical.

“The superintentency considered that the organizers and promoters of ´Frozen, el Musical´ were taking illegal advantage of the prestige and recognition obtained by Disney  without its authorization,” the superintendency said.

The superintendency found that “Frozen El Musical," which is being promoted for September and October dates in the cities of Barranquilla, Bogota, Cali, Medellin and Tunja, "does not have authorization from Disney to exploit economically the prestige of Frozen."

As a result, it ordered that the musical's producers cease all operations tied to the production and demanded that the organizers return money to anyone who purchased tickets.

The superintendency said the characters in the musical, such as Elsa, Anna, Hans, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, already enjoyed worldwide recognition “which is only attributed to its creator, Disney." As a result, it ruled that the musical represented the "exploitation of somebody else´s reputation."

It ordered the University of Medellin and G12 Congresos y Convenciones to “abstain from using its theaters for the presentation” of the musical.

The superintendency displayed copies of the musical advertising in which both the Disney movie text style and the images of the Disney characters were being used.

The organizers in the musical separately said in a statement, as published in several local media, that they will obey the resolution, but complained that the decision was announced first in the superintendency website and not through more appropriate direct and legal channels.

The organizers also said their musical was different from the movie.