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Danish punk rocker sues Mattel over Barbie doll
January 4, 2011 / 1:12 AM / 7 years ago

Danish punk rocker sues Mattel over Barbie doll

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - What is it with Mattel and Danish musicians?

The toymaker, which was embroiled in a lengthy copyright dispute with Danish group Aqua over the hit song “Barbie Girl” a decade ago, has been sued by a Danish punk rocker.

Patricia Day, lead singer of HorrorPops, claims that a doll in Mattel’s “Hard Rock Barbie” collection, released last spring, appropriated her likeness: “Long black hair, retro tattoos, red fingernails, fishnets and a decorated bass fiddle (to) give this doll true rockabilly style.”

In a lawsuit filed last week in Indiana District Court, Day says that Mattel got licenses from Deborah Harry, Joan Jett and Cyndi Lauper for other dolls in the collection, but failed to get her consent.

She says that her artistic efforts over her career were meant to express “her desire to redefine women’s roles in the rock ‘n roll scene -- a vision that runs contrary and antithetical to everything for which Mattel’s Barbie doll line stands.”

Day wants injunctive relief and unspecified punitive damages. A Mattel spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment as the company’s office was closed Monday. Mattel spent several unsuccessful years pursuing Aqua and its MCA Records label, claiming that the group’s 1997 song “Barbie Girl” violated its copyrights and trademarks. But by 2009, it was using a modified version of the song in its promotions.

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