Viacom, Spike Lee kiss and make up

But not until after a publicity bonanza for both sides. Filmmaker Shelton Lee (see Jun. 16-17) now says “I no longer believe that Viacom deliberately intended to trade on my name when naming Spike TV. As an artist and a filmmaker, I feel that protection of freedom of expression is a critical value, and I am concerned that my efforts to stop Viacom from using the Spike TV name could have the unintended consequence of threatening the First Amendment rights of Viacom and others. I am pleased to be able to resolve this matter and be able to work with Viacom on new projects”. (Buzz Johnson, “Spike Lee and Viacom Settle”,; Washington Post; Hollywood Reporter/Reuters). Earlier, the son of musician Spike Jones filed court papers in the case, saying (per AP) “it is ‘frightening’ that filmmaker Spike Lee is trying to claim exclusive ownership of the name ‘Spike.'” (see The Legal Reader, Jun. 24).

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