Naked Cowboy's Manager: 'Naked Cowgirl Is Basically a Criminal'
By Zach Dionne Posted Jul 22nd 2010 03:54PM
Rubenstein says Brodsky, who also goes by the name Sandy Kane, assumes Naked Cowgirl doesn't fall under the registered trademark of the Naked Cowboy, and "she is sadly mistaken."
"It's infringement; she's basically stealing intellectual property. She's gonna lose," Rubenstein tells us of the lawsuit. "And then she'll probably continue doing what she's doing, she'll be found in contempt of federal court, and she'll be incarcerated. That's the sad part about it."
Rubenstein, who is also the executive director of Naked Cowboy Enterprises (which is a very real thing), equates the Naked Cowgirl's actions to auto theft: "Intellectual property is just like owning a car, and what she basically did was she went into the parking garage and took Robert's car without his permission. She's driving around in it. She says, 'I'm just borrowing the car.' She doesn't have the right to borrow the car. She doesn't have the right to use 'Naked Cowgirl.' "
The New York Daily News reports Brodsky, a former stripper, has Burck at his wit's end. "I'm a pretty easy going guy, this was really a last resort," the Naked Cowboy told the newspaper.
Rubenstein confirms that to PopEater: "We've been really nice with Sandy, we've been very patient. She indicated for two years that she was going to participate with this franchise agreement."
The Naked Cowgirl requested to record a Naked Cowboy duet six months ago. Rubenstein told her: "I'd love to do it. That's what we do -- I'm a record producer. But we have other business we need to attend to; this problem we have with you not being authorized. What do we have to do to get you into the franchise agreement?"
She not only never showed up to sign said franchise agreement, but a CD came to Rubenstein advertising a Naked Cowboy/Naked Cowgirl duet, 'He Taught Me How To Love.' "She was already distributing CDs claiming it features the Naked Cowboy. And no, he's not on it. That's ridiculous," Rubenstein says.
Part of the problem is Sandra's lewd behavior in Times Square, which doesn't jive with the Naked Cowboy's wholesome show (never actually nude, he performs in briefs and a hat). "She does things that we deem unacceptable, that do not fall under the guidelines and provisions of the Naked Cowboy franchise, and she's basically a criminal," Rubenstein says.
If Naked Cowgirl loses the lawsuit, could she perform outside New York City? "No -- nowhere. It's an international trademark," Rubenstein tells us. "The bottom line is, we have major corporate endorsements, and those corporations that use the license of the Naked Cowboy image pay very, very good money for that. And the reason it has value is because we protect it -- you can't open a hamburger restaurant, call it McDonald's, and expect to sell hamburgers for a very long time before McDonald's says, 'Wait a second, you can't do this.' "
Previous stories have estimated up to $150,000 sought in damages, but Rubenstein says the court could award a much heftier sum. "The numbers of infringements she's done are in the thousands. We've requested a jury trial, and if it goes that far, we'll be entitled to statutory damages and punitive damages likely. The jury could find she's caused millions of dollars of damage."
All this fuss over a scantily clad, singing cowboy? Well, yes. "You've got to understand the potential value of what Naked Cowboy is and what Robert has built. The guy has worked diligently for 13 years; he's become a household name in places where they don't speak English," Rubenstein says (the Daily News states the lawsuit takes issue with Naked Cowgirl's devaluation of an iconic American brand.) "In the Times Square Alliance visitor's guide, they've got world-renowned tourist attractions; a section for the Empire State Building, a section for the Statue of Liberty, a section for the Naked Cowboy. Robert is an icon."
The Naked Cowgirl did not respond to PopEater's request for comment.
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