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Bastrop's Texas Gas Station sued over copyright

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Owner of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” copyright sues Bastrop County business owner for trademarking logos and images related to classic 1974 horror film “at least 66 illegal items” are accused of marketing and selling The lawsuit filed Thursday in the Western District of the United States District Court for Texas.

Roy and Lisa Rose run a gas station near Route 304, the location of the 1974 movie. We sell barbecue and horror memorabilia, host events, and rent out cabins. KXAN has reached out to her Roses for comment and will update this story when received.

Plaintiff Vortex Inc. is a family-owned company founded in 1974 to manage film rights. It licenses several other companies to manufacture a variety of products, including clothing, toys, novelties, and video games.

Gas stations have been around since the 60s, but they owe their fame to the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (KXAN Photo/Kelsey Thompson)

Vortex agents reached out to Roses in March 2016 to secure a license agreement. According to the lawsuit, Roy “boldly” replied that he would only make the deal if the film’s screenwriters, Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel, were available annually to sign autographs at gas stations. , wanted to recover the initial cost before paying back the license fee.

The company’s response, a reminder that Vortex still owns the copyright and Roses cannot use it without permission, led to a meeting between the two companies, the lawsuit said. says. After that meeting, Roy said he was supposed to provide Vortex with a business plan, but Vortex said it never happened.

For the first time in 2020, Vortex explored Rose’s Cult Classics Convention, the annual gathering of horror and cult classic film enthusiasts. It found “a large number of infringing goods,” the lawsuit said.

Further research by the company found that Rose also sells these products online and at chains of smoke shops in Ohio.

Read the full lawsuit and see examples of memorabilia below.

In the lawsuit, Vortex’s attorneys seek actual or statutory damages of $150,000 for each act of infringement, totaling $9.9 million, plus attorneys’ fees and all profits from the sale of goods. The lawsuit also asks the court to demand that Barra destroy any remaining products.

“We take intellectual property protection very seriously. It’s one of the tenets of what we do,” Vortex said in a statement. “Unfortunately, in this case, we felt it necessary to protect against infringement of these rights through litigation.”