For whatever reason, I still haven’t gotten around to watching Narcos yet, which is strange for me, considering I try and delve into every “prestige” drama that comes out these days.
I tried, once, but was on my phone a lot (as us millennials are) and therefore unable to keep up with the subtitles. From what I hear, it’s a great show. So great, in fact, that the surviving members of the Escobar family now want a piece.
Escobar’s 71-year-old surviving brother, Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria, threatened to “close their little show” if Netflix failed to provide a $1 billion payment to his company, Escobar Inc., for intellectual property violations.
Narcos Productions, LLC (NPL) — the company behind the series and its popular video game spinoff Narcos: Cartel Wars — contend that without NPL’s “knowledge or consent, on Aug. 20, 2016, Escobar filed use-based applications to register the marks NARCOS and CARTEL WARS with the [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office] covering a range of goods and services.”
Those services include everything from “downloadable ring tones” and “sunglasses, decorative magnets” to “temporary tattoos, bookmarks and sheet music,” according to the trademark application documents included with the letter.
“I don’t want Netflix or any other film production company to film any movies in Medellin or Colombia that relates to me or my brother Pablo without authorization from Escobar Inc. It is very dangerous. Especially without our blessing. This is my country,” Gaviria said.
Obviously — because this is what big companies do — lawyers for Netflix then threatened to retaliate by suing the Escobar family.
During the height of the Medellin Cartel, Gaviria worked as the lead accountant and “head of the hitmen,” where he was responsible for tracking billions of dollars in drug profits annually.