Carl Lentz is the Senior Pastor of Hillsong NY. Recently, Hillsong dressed up their Hillsong NY Youth Pastor Diego Simila to play the Naked Cowboy at their Hillsong America’s ‘Color’ women conference.
Now it appears that the Naked Cowboy was not impressed with Hillsong’s stunt. And it seems that Brian Houston is not happy when people question how his church does things.
Todd Rubenstein recently posted on our site,
“I represent Naked Cowboy and own Naked cowboy Enterprises, LLC. I am the sole administrator of the Naked Cowboy® registered trademarks. I am the only person who can provide license of use of anything associated with Naked Cowboy and Hillsong has never requested any right to use our registered trademarks or Naked Cowboy’s likeness.
In addition to it being a clear violation of Mr. Burck’s (AKA Naked Cowboy) right of publicity, it is a direct infringement upon Mr Burck’s registered trademarks.
Mr. Burck is an Ordained Minister & would NEVER attend church in the house of the Lord in his Trade Dress and is EXTREMELY offended by this activity due to his deep Christian beliefs and respect for the process of gathering in the name of Jesus Christ and in the presence of God to worship and praise the Holy Father.
Mr. Burck owns registered trademarks protecting his property rights in both the name “Naked Cowboy” as well as the character’s visual image. Mr. Burck strongly objects to any unauthorized use of his trade name and/or image without proper license and authorization—particularly those instances where, as here, such use is for a plainly commercial purpose and not for the purpose of spreading the Gospel. We are certain that Hillsong and its affiliates are aware of federal trademark law, but they must also be advised that New York’s statutory right of publicity affords Mr. Burck with additional legal protections against unauthorized use of his name and image. In view of these legal restrictions, and in an effort to avoid any further dilution of the value of Mr. Burck’s marks, we will be making a demand to Hillsong—together with any of its affiliates, representatives, agents, employees, and principals— to immediately cease and desist all such unauthorized uses of the Naked Cowboy’s trademarks in addition to taking Federal action in the State of New York to have these violations prosecuted.”
Source: Todd Rubenstein, https://churchwatchcentral.com/2016/05/25/family-friendly-hillsong-includes-the-dancing-naked-cowboy/comment-page-1/#comment-6242, Published 29/05/2016. (Accessed 30/05/2016.)