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Sunday, March 14, 1999 Published at 20:20 GMT

World: Middle East

Chaplin family seeks $1m lottery payout

Josephine Chaplin told the court her father had disapproved of gambling

Charlie Chaplin's daughter says she wants $1m from the Israeli state lottery as compensation for using her father's image to promote its business.

Josephine Chaplin told a Tel Aviv district court that her family would never have allowed the national lottery to use the silent film star's famous bowler-hatted tramp image because her father had disapproved of gambling.

"We don't lend the image of our father" to sell lottery tickets, Ms Chaplin told Israel's Army radio.

"His films have messages to humanity against dictatorship, against war, against hate, and now they're being used to sell lottery tickets. It's despicable," she said.

[ image: Charlie Chaplin's image had helped boost lottery sales, the court heard]
Charlie Chaplin's image had helped boost lottery sales, the court heard
An Israeli court had already ruled that the lottery had violated the Chaplin family's rights in an advertising campaign which began in 1991.

Sunday's hearing was to decide the extent of damages in the case.

Chaplin family lawyer Liad Whatstein said the lottery company had imitated scenes and images from hit Chaplin films such as Gold Rush, The Kid and Modern Times in a four-year campaign that boosted lottery ticket sales.

An Israeli actor played the Little Tramp in TV commercials, and the image was printed on posters and billboards.

Mr Whatstein said that the family routinely refuses to permit the use of Charlie Chaplin's image for gambling, alcohol or military promotions because they conflict with his principles.

Lottery officials had argued in court that the famous tramp in the bowler hat had become so widely known that his image was no longer covered by copyright.

The national lottery company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The hearing is set to continue on Monday, but a decision is not expected for several months.

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