Schwarzenegger Web ad gets terminated

A Japanese site bows to lawyers' demand to pull ad, but not before a 19-year-old American downloaded it and posted it on his Web site.

The goofy DirecTV ad starring Arnold Schwarzenegger has found a new home in a burning orphanage.

Up until 7 p.m. Pacific Time Wednesday, the 30-second spot that aired on Japanese TV was on a Web site called Gaijin a Go Go Café, along with other advertisements that American stars filmed in the Far East.

But Gaijin a Go Go caved to legal pressures from attorneys for both DirecTV and the Austrian muscleman, who claimed posting the ad violated Schwarzenegger's intellectual property rights and DirecTV's trademark.

The ad was taken off their site within a few hours of a midnight Wednesday deadline set by the legal team.

"We have been Terminated!" Gaijin A Go-Go posted on its site after pulling the ad.

"We ran up against too big of a customer," said Jonathan Lathigee, a partner in ZeroOne Design in British Columbia, which hosts Gaijin a Go Go.

He said DirecTV and Schwarzenegger's legal team are "naïve" to think pulling the advertisement will stop it from being seen.

"Anybody can go to the Web (before midnight Tuesday) and download the commercial," Lathigee said.

"Anybody" now has a name: Alex Fernandez, a 19-year-old Martinez, Calif. resident with a Web site named after his online nickname, Burning Orphanage.

He downloaded the ad in the minutes before it was pulled, then posted it on his site.

"I thought it was hilarious and I really didn't like the fact that they were forced to shut it down," he said.

Fernandez plans to comply with any cease order he may get from Schwarzenegger's attorneys, but until then he's happy to host the video.

For now he's "playing hot potato to see how long I can keep this up."

His site has so far had about 900 hits plus a gusher of e-mails in support.

DirecTV did not have an immediate response when called for comment.


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