The 54-year-old Austrian hunk has filed a $20 million lawsuit against one of the country's top slot-machine makers, accusing the company of making and marketing a Terminator-themed slot machine that uses his voice and likeness without his permission.
The suit, filed September 7 in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges the game's maker, Reno, Nevada, based International Game Technologies, will harm the muscle man's image. "[Schwarzenegger] is particularly circumspect to avoid using his name, likeness or image for certain industries such as gambling," court papers say.
Schwarzenegger's attorney, Marty Singer, says the $20 million the actor is seeking is the kind of jackpot he typically receives for similar licensing deals.
Schwarzenegger refrains from doing commerical endorsements in the United States, but has appeared in ads hawking DirecTV in Japan, a language school in Brazil and Austria's national rail line. (In fact, Schwarzenegger is so protective of his famous features that he sicced his lawyers on a Website that streamed video of his goofy Japanese commercial.)
Rick Sorensen, spokesman for IGT, says the Terminator slots were part of a licensing agreement with French company, Canal Plus (a unit of Vivendi Universal) and Creative Licensing Corp., the two companies that hold the film rights.
"Since we are very protective of our own property rights, we are extremely cautious of the property rights of others," Sorenson tells the Los Angeles Times, noting that the Terminator machine "might have been in development [but] was never released."
However, according to a press release on IGT's official Website, www.igtonline.com, the slot machine was introduced at a trade show last October. And while Sorensen says the Terminator slots were never released, a quick search of eBay turned up one for sale, with the current bid at $399.
Singer, meanwhile, says that even if IGT got permission from third parties, it's Schwarzenegger who has the ultimate say over the use of his likeness, per California law.
IGT, which manufactures such popular gambling games as video poker, slot machines and video slot machines, has cornered 50 percent of the gaming market, raking in more than $1 billion in annual revenue.