Spider-Man Caught In Legal Web

"Spider-Man" may be snared in a legal web over alleged digital doctoring of billboards looming high above Times Square, reports Variety.

Sherwood Outdoor, which controls billboard advertising at such prime locations as One Times Square, Two Times Square and 1600 Broadway, has filed a suit against the media conglom in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Suit Claims that in some scenes from "Spider-Man," Sony digitally removed actual ads and inserted new ones from its marketing partners. Among the businesses the suit claims were plugged are mobile-phone operator Cingular Wireless and newspaper USA Today.

A Sherwood rep refused to talk about the suit. Spokespeople at Sony and Cingular said they hadn't yet received copies of the filing, and a rep at Gannett, which owns USA Today, wasn't available for comment.

Last week, Cingular rolled out a nationwide marketing campaign built around "Spider-Man," including movie-themed faceplates, ringtones and downloadable promo material for the company's Ericsson phones.

This isn't the first dicey turn Sony has had over "Spider-man's" Manhattan backdrop -- shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the conglom's Columbia Pictures unit quickly decided to pull movie trailers that featured prominent shots of the World Trade Center.

"Spider-man" is slated for worldwide release May 3.

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