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October 30 2006

Viral marketing virus attacks the brain. Let's update about that legal action against 11th Hour and chums by Universal. Movie sites and blogs all over the internet are alight. All over the world. There's an open letter to Universal. theonetruebix's Browncoat Invoice site nears 100,000 visitors in a few days. Here's 11th Hour's store for those who haven't seen it.

The store is still under dispute by Universal's law firm for containing the word serenity in Chinese.

Here's some other links around the interweb for this..

http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/blog/blogView?showComments=true&entry=3339500726

http://suncomprehendingglass.blogspot.com/2006/10/universal-sucks-eggs.html

http://scifistorm.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/28/1425252&mode=thread

http://honkytonkdragon.blogspot.com/2006/10/when-relying-on-viral-marketing-dont.html

http://www.lissakay.com/index.php/weblog/biting-the-hand-that-feeds/

Ummm, so are Universal now tring to claim that they own the copyright to the word Serenity if it's spelt out in Chinese characters? So no-one in China can use the word Serenity without Universal's permission (according to Universal obviously). Now that's just stupid.
I guess you can stop the signal if you're Universal.

Maybe this is the way they plan to recover their losses.

Or, first they make love to all the fans giving them free advertising; then they simply fuck the fans afterward.
Universal make love with fans? There's an episode of South Park right there.
Gossi wins the prize for the most links placed in a single sentence EVER (and they are all pretty interesting links too, thanks!). I'll be going to FlanventionII and I'm going to be interested in how many people will be wearing C&D t-shirts. I'll be wearing my own hand painted t-shirt that I wouldn't dare market and sell anywhere.
Then Universal is in trouble because this was already contested by FOX a few years ago and they lost over the phrase "Fair and Balanced". It is hard to copyright a word, title, or phrase.

"According to the Copyright Office, "titles, names, short phrases, and slogans" are "generally not eligible for federal copyright protections."

However they can copyright a Font.

Some copyright myths.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-10-30 00:27 ]
My friend has "Serenity" in Chinese tattoed on her foot. We will be sending her foot COD to Universal Studios. ;-)
Universal make love with fans? There's an episode of South Park right there.

Knowing 'South Park' I think they'd probably focus more on the simple fucking afterwards ;).

I take it 'Serenity' is trademarked by Universal then ? Didn't think you could copyright titles and RavenU's link would seem to support that. Trademark's a different story (I think it's DC which has a trademark on the word 'super-hero' when used in a comics context though I suspect they'd have a very hard time enforcing it).

It's good to see that word's getting out though I do wonder if that was Universal's idea all along i.e. to use one fairly high-profile case to scare everyone else off. Maybe it'll backfire and the adverse publicity will scare them off ?
I do like the billable hours idea. And if you need an example, this site right here, Whedonesque convinced me to buy two sets of Firefly DVDS, and two copies of Serenity, both for other people.
Here comes the boring bit: It's not the Serenity font, and the Serenity logo font is another publicly available font (it's not unique to Universal). Also, Universal hold no trademark on the terms Serenity, Firefly or Browncoat. (Nor any applications).

The thing is, although bootlegging clearly ain't legal and I'd presume most people can get why, Universal's legal company have managed to go after the one fan who had properly designed original artwork.

At least one trade magazine is asking about it now, so I'd imagine this one will roll on in the media for a while.

Universal's lawyers are creating a PR disaster for Universal here. I don't actually know if Universal's management know what is going on yet.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-10-30 00:34 ]
This is troubling, as it obviously indicates a litigiousness and hostility to the fan community on the part of Universal, which, you know, sucks.

On the other hand, their taking an interest in protecting the IP may indicate plans on their part actually to do something with it in the future. (I am also a big fan of the video game Halo, created by Microsoft. Recently, Microsoft sent a C&D letter to a group of fans who were creating a mod of another game to make it into a Halo-themed Real Time Strategy game. There was a huge uproar in the the fan community - traditionally, the fans had done a lot of stuff based on Halo, with the tacit blessing of the game company - and then, a few weeks later, a new Halo Real Time Strategy game was announced. Microsoft had been protecting their IP because they were planning to make use of it.) I'm not saying that the same thing is happening here, or that we should all hold our breath for a sequel or a TV series (though I am crossing my fingers, but it's possible that some new official merchandise is on the horizon, or something.
Maybe it'll backfire and the adverse publicity will scare them off ?


It would take a lot more adverse publicity that this to scare them off. Short of getting caught sending hitmen after fans, Universal's lawyers will carry on doing what they get paid to do. There may be a rethink in tactics but I reckon the overall end goal will remain the same.

I have this awful fear of fans getting carried away with what's going on (the "we are mighty" syndrome) and then finding out that the avalanche they thought created which would sweep away what Universal were doing was really a rolling stone that gathered no moss (worst mixed metaphor ever). Previous experience would indicate that the bigger the fan campaign, the less that is achieved in the end.

And to be perfectly honest, by the time Goners gets under way filming the majority will have put this issue behind them and say "YAY" to Universal for funding and promoting another Joss' film. The rest of us will remain bitter at them making a fan like 11 Hour go through this ordeal.
I'm going to see Goners regardless. There's no way I'd ever suggest boycotting a studio, or anything like that. At the end of the day, the issue here is that the studios are slightly out of sync on different internal levels.

Let's face it - studio marketing departments nowadays tend to put trailers and clips on Youtube. Then the studios piracy departments gets those clips removed from Youtube - it's happened a few times before. Left hand, right hand, and all that.

I'm not bitter with Universal. They gave me the film I loved most last year. I definitely think it's important to highlight the issues which fan marketing raises, though. If nobody questions them about something like 11th Hour's case, it'll keep happening to fans.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-10-30 01:33 ]
I AM BITTER with Universal. They gave us a film that was my favorite last year. However, it only made ten million dollars in its first week, then grossed twenty-five million overall. Not including DVD sales but word on the grapevine is even with DVD sales it didn't quite cover the forty million dollars it cost to make the thing. And that's nothing. Forty million dollars is less than half the cost of your average blockbuster. The Universal suit and tie types thought they'd get a blockbuster at half price and they made zero profit.

So now they wanna take it out of our hides. This has quite an affect on the landscape.

If Goners and Wonder Woman are Universal pictures, I don't care if Joss knocked on my door and begged me personally: I will not go. I know Joss has zero to do with this, but why should any of us support anything that comes out of Universal, if this is how they're going to treat US? Make no mistake. Universal sticking it to 11th Hour is like they stuck it to all of us.

Maybe I'm not enough like Jayne. Maybe I'm too much like Zoe. In a time of war, if one of us took a hit, it would matter to us all, and maybe that's why we lost. You can go back to sucking on Universal's tit all you want. I'm sick of the media corp rats pretending to give lip service to the very audience that pays their bills.

I want a formal public apology to 11th Hour from Universal's lawyers, and I want a sequel to Serenity, or Universal is officially dead to me. From what I can say, looks like the feeling's already mutual.

They won't miss me so I won't miss them.
I know I am repeating myself, but no one involved with the movie probably has any clue that this is happening. The legal department of consumer licensing is so far removed from the people who actually create product that they might as well be on a separate planet.

This should not be a reflection upon Universal Studio. This is a reflection upon the contracted legal team of one small division of a huge corporate behemoth. Who I am sure are about to get the smack down of all smack downs from someone who considers themselves important at the studio.
The store is still under dispute by Universal's law firm for containing the word serenity in Chinese.


So...does that mean they're going after publications in China every time one uses the word "serenity" in print?
Is it me? Or is that just plain stupid?
I'm just askin'...
So far, the only word from Universal's law firm, regarding which image from my shop was the "problem", had to do with a design that was featured on some of the backs of the t-shirts. This image was removed right after I first was notified by Cafe Press, who had been notified by Universal's legal reps.

I've seen a lot of speculation by those who post replies on the various blogs and news sites picking up this story, and the more insulting posts simply assume I was bootlegging official images.

In order to shed some light on the allegedly infringing image, I have posted it on the main page of my Cafe Press shop, with a disclaimer stating that it is no longer available. Since this story is getting noticed, a lot, it seemed that it is important for people to actually see the image that Universal's legal representatives are claiming is a violation of their Intellectual Property.

Hope this is okay with the rules folks, cuz I'm gonna post the link right here.

Let me also say that this particular design is an older one. It was created quite a while ago... back in the days before Serenity merchandise licensees... and back in the days when Universal was actively encouraging fans to promote Serenity and create merchandise (even to go as far as to provide a venue for such fan activities on the official Serenity movie message board).

This design was created as a way to put the word "Serenity" out there in the world when people wore the shirts, but in no way copy any of the official images owned by Universal. I carefully created a design which is unique and stands on its own, and could even be appreciated by someone who knows nothing of "Serenity" the movie. I was making great efforts to be respectful of Universal's intellectual property, yet still help promote... which Universal was encouraging the fans to do.

This is what going mad feels like...
Who I am sure are about to get the smack down of all smack downs from someone who considers themselves important at the studio.
I really hope so for 11th Hour's sake. I think the sooner this nightmare is ended, the better it is(especially for 11th Hour), I am just wondering if it will be ended. B/c if it isnt ended soon it does not matter which "subgroup" is responsible for this nightmare, all of Universal will look bad, and probably permanently damage(if not already) the relations between the fans and the studio. I know I am highly critical and cynical now. Kind of how the actions of a "small group" supposedly makes the fanbase look rabid and creepy, the actions of that lawfirm make Universal seem like an untrustworthy, unreliable behemouth, that should be avoided at all costs.

[ edited by kurya on 2006-10-30 03:47 ]
I agree kurya, that is the reason someone is going to get in trouble. Not that what they did was wrong, but because it had made Universal look bad.
I agree kurya, that is the reason someone is going to get in trouble. Not that what they did was wrong, but because it had made Universal look bad.

I really have mixed opinions about this perspective, tho. The only reason it would make Universal as a whole look bad is if the people frustrated by the move don't also make the effort to (1) understand the complexity of corporate structure and (2) explain that to other people.

But, then again, I have something of a pet peeve on such counts. I think even when people have a right to be irked, they still have a responsibility to both understand and communicate the facts correctly.
Looks like NBC Universal Chairman and CEO Bob Wright has been getting a mite cranky about intellectual property in general. He's got a four-step plan, and 11th Hour and others just might've gotten caught up in its flurry.

Though in general, he's talking about other facets of IP, it's worth considering that an all-points crackdown may have been ordered.

'Cause I'm pretty sure that if he says "jump" everyone else just asks "how high."

Oh, and maybe these folks should start to get a little worried, too.

(Thanks for posting, 11th Hour, and remember to call on folks if you need some backup.)
I hadn't seen the design in question before, and now I really, really, really don't get why the lawyers picked on an image that is plainly not using the colors, font or even type format of the movie logo. (11thHour's symbol is italic and upper and lower case, yo. The movie logo is regular type and initial cap/small caps.) I'm not even a graphics person, and I noticed all that. I could see them going after someone using images straight from the movie, but, this is not even close.

I believe TamaraC's explanation that the corporation is so big, the people who approached fans to help support the movie with creative designs probably had nothing to do with the people who are now threatening legal action against the fans who did just that. The original marketing people might not even be there anymore; I've been reading for the last few days that NBC-Universal has just fired hundreds of people throughout the company. (Maybe they were even fired when Serenity didn't get high boxoffice grosses.) So the people who sent the C&D letters probably didn't know about the history of Serenity and Universal and the fans when they decided to play hard ball. But I agree with kurya and TamaraC -- whoever is behind this crackdown made Universal look really, REALLY bad b/c they didn't know all the facts, and they picked a really inappropriate person to make the example (someone who had made original artwork, not someone who bootlegged images). So I think we still need to follow Zoe's example (great metaphor, ZachsMind!) and not leave anyone behind. We'll back 11thHour all the way till this gets straightened out. :-)

For me, I will probably see NBC or Universal shows again (esp. if I can do it without paying them directly, like on cable, television, or through Netflix), but I really will never buy licensed merchandise from them ever again. Like TamaraC said, this is all about the licensing department, not the film and television production departments. My few dollars won't break NBC-Universal, but I know it wouldn't feel right giving them even a dime of my money.

ETA: C. A. Bridges, I forgot to tell you how great I thought your open letter to Universal (linked above) is. It says it all, and, yes, if they had written and sent out letters like that, we would have been sad to see some of the small shops close, but as you said we would have done it cooperatively and been excited to see if and when new merchandise was on the way (like Dark Horse announcing more statues). They really screwed themselves for any future viral marketing by going all Tony Montana (or Soprano, take your choice).

[ edited by billz on 2006-10-30 04:56 ]
gossi: I was using the font as an example of something that can be copyrighted. I was not suggesting that, that was the reason.
But, then again, I have something of a pet peeve on such counts. I think even when people have a right to be irked, they still have a responsibility to both understand and communicate the facts correctly.


theonetruebix, actually I say what I said from that correct understanding. What I was trying to say, that although the legal component of the company may have acted in isolation, by now(I would think), people in other branches and "higher up" are aware of whats going on. Lack of awareness should not be the case now. And if they are aware of what is going on, the higher ups, and not putting a stop to this as soon as possible, then, the company will look bad, b/c the people higher up(I would imagine again), have the power to rein in the lawyers.

Ignorance and isolation may be explainable or excusable for what happened last week(the legal department acting independently of other branches), but if by next week, nothing is resolved, then that refusal to stop the process speaks volumes to me at least, b/c ignorance and isolation couldnt be excuses now. At least I would think so, unless it takes time for the issue of 11th Hour's situation takes a large amount of time to travel up the chain. But on issues of how Universal looks in the media, I would think expediancy would be the mantra.

ETA: I should also mention that when I mean looking bad, I mean primarily to the fans. I do not have any illusions about how much the fandom can accomplish, especially with the behemouth like Universal. But in terms of dealing with my conscience, well I have to act in a certain way. I can't ignore what is happening. And if the fandom at least says something at least say "don't do that, that is not right you could have done this a better way without resorting to mafia style tactics", then that is something. And I will try to do what miniscule minor thing I can do. It would be nice if this has a good amount of publicity and really brings the issue of fandoms to the forefront, and I hope this happens.

If it comes down to an actual choice between legal battle and possible large sums in expenses or paying the 9000US, I would hope 11th Hour goes for the 9000US, b/c at least that way the fans will so chip in to pay for that. However, in terms of longer term things, I am a bit bitter. While I wont refuse to see Goners, I will not have lovey dovey thoughts about Universal, and you can be damn sure I won't be buying licensed merchandise, or go out of my way to buy their DVD's or go see their movies multiple times(even if its Joss's film).

[ edited by kurya on 2006-10-30 04:58 ]

[ edited by kurya on 2006-10-30 05:01 ]
Greetings, all. First post, so please be gentle with me. From everything that's transpired in the past week or so, it would seem that Serenity is Universal, so to speak. Which brought this to mind (with apologies to Reinhold Niebuhr) -

May my experience with Serenity grant me the ability to accept the bounds of copyright law, the courage to protest with sharp humor, and the wisdom to know that the signal cannot be stopped. No matter what.

Glad to be onboard.
Universal's lawyers are creating a PR disaster for Universal here. I don't actually know if Universal's management know what is going on yet.


This is heartening. My first thought was that it might be best if this was just handled by lawyers, quietly, since this was such an obviously bad case. But that might not have helped 11th Hour's potential co-defendants.
Please dont make me make a shirt that says "save Goners" !!

Joss hasn't even given us Wonder Woman or Goners yet. We have to remember that we are supporting -him-, and yes Universal is being nasty, but love is never easy.
Had the fans of Joss Whedon and the TV series Firefly not taken liberties with copyright law in their guerilla marketing efforts, it's blatantly plain to see that Universal would have made much less money from the film Serenity than they did. Essentially this boils down to looking a gift horse in the mouth.

This may coincide with a recent statement by Whedon indicating that any chance for a sequel to Serenity has been permanently squashed, predominantly due to the fact that Serenity didn't make Universal any profit, and arguably did not even break even. In fact, when the first weekend didn't pay off the bill, deep down I knew it was over. Just didn't want to admit it to myself until now. And I still don't.

I wanna get cameras and rebuild that set and continue the story myself. If I won the lottery tomorrow... Well okay, if I won the lottery I wouldn't continue Firefly. I got my own story I wanna tell that doesn't have horses or spaceships in it. However, I wouldn't go to Universal and try to get them to do it. And maybe I couldn't get the end result in every movie theater on the planet, but I'd tell MY story MY way and screw the bastards who tried to stop me.

But I wish there were some way to continue Firefly without the whole bottom line profit margin bull crap. Storytelling should depend on the quality of the tale, not whether or not you can attach advertisers to it. Cuz that silences people like Whedon and Maher and Carter. It allows crap like reality television and prime time game shows and soap operatic dramadies to thrive. I cannot abide this.
"Please dont make me make a shirt that says 'save Goners' !! "

I'm suggesting you stop making t-shirts. This isn't about loving Joss.
Zachsmind, the recent statement you are attributing to Joss does not mean what you think it means. And he stopped by to let us know that.
I've just now realized that our team t-shirts from the Goners crew on sm.org contain the "official" characters for Serenity. I've advised bigdamnsite.com just in case. I think I'll look up the characters for the word "goners" and pass them on to Charmuse - Joss says no Chinese in Goners so we should be safe. (Oh, yes, that was sarcasm...) We've also been thinking of switching to someone who can do silk-screening so we'd have to redesign anyway.

And as far as Goners tees, the studio legal eagles can't do anything to us that was started before the movie even went into production, can they? Thank God gossi gave us permission for the Goners logo he made up, I'd hate to have viralfan.com after me! ;-)
Joss says no Chinese in Goners so we should be safe. (Oh, yes, that was sarcasm...)

There is some Japanese, however. Unless they've trademarked all Asian writing...
cabri - minus sarcasm - it would depend on when they bought the rights to the book and what rights they purchased. So in other words just because they haven't made the movie yet doesn't mean they don't have the merchandising rights.
"...the recent statement you are attributing to Joss does not mean what you think..."

Well I'll just go hold my breath then.
I just thought you would want to know, Zachsmind. Sorry if my helpfulness offended you. It won't happen again.

[ edited by TamaraC on 2006-10-30 07:40 ]
If that image is the one that Universal is targeting, it seem to me they won't have much of a case.
Its completely different.

11th Hour, do you know if the big wigs are aware of the case yet or not?
I really hope someone becomes aware of it soon.
"This should not be a reflection upon Universal Studio. This is a reflection upon the contracted legal team of one small division of a huge corporate behemoth."

I was willing to accept this explanation a few days ago, but it's been 5 days since this broke and Universal is WAY overdue with their apology to 11th and the fans in general.

[ edited by JeremyN on 2006-10-30 10:52 ]
I think that it's still under the radar for Universal. God knows how long it will take to bring to the attention of the bigwigs. If the trade papers pick the issue up, you can be well assured that Universal will scramble to respond.
nixygirl ~ I was reassured, by more than one reliable source, that people of great "influence" were making calls on my behalf. I was informed that conversations were taking place behind the scenes in order to resolve this situation.

A part of me pulled out my necklace, kissed my crucifix, and thought that just a little while longer, my angels are gonna soar overhead raining fire on those... (well, you know)... so I held...

As Jeremy pointed out, its been several days now and I've not heard any mention of those calls made by important folk making any difference at all...

Hello Serenity Valley.

Dramatic interlude the result of extended sleep deprivation, great heapings of stress, and the abrupt realization that things will never be the same...
I'm sending lots of hugs your way 11th Hour. And to repeat QuoterGal, if you need backup, call on us.
That's correct, things will never be the same, even if (or rather when) things work out well for you 11th. Because it's gonna be a LONG time before any fan group ever mounts a guerilla marketing campaign on behalf of a corporate giant - and even if they do, you know it will be but a pale shadow of what the browncoats did with the tacit permission of Universal. The damage has been done, and it will take a very long time to repair even with the most sincerest of apologies.

I can't think of a better example of the cliche "No good deed goes unpunished."

I'm wondering... does that mean I need to change my custom "SEREN T" license plate before the laywers come after me for retroactive licensing?

Honestly though, 11th, don't lose any more sleep over this, we have your back, we won't allow this to harm you financially long term. In fact, I'm a little envious (just a little) of your position, I kind wish I was the one with the oportunity to stand up to an injustice as clear and true as yours.
5 days in a corporate environment is not long enough for even a dim awareness of a situation to form. It may be enough time for an item to be penciled in for consideration some time the following week. 5 days is almost enough time for someone to call someone back. Corporations are slow, unwieldy beasts. Don't give up hope.
There's righteous indignation, of course. Like the Hero of Canton said:

"Can't do this to my people.
Can't crush them under your heel."

But in my heart of hearts, I feel this unsettles me on a more profound, personal level.

What can I say? I love my 'verse; where people do for each other, and ain't always looking for the advantage. The 'verse is Love. And I soak it up. What's the word? "Imbue". Probably because I find this warmth so wanting in the real world. Yet the 'verse smiles upon us in our weaknesses; tries to see past what we are, on to what we can be.

Guess I found the source of my disillusion: Universal's latest action rudely tears me away from where we can be, to where we are. "None of it means a damn thing." echoes underneath the brainpan. And I need to find that place again where I can, once more, see on to what we can be -- and believe it, too.

I miss my 'verse.

As for Universal, there's a Japanese Proverb that goes: "The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour." Or, as the case may be, by the treatment of 11th hour.

RB
The damage has been done, and it will take a very long time to repair even with the most sincerest of apologies.

I don't think it has been. There's fan campaigns for loads of shows and bands going on still. Universal have just launched a fan campaign for Battlestar Galactica as it happens. They've told fans to make it #1 (sound familiar?). I'd very much imagine the same is going to happen with Stargate, too, for their D2DVD project. Never has there been a time before where fan marketing has been so diverse and widespread, and it's a large part of the success of things like Myspace and Youtube.

The thing to remember with a company like Universal is that it's a huge, huge beast which has been around for a long, long time. See also: the wolf, the ram and the hart. Companies don't last that long by accident.

I've had a few emails I keep meaning to reply to asking why Joss hasn't made this all go away. I think the reality is that Joss doesn't have that power. Somebody like Joss is there to deliver a good creative project. The fantasy world. Universal are there to deliver it to the world in a corporate fashion. The business world.

It did irk me - frankly, a lot - when I saw posts online to 11th Hour saying people had just spoken to producers and Joss and such. I thought at the time 'Uhm... That's going to give 11th some hope, but it's probably false hope'.

There are three ways this is going to go away for Susan:

- Universal's lawyers realise they lack a case, and back down.
- Universal's licensing department take a look and try to get the lawyers to back off.
- Negative publicity of the studio gets noticed by executives and they call the hounds off. If Universal's PR departments get a call, it will get noticed up the chain.

With the last option, however, it's possible they could also take the tact of 'We can not loose this as it sets a bad example'. Personally, however, I doubt that would happen.

Studios want to embrace fans, as the word of mouth market can be a fairly inexpensive way of building a loyal band of consumers. The word of mouth market can also damage that brand. I think Universal's management will be smart enough to acknowledge that. I don't think the legal department would know anything about it, as it's somethin' fairly new.
Studios want to embrace fans, as the word of mouth market can be a fairly inexpensive way of building a loyal band of consumers. The word of mouth market can also damage that brand. I think Universal's management will be smart enough to acknowledge that. I don't think the legal department would know anything about it, as it's somethin' fairly new.

This is true. However, to be much more negative than I was in my previous post, I think that it could be possible that if Universal isn't interested in creating any more 'verse stories, they may not care about creating/fostering fan goodwill and word of mouth. After all, it's not like giant corporations like Universal get the goodwill and loyalty anyway, just the particular franchises. So, if they're done with any active attempts to build a fan community, they may figure that it's worth it keep strict control of their copyrights, if for no other reason than just to make sure they can control those copyrights when they do fan-based stuff with OTHER franchises that they DO care about.
11th Hour you really do have my heartfelt *hugs* and thoughts honey!

I'm thinking Gossi, that you've hit the nail on the head with the power that Joss and others have in this situation. I'm inclined to think that the more significant media attention this gets the better. So, maybe we should all start emailing entertainment channels and programs, and as many newspapers as we can?

Maybe we viral market what Uni Licensing (or their lawyers) are doing now?
The whole pen to the throat and "I can see you" in the context of this lawsuit could be quite provoking.
Any creative types, good with a camera wanna give it a go?
:P
I put a couple of the websites linked above on Deli.cio.us and Furl and tagged them. If anyone else also adds them to their lists, they will be more obvious.
There's some more articles today;

How not to treat your demographic - Transbuddha

TechDirt
Well I think nixygirl, that bigger entertainment channels should be notified. B/c the longer it takes the more stressful this is for 11th Hour(although going for the bigger media I am sure is stressful for 11th Hour). Have people contacted all the major bloggers? Would contacting the major comapnies get their interest?

And in terms of damage done Gossi, well those fan movements are either underway now or will be, but you can be damn sure people should have at the back of their mines what is going on here. Think of it, everytime people participate in a fan campaign print up tshirts etc whatever it is necessary to get publicity, then there may be a chance 1 or 2 years later after it is all over, they may get not jsut a C&D, but a demand for 9000 US.

As Septimus pointed out those fan campaigns are with fandoms which are still active now. BSG is still on the air and so is Stargate Atlantis, where the execs want and need the fandoms. If those shows go off the air and are done, you can be damn sure the company won't need those fandoms, and expect the "other departments" to get involved. So this issue should serve as a warning. Yeah companies will pursue fan campaigns b/c it is cheap and a great way to get advertising and the product out there, however, fans should be very cautious and very aware of the legal problems in the future for them, especially if there is no change in the status quo of how the legal departments operate.

And 11th Hour, I know we can't tell you to not stress, but don't worry abot paying the 9000US... if it comes to that, the fans will chip in, as numerous fans have said already on this thread, call on us and we will be there right by your side./
I haven't seen this t-shirts before, but I think they are particularly relevant now-

http://www.cafepress.com/blkmktbeagles/2019559

"I am a fan of a particular science fiction television show and/or movie. Legal and copyright regulations prevent me from revealing which one(s)."
OMG that is hi-larious thank you, Razor. I am so tempted to buy one of those things now. Kind of short on money(and saving up for a potential legal/defeense fund) for 11th Hour. It would be funny to get those made into postcards and send those to Universal.
Razor - thats awesome, thanks. I think they should add the word "cancelled" into that sentence somewhere..
I've often read how posting something on the interweb gives you copyright protection for original artwork/literature. How does this not work for 11th Hour? :-?

And potentially gossi's goners logo? And even stripped-down non-Serenity-related versions of our goners fan tees which have all been posted in public forums, not just on bigdamnsite.net?
I wouldn't have thought that is true, cabri. From my understanding of the matter -- which is about as limited as my knowledge of physics -- if you want to copyright something, you need to be able to prove it's original and -- importantly -- yours.

In the UK, a way of doing this -- apparently -- is to put something in a sealed, dated package and post it back to yourself (they stamp it).

Now, I'm going to make myself blimisible and fly around the planet.
You have a copyright on something as soon as you write it down--it's automatic--so having something on the Internet counts. It's just proving it that's a problem.

The mail-thyself strategy doesn't actually work as well as you might hope. It can be faked, and probably wouldn't hold up in court.
Damn it. My flying invisible airplane will still work, though.
I believe the "invisible plane" is trademarked, expect a lawyer to come by your apt in the next 2 days with a C&D. Also expect some thugs hired out from the mafia to break your knee caps. And if you continue to do such things, you will be wearing comfortable cement shoes, and be sleeping with some water animals.

[ edited by kurya on 2006-10-30 20:52 ]
ZachsMind: "This may coincide with a recent statement by Whedon indicating that any chance for a sequel to Serenity has been permanently squashed, predominantly due to the fact that Serenity didn't make Universal any profit, and arguably did not even break even."

I get where you're coming from, ZachsMind, on numerous issues, including this: "It allows crap like reality television and prime time game shows and soap operatic dramadies to thrive."

I do want to reiterate, like TamaraC, that Joss tried to make it clear that nothing's permanently squashed: "There is no news. Not never, just now." . I also understand that you don't want to hold your breath over this, and I'm not saying this to evaluate the chances of a sequel being made. I'm just saying it 'cause it's what Joss said, and I wouldn't want his remarks being misinterpreted again. We've got enough crap going on...

I absolutely see why Joss wouldn't say anything about the 11th Hour sitch publicly at this point. Anything he says is apt to be taken too seriously, or chewed over and spit out in tiny little pieces, or misinterpreted and spread throughout the interwebs. But I betcha this makes his heart sore as hell.

Oh, and I adore the Black Market Beagles "I Am A Fan" shirt -- I may break down & have to buy a tee just to support this.
This is growing larger by the minute and not just in our piece of the verse.

Talking about coming down on the world at once Could Copyright Fight Strip YouTube of Future Content?.

You knew this was coming but it might just open up the news media to stroies like 11th Hour.
Well the author of that article John Berman would be the perfect person to contact, but anyone know how?
I found some more coverage: (giggle) -- "Dear fans, please stop being so darn fanatical" -- a Daytona Beach News-Journal blog, and iFMagazine.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-10-31 02:01 ]
I'd like to add my big *HUGS* to 11th, and express my deep personal hurt over this. The entire situation is just ridiculous.
11th, you have the strength of the Browncoats behind you. No matter what, we'll keep flying.
Love from Oz,
Chrysocome

EDIT: If the plan is to alert the media, I'm on standby to contact mX, the newspaper practically every commuter in Melbourne reads.
Is it wise though, to make this public? The media is not exactly known for being factual. Also, it is possible Universal will realise it's bad publicity and back off. They may also see that if they do back off, it sets a precedent, and decide they have to win on this one. Like "we can't lose or else everyone will think they can make bootlegs." I know that's not what happened in this case, but things can get jumbled up easily by the media.

[ edited by Chrysocome on 2006-10-31 02:08 ]

[ edited by Chrysocome on 2006-10-31 02:09 ]
I found some more coverage: (giggle) -- "Dear fans, please stop being so darn fanatical" -- a Daytona Beach News-Journal blog. . .


That one's our very own C.A. Bridges, actually.
(Hence the giggle...)
Is it wise though, to make this public? The media is not exactly known for being factual. Also, it is possible Universal will realise it's bad publicity and back off. They may also see that if they do back off, it sets a precedent, and decide they have to win on this one. Like "we can't lose or else everyone will think they can make bootlegs." I know that's not what happened in this case, but things can get jumbled up easily by the media.


There was some discussion about this earlier, and I was on the side of erring towards caution, too. But I think that window of opportunity has closed, now. This is all over the place, and some things will have to be decided very publicly and probably unreasonably antagonistically, which probably will mean to no ones' real satisfaction. I'm still ready to contribute to a legal defense fund.

BTW, Chrysocome, what does your name mean?
Well chrysocome, if you really want to make sure, I would suggest contacting 11th hour, to ask if she would mind. Thing is its all over the place, but online so far as I know. Its not in any of the big publications yet.
Fact is this: If you make money on someone else's intellectual property, that's wrong. Simple as that.

I'm not sure if 11th Hour's store originally included products that infringed on any official logos or anything like that, but if that was the case, and 11th Hour changed the designs as a way to work around the cease and desist, then it still seems wrong to me. She(?) was told to stop, she didn't want to, and she is now selling redesigned products that are still related to intellectual property that isn't hers.

It's almost like taking someone else's music and putting your own words over it without permission.

That's the way I'm seeing it, anyway. I just think a fan uprising is pointless and would only serve to sully the reputation of Whedon fans as a whole, not just Browncoats.
AlterLeo, you might want to read this from the artist herself. In her comment, you can click on a link to the artwork that seems to be in contention.

There are numerous opinions about whether "11th Hour's store originally included products that infringed on any official logos or anything like that" and, for fans, that is only one of the issues involved.

I'm not sure anyone here has advocated a "fan uprising." I think people have been interested in 1) seeing that 11th Hour is not harmed by Universal's actions and 2) word gets out about their legal moves against her. That's my take on it, anyway.
That is very black and white of you AfterLeo, the only problem is we live in a very grey world and like many things it is open to interiptation. Is inspired by the same a blatent copy of ... but I do not think that is the real issue that has gotten this attention. IMO, it is the fact that instead of just sending out the typical C&D orders which all fandoms receive at one time or another, they are demanding payment for the products she had created prior to the C&D order. That is the issue, especially when you look at the way the same company encouraged such things as part of their original marketing plan. It's like getting invited to a pot luck dinner and then after you arrived and everyone has eaten you are ask to pay for your meal. It makes no sense and in a way maybe between this will help bring out copyright into the open and people will become aware and understand it better.
when you look at the way the same company encouraged such things as part of their original marketing plan.


And see that is the heart of the matter.
I'm not so much for a fan uprising (whatever that means?) I've never been a big supporter of the letter/email writing campaigns, however contacting media agencies about this matter is a good thing. Its true it could backfire, but this case is fairly unique in that 11th Hour's artwork was used by Universal itself on the DVD (the guerrilla marketing artwork) and we as a fan base were consulted and utilised to market the BDM. Its not as simple as just "make[ing] money on someone else's intellectual property" AlterLeo.

p.s Also if may speak for Chrysocome, she has taken her name after a cute little rock hopper penguin. Its quite apt considering Chrys is herself cute...and little.
;-P Hee.
That's one gorgeous bird.
Fact is this: If you make money on someone else's intellectual property, that's wrong. Simple as that.


Wow, guess all those years my attorney spent studying Intellectual Property law were a waste of time. Turns out the subject can be wrapped up in one sentence. No need to look further.

I'm not sure if 11th Hour's store originally included products that infringed on any official logos or anything like that, but if that was the case, and 11th Hour changed the designs as a way to work around the cease and desist, then it still seems wrong to me. She(?) was told to stop, she didn't want to, and she is now selling redesigned products that are still related to intellectual property that isn't hers.


You start off your statement by admitting that you have no knowledge of the products in my shop, but then continue anyway to suggest all manner of infringing behavior on my part. You don't have the most basic facts, and then make insulting accusations that border on the libelous. My legal situation is still in play, kindly refrain from harmful statements about me on a public message board.

My store did not contain any reproductions of official logos, graphics, or screen caps, photographic stills or likenesses of actors. Part of the C&D had to do with just referencing the Serenity movie in the product descriptions. I checked all my descriptions and made the changes as needed.

It's almost like taking someone else's music and putting your own words over it without permission.


Your example is obvious infringement and not at all related to my particular situation. Why not just suggest that my shop was almost like ripping DVDs and selling them on the street?

The items in my shop that are there now were there when the C&D was issued, and were not contested by Universal's legal representation. They are completely original designs based on Chinese characters, and unless Universal wants to claim ownership of those Chinese characters in whatever form they may take, then those designs are perfectly legal.

That's the way I'm seeing it, anyway. I just think a fan uprising is pointless and would only serve to sully the reputation of Whedon fans as a whole, not just Browncoats.


Perhaps you'd see the situation differently if you had bothered to acquaint yourself with the facts first.

Your comment on how the fans should behave sounds like someone from Universal's law firm who wants the Browncoats to just meekly roll over and not make any fuss.
You go, girl.

Man, you must be so tired of this. I've been reading similar kinds of stuff at forums.prospero.com and other sites and blogs, and it makes me just want to hand out a pile of material, and say, "Read all this, check out these websites, and then come back and talk about this. But not before."

"Public opinion contains all kinds of falsity and truth, but it takes a great man to find the truth in it." -- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, "The State," The Philosophy of Right
wow, i am so tired of being a fan. after yet another story of yet another studio taking yet another steaming dump on yet another fan site, i'm ready to give it up. my real life gives me enough off-beat live action stories, i don't really need to waste any more of my precious time & money on these litigious, out-of-touch, hypocritical companies. and yes i'd love to keep supporting Joss and other faves, but there comes a point where it's more important & more satisfying to turn your back on the studios they choose to to work with. i hope 11thHour gets an apology and it will be nice if this is resolved properly, but you know... straw, camel, back, and all that.
Thing is its all over the place, but online so far as I know. Its not in any of the big publications yet.


kurya, I think the big online exposure came too late in their cycle to appear in the media-covering weeklies last week, but I think it will be there this week. I could be wrong. We'll see on Thursday.

I wish I'd named myself after a pretty bird, too. What was I thinking?
11thHour, I only saw your story just now - I can't believe it! I've put up tons of your great artwork as promotion up to the film's premiere. We were all working for Universal for free. We wanted them to have a big hit with Serenity, and you more than anyone put your back into it. To think that they turn around and bite that hand now is just incomprehensible. I'll certainly help with the legal costs if you ask for it. Hang in there!

[ edited by sasja on 2006-10-31 12:51 ]

Perhaps you'd see the situation differently if you had bothered to acquaint yourself with the facts first.


The lady sure does have a point there!
Finally caught up with the subject, and although I can't really add something really useful, but I'd like share a few thoughts onto a couple topics.

Maybe these will be just some rubbish, random ramblings, but just wanted to share those crazy thoughts with you guys. Bare in mind, that, i've only briefly read a few threads about this subject, so nonsense can happen. Just like to wish that 11th Hour, and the other browncoats that are being harmed in all this mess can get through it without big scratches.

- Chinese Characters
I read what ravenu posted about copyrighting fonts. But what are their legal department attempting to say, that they own copyright for Chinese Caligraphy. Well the fonts we can use typing in Chinese in computers, are mostly based of existent fonts in print, which are mostly on public domain.

Just for referente I created a image file which compares some (only a few for reference). You can find the font name at the left side, followed by the same word used in the 11th Hour art, which Universal Legal is pursuing. Check it HERE.

Another thing that I wonder, "Serenity" in Chinese for the movie, is written in Simplified chinese, if you write the same thing, using exactly the same font, but instead of using Simplified Chinese, you decide to use Traditional Chinese, what would that imply?

- Heroes
I've started to follow all this fan movement that have started to happen from the success of "Heroes".
It seems that marketing wise, Universal and NBC seems to be very vocal onto the fact that they are working along with fans, and also estimulating fan work to promote the show.
Wonder how long it will last, until legal start questioning the validity of it.
If Joss doesn't come forward over this and side with 11th hour, I don't care how many sequels of Firefly get made. If he doesn't support the people who helped him make that big bird fly one more time, I ain't supportin' him anymore.

Granted, I say this and just a couple days ago said I'd be boycotting Universal. Guess what I was doing Monday night? I got home late but managed to catch the last twenty minutes of Heroes, which is on NBC, which is owned by Universal.

So let me reiterate: JOSS WHEDON BETTER SPEAK UP ABOUT THIS IN PUBLIC VERY SOON OR I WILL DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING PERTINENT WHATSOEVER BECAUSE I AM AN IMPOTENT LOSER. but i'll be very put out and stuff and maybe even mad for several minutes and things

So as far as boycotting goes, I suck. However, I won't be buying any Toyota Tacomas any time soon. ...Not that I'd ever buy a Toyota anyway...

Fact is, Heroes is making them money now. Serenity isn't. They don't care about Serenity fans anymore, but they do care about Heroes fans. Since there's obviously a little overlap in the two, there's gotta be something we can do to get them to notice that when they poke at one of us with a stick, NONE of us are gonna be happy about it.

THIS IS the 11th hour for them. Universal better do something quick, before enough of us get mad enough to organize and do something that will really get their attention.

...

What that is I have no idea, but that's why I hesitate to call myself a browncoat. I wanna call myself a browncoat, but when Firefly came out on DVD and when the movie Serenity came out I convinced a couple friends to go see it. Talked about it a lot. Many of my friends just thought I was weird and didn't go. Some did, and they loved it. What's not to love? But I didn't like, skywrite in the air or buy billboards or make T-shirts or documentaries or call talk radio stations or scream from rooftops about how you can't stop the signal.

You guys did. So you guys are browncoats.

I'm just a hawaiian shirt.

I sure hope you guys are better at actually doing something that they can take seriously, cuz me boycotting stuff? A ladyfriend of mine pointed out last night that it's pretty childish, but what the hell else do I got? Nothin'. I'm very impotent about all this.

Univeral's dissin' my homie 11th hour? Well... they suck!

Uhm... *flips off the air*

uh... *has a terrible twos temper tantrum*

uhm... *kicks dirt at a nearby umpire*

...

AND THERE'S A WHOLE LOT MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM!

See? Impotent. You are too unless you come up with something. Even a "Browncoat Invoice" that has no legal justification? No legs. No balls. No nothin' below the waist. Sanctimonious posturing and caterwaulling, with a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

I could send 11th hour all the virtual hugs I have in my infinite arsenal of virtual hugginess, but it ain't gonna pay her attorney fees. It ain't gonna mean jack squat to her.

So you guys better come up with something better quick, or else Universal WILL continue to crush us under their heel, and we won't be able to do anything more than say "thank you sir may I have another."

Meanwhile I'll stand over here by the potted plant contemplating my navel and deciding I'd rather not hold my breath waiting for the next sequel to Whedon's Firefly, distributed by Universal Studios, because I have a hopeless addiction to air, although! ..drafts give me gas.

So let me reiterate: JOSS WHEDON BETTER SPEAK UP ABOUT THIS IN PUBLIC VERY SOON OR I WILL DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING PERTINENT WHATSOEVER BECAUSE I AM AN IMPOTENT LOSER. but i'll be very put out and stuff and maybe even mad for several minutes and things


Dude. For a start, this is an ongoing legal issue with the people who pay Joss. Is it smart for him to start speaking about that? No. He can't, even if wanted to, get publicly involved with something like this. It would be so. very. dumb.

We all know Joss' feelings about the subject at hand, though, from that CulturePulp Q&A from last year.

What good would it do if Joss spoke about this anyway? That won't change anything. I think it's really unfair to put that kind of pressure on somebody who comes here of their own free will to natter.

So you guys better come up with something better quick, or else Universal WILL continue to crush us under their heel

Well, you can lend a hand, or you can moan.

To be honest, people are doing things. Yes, the Browncoat Invoice thing has no legal justification, and isn't below the waist. That's the point of it. If fans start fire bombing Universal, nobody is going to listen. Their stance will not change if people email and letter bomb them. Extreme actions will promote extreme responses.

If they end up all over the press due to this case, though, they might consider the case in question. I really do think the issue over 11th Hour's shop hasn't been considered properly.
This is all a response to Zachsmind, not an attack, just a polite disagreement. I understand your anger, but may I suggest that cooler heads will prevail.

I would rather Joss not speak up about this(and get himself into unncessary mess) and work privately behind the scenes. I do not feel the need for Joss speaking up, b/c I believe within his heart this is just aching him. Espcially considering he was/is a person of the fans, and has always been there with the fans. I just think in a situation like this, caution and care is necessary, and I think if he can at least work behind the scenes, a little nudge here and there then that would be enough. If he spoke up, yeah sure it would mean he is stating out loud with the fans and it may be a nice feeling, but it wouldnt accomplish much or anything, and screw him over potentially in hte process.

I honestly think Zachsmind, you are being too harsh on him and you are too harsh on yourself. You are a browncoat, if you told a few people, then good, you done your job. One doesnt have to paint the town brown to be a browncoat, just tell others about it.

In terms of the browncoat invoice, it was not meant to be anything big and grandiose, it was meant to be a tongue in cheek exercise that would add a bit of humour to the situation but at the same time draw some attention(and I am sure it has helped in that regard, b/c alot of sites pickig up the story mention the invoice). Its a publicity thing not a legal thing. And if it helps which it has, getting more publicity to the situation then it has done its job, b/c thats what it is meant to do. Nothing more! I can't speak for onetruebix, but I beleive that is the point.

Zachsmind , right now the priority is 11th Hour, and what needs to be done to help her situation, and right now thats all that is happeneing is going on between her, her lawyer and the company. And if the time comes that she has t opay up, the fandom will be there to chip in, and if she does decide to fight, the fandom will be there to chip into a legal defense fund and maybe do other stuff. But right now caution and care is necessary. I am angry, man, you are not alone in that regard, but careful calm headed planning is needed. Sometimes the best solution is not to muck things up more. We are in wait and hold pattern at least I am. For me, direct confrontation may not be a good idea, but taking some lessons from "the art of war", subtlety is the key and necessary if a fight hasto be had and won.

And in terms of boycotting and how "ineffective" it is, well it may not be effective, but it is spomethin to do. I can't really boycott since I rarely see films, and now do not have access to cable, but I will myself will not buy licensed merchandise from universal. I will not go out of may way and put myself on the line in the name of guerrilla marketing. I am doing it not for the sake of boycott, but my conscience dictates I can't support that company. It may be useless, but if enough people do it, then a message is sent, and even then, I learned when I became a fan of serneity how important, our spending money is, and it is with that money we"vote" on what is worthy and what isnt, so I learned that I can use my money to count. It may not be much, but like they say for elections, every vote counts.

And may I suggest that if you really want to help out, how about if the time comes for 11th Hour needs to pay anything either legal fees or pay back Universal the 9000 US b/c it would not be worth for her to fight it, that you contribute 5 dollars. That is not alot of money, and it may be 5 cutting down 5 cups of coffee(or tea or drink) for you, but it would mean alot to 11th Hour and if every fan does it, there would be enough money to help her(and any left over I am sure can be donated to charity). SO how about that?

ETA: And yay to you 11th hour for responding to alterleo. I do not envy you having to always put people in their place for spouting such uninformed opinions. It really is irritating when people do not examine the whole situation before giving their "black and white" judgement.

[ edited by kurya on 2006-10-31 18:50 ]
This just makes me so sad. I will gladly contribute to a fund for 11th hour if need be.
We've had our differences, but I like how ZM speaks straight from the id sometimes.

I had an argument with my man over this very thing the other night. He thinks Joss has ways of making this go away for 11th, and that he should help her. I maintained that there is NO WAY Joss can touch this without committing professional suicide.

Either way, I do agree that it's 11th that we should be caring about right now. I think keeping the finger-pointing to a minimum and focusing on her problem at hand (the legal sitch) is the best way to help her get through this. I also think that more attention to getting the word out should be paid. Where do I write?
I took ZachsMind post to be a joke, although...it kinda got a little pointed at the end there (some could even say mean).
However, goading Joss to post or suggesting boycotting him is not kool, in anyway.
It really wouldn't be prudent for him to post about this publically yet.
Where do I write?

Dear Santa
I would like a pony, a plastic rocket, and the legal situation for 11th hour to go away.
Many thanks, merci, shukria, xie xie.
Prakash

What? Writing to Santa is an option, he exists dammit!

Seriously, it would be nice to get contact info of journalists in the business and entertainment sections of various large mags or newspapers. If you can write to them at least alert the mof the situation it would be good, I just wouldn't know where to start. How about doing that? Thats something to do Zachsmind.

[ edited by kurya on 2006-10-31 19:32 ]
If Joss doesn't come forward over this and side with 11th hour, I don't care how many sequels of Firefly get made. If he doesn't support the people who helped him make that big bird fly one more time, I ain't supportin' him anymore.

Yes, because what Joss needs to do right now is shoot himself in the foot. That will solve all of our problems.

Frankly, Zach, if the Invoice seems pointless to you, then get off your butt and do something other than vent here. That does even less than the Invoice does.

On edit: Point being, the Invoice never made a claim to being the only thing people could do. It's a big world, full of many ideas, and there's nothing and no one stopping anyone from trying to do something else.

But it was an attempt to focus the anger in a way that wouldn't make us look totally uninformed and unrealistic about how things work. It was an attempt to control the framing of the story so the story didn't become "wingnut fans go on the attack" -- which might have played well to the dazed masses, but would have accomplished even less than you feel is being accomplished now.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-10-31 22:06 ]
I interpret Zachsminds post rather as a sarcastic, not a real call to Joss. But I see that one can miss the sarcastic parts in the heat of the moment.

So, guys, cool down. I think ZM just feels as helpless as the rest of us. He just screams louder. :-)
I think we all know how Joss feels about this, and for him to comment on pending litigation by his employers would be fool-hardy. Let's remember, in the scheme of things, we're fans; this is pretty much a hobby for us. We may be passionate about our entertainment, but this is Joss' livelihood. To ask him to risk his livelihood by publicly siding against Universal is unfair (not to mention that that would be the thing that would get this story in the mainstream press, and end up making Universal look very bad). And we have no idea if he is working behind the scenes on 11th Hour's behalf.

More then anything, though, I couldn't punish Joss for something he no doubt finds appalling, but is completely out of his control. He's the creator, which in Hollywood, gets about as much respect as "fan". I kid, but believe me, he doesn't have any control in this. I'll still see anything he does, be it from Universal or Independent Grainy 8mm Film. He can't really choose who he works with, and I can't really believe any other film company is any different from Universal when it comes to sic-ing lawyers on folks.

(And if Zach was being sarcastic, then this is a general comment to those who actually believe Joss should comment.)
Yeah, I don't think, and I would hope not, Zachsmind is only expressing his helplessness and just the suckiness(yes thats a word) of the situation. I would not take his words as direct attacks on Joss or on the browncoat invoice. I mean I see the humour there but its hard to gauge it in his post, that and he was probably trying to be inspirational and motivational in a weird ass, around about kind of way by saying we are browncoats etc.
When Comedy and Copyright Compromise - it looks like the iron is hot? Comedy Central and yuotube find the compromisaztion of comedy. If we can garner some of attention you tube has been getting about copyrights and what's what. I have already submitted the story idea to places like NPR, perhaps we should also send out messages to E! or TVGuide to see if we can get more coverage.

It's not like Universal hasn't already had a profound effect on copyright laws. It was the company that took Sony to court over Betamax/VCR infringing on it's product copyright, back in the late 70's. You think they would learn which battles to fight by now.
If I thought Zachsmind was saying "Joss plz post" I would have said something as we do frown upon that here. I thought it was a very poignant satrical thing to say. Hidden meaning and all that.
"JOSS WHEDON BETTER SPEAK UP ABOUT THIS IN PUBLIC VERY SOON"

I usually agree with you, ZM, but not on this one. He can't and shouldn't be expected to do so -- at least not publicly.
Yes April, see the post above yours. ZM is known for his sarcasm. I highly doubt he was being literal.
Simon can you make ZM's post have a permanent sarcastic font color? :)

Zach is bad for my sodium level, everytime he post I need a block of it. :P

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-11-01 01:17 ]
Oh...well don't I feel like an idiot for not noting the sarcasm in his post... what can I say that just flew over my head.
It's fun taking things literally! :)
RavenU, are you saying you need to take Zach with a grain of salt?
OMG, I so didnt get that joke embers. Man, I must be in dunce mood today.
More like a block of one, embers, since he likes writing long posts.

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