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"Oh Summers you drive like a spaz!"
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November 02 2006

"Passed Thru The Storm" - Message from 11th Hour. 11th Hour posts at the OB that Universal's law firm has been authorized to conclude the matter.

She says "It's all okay" and is looking forward to some serious sleep and relaxation. From 11th Hour: "Live and learn. Or rather, live, get hit with a scary demand become a tortured wreck before it's resolved over a week later, and learn..."

Happy to hear this, and so glad that her situation is resolved. IP, viral marketing, copyright and such will increasingly be of importance to the fandom, but thankfully, 11th Hour's boat was kept in the air by love... and lawyers.

ETA - vampirefan and nixygirl both mention:

Due to the recent C&D (now resolved) that 11thhour had received, the site (bigdamnthankyou.com) has redirected its purpose from thanking Universal the "Studio". This is just as tongue-in-cheek as the browncoatinvoice.com.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2006-11-02 16:39 ]

Yay!

Party in my eye-socket, and everyone's invited! :D
Well I'm glad it's all sorted out.

Now what does the fandom do?
So. Very. Glad. Rock on, 11th!

[ edited by m'cookies on 2006-11-02 17:53 ]
A huge, collective sigh of relief.
I've always found it scary just how much life imitates art in this fandom, but at least this battle turned out for the better. Great for you, 11th!
Simon: "Now what does the fandom do?"

Well, that is a question (or two), isn't it?

Me, I'm buying up un-official Serenifly merchandise that I've wanted now, bigtime, while I can.

And since Jossir is one of my main men, I will see/read anything he does that interests me -- I am especially looking forward to Buffy Season 8 comics, and Goners, which (the little I know about it) greatly appeals to me.

And Goners was bought by Universal, and I will see it regardless. But my desire to hop on the promotion/official merchandise, etc. train will greatly depend on any further/additional legal actions they may take in the future...

"Cause fool me once... well, you know the rest...

(I am happy and relieved about 11th Hour and that's a fact. I was getting all p.o.'d and feisty, and that's never good for the blood pressure. Besides, I'd rather get pissed about the upcoming elections, if I'm gonna go there...)

Now what does the fandom do?


I've set up a Paypal account to get me rich and famous fund a sequel. Send money to scam@donetheimpossibler.com.

Also in with the collective sigh of relief. Although - note, fandom people - it wouldn't surprise me if Universal C&D blatant t-shirt misuse still.

One part of this story I don't think has been covered is that Universal and their legal team were made aware of the publicity this attracted. I'm not saying that was a big factor here - the biggest factor was not violating the IP for sure - but I think it certainly helped draw attention to it. So thanks to theonetruebix who created what I believe is the widest spread online viral marketing campaign the movie actually had over this issue. It reached far outside the fandom.
The sales number I reported for the shirts relating to the design in question were de minimis


De minimis would refer to the design itself rather than the revenue. I hate to sound as paranoid as I really am but I am still not breathing easy on this.
I am so happy for you, 11th Hour. I hope you can get a good nght's sleep - or two - after all the stress of the past week. Your art is lovely and you have many beautiful designs and items for sale at Cafe Press that I would love to have.
dreamlogic - breath easy. That's her wording. Universal have told the law firm to drop the issue, so it ain't going anywhere.
Just wondering,

Is it over as in 11th Hour can continue to make and sell merchandise or is it only the "retroactive dues" that was dropped?
Phew! I'm glad to hear that, 11th Hour, and hope you enjoy your hard-earned R&R.
Breathing. Easy. Excellent.
Yay 11th Hour! This is very good news indeed, and I have to think that if, as gossi says, Universal heard about the publicity, that we all, collectively, together (esp. people who spread the word, like gossi and theonetrueb!x) have done the impossible, and that does make us mighty. We didn't leave a man or woman behind, and we held. We ROCK! :-)

Next up: official comics, watching Alan on CSI tomorrow night, not so much taking corporations at their word. ;-)
I did bugger all. But to me doing anything is often verging on improbable.
A note of caution here. The battle may have been won at the 11 hour (I suspect due to behind the scenes malarkey rather than fan pressure) but we're still losing the war. Universal will still issue C&D letters against individual fans and their sites. They may not ask for retrospective earnings in future but the intention will still be to close down what they see as acting against their interest.

In fact if I was to go all conspiracy theory, I would credit Universal for getting the fans to focus on one specific case rather than the overall picture itself. It's almost as if we were led down that path intentionally.

Now that the matter has been settled, I hope fans don't think everything is back to normal.
YAYAYA!!!

I am sooooo glad to hear this!
I was just coming over to post that Big Damn Thankyou.com have changed their thanx from Universal to 11th Hour now.
More reason to smile!
:-D

Congrats 11th.

ETA: Simon...oh dear.

[ edited by nixygirl on 2006-11-02 11:12 ]
Guys, this had me at the brink of tears for a week whenever I read about 11th problems, or the awesome support she got. Now they're welling, but out of relief.

I'm so glad you're through the storm, 11th.

"No, Meimei. It's time to wake up!" Wake up from this nightmare.

[ edited by Harridan on 2006-11-02 11:17 ]
Simon, to be honest I don't have an issue with them sending out C&D's for obviously infringing works.

There is an argument to be made about t-shirts are free advertising, but since they sold the t-shirt license to somebody else, I've no problems with them enforcing it. Since they, uh, have to.
Just wondering,

Is it over as in 11th Hour can continue to make and sell merchandise or is it only the "retroactive dues" that was dropped?


That's an awfully good question. Was this an operation using an indefensible but massively clouted legal move designed to frighten people who had been given an informal but undoubtedly official permission out of continuing business on that informal agreement by making them grateful for just not having their savings taken away? Without thinking of recourse?

I think if that was the real story there may be some recourse. But I'm not a lawyer.

And I understand if they want to just let it go with this.
Simon, to be honest I don't have an issue with them sending out C&D's for obviously infringing works.


If it's against sites that sell wares, there is a case to be made for Universal's actions. I am however concerned that Universal will go down the same route that 20th Century Fox went down and crack down on sites that host fan art/screen caps etc and indeed fan fics too. A line has to be drawn somewhere.
Woo, this is such a relief, and I'm glad 11th Hour will probably finally be able to get some sleep again tonight.

But we should all remember what happened here. Universal backing off does not take away that they used scare tactics to intimidate 11th Hour. The bully said, I'll beat you up a lot, and we got so scared that it seems very nice of the bully now to only beat us up a little.

Like Simon suggested--they let us have a victory over the worst part, and suddenly the rest doesn't seem so bad and they can get away with it.
That has been one of the things concerning me since this all began too Simon. I was involved a few years ago with some Gladiator fan sites and Dreamworks and Universal sent out C&D's to some fansites asking for the removal of all images and character references from them. The fanfic got hit also.
I am however concerned that Universal will go down the same route that 20th Century Fox went down and crack down on sites that host fan art/screen caps etc and indeed fan fics too. A line has to be drawn somewhere.

Fun fact: on SerenityMovie.org now, you have to be a registered member to see those elements of the site. They haven't come near it, but I'm not takin' no chances.

So far the action has been purely limited to areas which are licensed.
Congrats 11th Hour, glad it worked out to your satisfaction. Rest easy and catch up on all that sleep you no doubt lost ;).

Good point Telltale, it's like the fabled 'helicopter shot' from film scripts where the director/producer includes an arbitrary massively expensive shot so that when asked to trim things by the studio they can throw them a bone the director never wanted in the first place. Could be the same thing here, give a little to take a lot.

And Simon and dreamlogic, kudos on the paranoia. I'd doff my hat to you but then 'they' could read my brainwaves ;).

(as the adage goes though "It's not whether you're paranoid, it's whether you're paranoid enough")

In totally unrelated news, BTW, I now seem to have a surplus of Molotov cocktails going at bargain prices if anyone's interested ;-).
Was this an operation using an indefensible but massively clouted legal move designed to frighten people who had been given an informal but undoubtedly official permission out of continuing business on that informal agreement by making them grateful for just not having their savings taken away? Without thinking of recourse?

IMO, I think this is crediting the lawyer types with being more clever than they are. I think they were just trying to stop people profiting off (what they thought was) Universal's license-able properties, but what was in fact the Chinese language.

I agree with gossi and others that I can see TPTB getting all C&D-y about people selling goods with copyrighted images or logos -- and that this would be somewhat reasonable, to protect the people they sold licenses to -- but it would be scary if they decide that fanfic, fan art and other such not-for-profiting-from-sales ways of creatively exploring the 'Verse is not OK anymore. *crosses fingers*
I'm thrilled for 11th Hour, too! I'm glad the bad parts are over for her. And I do hope that Universal keeps the legal action to obvious copyright infringement and not happy fan-fic Websites that do no harm.
Well, it will be interesting to see what the final outcome actually is, whether it allows 11th to continue to operate or not, and whether or not 11th can tell any of us anything about it, anyway.
Septimus: 11th Hour can and is still operating, and legally.

Here: http://www.cafepress.com/11thhourart.
Glad to hear your good news 11th Hour

Just curious... Does the studio's IP also include pictures of the actors in character/costume?
Most likely. If it was badged as Serenity, and had - say - Nathan dressed as Mal, they'd have a very strong argument about it.
Yup. And the actors own the rights to their own likenesses as well.

If you haven't, read 11th Hour's post at the OB linked above, she goes into much more detail about the nature of the complaints.
Does anyone else get the feeling the Browncoats got used for some new attorney's initation at the Uni law offices....

1st Lawyer (snickering) : Hey I got a idea?
2nd Lawyer : What's that?
1st Lawyer : You know how we have to send out all those boring C&D orders to various fan groups to protect the companies copyright.
2nd Lawyer : Yeah, I hate that job after all most of them are just trying to help the studio and we just end up beinging the bad guys and getting deludged in hate mail for weeks.
1st Lawyer (snickering again) : I know, so let's give it to the new guy and have him do it.
2nd Lawyer : That's a great idea. Hey New Guy we got an important job for you.
New Lawyer : Really? What is it?
2nd Lawyer : Well it's grave situtation. You see there are these fa....felons who have been infringing on one of Universal's copyright of one of their held properties called 'Serenity', we need you to take care of it for us before they cost us anymore legitimate business.
1st Lawyer (still snickering) : Yes it's grave indeed.
New Lawyer (excited) : I'll get right on it.

So the new lawyer goes back to his little cubicle and cracks open his online law library for copyright law and looks down at the list of names and locations. Then he gets to work, pulling out his calulator to add up the damages and then sees the first person on thhe list somone who goes by the name 11th Hour. After days of toiling away he sends off the C&D order with a statement for reperations. The senior layers come to see him a day later after getting calls from marketing and others at Universal.

2nd Lawyer (pissed) : What the heck did you do?
New Lawyer : What you told me to do to inform those copyright violaters to stop and to pay damages.
1st Lawyer (more pissed) : PAY DAMAGES???? You idiot you were suppose to send them C&D orders only, these people don't sell enough to cause damage.
New Lawyer : But....
2nd Lawyer : No buts, this could cause severe bad press for the company which would cause even more damages than anything, those violaters we told you to contact could have ever done.
1st Lawyer : We will take care of this and straighten it out. We should have known better than to give such a delicate assignment to a rookie like you.
New Lawyer (pouting) : I'm sorry I thought ....
1st Lawyer : You are not here to think, you are here to do what you are told. Here's your next assignment don't screw this up. Read these contracts and look for any typos or other errors, then triple check all realtive case law cited to make sure it is in the correct context.

New Lawyer Sulks away to his next assignment. After he is out of earshot both senior lawyers crack up laughing.

2nd Lawyer (laughing) : OMG, that worked out better than expected.
1st Lawyer (laughing) : What an idiot. Did you see the look on his face? Priceless.
2nd Lawyer : Yeah, tell me about it. What do you think the fans reaction will be when we drop it.
1st Lawyer : They'll love Universal for coming to their senses naturally. Then the next batch of C&D's will be more readily complied with. So win-win and we got the new guy and the best laugh all year in the process.
2nd Lawyer : Yeah but it was at the expense of some loyal fans.
1st Lawyer (burst out laughing) : Who cares, their just fans, it's not like they have any power other than being annoying at times.
2nd Lawyer : Yeah your right. Let's get back to work.
1st Lawyer : Hey I know, lets sue youtube and myspace for infringing on some copyrights.


Ok so maybe I thought about this a bit to much.
Dear BigDamnThankyou.com:

This firm represents Senior Partners Licensing, LLLP. As you presumably are aware, Senior Partners owns the valuable copyrights and intellectual property of Joss Whedon's brain and all images contained therein (“the Senior Partners Property”). [See, e.g., Walt Disney Productions v. Filmation Associates, 628 F.Supp. 871, 876, 878, 879-80 (C.D. Cal. 1986) (defendant’s use of plaintiff’s protected images in defendant’s promotional trailer, brochures and other materials found infringing)].

You Damn Fans are offering unauthorized pictures of Joss Whedon which may give rise to multiple violations of law, giving rise to various causes of action for copyright infringement, counterfeiting, and unfair competition, among other claims. Recovery on one or more of these claims may include attorney’s fees, treble damages, statutory damages, punitive damages and more mocking emails.

Within 72 hours you shall agree to: pay a retroactive licensing fee of 12 pints of blood; the permanent closing of the website; turn over any clones of Joss referring to the Senior Partner property and provide the last 12 months complete sales records of Mini-Joss'.

If you fail to comply you will face the federal court and the statutory damages thingy of $150,000 per infringed work. You will also be sentenced to a fiery death. (But only once you have paid).

Have a good day.
Thank goodness the frightening stuff is finished for you 11th Hour. Yea!

Simon does not sound paranoid to me. Vigilance is always necessary. We can celebrate 11th Hour being out of the woods and we can admit that corporations have a right and obligation to enforce their copywright, but we still have to pay attention to what else they may be up to.

Meanwhile, party!
Most likely. If it was badged as Serenity, and had - say - Nathan dressed as Mal, they'd have a very strong argument about it.


Ok, what if they were in character, but weren't identified as such, and were cartoonish, and really little, and didn't really look like the actors to begin with? Not that, you know, I've seen anything like that, or anything ...
If it's badged as Serenity, it's a likeness, they could go after you. Anything which they can prove is marketed at the fans and contains their property as images is an issue. As always, I'm not a lawyer and that's all my opinion. But, well, they went after Susan citing the words Serenity in English and Chinese as a logo being a problem..
Lexigeek: Skat recently did a long post here that pretty much covered the likeness issue. In my experience cafepress (not Universal, but cafepress) would not allow me to put up hand drawn slightly cartoonish images of five of the actors in costume, but they did allow the other three. As soon as you add a quote from the show, or worse, a logo and/or title of the show, then you are really entering the area of violation. Parody is always legal, but I don't think cafepress would want to carry the images anyway. There has definitely been a 'chilling' effect from all of this, RavenU is right: the fans are intimidated now (er, at least that is the message I got from the dramatic scene above).

[ edited by embers on 2006-11-02 19:11 ]
Well I am breathing a sigh of relief thank the gods goddesses and non-gods and what other powerful things like turnips. 11th Hour you are the hero of canton!

In terms of the forseeable future, well I myself will not "boycott" Universal, but I won't be as enthusiastic as before, probably won't buy any licnesed stuff(kinda on a tight budget anyways), and just will be very wary. And Universal going after fansites, that is my exact fear. (I even stated thatbefore when the C&D business started up), b/c Fox went after all the Simpson fan sites etc. I hope the other fansites wont get hit :(
I'm delighted and relieved to hear that 11th Hour's situation is being resolved.
gossi said:

Dear BigDamnThankyou.com:

This firm represents Senior Partners Licensing, LLLP. As you presumably are aware, Senior Partners owns the valuable copyrights and intellectual property of Joss Whedon's brain and all images contained therein (“the Senior Partners Property”). [See, e.g., Walt Disney Productions v. Filmation Associates, 628 F.Supp. 871, 876, 878, 879-80 (C.D. Cal. 1986) (defendant’s use of plaintiff’s protected images in defendant’s promotional trailer, brochures and other materials found infringing)].

You Damn Fans are offering unauthorized pictures of Joss Whedon which may give rise to multiple violations of law, giving rise to various causes of action for copyright infringement, counterfeiting, and unfair competition, among other claims. Recovery on one or more of these claims may include attorney’s fees, treble damages, statutory damages, punitive damages and more mocking emails.

Within 72 hours you shall agree to: pay a retroactive licensing fee of 12 pints of blood; the permanent closing of the website; turn over any clones of Joss referring to the Senior Partner property and provide the last 12 months complete sales records of Mini-Joss'.

If you fail to comply you will face the federal court and the statutory damages thingy of $150,000 per infringed work. You will also be sentenced to a fiery death. (But only once you have paid).

Have a good day.


I have truly become paranoid, because this post actually scared me. My heart is still racing. Thanks, gossi, for rekindling my fear of the tromp of approaching freshly-shined dress shoes.

Anyway, I'm very relieved to hear that things have been resolved. We plan to leave BDTY as it is for now, because we still want to thank 11th. Also, graffiti is hard to wash off.
Simon does not sound paranoid to me.


Phew!

But seriously, fans get viewed as cash cows to big business. And we get manipulated from time to time. That's the way it goes. I'd like to think some day this situation will change.
Now what does the fandom do?

Write a book about it?

It is NaNoWriMo, after all.
Funny you should mention that...
"Simon does not sound paranoid to me.

Phew!"


Well I thought I heard someone say Simon sounded paranoid...

Ok. So maybe I am not the best judge right now. ;-)
Funny you should mention that...

Just don't release it before mine, yo.
I've been developing a side-scrolling Flash game based on Serenity with some friends of mine. We would make no money off of it (it would actually cost us money to host it) but I work as a Flash developer and have fun making Flash games on my own time. So I've been watching this whole situation very closely. Despite the situation being resolved with 11thHour, I'm still unsure, if my friends and I should keep working on it (it's still many months away from being finished), or if we should change the design and characters to move away from the Serenity theme.
Congrats on the resolution of this issue, 11th Hour. That is awesome news.

IP is a very serious issue. Having many artist, writer and musician friends who would be devastaed if their original works were stolen, I completely agree that infringement shouldn't take place and Universal has every right to protect it.

But I was appalled that they went after 11th Hour whose art WAS original (and also beautiful) when there were so many others who were obviously borrowing heavily from the Movie property.

I have to agree that there was a specific intent with going after her. They had to know her work was far removed from their IP.

It makes me wary (if not down right paranoid). I hope other fandoms will take notice and think twice before freely (stressing the FREE part) getting into bed with Studio promoters again.
I've been developing a side-scrolling Flash game based on Serenity with some friends of mine.


Say it's based on Serendipity. Universal will never notice. And that's 100% top legal advice from the school of Lionel Hutz.
Matt_Fabb, why don't you talk to the creator of Crimson Dark? that is loosely based off of Firefly but different Universe and different things. But in terms of whether your work will be targeted, well I am sure we will see in the next while whether fansites that dont "make money" off of serenity/Firefly, get targeted with C&D's.
RavenU: "Does anyone else get the feeling the Browncoats got used for some new attorney's initation at the Uni law offices...."

Your scenario was pretty funny, RavenU, and reminded me of the timeless and beloved "Snipe Hunt." When my Mom was in nursing school, their equivalent was to send her rushing around looking for a "neck tourniquet." It didn't take her too long, but some nurses go mad. Mad nurses are scary, 'cause they know where to stab.

My NaNoWriMo novel will be just crap, and having written 0/50,000 words, I'm already so deeply, deeply proud of it.

"This novel is not to be tossed lightly aside, but hurled with great force." -- Dorothy Parker

“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.” -- T.S. Eliot

"Everywhere I go, I'm asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them." -- Flannery O'Connor


gossi, I'll pay up to six pints without a fuss, but no way am I turning over my Joss-clones. Like Simon said (how cute is that phrase?), a line has to be drawn somewhere, and there is where I hold.
Say it's based on Serendipity. Universal will never notice. And that's 100% top legal advice from the school of Lionel Hutz.


Isn't that Miguel Sanchez now?
Hey everyone, just checking in.

Appreciate deeply all the good wishes sent my way. The good news is still sinking in and I'm basically resting some, and making my way to get back on track. One can't come off a several day overwhelming stress jag all at once... but at least the needle on my stress-o-meter has definitely been backing down from the red zone...

To touch on a few thoughts brought up in this thread ~

• My Cafe Press shop is still operating, everything is fine there. The stipulation is just that there can be no references to the movie "Serenity", in image or print. Now that doesn't include the Chinese characters for the word "serenity", as those are not copyrighted and, from what I understand, were around a really, really, really long time before Serenity, the movie, was ever released. So we're cool.

• My Browncoat lawyer advisor suggested that a possible reason the boom was lowered so hard on my shop may have been due to it looking too much like a big, professional operation. I had a lot of different styles of art which might have given the impression of a "staff" of graphic designers, or something. No, just lil' ol' me with a very active imagination. Since this whole legal action though, I've stripped the designs down to those which only feature creative uses of Chinese characters, as that seems like a very safe base to again build up from. I'll be adding more to my shop... original designs with an eclectic Chinese-Western-Retro-Futuristic feel and others, but absolutely no reference to ANY movies, tranquil or otherwise.

Simon makes a valid point regarding how this incident demonstrates, to the fandom as a whole, that the landscape has changed dramatically. We can expect that copyright matters as they pertain to t-shirts, or other "same category" licensed merchandise, will be enforced vigorously. As to whether this attitude will extend out to other forms of use, well, that isn't clear yet. We can hope that the legal actions do not become too Draconian, as this will squander the good will of a supportive fan base, and eliminate so many wonderful creative expressions that actually invigorate the fan following and spread the word... which leads to bringing in new fans to buy DVDs and licensed merchandise.

However, saying all that with the "hopeful, positive" side of my brain, please everyone make a mental note to yourself in regard to the attorney who conducted the legal action against me. Before forming his present partnership retained by Universal, he held a significant position working with the M.P.A.A.

Just something to keep in mind as to what we might expect in the "warm fuzzy feelings" department when it comes to the law firm's attitude toward copyright and Intellectual Property laws.
"Your scenario was pretty funny, RavenU, and reminded me of the timeless and beloved "Snipe Hunt." When my Mom was in nursing school, their equivalent was to send her rushing around looking for a "neck tourniquet." It didn't take her too long, but some nurses go mad. Mad nurses are scary, 'cause they know where to stab."

I enjoyed RavenU's littel scene too. I could definately see it.

In the old days of tech theater they used to give newbies a dusty bunch of the plastic-like squares used to change the color of the lights with instructions to go wash them off. They would then watch how the poor newbies handled these important items melting in their hands. From that time on the newbies would understand why it was called "gel". Ah, the old classics.
Thanx for the update of the update 11th Hour! Glad the stress leve lis come down and thanx for the info about the "lawyer" involved. I mean wasn't it the same MPAA and studios spelling doom when the VCR came out etc? Now look at how important the home entertainment market is in terms of movies etc. I mean you would think they would learn from their previous lessons, but I guess not. The important thing is though that the fandoms especially the browncoats learn from this lesson.
It wasn't just the MPAA who went after the VCR (Betamax), but it was Universal Studios who filed the case and took it all the way to the supreme court on appeals. Which was an extremely retarded move, frankly, as what do studios make a lot of their money on now? DVDs. They weren't forward thinking in that case, which I'm sure never happens in these matters.

Universal, as of a few months ago, have really started using the media to talk about IP again -- very much mirroring the talk of former years -- in this case fighting against the Internet. In particular, sites like Youtube. It makes me laugh the legal firm involved in the action against 11th Hour worked for the MPAA, it really does. It's how to mess up in business and government: keep doing the same shit as before wrong.

Chris - I actually started writing a book about my fandom experience with Serenity last year. Want to compare notes?

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-02 23:25 ]
Ya know...call me crazy, but Universal lost on some potentially excellent business opportunities with this whole matter.

The number of people like 11th Hour out there pushing the film and series could have meant Universal had eager and willing business partners...if they were willing to work a deal. Now, if I had been someone with power in Universal's marketing department who presumably would have given the legal department shit, I would have done the following:

1) Got the boys and girls at Legal to C&D...but said notices would only ask for a temporary injunction till a deal could be offered where everyone - Universal and fans like 11th Hour - could benefit;

2) Once the C&D notices were out, make offers to 11th Hour and other fans selling merchandise to allow them to get licensing agreements with a deal being made over when shares of any profits get handed over to Universal (kinda like income tax..don't gotta pay till you make $XXXX+1 from income);

3) Make it clear to those contacted that if they were not interested in making a deal, that new C&D notices would be sent out basically asking for what was requested in the first place in RL (though none of that "retroactive fees" crap).

Everyone would get a chance to buy in and Universal would have a group of licensed and hyper "partners" who could mean access to new markets for their goods.

This is probably a mere fantasy cuz I know some copyright lawyer or business maven would decry it as poor practice or violating some law or statute on handling IP infringement matters:(
Thing is, I know people talk about creating guilds for fan merchandisers and have an agreement with Universal to make things etc, and that is just a lot of legalit y I am sure Universal would avoid, plus its "too forward" thinking. Especially when it comes down to ownership pof the designs of tshirts mugs jewelery etc. What I thought would be a good diea is that if Universal created a cafepress tore for itself, where automatically anything fan made produced i nthat shop, there would be a licnese fee attached to, and it would be all legal, and it would allow a playground for fan merchandisers to produce stuff.

ETA

Something interesting from an Affable Chap I know there is always a danger of reading too much into things, but hopefully the Universal boys are "cool" enough to not allow the lawyers to go overboard... I hope.

[ edited by kurya on 2006-11-03 00:34 ]
Here also, at a little more length, from the same Affable Chap on another thread at the OB.

BlueEyedBrigadier: "This is probably a mere fantasy..."

Mebbe so, BEB, but I don't think you're crazy. And I do know that with the rapidly-changing ways that we are viewing our entertainment media, and with media companies of necessity needing to change the way they do business, and the way IP is going to have to change, these transitions and adaptations are going to be way rockier than they need to be unless some people get creative.

'Cause the changes will come -- that's already happening. (No matter how hard the horse-and-buggy makers fought, the automobile became fact.) It's the acceptance of those involved in the old models that needs to happen. And for those for whom money is the bottom line -- well, there's money to be made if you open your minds, and don't take the earliest exit on the zeitgeist highway.

I know I've posted this before, from donkeyontheedge.com -- and recently -- but I think it applies beautifully to what I'm saying:

"The core of the problem is simple. Traditional IP owners think of the IP as being the primary source of value for them. In essence, they pay guards to surround the mine and miners to extract the value. The whole idea that the consumer could be adding equivalent value is alien to them and their infrastructure doesn’t allow for flexibility or evolution (they are frozen in time by legal agreements and the lawyers that protect them)."

(I always feel like I should pay zeitgeist a little something every time I use his name...)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-11-03 03:09 ]
"Chris - I actually started writing a book about my fandom experience with Serenity last year. Want to compare notes?"

E-mail sent!
Say it's based on Serendipity. Universal will never notice.

I rather go all out and make a Serenity game, or go completely the opposite way and take on a different theme, instead of calling the came Serendipity, with characters such as Jaine and Mel. It's still early enough in development that Reavers could be changed into some sort of zombies, characters can be tweaked not to resemble the cast and so on. I'll wait and see if Universal sends out any C&D letters to fans who run websites, or if they will only go after those selling merchandise.
gossi said:

Dear BigDamnThankyou.com (...) If you fail to comply you will face the federal court and the statutory damages thingy of $150,000 per infringed work. You will also be sentenced to a fiery death. (But only once you have paid).


Well now, ain't this a whole lotta fuss. I didn't know better, might think we were dangerous. :)
I would totally read a book co-written by C. A. Bridges and gossi. I'll also read the books each of them write separately. Bring it on, bring it on, dudes! ;-)
11th, I'm so glad everything worked out the way you wanted - though I'm sad the c&d still stands. All the best for your future career :-)

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