GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Universal's legal action against 11th Hour

POSTED BY: CABRIDGES
UPDATED: Sunday, November 12, 2006 23:47
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 32685
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Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:30 AM

SHINYHAPPYKLIN


Canter, I love you....

That's it exactly. They do have rights under the current system, but can't they see they're cutting off their nose to spite their face?

Things need to change. Studios need to realize that there is something intangible within a strong fandom community that can't be captured in traditional marketing, and that with new technology, isn't likely to be stopped (or shouldn't be, given certain non-defamatory or exact duplication restrictions), short of killing the fandom entirely - which would be stupid!

It's all about the Long Tail...those media elements that take a while to take off; that need word of mouth, repeated viewings, and slow exposure. Properties like Firefly and Serenity are not blockbusters, and shouldn't be. They're treasures to be savored, and passed with respect and love. It takes time for people to get exposure to them, but there is money to be made for a studio, even years after the fact. Blockbusters are expensive and risky. They're often also insipid. Consumers are demanding a wider range of products to appeal to a wider range of desires. Let us help work the products in the Long Tail economy -- We're not out to hurt the studios, we truly want them to succeed. Just don't stomp all over us, and respect us. If not, we do have other options, and we can create what we want.

Joss gave us the vision and the idea, it's up to us to carry the torch if we want, and figure out how to do it without the studio's support if we have to. It sucks, but until they're willing to meet us halfway, that's the way it has to be. Eventually someone will get wise, and say "hmmm, maybe they've got something here, and it's ok to work with the fans instead of abusing them." I'd like it to be Universal. I have a feeling it will be New Line Cinema first, unfortunately.

"We gotta go to that crappy town where I'M a hero..."
_______________________________
Shiny stuff for Browncoats at:
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http://www.outtotheblack.com

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:43 AM

ZEEK


Quote:

Originally posted by shinyhappyklin:
can't they see they're cutting off their nose to spite their face?


I highly doubt they see it that way. I know we like to think we're a huge fandom that any company would be proud to milk for ever last penny, but the statistics don't show it. We haven't produced gobs of money for them to swim in. They see us as a failure and potential legal action against them is not worth it just to keep a failed fandom happy.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:44 AM

LEIASKY


>Also, the difference apparently is that 11th hour did official licensed work before.

Ahhh. This makes a lot more sense now.

THIS is why Universal is demanding money.

11th hour is in a whole other circumstance from all the other people out there making Firefly/Serenity product.

This is why they didn't get a C$D and the studio went right for monetary compensation.

"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:51 AM

ARBAS


Quote:

Originally posted by Zeek:
Quote:

Originally posted by Arbas:
Fair comment but surely to be accurate you'd need complete sales figures sinc the store opened - or to relevent to the licence sales figures since the licence was granted.

Not having a dig here but what is positive about this?

edit - and I have to ask again - what is different about 11th hours setup to warrant the demand for fees when others have only rec'd a c&d order? Or are you saying the action ISN'T being taken by Universal but rather the licence holder - if that's the case we have a simple reaction (you need to KNOW this is accurate info though) we publicise across every medium we have access to what the licence holder has done then boycott the company.


The positive side is they're a giant company who gave us a movie. All the lawsuits they've filed in the past built up to us getting a movie. Did you boycott back then? Apparently it's only bad when it's taking away something you want. Rather than when it's giving you exactly what you want.

Also, the difference apparently is that 11th hour did official licensed work before. Apparently providing art for the Serenity RPG. That could bring down all sorts of extra legal hellfire on her. If she signed any sort of contract it probably had plenty of legalease in it. She may have also been given access to Universal copyrighted material to produce the game. They might think she is now using that material in her unauthorized merchandise.



Get real - lawsuits don't finance movies WE DO by going to see the movies then buying the DVDs and the spin offs and the games etc etc etc and all this lawsuit is doing is pissing off this consumer - no one has ever denied the legal issues in these cases, it stands to reason that c&d orders will go out when a licence is sold - what has got my back up in this case is the demand for retrospective fees - this may be explained by the previous work 11th hour has done on the RPG but a lot of fans are going to think that would be offset by the free advertising work she's also done - and for christs sake $8k dollars damages probably won't pay the lawyers doughnut charges ...

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 8:20 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by Canter:
I'm a lawyer.

Sorry.

I respect the rights of Universal to protect their intellectual property. I believe they have the right to ensure that property they spent money on are protected for their benefit.

But, here is the thing. I don't believe Serenity or Firefly belongs solely to Universal. I don't believe Serenity or Firefly is anyone's property. I believe that when they expressly and impliedly encouraged and condoned fan-advertising and promotion, they abandoned part or all of their exclusive rights in favour of the public.

That would be my defense if it went to court.

They don't own FireFly, that's owned by 20th Century Fox, they do own Serenity and any works pertaining there too. Anything based on FireFly is a derivative work owned by Fox (unless a license has been obtained as is the case with Universal) anything based on Serenity is a derivative work belonging to Universal.
Quote:

But, being from a different legal system, I'd probably lose. But losing doesn't mean I'm wrong.
Doesn't mean you are morally wrong, but it does mean you are legally wrong.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 8:23 AM

THEONETRUEBIX


A non-confrontational but point-making response:

The Browncoat Invoice
http://www.browncoatinvoice.com/

(Note to those who don't read the "about" page there: This is not a real invoice, duh.)

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 8:55 AM

CANTER


Quote:

Originally posted by citizen:
They don't own FireFly, that's owned by 20th Century Fox, they do own Serenity and any works pertaining there too. Anything based on FireFly is a derivative work owned by Fox (unless a license has been obtained as is the case with Universal) anything based on Serenity is a derivative work belonging to Universal.



You misunderstand.

I know Universal owns the right to proceeds and derivatives from the movie "Serenity".
I also know that Fox owns the right to proceeds and derivatives from the TV-series "Firefly".

(I might have mentioned that I'm a lawyer. We study law.)

What I was trying to say, and apparently not doing too good a job with it, was that to me, the TV-series and the BDM is elements of the Browncoat experience. The community of Browncoats, the rallying to a central standard, the discussions, the friends, the EMOTION is bigger than just what we saw on the screen. We as fans helped create this 'verse, with our support and campaigns. The community, the emotion, is not owned by any company.
When Universal reacted in the way that they did against 11th hour, they sort of attacked what makes the Firefly/Serenity 'verse special. They attacked a Browncoat. They attacked each and every one of us. It's not what they did. It's how they did it. They demeaned our effort. They, basically told us, "You don't really matter. We will tell you what to do. Get in line." And I don't want to.
Quote:

Doesn't mean you are morally wrong, but it does mean you are legally wrong.



Kinda what I meant...... I know I'd be legally wrong. (Have I mentioned the fact about the lawyering?) But where does it say that legal equals justice?

Burn the land and boil the sea...

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 9:14 AM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originaly posted by Canter:
(I might have mentioned that I'm a lawyer. We study law.)

Yes, I can read . But that doesn't mean you know who owns the legal rights to every legal property on the face of the Earth.
Quote:

What I was trying to say, and apparently not doing too good a job with it, was that to me, the TV-series and the BDM is elements of the Browncoat experience. The community of Browncoats, the rallying to a central standard, the discussions, the friends, the EMOTION is bigger than just what we saw on the screen. We as fans helped create this 'verse, with our support and campaigns. The community, the emotion, is not owned by any company.
When Universal reacted in the way that they did against 11th hour, they sort of attacked what makes the Firefly/Serenity 'verse special. They attacked a Browncoat. They attacked each and every one of us. It's not what they did. It's how they did it. They demeaned our effort. They, basically told us, "You don't really matter. We will tell you what to do. Get in line." And I don't want to.

Yes but legal (and as a lawyer I'm sure you know this) they do. They own it and every material thing derived from it. They own the images and fan fiction in the Blue Sun Room. It's theirs by copyright law.

My original reply was to the legallity, I'm not talking about that fuzzy feeling it gives you when you watch the episodes. Embers alluded that if you've created an all original work it belongs to you, it doesn't, it's a derivative and it belongs to the studio. We can get all romantic and talk about how this new image makes us feel but that doesn't change the fact that some other entity can come along and take it away from us on a whim.
Quote:

Kinda what I meant...... I know I'd be legally wrong. (Have I mentioned the fact about the lawyering?) But where does it say that legal equals justice?
I think that's what I said, the law not being the same thing as justice, but that doesn't change the fact that Universal and Fox can step in and take away our favorite toys on a whim and there's nothing we can realistically do about it.

I mean we could go native and hurl spears at them but that's not going to effect them so much.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 10:07 AM

11THHOUR


Quote:

Originally posted by Leiasky:
>Also, the difference apparently is that 11th hour did official licensed work before.

Ahhh. This makes a lot more sense now.

THIS is why Universal is demanding money.

11th hour is in a whole other circumstance from all the other people out there making Firefly/Serenity product.

This is why they didn't get a C$D and the studio went right for monetary compensation.



There's still a lot of unanswered questions, and this situation is still in play. I would consider it a favor if y'all didn't go making speculations with not much info to go on. Especially when those speculations, posted on a public board, tend to put me in a bad light.

My Cafe Press shop did not feature any official logos, screen caps, likeness of actors, or reproductions of designs from either Firefly or Serenity. EVERYTHING in my Cafe Press shop was my original, unique design.

The initial notice that Cafe Press sent me was a C&D order, to which I responded to immediately. The "Demand" notice, which prompted this thread, came after the C&D, and also after I had already overhauled my shop in response to the C&D.

What some people do not realize, is that the main issue with my shop was that there were references to the Serenity movie in the product descriptions. This is the part which surprised me. One can feature a design that does not infringe on a copyright... however, if the description refers to the TV show or movie, then it's a violation of intellectual property.

Every design in my shop is/was original, but there were two source designs which allegedly fell into the grey area. I removed those designs. All the rest were absolutely fine, and those are the designs which are still there now. There are designs which incorporate Chinese characters in a creative way. Some of the designs feature the characters for the word "serenity", but there are no references to the movie of that name. And that is perfectly legal.

It was the references and "marketing" of the shop that was the main issue folks. Lesson learned: As to Cafe Press shops, it can be the descriptions, not the images, that will bring the law down on you. So don't refer to the "Serenity" movie.

11th Hour

>>>}———————————————)))======<[]>======(((———————————————{<<<

"Because teenage pranks are fun when you're about to die!" - Hoban Washburne

Firefly/Serenity Guerilla Marketing Posters ~ http://the11thhour.home.att.net
Cafe Press Shop ~ http://www.cafepress.com/11thhourart


Spread the word today ~ Give the gift of Firefly: http://www.apple.com/itunes

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 10:25 AM

ARBAS


Good time to close the thread if it's causing problems 11th hour - sorry if I've dropped you in the clarts with any of the posts :(

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 11:09 AM

11THHOUR


Quote:

Originally posted by Arbas:
Good time to close the thread if it's causing problems 11th hour - sorry if I've dropped you in the clarts with any of the posts :(



I don't wish to halt the discussion, after all this is a discussion board, and the general topic is important and one which affects all fans... some more than others.

I just wanted to clarify some important points in my particular situation because I saw some posts which were going in a troubling direction. They offered opinions that were based on pure speculation in the absence of important facts.

We need to remember that others may be watching...

11th Hour

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 12:20 PM

TVCHICK


I wish I could read the full email. Or, more accurately, have my hubby read it. (He's a legal geek by nature, but not by trade.)

This really really sucks. It seems awfully unfair to be biting the hand that helped feed them. :(

Seriously, I would pitch in a couple bucks to a legal fund or a pay-the-bloodsuckers-9k-to-keep-11th-out-of-jail fund. It wouldn't be much, but if we all pitched in a couple bucks, it would sooo add up!

---
[ http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=20&t=22978 ]Join the Anniversary Job!

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 2:01 PM

MIMA


so... are you still suffering under the "demand"? Is this a lawsuit? hasn't 72 hours passed so far? What's the sich? We *will* help with legal fees if you're going to court, so make some sort of link and don't be shy no matter what you were legally guilty of. Like previously encouraged fans knew schmutsky about copyright law...

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 4:05 PM

11THHOUR


Quote:

Originally posted by mima:
so... are you still suffering under the "demand"? Is this a lawsuit? hasn't 72 hours passed so far? What's the sich? We *will* help with legal fees if you're going to court, so make some sort of link and don't be shy no matter what you were legally guilty of. Like previously encouraged fans knew schmutsky about copyright law...



A lawyer has contacted Universal's law firm on my behalf. He was able to get an extension on the 72 hour deadline. So now I have a bit more time to gather certain materials together and then make contact again.

I was curious to hear from Universal's legal firm what was the most offending element in my shop. The communication was that there was a "logo" on the backs of some of the shirts that was the problem.

I've never used the term "logo" in my shop to describe one of my images, and I've certainly never offered merchandise that had any official Firefly series or Serenity movie logos. The only image I can think of that they could be referring to (and it was removed from my shop last weekend) is below:



Now y'all take a look... is this image a copy of the Serenity movie logo?

Both the English and Chinese words "serenity" are still legal to use, even if you put them together. The image does stand on its own, even for someone who never saw the movie.

This must be what going mad feels like...

11th Hour

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 4:46 PM

SHINYHAPPYKLIN


What the......


No ruttin way....that isn't even remotely close to anything copyrightable.

I agree....this IS apparently what going mad feels like. Alcohol and meditation...not sure in which order, and not sure that I shouldn't throw in some large bore weapons and a pack of rabid beagles...



"We gotta go to that crappy town where I'M a hero..."
_______________________________
Shiny stuff for Browncoats at:
http://www.cafepress.com/outtotheblack
http://www.outtotheblack.com

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:31 PM

ARBAS


Why don't YOU copyright that image and make it YOUR "business" logo? Then countersue :)

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 8:10 PM

PEULSAR5

We sniff the air, we don't kiss the dirt.


Maybe I missed it in previous posts, but I don't see how you can copyright 2 Chinese letters or the word serenity. Seems like that would be copyrighting the word "flower" or something.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 8:29 PM

HANDSOF


Quote:

Originally posted by Whimsicalnbrainpan:
You want to do something about this? E-mail them.

Below is a link to the Universal Studios contact page go to the General and Miscellaneous link in the Corporate section and both the Character and Internet links in the Licensing section.

http://www.universalstudios.com/homepage/html/contact_us/contact_links
.html



I'd like to suggest everyone email several of the contacts. Universal is a big company it's not like they'll realize you've sent multiple copies (unless you put all the email addresses in one email).

It only takes a minute to copy and paste to each one so I took the liberty of emailing their corporate, licensing, and entertainment groups. I figure the people with the money, the people with the lawyers, and the people trying to get me to see another movie all need to know my concerns...

Remember strings of obsenity do not help 11th hour's cause. You can get your point across without being an ass.




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Thursday, October 26, 2006 9:23 PM

11THHOUR


I just want to say that I do genuinely appreciate those folks who want to do something to help. But we do need to proceed with cool heads, and I keep getting the feeling that there must have been some communication breakdown for Universal's legal representation to take the stance that it has.

The "swirl" image that I posted above was one of the images that was put into question in my shop. I honestly didn't think it was an infringement, but I didn't argue and removed it from my shop anyway. The information that I received today indicates that the main issue with my shop was a "logo" on the backs of some shirts. Pending further details, the above image is the only one I can think of that could have been mistaken for a logo.

Until more details come in, it's best to refrain from any angry communications with Universal that we may later regret. I'm not too happy myself with the waiting and not knowing, while a big scary legal threat hangs over my head... but, here I am, there it is, and there's still a lot of unanswered questions.

My sincere thanks to everyone for their expressions of loyalty, and righteous indignation, but I would hate to be the cause of a big batch of negativity toward Universal if this all turns out to be some terrible mistake.

However, I am a big believer that even if you lay down arms... keep 'em handy...

11th Hour

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 9:42 PM

NOSADSEVEN


See, I'd thought it might be about the cards.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ain't. We. Just.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 11:35 PM

CITIZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by 11thHour:


Now y'all take a look... is this image a copy of the Serenity movie logo?

Both the English and Chinese words "serenity" are still legal to use, even if you put them together. The image does stand on its own, even for someone who never saw the movie.

If that's the image they are talking about they're probably going with the Derivative work thing. It's in a comparitive style and based on the film Serenity and the FireFly universe. As I said earlier even completely original works if based on a copyrighted franchise are derivative.

Words can't be 'copyrighted' in so much as they can't sue people for using the word Serenity, but they can be trademarked.

I imagine that they're arguing the above is a derivative work and breaks trademark. Derivative work may be hard to prove, given that words aren't in themselves copyrightable, but trademark would be somewhat easier.



More insane ramblings by the people who brought you beeeer milkshakes!
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.

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Friday, October 27, 2006 1:57 AM

FIREFLYGAL


You can actually search the patent and trademarks office and as of 2 months ago the words/symbols Serenity, Firefly and Browncoat was not trademarked by Universal. www.uspto.gov. Is there such a thing as implied trademark, like a copyright, you don't have to register your work. A funny FYI there is a trademark on Serenity Valley Organics. I wonder if they're Browncoats?

I aim to misbehave!

Firefly items:
For lapel pins and badge holder lanyards
e-mail FireflyGal1@hotmail.com
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Friday, October 27, 2006 3:58 AM

CANTER


In SA we have what is called "unregistered" trademarks. Even if not officially registered, some proprietary rights can still exist.

NOT FAIR





Burn the land and boil the sea...

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Friday, October 27, 2006 5:00 AM

SCORPIONREGENT


Once upon a time a company would give away, for free, promotional items to give them exposure to the public. Some where along the line that changed. Corporations found that they could make money selling promotional items. I suspect that this shift took place in the eighties when greed reigned supreme, but that's my opinion. It is common knowledge that Harley Davidson makes motorcycles, but the lion's share of their profits are from selling promotional items.
The idea that I have to pay to advertise someone elses product riles me no end. It tells me that the company selling a T-shirt promoting themselves is so big that they want only one thing from me, my money, to hell with that. If the core product is worthy then I might buy that. I might buy a Harley motorcycle, but I won't buy a Harley T-shirt. So who is pushing the move to squeese out the small business owners? Corporations. Who are the ones doing the pushing for the corporations. Lawyers. It is in these times I have to quote the Bard.

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers".

- William Shakespere (From Henry the VI Act IV, Scene II).

I regard lawyers as a necessary evil in a society where the rule of law is still worh something, but they are still evil and power corrupts.

Scorpion Regent

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Friday, October 27, 2006 7:26 AM

WHIMSICALNBRAINPAN


11th Hour: I can state on my part that the e-mails I sent were not angry or disrespectful in any way. I know that acting in such a manner would do more harm than good and I would never want to jeopardize a fellow Browncoat.

"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." http://whimsicalnbrainpan.blogspot.com/

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Friday, October 27, 2006 9:39 AM

KAIN


Hey Universal! I play acoustic guitar every friday night @ my sister's coffee shop. I play the Firefly theme song and we're workin' on some stuff from Serenity with our fiddles and mandolins! COME GET US!
HAHAHAHAHA!
Dumbass

Kain

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Friday, October 27, 2006 12:51 PM

SAMEERTIA


*hugs 11thHour*

Hopefully this will all get resolved soon! And you are absolutely right. Chances are this was someone in the legal department who didn't have an idea what really was happening.

*takes a big drink out of my shiny 11th Hour art coffee mug*

Keep the faith and know that we're all behind you. Just say the word.


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Friday, October 27, 2006 2:45 PM

STINKINGROSE


Colonial Williamsburg has copyrighted their specific letter "W". It is a logo placed on every darned thing there. A motel or something like it in Williamsburg apparently got a little too similar in painting its sign and had to redesign or be sued.
CW paid a lot of money for some artiste/marketing genius to make their particular swoopy letter and they are not willing to share. Period. Excepting maybe if you pay them a lot of money for the honor. I'd be too afraid to ask, myself.
They own "their" letter W, not THE letter w.
It's probably not that the word serenity or the characters *themselves* are copyrighted, more that it's a little too much of the "flavor" is too close to what's legally theirs. If you did it all in bubble letters you'd be fine. I think.
Talk to Nike and then look at a check mark. Coincidence?

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Friday, October 27, 2006 3:44 PM

HANDSOF


Quote:

Originally posted by Kain:
Hey Universal! I play acoustic guitar every friday night @ my sister's coffee shop. I play the Firefly theme song and we're workin' on some stuff from Serenity with our fiddles and mandolins! COME GET US!
HAHAHAHAHA!



Not to rain on your day Kain but this is not only illegal but something that music companies have been cracking down on of late. Most of the small places I go hear music (in and around SF) have POSTED signs prohibiting covering any song because about because the ASCAP sues the bars/clubs/coffehouses where they're performed for damages. At my fav venue to listen to independent live music they've started to require artist sign a statement promising not to play a cover in before they can even go up for open mic. (yea, I wish I were kidding)

I'm right there with you in saying it sucks, I just don't want you to tempt fate too much by saying come and get me.

(article about being sued for covers and just how maddening that can be)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003
/12/03/BUGL13CH5H26.DTL

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Friday, October 27, 2006 3:45 PM

JADEHAND


I used to play a collectable card game called "Legend of the Five Rings" about fuedal Japan and mastering the five elements towards enlightenment. Their symbol was five gold rings forming a circle.
They were sued by The Olympics for having 'five interlocking rings' not five different colored rings in two rows, but 'five interlocking rings'. The Game lost and had to redesign their logo after printing cards for years with the original logo on the back.
Copyrights go way too far sometimes. This is one of those times.


"But you sleep like a ghost with me
It's as simple as that
So tell me I'm mad
Roll me up and breathe me in
Come to my madness
My opium den
Come to my madness
Make sense of it again."
Goodbye to all that. III-The Opium Den (Brave)-Marillion
visit WWW.Marillion.com for a better way of life.

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Friday, October 27, 2006 3:50 PM

11THHOUR


The serenity "swirl" design I posted is one of my earlier graphics. My Cafe Press shop was started around 2 years ago... well before there was any licensed merchandise available. The shop wasn't started to compete with official merchandise, mostly because there wasn't any!

I wanted to design shirts that would somehow help spread the word of Serenity, yet not utilize any copyrighted images. The only way the t-shirts would be useful as guerilla marketing items is if the word "Serenity" is featured somehow. My intent was never to duplicate the official logo, and I purposely created a design that had its own distinct feel. The "swirl" design could also work for someone who isn't a Serenity fan, it's an overall fluid composition that evokes a feeling of "serenity". This design could be appealing to someone who enjoys meditation, or a creative nod to Chinese culture. The official Serenity logo is very different in look and feel... it's a stronger, more masculine design, different colors, with a kind of rustic Chinese warrior shield behind it. The font is very different, and the Chinese characters are different too.

The intent of the design was to create something unique, something that stands on its own as a graceful interpretation of the words serenity in both Chinese and English. The side bonus could be that when people wear the shirt it also puts the word "serenity" out there in the world... and conditions folks, perhaps in a subconscious way, to hopefully pay more attention to the movie of that name when it began to be advertised.

The "swirl" was actually a kind of secondary design anyway. It was placed on the backs of shirts where designs like the "yin yang", the main design, were on the front. The prices for t-shirts on Cafe Press are the same whether there's an image on two sides or just one. I always hated to leave one side of the shirt blank.

All the designs in my shop have been evolving. Starting around a year ago, none of my newer graphics even featured the word serenity in English at all. The stylized "yin yang" and "insignia" are both examples of the new generation of my designs and are inspired by the classic Chinese yin yang symbol and an ancient Chinese coin.

11th Hour

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Friday, October 27, 2006 4:04 PM

KAIN


Can't stop the cover songs, Mal!
NO WAY!

Kain

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Friday, October 27, 2006 6:24 PM

OUT2THEBLACK


Quote:

Originally posted by 11thHour:
I just want to say that I do genuinely appreciate those folks who want to do something to help. But we do need to proceed with cool heads, and I keep getting the feeling that there must have been some communication breakdown for Universal's legal representation to take the stance that it has.

My sincere thanks to everyone for their expressions of loyalty, and righteous indignation, but I would hate to be the cause of a big batch of negativity toward Universal if this all turns out to be some terrible mistake.

However, I am a big believer that even if you lay down arms... keep 'em handy...

11th Hour



Now there's a REAL Browncoat for ya , right there , folks . Always exemplary leadership from 11th , count on that . Especially that last bit... I love this Lady's work , AND the way she thinks... These are NOT smart times we're living in , people , but there ARE a lot of smart folk who are Browncoats .

Others , maybe not so much , but if they're with us , we love and support 'em anyway . Kinda like Jayne , maybe didn't go in for much schoolin' , but you still want 'em on your side in a fight .

I'm still hopin' some dumb loose-cannon oaf in the legalistic area of EwwwNee'Versal just went off half-cocked and shot himself in his pedal phalanges . 11thHour has taken the High Road
( where else would a Real Browncoat be ? ) as always , and exhibits truly great and classy courage in the face of a frightening and uncalled-for ordeal . I'm so proud that she's always done great service for , and brought such credit to , the Browncoat community . She's been there for us from Day One , let's be here for her , any way that we can . I'm beaming Shiny , Warm , Sunny , Kaylee-esque Love and Good Wishes out toward her part of the 'Verse just now...

Hoping that soon , someone will decide to ease up , and admit that this was just a 'minor' mis-understanding with a bit of overreaction as a consequence... In the meantime , I'm keeping the Arms at arms length , so to speak...

In '11thHour' Solidarity ! Ship-Shape and Browncoat Fashion !

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Friday, October 27, 2006 8:28 PM

HANDSOF


11th hour:

Okay no more letter writing for now. Any way to chip in a little for the legal fund?

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Friday, October 27, 2006 8:55 PM

LILLYBELLA


So i saw 11th Hour serenity logo and it looks nothing like the movie and i love that symbol on the ship so much that my next tatto is going to be of serenity. But really selling a symbol on a shirt and what's next should Universal sue the person who actually made the symbol. 11th hour this sucks as you were probably looking at the symbol and wanted to make somethin nice and this is what happens.... My support is with you. Good luck and good flyin.

Lillybella

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Saturday, October 28, 2006 3:10 AM

STINKINGROSE


Hey, yeah!! Speaking of tatoos..what is everyone with something even close to the official logo(s) going to do? Are the inkers likely to get sued? Will the bearers of artwork have to get them removed or shell out cashy money in damages?
Just how far is this likely to go before somebody says "enough"?

Rethink your ink.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006 3:30 AM

FLATTOP


11thHour -
Your Chinese & English Serenity Swirl is gorgeous, but indeed very different from the original work. So much so that I didn't purchase it, as I wanted a more 'in your face'/obviously associated with the 'verse item. You are being mistreated by the Youknee's (is that sufficiently different from the source to be legally permitted, yet still recognizeable to those that know what to look for?)

I haven't yet taken up my arms as yet, not wishing to throw a time released, unrecallable bomb without a confirmed target; but my quills have been sharpened, the paper is being pressed, and the ink prepared.
This is your battle. If you want firesupport, you have but to ask.

----------
Do you know what your sin is Captain?
Aww hell, I'm a big fan of all seven.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006 6:59 PM

MIKAMOM


Quote:

Originally posted by HandsOf:
11th hour:

Okay no more letter writing for now. Any way to chip in a little for the legal fund?





I mentioned on the OB that there is a paypal button at the bottom of her "Guerilla Poster Art" page. Check out the thread "11th Defense Fund" if you want to see what has been discused.

One summer.
One mission.
One army of Browncoats.
Starting June 23rd, we aim to misbehave.

http://serenityjune23rd.com/

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 6:12 AM

IAMJACKSUSERNAME

Well, I'm all right. - Mal


Quote:

Originally posted by silence:
How the hell can this happen?



Quote:


People do not agree and US Copyright Law has been changed several times – there’s the 1976 Act, the amended act of 1978, and again in 1988 with the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988, the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act in 1998 (or Mickey Mouse Protection Act)( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Bono_Copyright_Term_Extension_Act, the World Copyright Act), The WIPO Copyright Treaty of 1996, The European Copyright Directive and finally the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, – which was the most controversial and went through multiple drafts before being signed by the President on October 28,1998.



Quote:

Originally written by Douglas Adams in So long, and thanks for all the fish:
"It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."

"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"

"No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like to straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

"I did," said ford. "It is."

"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"

"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"

"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in.



--
I am Jack's Green cross

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 6:53 AM

DATALESS


I will admit that I have not read all the posts but could it be that Universal wants to make as much money as possible from Serenity? That they fight to see if it is worth making a sequel? This could be done to check fan reaction to their legal actions.

What if this is a calculated move on Universals part? I think for them there really is no or very little downside. They might lose some fans in this but they can get a better guess on how many fans that they have out here. What they gain is the fans buying from them.

I think that 11th Hour might have some small ground to stand on, Serenity was released in 2004 and Universal has not fought until now to protect their copyright and that might be a way 11th Hour can fight if they want to. I imagine it would be amazingly costly though.

I think if you have a copyrighted material and you don't fight to protect it, then the rights might belong to the public. I think that might be the case with the Serenity symbol. Then again I'm no lawyer.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 7:56 AM

TPAGE


Quote:


I think if you have a copyrighted material and you don't fight to protect it, then the rights might belong to the public. I think that might be the case with the Serenity symbol. Then again I'm no lawyer.



That's true; a "reasonable time frame." But it can be hard to fight. Especially since while Firefly may have been created way back when, Serenity only came out recently. Confuses things.

The again, they might only be doing it now because the reasonable time frame is running out.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 11:34 AM

11THHOUR


Quote:

Originally posted by Dataless:
I will admit that I have not read all the posts but could it be that Universal wants to make as much money as possible from Serenity? That they fight to see if it is worth making a sequel? This could be done to check fan reaction to their legal actions.



Reactions to heavy handed punitive legal actions are, for the most part, negative. How is alienating your fan base a check to see if it's worth making a sequel?

Quote:

What if this is a calculated move on Universals part? I think for them there really is no or very little downside. They might lose some fans in this but they can get a better guess on how many fans that they have out here. What they gain is the fans buying from them.


There's a lot of downside, it's called negative P.R. There are already news websites and blogs picking up this story and, for the most part, Universal is getting a lot of criticism.

I'm getting a lot of criticism, and insults, from people who have never seen my Cafe Press shop, nor know anything of Universal's previous friendly stance toward fan made merchandise and promotion. Those insulting posts all assume that my shop was full of bootleg, rip-off images of official copyrighted material. Then they look at the Browncoats' reaction to this issue and further assume we're all whiny brats, have no life and no respect or understanding whatsoever of copyright laws.

Quote:

I think that 11th Hour might have some small ground to stand on, Serenity was released in 2004 and Universal has not fought until now to protect their copyright and that might be a way 11th Hour can fight if they want to. I imagine it would be amazingly costly though.


My Cafe Press site did not offer any of Universal's copyrighted images. Universal's objections were to references to the Serenity movie in the merchandise descriptions, and objecting to one image used on the backs of some t-shirts. I posted the image a little further up this thread, it bears no resemblance to the official Serenity movie logo. It is an original and unique creation.

I realize this thread is long, but it does help to acquaint yourself with the subject before commenting on it.

Quote:

I think if you have a copyrighted material and you don't fight to protect it, then the rights might belong to the public. I think that might be the case with the Serenity symbol. Then again I'm no lawyer.


Copyrighted materal does need to be protected, no one is arguing that point. But, again, I used no copyrighted images in my shop. Also, fans are objecting to the manner that Universal's representatives are going about this. There was no need for threatening actions, demanding money, and other punitive measures. They issued a Cease and Desist, which I complied with immediately. Yet still followed that with a Demand order.

Universal encouraged fan promotional activities, and they even provided a venue on the original official Serenity website for fans to post information about their merchandise and network. They are well within their rights to protect their copyright. All that would have been needed was some kind of announcement disseminated through the fan message boards. Browncoats have been cooperating and working with Universal for quite a while now. We would have respected their new stance toward fan made merchandise and made the appropriate changes. After that, if some fans did not comply, then issue legal notices.

It's the way Universal's legal firm is handling this, after such a previously cooperative relationship the fans had with the studio, that's causing such a negative reaction.

11th Hour

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 12:08 PM

SIMONWHO


And Universal ought to be aware that the reaction could get even more negative if they persist with this line. We're very reasonable people but we're also a group that stands together.

If there's not someone in the company saying "This is a bad move and will cost us money in the long run" then we will have to make that point to them. We don't take kindly to bullies.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 4:26 PM

METALLX321


I also recognize the legal necessity of insuring that one's product is not exploited by another, but that letter seems overtly harsh and unnecessary. Especially considering the offense was made with the intention of bringing attenion to one of theirproperties. This leaves the browncoats with a choice. That choice is to protest this and not buy any of the products that Universal will be releasing of Serenity, while also recognizing that by protesting in this way you will also be partly responcible for the percieved lack of interest in this property by the execs. Or to abandon a comrade, and continue to pimp ourselves in the hope that they may one day bring back a franchise we all care about. Honestly, I am not sure which choice is best.

"Some wills are too strong to die. There are powers to formidable to be contained."

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 4:41 PM

KAREL

Flying on duct tape and a damaged registry.


I do not know if anybody else has posted this yet. Maybe we could use some levity here--

http://www.raygunrevival.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?t=663&sid=0e40ee0f75b
d45755a078c6f9bb1b31d


http://www.browncoatinvoice.com

SNORT!
--Karel.

"Wondrous is our great blue ship that sails around the mighty sun and joy to everyone that rides along." -- Jeff Lynne, Electric Light Orchestra.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 6:06 PM

JAYNESBOWIE


I don't know if anyone has considered this, but in the case that Universal does force a settlement or pay back for items already sold and get it, are we going to let them take it all from 11th hour? Perhaps just in case we should start thinking about what to do if 11th hour needs some help. I'm not really sure what I'm sugjesting myself, but it feels wrong to let her have to take a big punch when she's a browncoat. If we stand togeather we should stand tall and help anyone who needs it.

So 11th hour, if I may be so bold, is there anything we as a group and as individuals can do to make things easier for you?

JB

Signature:

Jayne: "Testing, testing. Captain, can you hear me?"
Mal: "I'm standing right here."
Jayne: "You're coming through good and loud."
Mal: " 'Cause I'm standing right here."

If you play nationstates.net check out the region Firefly.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 6:17 PM

DREAMWALKER


I dedicate what is written below to 11th hour, bluesunshirts, and all of the other wonderful groups who have supplied us fans with wonderful Firefly merchandise:

They fought against the rich and they gave to the poor.
Stood up for the fans and gave Universal what for.
Our love for them now ain't hard to explain.
The heros of the Browncoats:
They won't fight in vain.


Universal didn't want to give us Firefly merchandise, and I don't think they have the right to attack and close business because some loyal fans took it upon themselves to supply us with some. Considering all the money that Universal has it's exteremely petty for them to be cracking down on these people. I agree that all the Browncoats should band together to fight this. It may seem like a fight against overwhelming odds, but hey isn't that part of being a Browncoat?

Wash: This landing is gonna get pretty interesting
Mal: Define "interesting".
Wash: Oh God, of God, we're all going to die?

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Sunday, October 29, 2006 6:58 PM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by Metallx321:

... Or to abandon a comrade, and continue to pimp ourselves in the hope that they may one day bring back a franchise we all care about.




You know, there's a certain motto. A creed among folks like us. You may have heard it: "Leave no man behind."

In earnest, I'm not about to abandon 11th hour in hopes of getting more 'verse (insofar as I acknowledge that, for the worthier part, she's having to face this alone). If for no greater reason (and there certainly are) than that 11th is part of our crew. Ain't that the irony? By sacrificing one of our crew, I'd be giving up on precisely that which Firefly stands for. Can't do it.

Something's got to give, for certain. But not 11th; she's given enough.


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Monday, October 30, 2006 8:13 AM

DRAGONWINE


Well we did their marketing for them, did they expect us to sit around forever for merchandise?
Most stuff I've got is fanmade, except the shiny Serenity ornament which I did nearly wait forever for.
One question I do have is....what about places like Abby Shot that makes replica browncoats and vests, or Motorcowboy that makes replica Capt Reynolds boots, or how about Virtual Firefly that is currently doing a virtual 2nd season of Firefly. Will these also need to cease and desist. They do seem to infringe and they do seem to mention Universal product.
I suppose the next con I go to may get me in trouble for not wearing "official" merch. Heck I've got self made decals on my car, even a license frame, that contains the word "Serenity". Am I infringing on trademarks?
It just really seems that Universal has borrowed greatly from the George Lucas school of fan appreciation.
Do they want our support of not? Do they want our business or not? The amount of "official" merch that I've seen is a drop in the bucket, and not very high in quality.
So how much trouble is the guy that built Serenity out of Legos in?

It's a nothing part til you don't got one, then you have to go to ebay.....aaaaagh!

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Monday, October 30, 2006 8:26 AM

JAYNESBOWIE


I believe they can only really complain if you sell what you make. As for the peeps who use actuale logo's from the show, I don't know. Maybe they have permission, if not they'll probebly be shut down.

We should do the best we can to be suportive and helpful.

Signature:

Jayne: "Testing, testing. Captain, can you hear me?"
Mal: "I'm standing right here."
Jayne: "You're coming through good and loud."
Mal: " 'Cause I'm standing right here."

If you play nationstates.net check out the region Firefly.

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