List I know of so far...

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List I know of so far...

Post  sweetgeek on Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:54 am

Just some info I know for you guys:
- I've had a c/d from Fox, anything on Fox right now is off limits according to it.
- I also had one for my Parks and Rec charm bracelet. According to the c/d, anything from these shows are also off limits: Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, Psych and The Office.

So I too like Alia am on my 2nd strike, one more and I'm out. Which terrifies me beyond belief. My store is my full-time job, without it I don't know what I'd do. I was thinking about starting a new store so I have a clean slate, but I'm still on the fence.

Anyone else know what other shows/games/etc. is off limits? I think coming up with a list might help crafters like us in preventing the 3 strikes.

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RE: What I know of so far

Post  CustomComix on Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:29 pm

I got a C/d letter on my Thor bracelet. This was from Marvel and they pretty much said in the letter ANY AND ALL Marvel characters fall under this. This was also when Thor had just come out.
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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  Nerdifacts on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:20 am

I got a c/d from Sanrio re: Hello Kitty (why'd they pick me when there are 250 pages of 'hello kitty' items?!?!) so any Sanrio characters are off limits.

Does a c/d go for imagery only, or include popular phrases from said shows/movies as well? Anyone know?

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  superOrange on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:37 am

C&D letters were sent out for "That's what she said" and "Fus Ro Dah", so... Yes text is being protected the same as characters/images.

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  naniwear on Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:29 pm

text is trademarked. you've seen the [TM] on mcdonald's "i'm loving it" logo, right? CBS filed the paperwork on the "that's what she said" as a TM.

i've wondered what took the game companies so long to get on the C&D bandwagon.

i've got very unpopular opinions on IP law with geeks, i'm sure, as i'm also a lawyer. we work very hard to avoid violating copyright. there are a couple items in our shop that could, possibly, violate copyright, but as the rights holders are japanese, the likelihood of it being enforced is slim, to none; not to mention they could lose on an argument of transference to public domain status.

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  superOrange on Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:19 am

ah, that reminds me... when in doubt, take a look at TESS - http://tess2.uspto.gov (the trademark search engine)
It is a pretty handy resource and can help avoid some nasty legal issues by doing research ahead of time.

Naniwear - Would the Japanese companies have trouble defending their IP due to the fact that they allow Comiket to happen every year? They barely defend their properties in their own country (I think it would be a fanboy bloodbath if they tried).

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Post  naniwear on Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:38 pm

they'd have major trouble because of 1) lack of TM in the US that's recognisable, and 2) the language problem.

here's an example: 美少女戦士セーラームーン is the official licensed name, in japan for sailor moon (bishoujo senshi sailor moon). so, "sailor moon" is copyrighted/trademarked in the US. however, the funny thing is is that, "pretty guardian sailor moon" or "pretty soldier sailormoon" or "beautiful fighter sailormoon" aren't, which are all valid translations of the above.

re comiket: it's because the IP laws in japan are so different than the US, and the rights holders are so much more diverse. for example: who owns sailormoon? is it toei? bandai? naoko takeuchi? kodansha? you see the problem there? this is why the doujin market flourishes, because no one really knows who owns what exactly. they all have valid claims, and they all make valid claims. furthermore, there is a legacy interest in doujin, since so many mangaka and publishers got their start at comiket, that it's in the publishing company's best interests to keep it flourishing.

toei registered the copyright for "sailor moon" here in the US for specific stuff. but, interestingly, there is nothing for comics/manga.

btw, your EVA t-shirt, with part of the NERV logo could be problematic. we just avoid all logos all together to make it easier. not that i think whoever owns EVA in japan would come down on you (cos, who the hell owns EVA now, anyway? it's too bizarre.) but, lots of AA don't allow any artists to sell anything with the logos, including that NERV one.

i should add: song/movie/book titles cannot be copyrighted, but they can be trademarked. in the case of cruel angel's thesis, it's whoever wrote the song (maybe, japan is so weird about rights) would have to copyright it. fly me to the moon isn't trademarked, and the rights holder to that song is actually an american. it was written in the 50's, and they'd have to trademark it.

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  superOrange on Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:22 pm

Ah crap! thanks for the heads-up. It is headed to the bin right now.

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  aliaghoul on Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:26 pm

People have been getting c/d's left and right for Pokemon recently, as well as Bethesda-owned games like Skyrim and Fallout. I've been given a c/d for Angry Birds as well.
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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  naniwear on Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:25 pm

it's interesting that nintendo is going after pokemon, because previously they've been very friendly and open to fan-made stuff. i wonder if it's because _what_ you're selling, and not that it's pokemon, i.e., if you were selling fan art of pokemon, and not figures, plushies, clay figurines, that sort of thing.

to my knowledge, DC and marvel still tacitly allow fan art, so long as it's actually hand-drawn fan art. like nintendo, however, that could change at any time.

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  aliaghoul on Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:11 am

I know several shops that have had pokemon items removed and both were polymer clay jewelry. I'm wondering if it's not Nintendo that cares, but The Pokemon Company, or one of the other affiliates like Game Freak.
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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  naniwear on Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:46 pm

aliaghoul: no, only Nintento has the rights to pokemon in the US. there is no "pokemon company", and anybody else that sells/distributes pokemon (like wizard of the coasts, whom i think has the CCG), only has a _licensing_ agreement. a licensing agreement allows them to create and sell pokemon merch, but it doesn't confer the _copyright_.

one reason why doujinshi gets a free pass is that the doujin creators will put characters in situations that would otherwise never happen. my favorite example is sasuke banging naruto. never will see it in the anime, nor manga. so, fan art, doujin, etc., is OK. however, there's plenty of pokemon jewelry, little figures, etc. that are official licensed merch that is readily available. this is why i think they're going after these shops.

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  Kokoba on Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:36 am

It would seem to me (based on conversations I've had with my patent attorney mom on the subject, so IANAL and all that jazz) that even if a C/D letter comes, you *might* have a leg to stand on. Like for example: Holly's work is OBVIOUSLY not a comic book, it's a fucking accessory; it doesn't cut into Marvel's profits in the same way that a non-Marvel-published Thor comic or a bootleg Thor DVD would. None of Holly's customers are saying, "Haha! Now that I bought these sweet X-men earrings, I don't have to pay Marvel to buy the DVD." Uh....

AFAIK, Marvel doesn't actually offer its own licensed accessories (am I wrong?) to go with the t-shirts you see in every comic book store, which seems to make their case even less compelling. Holly's stuff would be a horse of an entirely different color if Marvel DID sell their own jewelry.

Theoretically, one could basically say to Marvel: "Oh yeah? Well, prove it! In court!"

Ultimately, if it came to fighting the C/D letter, the sad truth is that it would come down to the personal judgment of the judge looking at the case. So many of them are old fogeys that I suppose it wouldn't end well for the little guys.

I'm glad that I work with numbers, because no one can claim to own numbers. This must be so stressful for y'all. Sad

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  naniwear on Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:55 pm

Kokoba: you're exactly right, which is why i think she's got a good argument.

the strongest argument against copyright is the 1st amendment, and not the first-sale doctrine. the first-sale doctrine is merely a property right, and it has been ruled against. however, there is no right that we have that is more protected than speech. what she makes is "transformative", and was never contemplated by the original copyright holders. this is the argument, and the real main argument for fair use in this case.

marvel does sell licensed accessories, such as wallets, keychains, etc. i've seem some jewelry, but it tends to be replicas of things like thor's hammer, or something like that.

all C&Ds can be challenged in court. as you point out correctly, however, it's an issue of money. a copyright case can be extremely expensive. interestingly, a lot of times the copyright holders actually don't want to expend the time and money on a lawsuit, so they'll offer licensing agreements as settlement, instead. it's an odd world, IP law is.

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  sweetgeek on Sat May 12, 2012 6:30 pm

another to add to the list: Futurama. A friend of mine had her store taken down for Futurama items in her store.

Anyone else have something to add to the list?

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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  8bitclassics on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:30 pm

Some things to add to the list:

Plants v zombies
anything namco (pacman)


Have people really been having issues with pokemon? I am wondering if I should take my pokemon items down. I am on my last strike so it would probably be best :/
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Re: List I know of so far...

Post  geeklingdesigns on Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:38 am

Good list so far!

Add on Blizzard and Activision. (WoW, Warcraft, Starcraft, Guitar Hero, Rockband, etc.) They are pretty vigilant about their trademarks and copyrights.

The California Milk Board sent me a C/D for using "Got Milk" in the description of one of my listings as they have that trademarked.


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