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Old 01-22-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
B.A. Baracus
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Default the copyright question

As we know batman is the property of DC comics/Warner brothers and a man who has a company called Gotham garage is being sued by warner brothers for copyright infringement, yet a quick search on eBay shows a ton of batman customs from masks to full costumes to custom largo figures, people making a living out of it, why is warner brothers not chasing these people? Personally I don't see a problem with it as most of the masks and such are offering stuff other news producing companies are not.

There are also people selling a trading card with a free batman mask, so really you are buying the card, is that actually legal?

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Old 01-22-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: the copyright question

The manufacturers of licensed material received prior approval. Though, the world "Gotham" has been around a lot longer than Batman, so I don't know if they have any legs to stand with their suit. We had a restaurant in our town called "The Hobbit Grille" and they were sued by the Tolkien estate, but then again, Tolkien invented the word. Gotham has been around for quite some time.

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Old 01-22-2013, 01:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: the copyright question

I don't understand how a normal person can be sued for 2 million, no average person can afford to pay that.

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Old 01-22-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: the copyright question

Maybe because they know these Gotham Garage people have money, so they're going after them.

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Old 01-22-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: the copyright question

Is it actually legal though to sell a trading card with a free mask, if so why did Gotham garages not dfo that like some people on eBay?

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Old 01-22-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: the copyright question

Is WB just only suing them over the word "Gotham" or because they make Batman-related stuff for profit without paying licensing fees?

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Old 01-22-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: the copyright question

For making full size batmobiles including the 60's Barris and the 1989 Burton batmobile. No mention of the use of Gotham.

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Old 01-22-2013, 03:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: the copyright question

I guess since they have the mean to make replicas and sell them without paying license fees is why WB is going after them.

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: the copyright question

If you believe in IP Protection, then yes, this would allow them to sue the garage as with each replica, it diminishes the value of the existing models and the brand.

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: the copyright question

Why would WB persue this though and not all the people on eBay making posters, Lego characters, t shirts, and custom costumes.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: the copyright question

I'm still going with the assumption that WB knows those guys have money compared to people who are selling smaller things like posters and shirts.

I don't go on eBay looking for that stuff, so I don't know what exactly people are selling that's Batman-related.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: the copyright question

Pretty much everything, people make a business out of batman masks, t shirts, Lego figures, mouse mats, posters ( a lot are customs from the hype, sellers state are official) you name it chances are someone on eBay has made it and is selling it, often better quality too than the official stuff ( for the costume pieces anyway) some sell a trading card, giving the mask or costume piece away with it. I'm not sure that's legal though.

I doubt the car builders who have apparently only sold 3 cards CV would afford to be sued for over 1 million pounds.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: the copyright question

WB might have chosen to sue this particular garage because it is making a substantial profit from Batman-related sales and because it is easier to sue an incorporated business than some random sellers online. One would assume that the custom cars cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, which puts them in a different class from small ticket items like masks and toys. The studio not only wants a licensing fee for expensive merchandise, it also wants exclusive control of who gets to use its characters, designs and logos. Going after the garage makes legal and economic sense for them, whereas going after smaller sellers would not.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: the copyright question

Thanks for that, can I ask why it would make less sense to go for a eBay seller who's making a business out of custom masks and a car seller, is it due to the cost of the item?

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: the copyright question

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Originally Posted by SuBe View Post
If you believe in IP Protection, then yes, this would allow them to sue the garage as with each replica, it diminishes the value of the existing models and the brand.
I think that is the line that most companies use. Usually when people make replicas to sell, the company doesn't care unless there's an equivalent official product on the market. Then they want you buying the official product, of course, and will sue to free up that market.

I remember reading about renting "Disney" princesses for little girls' parties. They usually don't use the official Disney names when marketing their services, but Disney doesn't care because they make a KILLING selling party favors for such parties.

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Old 01-23-2013, 01:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: the copyright question

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Originally Posted by B.A. Baracus View Post
Why would WB persue this though and not all the people on eBay making posters, Lego characters, t shirts, and custom costumes.

It's probably easier to go after a Car dealer than all the small time ebay sellers. I'm just assuming that's why this happened. I'd love to own a replica though.

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Old 01-23-2013, 04:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: the copyright question

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Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
I think that is the line that most companies use. Usually when people make replicas to sell, the company doesn't care unless there's an equivalent official product on the market. Then they want you buying the official product, of course, and will sue to free up that market.

I remember reading about renting "Disney" princesses for little girls' parties. They usually don't use the official Disney names when marketing their services, but Disney doesn't care because they make a KILLING selling party favors for such parties.


Disney knew about it and was pretty much fine with it? Were the princesses you could hire dressed pretty much like their Disney counterparts?

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Old 01-23-2013, 04:28 AM   #18
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Default Re: the copyright question

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Disney knew about it and was pretty much fine with it? Were the princesses you could hire dressed pretty much like their Disney counterparts?
Not exactly, but pretty much yes. I can't link to the thread directly because of language, but Google "AssassinPrincess" and you should get the whole lowdown on the Something Awful forums. She explains it in great depth there.

Here's the relevant stuff about copyright though:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AssassinPrincess
It's a fact that when parents want a princess for a party, they mean they want a DISNEY princess. I don't think other princesses even exist for little girls anymore. Because Disney doesn't officially allow us to use their name or characters, all princess party companies walk a fine line of "visually close to but legally distinct from" Disney stuff. Luckily most princesses have no copyrights on their names (Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella) and as long as we don't use Disney words or props, we're good. I personally think Disney is happy to look the other way because

a) They know they can't enforce it, and
b) They get HUGE boosts to their party supply sales when kids have princess parties. If you hire Rapunzel for your party, then your kid has to have Rapunzel plates, Rapunzel napkins, Rapunzel decorations, a Rapunzel cake, not to mention tons of Rapunzel toys as gifts AND an expensive Rapunzel gown and shoes and crown from the Disney store (and a princess dress for all the little girls attending the party as well). It's a weird saturation-effect thing. Happens at every party I do.
So as long as you aren't making the relevant company LOSE money, I think they'd be like, "Okay whatever, not worth it." The party princess companies actually make Disney money indirectly, so they're extra blase about enforcement.

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:42 AM   #19
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Default Re: the copyright question

Thanks for that. But what about the people on eBay selling batman masks, they are much better quality than any official ones, and closer to the screen uses version. Is it as already mentioned a fact of it not being worth it, because there is a alternative, the not very good rubies versions.

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Old 01-23-2013, 12:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: the copyright question

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Originally Posted by B.A. Baracus View Post
Thanks for that. But what about the people on eBay selling batman masks, they are much better quality than any official ones, and closer to the screen uses version. Is it as already mentioned a fact of it not being worth it, because there is a alternative, the not very good rubies versions.
Therefore there's no equivalent market for WB, the way I see it. They can get the cheap official masks from WB, or they can buy the better-quality ones on ebay. There is no official "great quality mask" market that the replicas are eating into.

Also, ebay is kind of a free-for-all and there's just no way that WB can get everybody on there.

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Old 01-23-2013, 12:16 PM   #21
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Default Re: the copyright question

Hm, dunno. Gotham has been another name for New York for a while now. I remember growing up you could get Yankees posters with your favorite player on them, and the background read "GOTHAM GREATS" or something like that.

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Old 01-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #22
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Default Re: the copyright question

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Hm, dunno. Gotham has been another name for New York for a while now. I remember growing up you could get Yankees posters with your favorite player on them, and the background read "GOTHAM GREATS" or something like that.
Yeah but in this case Gotham Garage isn't some car dealership, it's a business that specifically or for the most part makes batmobile replicas. I can see why the WB would go after them and not just some other car joint. The name plus the batmobiles is pretty much infringing completely on their copyrights.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #23
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Default Re: the copyright question

Its not the fact that the word Gotham is mentioned, apparently there is a company that is fully licenced to sell 60's bat mobile replicas and they are not happy, their replicas cost twice as much as Gotham garage, or so I believe.

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Old 01-23-2013, 03:07 PM   #24
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Default Re: the copyright question

So, WB wants people to go to that company instead.

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Old 01-23-2013, 03:21 PM   #25
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Default Re: the copyright question

I think so yeah, I think the guy who runs the company with the licence had a word with web, least that's how it seems.

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