GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Universal Licensing Closing Cafepress (Firefly stuff), Black Market Beagles, 11th Hour

POSTED BY: MAVOURNEEN
UPDATED: Friday, October 27, 2006 06:13
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 4109
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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 3:57 AM

MAVOURNEEN


And so it continues...

It started with bluesun, and continues to cafepress.

*Searches for Firefly / Serenity come back with 0 results at cafepress. See the article below from serenitystuff.com.

Buy your Firefly swag now...your favorite shop will be getting a Cease & Desist soon...



http://www.serenitystuff.com/2006/10/23/and-so-it-begins-heads-up-cafe
press-people
/

EDIT: I do like at the end of the article, it is offered to remove your link if "you want to lay low for a while..."

EDIT: Adam over at Black Market Beagles has annouced he's closing his site on Oct 27th, and Susan (11th Hour) has been given a few days to close hers as well.



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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:02 AM

NOTMANDATORY


Quote:

Although it would be really interesting, just for fun, to tally up how much each of us has worked, hour by hour, year by year, to promote increased awareness and sales of their intellectual property. Maybe submit a bill for PR and marketing services rendered.



Amen, brother.

I'm speechless at Universal. Sick to my stomach.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:02 AM

WHOISRIVER


The terms Firefly and Serenity have already been blocked on Cafepress. Store owners need to be very careful as Universal aren't sending cease and desist letters, they're sending legal stuff.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:15 AM

MAVOURNEEN


I just checked some of my favorite shops around the 'net, and they are all still open.

Poplollies.com
Wild Dingo store on Ebay
Things from Another World (tfaw)

Guess I'll be going on a little spree today, seeing how it's the end of the (online)world and all.


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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:27 AM

WHOISRIVER


Things From Another World (TFAW) produce only officially licensed (from Universal) material, so will be fine.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:27 AM

MRBEN


Question: Is it Universal or Fox? IIRC BlueSun had theirs from Fox, not Universal. But I'm not sure about the rest.


While I understand that this is not ideal from a fan point of view, the silver lining is that there does appear to be some licensed merchandising appearing, and at least the money from that goes direct to Universal, and gives them an idea of the amount of support there is, as well as some extra cash to put towards the sequels.

mrben

"Carpe Aptenodytes"
http://www.jedimoose.org

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:31 AM

MAVOURNEEN


point taken, mrben.
*nods in agreement*

Still...
*stamps pouty foot on the ground*






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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:34 AM

DONCOAT


I agree with MrBen.

While I sympathize with those who worked hard to produce shiny FF/S merchandise and are now being shut down, I see this as a good sign overall. It means that Universal recognizes the commercial possibilities of the Firefly franchise, and that bodes well for the future of the 'verse.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm pointin' right at it!

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:34 AM

JONNYQUEST

"Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?"


Aww, man! Here we go. (Hadn't heard about Blue Sun, so this is like a double whammy.) The Domino effect in real time. Is Uni-'Verse-al going to go the way of F*X? Sure it's in a different way but the (inter)Net effect is the same: Don't worry about trying to build the fan base, let's just make sure whatever revenue there is comes to us. We thought they were our friends...

Guerillas: ATTACK!!

"Well, here I am."


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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:51 AM

FLAME


Quote:

Originally posted by DonCoat:
...I see this as a good sign overall. It means that Universal recognizes the commercial possibilities of the Firefly franchise, and that bodes well for the future of the 'verse.



I cannot agree. Explain to me, anyone, why it would be good for them to stop searches for "serenity" - which will also affect anyone selling the serenity prayer, Alcoholics Anonymous, buddhists, new agers, yoga enthustiasts, etc. - or "firefly" - which will also stop searches for certain things related to fairies or insects...

And yet, if you search for Simpsons, Buffy, Deadwood, Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica or any other number of corporate owned, licensed merchandise, copyrighted shows with "commercial possibilities" in spades, there are still TONS of stuff for those shows on Cafepress.

I don't at all see how singling out FIREFLY fans for indiscriminate heavy-handed harassment bodes well for anything. Sorry. Just don't see it.


Flame

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:56 AM

KURYA


They are ONLY enforcing the copyright issue, its a legal thing, its not about finances and recognizing the value of the Verse. What I am worried about is the farther reaching possibilities. This wont stop at Cafe Press, this will continue onto other fan stores where there is some good quality stuff. And for those people who think uUniversal and Fox won't go there, think again.

It means they are clamping down on the ability of fans to express themselves and to be able to have a wide array of stuff not available from the companies since those companies didn't seem interested in producing those smart items. Plus this ain't cheap to make for free, it has to be sold.

And what I am especially worried about is that Universal and Fox will take it to the next level in going after sites like FFF.net or serenitymovie.net or others, and for people who think that won't happen, take a look what happened in the Simpson's fandom.
Prakash

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:59 AM

REDLAVA


There seems to be a double standard out there. Wonder why all of a sudden this has happened.


Everybody always has the advantage over us, but that's what makes us special...and Browncoats.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 5:21 AM

MAVOURNEEN


Closer investigation reveals that those pages are still up at cafepress, but you gotta know where to look.

I've ordered a shirt or two from earthgirl at cafepress, and had a link to her shop under favorites. It's all still there...but I wonder if you try to order something that is copywrited you'd get blocked.

http://www.cafepress.com/fireflycargobay


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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 5:33 AM

MRBEN


Another question:

I know that the C&D's have come from Universal to individual shops, but did they also send a C&D to Cafepress to stop the searches? Or was that Cafepress acting on their own 'initiative'? (Or could it be a coincidental fault?)

A search for 'Browncoat' brings up plenty of hits ;)

mrben

"Carpe Aptenodytes"
http://www.jedimoose.org

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 5:35 AM

TPAGE


Just a thought: I noticed that some of the licensed shops are selling 'Browncoat'merchandise...

While we may not have any legal standing, is it right/moral that they can shut Browncoat shops selling Firefly/Serenity merchandise, and yet they sell Browncoat merchanise?

Especially so, when the only reason there is a 'problem' at all is because of us Browncoats in the first place. Shouldn't we send them a cease and desist for Browncoat merchandise?

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 5:37 AM

MWAHAHA


Maybe that's just Mal's luck-- The 'versary job caused a powerful disturbance in the force and now Sauron /really/ knows we're here.

...uh, blue pill, anyone?

--Mwa
_________________________________________

Yeah, we're pretty much just giving each other significant glances and laughing incessantly.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 5:45 AM

WHOISRIVER


Quote:


While we may not have any legal standing, is it right/moral that they can shut Browncoat shops selling Firefly/Serenity merchandise, and yet they sell Browncoat merchanise?

Especially so, when the only reason there is a 'problem' at all is because of us Browncoats in the first place. Shouldn't we send them a cease and desist for Browncoat merchandise?



Browncoat is a term used in Firefly and Serenity, so they could argue they own the phrase. I'm not kiddin'. I doubt they would bother though.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 5:49 AM

TPAGE


True enough, but does simply using it in dialogue count under copyright? It wasn't until the community of fans began using it that it truly was given meaning.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 5:57 AM

WHOISRIVER


Quote:

Originally posted by TPage:
True enough, but does simply using it in dialogue count under copyright? It wasn't until the community of fans began using it that it truly was given meaning.



I've no idea, to be honest.

It's a tough one to call. At the end of the day, as long as Universal and friends stay the hell away from website lawsuits I'm okay. There have been cases where media companies have gone after things like fan fiction sites, and that way leads a world of pain. Again, though, I doubt they would bother.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 6:03 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Universal and/or Fox's legal team doesn't come cheap so they don't just go around whilly nilly making life bad for people (inspite of what most of us think). And they both probably have a ToDo list longer than, well, it's really long. So, given those 2 items, for Firefly Serenity to be something they are actively spending time and money on means they must see a justifiable, hard dollar value in them. So potentially it has to be much better than being on their "dead to us" list.
Of course, they could just be dicks...
Sorry for all the creative Browncoats...

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 6:22 AM

NVGHOSTRIDER


Three words. Black Market Beagles. With emphasis on two words and one of 'em ain't Beagles. Utelize the pipeline and Browncoats will flourish.


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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 6:39 AM

BOOMERGOODHEART


My husband and I have been selling Browncoat lanyards through our website, and at DragonCon this year. We're hoping to add mugs & shot glasses with the word "Firefly" on them. I sincerely hope the shitheads don't come after us.

Pardon the language.

BoomerGoodheart
"I love my Captain."

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:11 AM

CHINDI


well... actually, they do own the intellectual property associated with the creation of this film and these characters and a portion of the sale of licensed material supposedly goes to Joss and those who did the creating in the first place.. so I have a hard time calling them jerks..they created the stuff or bought it and own it... Cafe Press and anyone else could actually get a license to sell and then they would be "legal". I appreciate the guerilla marketing aspect of this.. and the fan love that goes into these creations.. but in the end, these sellers are making money from someone else's intellectual property...

Chindi just another point of view

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:56 AM

FLAME


Quote:

Originally posted by Chindi:
well... actually, they do own the intellectual property associated with the creation of this film and these characters and a portion of the sale of licensed material supposedly goes to Joss and those who did the creating in the first place.. so I have a hard time calling them jerks..they created the stuff or bought it and own it... Cafe Press and anyone else could actually get a license to sell and then they would be "legal". I appreciate the guerilla marketing aspect of this.. and the fan love that goes into these creations.. but in the end, these sellers are making money from someone else's intellectual property...

Chindi just another point of view



I say you're an Alliance spy. And since we don't have a keel to haul you on... out the airlock with you!!



Seriously, though, Joss has said all along that he doesn't want the money and he's happy the stuff's being made, and ultimately, it's HIS intellectual property, even if FOX and UNIVERSAL put up the funds to give it to all of us. We bought the DVDs and movie tickets. They did the job and they got paid. Now they just want to get ugly.

FOX didn't want FIREFLY. They canceled it, then sold it to UNIVERSAL, so as far as I'm concerned, FOX can suck my strawberry.

As for UNIVERSAL suddenly gettin' tetchy... it makes no sense. If corporations were always tetchy about vast armies of fans who are whimsical in the brainpans, then why, I ask, why is there still allowed tons of fan-made stuff out there for Star Wars, Buffy, BSG, Deadwood, etc.?

I wish I knew more about what was going on, but somehow I don't think it's because they're planning to bring back the show or do another movie or make any nifty merchandise. I am a jewelry designer and a graphic designer (was doing that long before FIREFLY came along), and I know that when someone really likes your material, and/or it's selling well, they come and buy you out. Whoever's behind this, if they really wanted to make some sweet moulah or were jealous of how we've cornered the market, they would be buying OUR designs from us, not slapping on C&D orders or sending nasty letters or pressuring Cafepress. Unless they're morons.

Or, as someone here has already noted, maybe they're just dicks. I'm gonna have to go with that one.

~ Flame ~

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 9:06 AM

SIMONWHO


Personally, I think this move makes it seem less likely that there's going to be another movie and they're just trying to squeeze every bit of cash that they can from the franchise. If you think the property is effectively dead, it doesn't matter if you piss off the fans - you can just sell the rights to official merchandisers and who cares what the growth or otherwise of the fandom is.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 9:56 AM

RAINSTICK


I don't know what's all the fuss about. honestly, what did you expect? Fox and Universal have to maximise profit from the brands they have created through selling merchandise etc because all their competitors are doing the same thing with their synergies. from a business point of view you cannot permit other companies or individuals to use the brand that you own the copyright to and use it for commercial gain. and that is what all the people do/did who sold blue sun t-shirts and such. when we are writing fanfic we also use the verse and serenity and firefly and everything pertaining to that even though the intellectual property rests with the companies. the only difference is that people writing fanfic are not doing it for commercial gain. if they tried to put their fiction in print and sell it, they would be doing exactly that and inviting a lawsuit.
Don't get me wrong, I don't like these practices of the big media players myself, but that's just how the industry works (if you want to know more about that, read Chomsky or McChesney etc). don't act so surprised. the people getting mail from the legal divisions of said companies had it coming.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 11:29 AM

NOTMANDATORY


I'm new to the Verse, and have been actively following the guerilla marketing efforts across the Net.

Given what is happening to 11th Hour ( see the legal action against 11th Hour thread ), how many other people have received such heavy handed legalese in their inbox? How will this be perceived across the Net for those BSG folks? SG-1 types?
Buffy?
Harry Potter?

Insert your fandom here?




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Tuesday, October 24, 2006 12:52 PM

LEIASKY


>There seems to be a double standard out there. Wonder why all of a sudden this has happened.

Because new licensees are being signed for the Property and Universal as well as Fox have an obligation, to those that paid them their required fee, to clamp down on unauthorized product.

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

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:38 AM

MAVOURNEEN




Bumping this...Adam from Black Market Beagles has also announced that he is closing his site on October 27th. Sounds like he hasn't received a notice, but is too worried to continue.

http://blackmarketbeagles.com/


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Thursday, October 26, 2006 10:07 AM

UNREGISTEREDCOMPANION


Make me want to strike back in some cleaver fashion....like giving away artwork that falls under fair use along with a complete set of instructions as to how to make your own shirt.

Or selling T-shrt transfer material with a "free" design on it.

~~~~~

"Funny and sexy. You have no idea. And you never will."

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Thursday, October 26, 2006 3:47 PM

LAUGHINGMUSE


DIY browncoat gear - yeah. That could work nicely. Some folks might not have the gear to do a proper silkscreening, but I'm sure folks could hook up: send the owner of the silkscreen-machine the teeshirt, the artwork, a postage-paid return envelope, and a dollar or so to cover silkscreening materials.

---------------------------------
Mankind makes tools; we use them to augment our hands, arms and legs.
The computer augments the brain and this makes it very unpopular with totalitarians. - Charles J.C. Lyall

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Friday, October 27, 2006 3:20 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Quote:

Originally posted by notmandatory:
Quote:

Although it would be really interesting, just for fun, to tally up how much each of us has worked, hour by hour, year by year, to promote increased awareness and sales of their intellectual property. Maybe submit a bill for PR and marketing services rendered.



Amen, brother.

I'm speechless at Universal. Sick to my stomach.




OneTrueBix beat you to it:

http://www.browncoatinvoice.com/



__________________________________________
Holding the line since December '02!

"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."

Richmond, VA & surrounding area Firefly Fans:

http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/richmondbrowncoats/

http://www.richmondbrowncoats.org


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Friday, October 27, 2006 6:13 AM

UNREGISTEREDCOMPANION


Dude...I am a graphic designer with 2...count em 2....high end laser printers and some packets of laser t-shirt transfer material on hand.

If you own an iron, you are in.

(Sure a heat press is better, but sometimes you have to make do!)

~~~~~

"Funny and sexy. You have no idea. And you never will."

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