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Topic: HELP! I got a Cease & Desist...what should I do now?!? (EDITED w/ "Resolution")  (Read 34970 times)
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katietr
« Reply #130 on: February 08, 2007 08:35:55 AM »

I'm at work right now and don't have time to read every post - however, I was talking with my supervisors (lawyers - not patent lawyers, though) about it.  They called some other lawyers.  Anyway, not legal advice - just want to point you to 2 rules in trademark/patent law - the "original purchase rule" and the "transformative rule."  They're probably on at least one of the links that you put up.  Many people think that this is a scam, and it may be.  But I think these are important things to look into for any artist looking to sell their wares.

Sending positive thoughts your way!
Katie
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laneybug
« Reply #131 on: February 08, 2007 01:31:43 PM »

[quote author=craft-matic
Otherwise the bulk of our popular culture--nay, our culture writ large--would be under the ownership of large corporations. 

That's my two cents, for whatever their worth.  I understand your view, but in this case I think it's worth a debate--especially for crafty people. 
[/quote]

I have no further interest in debating this topic, since a debate allows two views to be discussed thoroughly and openly, and I'm only seeing one side being supported here. But, I do have a few parting things to say.

Although I definitely support the independent, small-business craftsman, I support corporate America as well. Take Ford for example. They started in a rinky-dink garage and made themselves what they are today. With the same hard work and dedication that any small time "crafty person" has. Same with Warner Brothers and Disney. Yes, it's very easy to take corporate America and turn it all into some big bad wolf set out to destroy the little guys, but, at one time, they were the little guys. And companies like wouldn't have their success if they allowed anyone and everyone to make money off of their ideas and products.

As for the example of not being able to "utter Mickey Mouse's name," let's stick to reality and not get too excited here. If you have a reasonable argument, that's fine, but pulling things out of thin air is useless. We can sit and argue what-ifs all day and still get no where.

Secondly, craft-matic, whether you like it or not, the bulk of our "popular culture," otherwise known as our society, owes a lot to large corporations. They are a part of America, they have helped make America, and if people don't like that, I hear Russia is a nice place to live.

Basically, little guys or large corporations... they all deserve not to have their ideas, that they've worked so hard to manifest, be ripped off... intentionally or not.
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« Reply #132 on: February 08, 2007 03:09:22 PM »

Okay I have watched this since the beginning and this last comment has made me want to say something.  Yes, many monster corporations did start out as the "little guy" but as time progresses, the have been bought out or taken over (by other companies or even by family members) and most seem to have lost the same values that they once started out with.  Those who take over these large corporations are only interested in one thing... making money.  If anyone else seems to be stealing their spotlight -weather rightly (or in this case) wrongly accused, they will fight to make sure that any competition is squashed, and though this may not be the case in all situations, it seems to be happening more and more.  Most large corporations seem to have lost their compassion for their "roots".  I'm not saying that I won't shop with any large companies, but the ones that are so greedy that they will stoop to this undesirable level don't seem to care if we - the "little guy" boycott or not.  They just want the monopoly.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007 03:16:56 PM by amberbrown » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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craft-matic
« Reply #133 on: February 08, 2007 04:44:20 PM »


Secondly, craft-matic, whether you like it or not, the bulk of our "popular culture," otherwise known as our society, owes a lot to large corporations. They are a part of America, they have helped make America, and if people don't like that, I hear Russia is a nice place to live.

Basically, little guys or large corporations... they all deserve not to have their ideas, that they've worked so hard to manifest, be ripped off... intentionally or not.

Well, I don't dislike it that corporations have contributed a huge part of our popular culture.  I love it that media venues have made possible the sharing of ideas.  I'm just arguing that once certain ideas and images become thoroughly ingrained in our culture, they belong in the public domain, and we have the right to use them, debate them, parody them etc.  And it's a right that has been defended time and time again.

If the matter in question involved ripping of the formula of the beverage in question, or co-opting their logo as a logo of one's own, that would be an infringing use and I would defend the right of the corporation to fight against such uses.  But that is decidedly not the case here.  No ideas are being ripped off.  So I'm not sure how that fits into the current discussion.

I'm sorry that you feel the debate is one-sided; I feel I've openly defended my views in a way that invited a thorough exploration of the legal and social issues at play.  I hope you feel free to continue being part of the discussion in spite of your expressed reticence.  If you have some ideas of the legal distinctions you would make, if for example you were judging such a case, such ideas would be more than welcome. 
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« Reply #134 on: February 08, 2007 04:45:39 PM »

I have no further interest in debating this topic, since a debate allows two views to be discussed thoroughly and openly, and I'm only seeing one side being supported here. But, I do have a few parting things to say.

you might want to re-read the thread more carefully.  Both views have been expressed.  I expressed.  Quietly, and with the goal of getting folks to think about the issue from a few angles.  It's true that the side supporting gypsysoul has been more vocal, but we're trying to be supportive, here.  So don't get your right-winged panties in a bunch about it -- this is a case of someone reaching out for a little love and support, not someone entirely deserving of a "shut up and deal with it" kind of response from the masses.

okay, that was a bit rude.  bummer, eh?
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bronzfrog
« Reply #135 on: February 08, 2007 07:41:46 PM »

How about sending them a letter that says this.
Hey STUPID I'm advertising for your company.
Like if I were to see someone wearing earrings using my favorite soft drink's bottle cap I'd be thirsty. 
It's like impulse buying at the store see display of candy bars, think "mmmm my favorite candy bar", buy favorite candy bar.
Good Luck!
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RachOfTheJungle
« Reply #136 on: February 08, 2007 09:24:51 PM »

I have no further interest in debating this topic, since a debate allows two views to be discussed thoroughly and openly, and I'm only seeing one side being supported here. But, I do have a few parting things to say.

you might want to re-read the thread more carefully.  Both views have been expressed.  I expressed.  Quietly, and with the goal of getting folks to think about the issue from a few angles.  It's true that the side supporting gypsysoul has been more vocal, but we're trying to be supportive, here.  So don't get your right-winged panties in a bunch about it -- this is a case of someone reaching out for a little love and support, not someone entirely deserving of a "shut up and deal with it" kind of response from the masses.

okay, that was a bit rude.  bummer, eh?

Reading through this thread and following it closely, I'd say we are offering our support to gypsysoul (and this is my interp, but has been stated by others before) more on the grounds that the company might be coming down a little too harshly on her and perhaps even illegally by asking her for money outside of court and asking for personal info of her customers, regardless if we can agree on the legitimacy and morality etc of copyright laws, which we won't. And that is fine since everyone has good points.

I'd hate to see this become an issue of who is more legit, big companies and little guys. Really all that is going to do is get personal since many people have positive (maybe their parents work for a large company and that's how they feed themselves and make a living) and negative (maybe their parents/loved ones/even themselves got fired in a takeover or something else related to large corps).

I am impressed that we have kept it civil here since touchy issues like this can get outta hand pretty swiftly, but I think it's true to say that people have said nothing oppressive to people who feel differently.

Laneybug, please know that your opinion is valid, and even if you feel you are the only one expressing your particular viewpoint, it still matters to everyone, even if they ultimately disagree.

I think really at the heart of it all, we just want to see gypsysoul treated fairly and given a voice, and I hope that despite everyone's differing opinions stated here, we can come together on that.
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RachOfTheJungle
« Reply #137 on: February 08, 2007 10:01:07 PM »

Secondly, craft-matic, whether you like it or not, the bulk of our "popular culture," otherwise known as our society, owes a lot to large corporations. They are a part of America, they have helped make America, and if people don't like that, I hear Russia is a nice place to live.

And as an afterthought, I just want to point out that just because large corporations have played an integral role in shaping our economy and indeed the world economy does not necessarily mean that we "owe" them anything.

Moreover, even if we did "owe" them something, that doesn't give them the right to do whatever they want un-policed and unquestioned.

And most of all, it does NOT mean that people who oppose their practices or "don't like it" should move to Russia. I would hope that if you expect your opinion to be heard, laneybug, you would be more supportive of people offering theirs.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007 10:03:01 PM by RachOfTheJungle » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #138 on: February 08, 2007 10:29:11 PM »

issues are not black or white.

not all corporations are terrible, not all are wonderful.

in some cases, it would be appropriate to send a c&d with a fine, in some, it wouldn't.

every situation is unique.

we can sit here pointing out situations in which things are right or wrong or true or false, and we will get nowhere. seeing personal jabs and other mean-spirited conversation on a forum where people are so generally supportive and inspirational is disappointing.

there is a person at the center of this, who has remained very neutral, and just wants to hear that maybe it will be ok and know what to do on the off chance that it's not.
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gypsysoul3
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« Reply #139 on: February 09, 2007 03:33:35 PM »

I was just saying to my husband yesterday, that i was almost unaware that this thread had become a debate over corporations and whatnot, and i've been reading it daily, (maybe b/c I've been busy dealing with my situation....); to which he replied, "yeah, but to keep a thread on topic for 10 pages is pretty good!" (another thing i like about craftster, the ability to stay on topic--for the most part).

I will say that i agree with people on both sides of the issue, as thriftjunnkie said, "each situation is unique;" but am not here to debate either side. basically, as RachOfTheJungle said, i came here seeking help, support, advice and perhaps shared experience. all of which i have gotten. I have also learned alot and sincerely appreciate all the opinions and advice that' have been expressed here.

While the whole issue of "corporations vs. the little guy" is important, it's not necessarily my central issue here.
The issues of trademarks and copyrights are definitely worth discussing though, especially in a forum of artists, and especially those that use recycled/used/thrifted/collaged/reconstructed/deconstructed/slightly altered/etc goods in their art.

For example, say you are at the mall (gasp! Wink )  and there's some sort of promo thing going on in the middle of the mall, sponsored by coke, or pepsi, or beer, or chocolate, or whatever and you get a free t-shirt, you think, "I'll never wear this" and make it into a skirt that you then decide to sell on your website. then, you get a cease and desist letter (that demands thousands of dollars) arrives from a third party company claiming to represent the trademark holder. what do you do? this is sort of my situation....

People need to be aware that there is something that seems very shadey going on, I'll explain: while doing research on the Third Party Company that sent me the letter, i have discovered that this company, and other's I'm sure, are pretty much trolling around looking for things that could be trademark/copyright issues, they then send these demand letters basically to scare you into paying them. They may even go so far as to approach trademark holders to sign up for their investigative service & charge the trademark owner for these investigative reports. So, these big Corporations may not even know what's going on, which i actually believe may be the case in my situation.
Again, it's basically just frivolous and silly legal work (for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Stoller) but if you don't have much money you'll simply pay to make it go away rather than go to court which can cost alot. Which is where i really agree with what RachOfTheJungle had to say:

Moreover, even if we did "owe" them something, that doesn't give them the right to do whatever they want un-policed and unquestioned.

As I said, my lawyer suggested that what was happening to me was a form of extortion (which is illegal).

I suppose I could go on, but, as today was the "deadline" for my reply to the company, i'm hoping it's over. the letter my lawyer composed is fabulous. and she then gave them a deadline of next week to basically file this away under "wishful thinking" or "money grubbing" or "if the actual corporation only knew what we were doing..." (ok, not in those words, but close...)

Thanks again for all the advice and kind words! there were times during these past 2 or 3 weeks that i was really scared and nervous, and thinking, "how many paychecks would it take to pay this off?" or "will i have to quit my job to go to court?" or "will i cry when i talk to the people from this company on the phone?" it's very worrisome.
but it's nice to know i had all these people here who were not only interested about the outcome but concerned and invested. and, the amount of wonderful people who offered me legal help is AWESOME! (who knew that 1/2 the people on craftster work for lawyers!?! Wink ) I will be letting you all know what happens next....
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