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(BBC)   Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry should be granted honorary UltraFark status for life for this immensely good deed   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 114
    More: Hero, Stephen Fry, UltraFark, Ian McKellen, hobbits, Sir Ian, Elijah Wood  
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34278 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Mar 2012 at 8:49 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



114 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-03-23 01:10:56 AM  
Open Letter to Stephen Fry (new window)

/obligatory
 
2012-03-23 01:21:15 AM  
Saul Zaentz.
 
2012-03-23 01:50:44 AM  
Stephen Fry's money?

Seen it, pinched it, spent it.
 
2012-03-23 02:32:41 AM  
"Your inference is as always slap on the button and leading by a length in the final furlong, Jeeves."
 
2012-03-23 05:25:37 AM  
That is an immensely good deed and if everyone in the world was more like them we wouldn't have people trying to shut down small pubs because of such trivial issues... also we'd have a steep population decline but that's another issue.

However I would have been happier if the company being a bag of cocks realised that and said "ok fine, you can go on about your business". But alas, they are still out there, preparing for their next attempt at being cockbags to some other poor innocent person.
 
2012-03-23 07:41:10 AM  
License fee? What liceen....@)#*$*^&$&>>>>>.(lost carrier)
 
2012-03-23 08:41:17 AM  
Sir Ian + Stephen Fry = class act
 
2012-03-23 08:57:07 AM  
Doesn't it just go to show you... the brain damaged people are the real heroes.
 
2012-03-23 09:00:18 AM  

Slaxl: That is an immensely good deed and if everyone in the world was more like them we wouldn't have people trying to shut down small pubs because of such trivial issues...


Actually, if everyone in the world was more like them, there wouldn't be people in the world.

/Not that there's anything wrong with that
 
2012-03-23 09:01:06 AM  
A couple of my favorite homosexuals, those two.
 
2012-03-23 09:01:15 AM  
A whooping 100 bucks, a year.
 
2012-03-23 09:02:26 AM  
Crack Fark legal team: If they used the name/characters for 20+ years can't they claim the copyright was not properly defended and continue to use?

I thought this was the whole reason companies come off as asshats so often issuing cease and desist orders to "the little guy" - if they dont defend their trademarks they lose the right to them.


Maybe I'm just confusing trademark/copyright....
 
2012-03-23 09:02:29 AM  

Cythraul: A couple of my favorite homosexuals, those two.


Stephen Fry is like a modern, friendly Oscar Wilde who can narrate things.

"My first words, as I was being born... I looked up at my mother and said, 'that's the last time I'm going up one of those.'""
 
2012-03-23 09:03:13 AM  
I don't understand the logic behind going after a business that is basically promoting your product. I get it if their business is selling knock off merch but a pub just using it for a gimmick is keeping your product in the lexicon. It's basically guerrilla marketing that firms would pay money for and these tards are busy trying to get them to cease and desist.
 
2012-03-23 09:03:33 AM  

Slaxl: That is an immensely good deed and if everyone in the world was more like them we wouldn't have people trying to shut down small pubs because of such trivial issues... also we'd have a steep population decline but that's another issue.

However I would have been happier if the company being a bag of cocks realised that and said "ok fine, you can go on about your business". But alas, they are still out there, preparing for their next attempt at being cockbags to some other poor innocent person.


Those companies have to be "cocks" about it. They're literally required by law to do so. Any inaction to enforce a copyright allows the other companies to scream bloody murder about arbitrary, selective enforcement and as a consequence, most judges would say, "if you allow the pub to do so, you must allow this other company to also steal your copyrighted materials."

This can continue all the way until the company cannot enforce their image anymore and the money is lost. This is the most important part: The image then becomes fair game for abuse. A good example is the image of Calvin peeing from Calvin and Hobbes; Some now put that image above anything they don't like and in a way, it's as if Bill Watterson 'approves' the message.
 
2012-03-23 09:03:56 AM  
Fortunately, the Shoggoth and Whistle will never have to worry about this particular issue.
 
2012-03-23 09:05:01 AM  
Zanz can't dance, but he'll steal your money,
Watch him or he'll rob you blind.

Out in the street a crowd is gatherin',
Pushed down by the heat of the building, they're wantin' to dance.
Makin' their way up the street, a boy with a pig and a radio;
Little Billy can work on the crowd, put 'em into a trance,
For the little pig Zanz.

You're watchin' 'em dance, not a care in the world;
So Billy and Zanz get busy, they're makin' their move;
The little pig knows what to do, he's silent and quick, just like Oliver Twist;
Before it's over, your pocket is clean,
A four-legged thief paid a visit on you.

http://youtu.be/0-Hz7IzLQk8
 
2012-03-23 09:05:34 AM  
I'm happy for The Hobbit and all, but that seemed like a lot of marketing for such a tiny article.
 
2012-03-23 09:07:35 AM  

Slaxl: That is an immensely good deed and if everyone in the world was more like them we wouldn't have people trying to shut down small pubs because of such trivial issues...


You are correct. If everyone were an insanely wealthy individual with direct access to the media it is unlikely there would be much squabbling over trivial issues such as this.

But who would bus the tables?
 
2012-03-23 09:09:19 AM  

Slaxl: That is an immensely good deed and if everyone in the world was more like them we wouldn't have people trying to shut down small pubs because of such trivial issues... also we'd have a steep population decline but that's another issue.

However I would have been happier if the company being a bag of cocks realised that and said "ok fine, you can go on about your business". But alas, they are still out there, preparing for their next attempt at being cockbags to some other poor innocent person.


I lol'd.
 
2012-03-23 09:10:37 AM  
So their solution was to pay off that jewish bastard? Lame.

They should have gone to his house, with all the other actors from LOTR, dressed in their full costumes, and hacked him to death with their sowrds.
 
2012-03-23 09:10:55 AM  

LazarusLong42: Doesn't it just go to show you... the brain damaged people are the real heroes.


Dammit, I've gone and mixed up my british actors named Stephen. Carry on.
 
2012-03-23 09:13:56 AM  
I love Fry and McKellen so much that I'd let both of them have me, and I'm straight. This only makes me love them more.

/ Got to shake McKellen's hand at an SF pride parade once. *giddy*
 
2012-03-23 09:21:24 AM  
Look, I'm usually pretty liberal on this sort of thing but IMHO this is a bag of pants.

The pub has traded with the name The Hobbit for 20 years, so common sense dictates that it ought to be able to continue to do so without interference.

However, they are using images / photos from the LoTR movies in their merchandising, including pictures of the actors from those films. I.e. years after the pub had been established a film came out and the owners of the pub decided to take images from that film and use them in their marketing and merchandising without permission and without payment.

I agree that they're hardly likely to bankrupt anybody by behaving in this way, but are the legitimate owners of the rights supposed to do nothing? What about the people who HAVE paid to license those images, should they get a refund?

For what it's worth, the pub has got loads of publicity and the copyright owners have made concessions, so it's all fine in the end.
 
2012-03-23 09:22:59 AM  

ObscureNameHere: Slaxl: That is an immensely good deed and if everyone in the world was more like them we wouldn't have people trying to shut down small pubs because of such trivial issues...

Actually, if everyone in the world was more like them, there wouldn't be people in the world.

/Not that there's anything wrong with that


Jesus christ I just snorted tea up my nose at that.

:P
 
2012-03-23 09:26:31 AM  

Arthur Prefect: ObscureNameHere: Slaxl: That is an immensely good deed and if everyone in the world was more like them we wouldn't have people trying to shut down small pubs because of such trivial issues...

Actually, if everyone in the world was more like them, there wouldn't be people in the world.

/Not that there's anything wrong with that

Jesus christ I just snorted tea up my nose at that.

:P


Do I get paid extra for that?
 
2012-03-23 09:27:51 AM  
Was the hobbit as a species invented by Tolkien, or was it already established as a mythical creature prior to the hobbit like a dragon or an elf or something? If they did already exist (as a concept) how could this even be argued? If I had a pub that named "The Orc" or "The Elf" or "The Dwarf" could the lawyers come swooping down on me too?
 
2012-03-23 09:28:15 AM  
Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry should be granted honorary UltraFark status for life for this immensely good deed

Seconded (if it hasn't been already).
 
2012-03-23 09:31:37 AM  
May the hair on their toes never grow less.
 
2012-03-23 09:32:41 AM  
I was going to name my band Hobbitc*ck, Wonder if I would've been sued by these guys.
 
2012-03-23 09:33:32 AM  
Cartoons can join Fark?

static.tumblr.com

/ dnrtfa
 
2012-03-23 09:34:00 AM  
I can hardly wait until dream content must be licensed, not that there's anything wrong with what Frodo does at night.
 
2012-03-23 09:37:33 AM  
Why hasn't Stephen Fry been knighted? He's a national treasure.
 
2012-03-23 09:39:11 AM  

Slaxl: That is an immensely good deed and if everyone in the world was more like them we wouldn't have people trying to shut down small pubs because of such trivial issues... also we'd have a steep population decline but that's another issue.

However I would have been happier if the company being a bag of cocks realised that and said "ok fine, you can go on about your business". But alas, they are still out there, preparing for their next attempt at being cockbags to some other poor innocent person.


I believe cockbag companies must try to stop people from using any license/extract fees, or they lose the right to ever do so.
 
2012-03-23 09:39:42 AM  

Pert: he pub has traded with the name The Hobbit for 20 years, so common sense dictates that it ought to be able to continue to do so without interference.


The problem is that the lawsuits and C&D orders and court costs would be sufficient to cripple the business, even in a loser pays system.

The fact that a few celebrities came around to strong arm a belated nominal fee license gets around the lawsuits and bad feelings between the fans and the company that owns the rights. If you wanted to open a new pub using names of likeness from Tolkien you'd either negotiate a steep fee up front or the company would come back with a punitive judgement.

Next time I break bread with my IP lawyer friend I need to ask if we can trademark a few of the more annoying advertising terms. "We will not be undersold!©®™ "
 
2012-03-23 09:42:39 AM  

MrGuy: Was the hobbit as a species invented by Tolkien, or was it already established as a mythical creature prior to the hobbit like a dragon or an elf or something? If they did already exist (as a concept) how could this even be argued? If I had a pub that named "The Orc" or "The Elf" or "The Dwarf" could the lawyers come swooping down on me too?


Hobbit means hole in the ground in Tolkein's made up universe. The race is actaully halfling... but they're named after their homes... which are holes in the ground.

Halflings predate Tolkein. Hobbit does not.
 
2012-03-23 09:43:05 AM  

yoursafewordisharder: Zanz can't dance, but he'll steal your money,
Watch him or he'll rob you blind.


Fogerty was talking about the same guy in that song... as you're probably aware. But for those that aren't, Zaentz sued Fogerty for releasing post-Fantasy Records material that sounded like, you guessed it, John Fogerty/CCR in the Fantasy Records era.

Sharks in suits.
 
2012-03-23 09:44:39 AM  
These people were violating copyrights in an obvious way. A look at their website revealed that. Using art from the movie , actor pictures, etc violates copyright and just wasn't a good idea. They have since "cleaned" up the site, but you just can't take stills from a movie and use them in your themed bar. In fact I am willing to bet the website had a great deal to do with this case as it was plastered with images from the movies. I would expect similar treatment if I opened a Ghost Buster's themed bar. Hell, what do you think George Lucas would do if i opened a Star Wars bar without a license? People have gotten similar treatment for this in the past.

If the bar had just used the Hobbit name, had used fan or in house art and used nothing from the movies I would agree. It is going a little far considering the age of the book and it's popularity. Something tells me this was the case until the success of the movies. owners got careless and didn't bother checking. It wasn't noticed and they assume it would be alright. My bet anyways.

It's cool they worked out a deal and can use authentic art and material from the movies.
 
2012-03-23 09:46:35 AM  
If thats Copyright infringement, then what do you call this 1985 heavy metal album filled LOTR references?

i30.tinypic.com

Battle At Helms Deep Music Video (new window)
 
2012-03-23 09:47:44 AM  
In Lakewood Colorado there is a seedy little motel called the big bunny. When it opened 40 years ago, it was named the Bugs Bunny motel, but Disney unleashed their lawyers on it and forced the name change. I guess in retrospect it might have been a good decision as it is now home to crack whores. On the other hand it might have been due to the name change that it went bad.
 
pla
2012-03-23 09:48:48 AM  
CrispFlows : Those companies have to be "cocks" about it. They're literally required by law to do so. Any inaction to enforce a copyright allows the other companies to scream bloody murder about arbitrary, selective enforcement

That holds true for trademarks. Not for copyrights.

You can enforce a copyright you hold, as arbitrarily as you want. You can say, "pla can use this song I wrote, but Slaxl has to pay me a billion dollars to do the same".

Now, whether or not names and concepts that predate JRR count as trademarks - Entirely different discussion. I will go to my grave saying that they don't, that no one can just appropriate preexisting bits of culture and tack their name on them. The courts historically have not agreed with me on that, however, and we have such rampant abuse of trademarking common concepts that numerous companies "own" the rights to assorted colors, own commonly used single words, own basic geometric shapes.


MrGuy : Was the hobbit as a species invented by Tolkien, or was it already established as a mythical creature prior to the hobbit like a dragon or an elf or something?

The exact word predates Tolkien by a century. The root word ("hob-" as a prefix to describe various faerie-folk) goes back to at least the 1600s and likely much earlier.
 
2012-03-23 09:49:38 AM  

Slaxl: However I would have been happier if the company being a bag of cocks realised that and said "ok fine, you can go on about your business".


From the article: "Producer Paul Zaentz told the BBC trademark law dictated it had to act against infringements of its brands, but were open to licensing the pub to use them."

If the company said "fine, go about your business," then they no longer control their brand, which destroys their ownership of the mark.
 
2012-03-23 09:50:54 AM  

Pert: Look, I'm usually pretty liberal on this sort of thing but IMHO this is a bag of pants.

The pub has traded with the name The Hobbit for 20 years, so common sense dictates that it ought to be able to continue to do so without interference.

However, they are using images / photos from the LoTR movies in their merchandising, including pictures of the actors from those films. I.e. years after the pub had been established a film came out and the owners of the pub decided to take images from that film and use them in their marketing and merchandising without permission and without payment.

I agree that they're hardly likely to bankrupt anybody by behaving in this way, but are the legitimate owners of the rights supposed to do nothing? What about the people who HAVE paid to license those images, should they get a refund?

For what it's worth, the pub has got loads of publicity and the copyright owners have made concessions, so it's all fine in the end.


Pretty much this - using the names for 20 years is one thing, but they were morons for using movie images for their bar and not expecting the hammer to come down on them.
 
2012-03-23 09:51:56 AM  

Fizpez: Crack Fark legal team: If they used the name/characters for 20+ years can't they claim the copyright was not properly defended and continue to use?

I thought this was the whole reason companies come off as asshats so often issuing cease and desist orders to "the little guy" - if they dont defend their trademarks they lose the right to them.

Maybe I'm just confusing trademark/copyright....


You are, but not your fault - the journalist did too. This is a trademark dispute, and yes, they have to defend it. It has nothing to do with copyright.
 
2012-03-23 09:52:15 AM  
$100 fine? Methinks the company is doing it to protect their ownership, but that they really don't give a shiat
 
2012-03-23 09:54:20 AM  
I would really like to be present for the conversations these two must have.
 
2012-03-23 09:57:20 AM  
i149.photobucket.com
Jeeves - I'm impressed! And I say that as a sold-out whore.

Cheers, mate.
 
2012-03-23 09:59:54 AM  

CrispFlows: Those companies have to be "cocks" about it. They're literally required by law to do so. Any inaction to enforce a copyright allows the other companies to scream bloody murder about arbitrary, selective enforcement and as a consequence, most judges would say, "if you allow the pub to do so, you must allow this other company to also steal your copyrighted materials."


Close, but no pipeweed...
It's trademark that has to be enforced and defended in case it lapses, not copyright. Which is why you end up with little fees like this. Copyright continues to exist regardless. Trademarks that can be argued to be undefended and to have entered common use in language can be lost.


I'm glad it turned out the way it did, I used to live down the road from there, it's a nice pub. I intend to go back before long.
 
2012-03-23 10:01:06 AM  

pla: Now, whether or not names and concepts that predate JRR count as trademarks - Entirely different discussion. I will go to my grave saying that they don't, that no one can just appropriate preexisting bits of culture and tack their name on them.


Tell that to Apple(tm), Nike(tm), Amazon(tm), etc.

The courts historically have not agreed with me on that, however, and we have such rampant abuse of trademarking common concepts that numerous companies "own" the rights to assorted colors, own commonly used single words, own basic geometric shapes.

Yeah, but why is that "rampant abuse"? Trademarks don't mean that you can't use those colors, words, or shapes generally. Just that you can't use them in commerce, in such a way as to lead to confusion with the trademark owner. I can sell apples, I can make recipes with apples, I can set up my "Apples" roadside stand selling apples, I can write online reviews about apples, etc. The only thing I can't do is set up a computer company selling hardware or software under the name "Apple"... and honestly, wouldn't doing that be abusive, since I'd almost certainly trying to fool customers and attact business through fraud or confusion?
 
2012-03-23 10:09:07 AM  
This pub isn't the little guy being bullied by Hollywood that they're making themselves out to be.

Yes they have been using the name "The Hobbit" for years prior to the films, however, they have been using images and stills FROM THE FILMS on their promotional material (including using an image of Elijah Wood on their loyalty card) which the film studio is perfectly within their rights (and as other have already pointed out, obligated to) to defend their copyright on these images.
 
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