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(Onion AV Club)   "The last five minutes of St. Elsewhere is the only television show, ever. Everything else is a daydream"   (avclub.com ) divider line
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6820 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 06 Aug 2012 at 5:04 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-06 09:30:28 PM  

Otto_E_Rodika: mattharvest: hammettman: Sorry, you are dead wrong. Any use that displays a trademarked logo, whether positive or negative or sans endorsement, requires permission. There is not always compensation or free product, but there is always permission to use the product.

This is simply not the law in the US. Where do you see any law that would require this?

I've worked in the television business for twenty five years, and every product, whether seen or referenced, requires a legal clearance. There are companies that specialize in this in entertainment business. Once a script has reached the shooting draft stage, it is sent for clearances. Sometimes an oblique reference, say a character talking about playing a game of Monopoly, simply requires that there is a check with a standing agreement that the industry has with Milton Bradley, and since it is simply being used in dialogue and has no direct effect on the plot, then it is cleared. However, if a drug deal goes down, and someone uses prop Monopoly money for cash as a part of the story, then you can be damn sure a lawyer at Milton Bradley saw the script and approved the use of their trademarked product.

That's the way it works. It is prohibitively expensive to do re-shoots and re-edits because a brand, product or person complains about their use. That is why so many brands and products are fictional and often shared by various shows (they've already been art-directed and propped). This goes not only for products, but for music, references to real people, current events, websites (such as Facebook, Twitter) etc. Often, money must change hands to use the IP involved. That is why you hear so many variations of the "Happy Birthday" on television. If you want to use the actual song, you have to get it cleared for use (the licensor must approve how it is being used) and then you have to pay a license fee (it is not in the public domain, surprisingly).

/takes a long drag on a Red Apple


There has to be some kind of limit on what needs permission. They're not getting permission from every auto maker when they show a long shot of traffic.
 
2012-08-06 10:05:09 PM  

unyon: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: SurfaceTension: For a more interesting view of how all these different series tie together, check out The Tommy Westphall Multiverse

iii)In the Red Dwarf episode "Psirens", the crew of the Red Dwarf come across a space ship graveyard which includes a
Weyland-Utani ship (connecting it with Angel, and a Eagle ship from the TV series Space: 1999.
1. A Klingon Bird of Prey from the Star Trek universe(see 2.A.ii.(1).(b)(i) for more Star Trek) is also in the grave yard

I take issue with their link here. In the episode "The Last Day", after Kryten pontificates about the meaning of the human term "friendship," Lister says "Don't give me any of that Star Trek crap." The implication being that Star Trek is fictional in the Red Dwarf Universe.

Weyland-Utani also appears in Firefly, the manufacturer of the cannon that Mal uses to bring down the ship at the beginning of the pilot.


And Weyland-Utani is also referenced in "Prometheus". Gotta question: do you need to get permission to show a logo if it preexists in a real background? Say, on the side of a building as the characters drive by? Or if you film in a known, real-world location?
 
2012-08-06 10:18:49 PM  

mr intrepid: And Weyland-Utani is also referenced in "Prometheus".


You do realize... no, never mind.

And Yutani wasn't acquired by Weyland Industries until after the events of that film, iirc.
 
2012-08-06 10:22:00 PM  

fusillade762: mr intrepid: And Weyland-Utani is also referenced in "Prometheus".

You do realize... no, never mind.

And Yutani wasn't acquired by Weyland Industries until after the events of that film, iirc.


You are correct. And I stand so.
 
2012-08-07 12:19:50 AM  

fusillade762: Got a few:

Millennium Falcon in Star Trek: First Contact

[i46.tinypic.com image 320x240]

TOS Enterprise in BSG

[i46.tinypic.com image 500x252]

R2D2 in Star Trek

[i48.tinypic.com image 850x349]


Also:

There are E.T. people in the Imperial Senate in the new Star Wars movies, and in the E.T. movie Elliot played with Star Wars toys. And of course E.T. thought he was home when he saw the kid in the Yoda suit.

/no pictures
/too lazy
 
2012-08-07 02:04:11 AM  
I was practicing a beautiful aria from 'La Rondine' by Puccini, 'Chi il bel sogno di Doretta', which translates to 'Doretta's beautiful dream'. I was stunned to hear it play in Dr. Westphall's office and watch as everything changed. Had to be the most perfect use of an opera aria as we learned the entire series had been Tommy's beautiful dream.
 
2012-08-07 02:35:54 AM  

hammettman: For a more rational, less sensational view of the connections, one would do well to understand US slander, trademark and copyright law. Yes, TV shows must obtain permission to use real products in their fictional shows. A gruesome serial killer who only smokes Marlboros? That's a lawsuitin! Producers have found it convenient to use the fictional brands that have been established as free and clear for use. Ergo, Morley cigarettes. Same with the names of characters. If your killer is named Drew Curtis and is set in Lexington, KY, the farking real Drew Curtis from Lexington, KY may have grounds for a lawsuit. Same with phone numbers--have you ever heard a number that doesn't start with 555?


Yes.
 
2012-08-07 08:13:59 AM  

turtle553: There has to be some kind of limit on what needs permission. They're not getting permission from every auto maker when they show a long shot of traffic.


Yeah, the limit is easy and I've already explained it (but he refuses to accept it): the only limitation is that you cannot use someone's trademark in a way that suggests they are endorsing your product.

As a practical matter, television and movies limit their usage of trademarks in two ways:
1. They don't use a competitor of their sponsors, if it would make the competitor look good (because that devalues the sponsorship and thus discourages sponsors from paying).
2. They don't use a product for free unless they're simply not soliciting sponsorship of that sort (unless the writers are adamant).

The article I linked to at the top of the page explains a lot of this, e.g. how Apple refuses to ever pay for product placement, but does happily give free products to use in shows. Apple didn't pay one dime to be in every episode of 24, e.g.

Trademarks are one of the most limited legal powers in existence in the US. Basically the only limitation is that you cannot use someone's mark in a way that dilutes their business use of that mark. The use of a trademark in a fictional program virtually cannot ever do so.

Where hammettman is completely and utterly confused is that he thinks that a production company's legal department was clearing products with their owners. In fact, the legal department was clearing those products against the shows' actual sponsors.
 
2012-08-07 09:28:53 AM  

turtle553: There has to be some kind of limit on what needs permission. They're not getting permission from every auto maker when they show a long shot of traffic.


No, because that's out in public, and the various cars in that long shot of traffic have nothing to do with the plot and neither promote nor defame the auto makers.

Likewise, a driving scene that passes various businesses that have nothing to do with the plot nor are mentioned in dialogue are fine, but , conversely, you can damn well bet that John Carpenter had to get clearance on the Chock full o'Nuts coffee shop in Escape From New York.
 
2012-08-07 10:12:11 AM  
Tell the kid with the snowglobe to dream up a Cheers reunion.
 
2012-08-07 03:34:01 PM  

SurfaceTension: For a more interesting view of how all these different series tie together, check out The Tommy Westphall Multiverse


Which ripped off the "Six Degrees of St. Elsewhere" work of the late, great Dwayne McDuffie without credit.

Note that your link is © 2003-2004, and Dwayne's original article on SlushFactory was posted on January 29, 2002. There is no earlier version of this hypothesis to be found anywhere online, according to Wikipedia.
 
2012-08-07 04:12:46 PM  
"Workaholics" uses lots of Heisler beer.
 
2012-08-07 08:25:00 PM  

Otto_E_Rodika: I've worked in the television business for twenty five years, and every product, whether seen or referenced, requires a legal clearance.


Then how come when I watch the local news and they're reporting from a store, I can see the signs and brand names on the products?

According to you they should have to wait a week to get clearance from everyone. Or just blur that shizz out.
 
2012-08-08 02:06:04 AM  

angrymacface: SurfaceTension: For a more interesting view of how all these different series tie together, check out The Tommy Westphall Multiverse

Some of those links are very specious. Just because an element of one show appears, as an in-joke, in another show, doesn't mean they're linked.


No they aren't. It doesn't matter what the "in-joke" is if they are talking about a show that an autistic kid made up in his mind.
 
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