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(ThinkGeek)   Turns out ThinkGeek was not the cause of Fox getting all "cease & desist" on people making Jayne hats. In fact, they're going to donate the profits from all Jayne Hat sales on their site (until they run out) to Can't Stop the Serenity   (thinkgeek.com) divider line 64
    More: Followup, ThinkGeek, Can't Stop the Serenity, FOX, Jayne hats, account of profits  
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7848 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Apr 2013 at 2:42 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-11 01:43:24 PM  
Am I reading this wrong?

Fox finds website that sells unauthorized merchandise of copyrights that Fox holds. Fox sends a cease and desist letter to a website that sells, but not produces, the infringing items?

So, Fox does not have the right to ask websites to stop selling copyright infringed products?
 
2013-04-11 02:09:31 PM  

cman: So, Fox does not have the right to ask websites to stop selling copyright infringed products?


Thing is said product may not actually qualify for copyright protection and what's more even if it does it's not immediately clear fox is the one with the authority to go around sending C&D letters. Also depending on the exact form and content of said letters they may have the legal authority of gum wrappers.
 
2013-04-11 02:18:12 PM  
WTF is a Jayne hat? Is it the female equivalent of a Jimmy hat?
 
2013-04-11 02:35:03 PM  

show me: WTF is a Jayne hat? Is it the female equivalent of a Jimmy hat?


media-cache-ec7.pinterest.com
 
2013-04-11 02:36:17 PM  
Shiny!

show me: WTF is a Jayne hat? Is it the female equivalent of a Jimmy hat?


www.saffasogood.com
 
2013-04-11 02:48:25 PM  

BKITU: show me: WTF is a Jayne hat? Is it the female equivalent of a Jimmy hat?

[media-cache-ec7.pinterest.com image 491x604]


Lando Lincoln: Shiny!

show me: WTF is a Jayne hat? Is it the female equivalent of a Jimmy hat?

[www.saffasogood.com image 200x234]


So is Adam Baldwin the only farker who wears them?
 
2013-04-11 02:50:35 PM  
Wow, I said that to be funny, and it turns out it is really him.

/Yeah, I'm the only person on Fark who hasn't seen Firefly yet.
 
2013-04-11 02:55:45 PM  
Cunning!
 
2013-04-11 02:58:13 PM  
There would be no market for the Jayne hat if it weren't for the people knitting them at home and selling them on Etsy.  It's a purely fan created market.  If Fox had tried this from the start it would have failed miserably.  Now that there is a market, albeit small, they want it all.  Fark 'em.
 
2013-04-11 02:58:24 PM  

WhyteRaven74: cman: So, Fox does not have the right to ask websites to stop selling copyright infringed products?

Thing is said product may not actually qualify for copyright protection and what's more even if it does it's not immediately clear fox is the one with the authority to go around sending C&D letters. Also depending on the exact form and content of said letters they may have the legal authority of gum wrappers.


The product -- the hat -- probably isn't entitled to copyright protection. Which is to say, you can make and sell as many similar hats as you want.

However, Fox does have some limited copyright protection in names like "Firefly" and "Jayne" when those names are being used associate a product with the show "Firefly" (in which Fox has complete copyright protection). Thus, to the extent someone was advertising "Jayne's hat" or "Firefly hat," they're using Fox's copyrighted material -- the names of the show or character -- to sell something not authorized by Fox. That's where the problem is.

If the seller just sold the hat as "Orange knit hat" or even something vague like "Space Mercenary hat," they'd be fine. It's the description of the product, not the product itself, that arouses Fox's ire.
 
2013-04-11 02:59:12 PM  

cman: Am I reading this wrong?

Fox finds website that sells unauthorized merchandise of copyrights that Fox holds. Fox sends a cease and desist letter to a website that sells, but not produces, the infringing items?

So, Fox does not have the right to ask websites to stop selling copyright infringed products?


Yes, you read that wrong.

ThinkGeek sells an officially licensed Jayne hat.
Etsy sellers sell home made Jayne hats.
Fox sends the Etsy sellers Cease & Desist letters over selling the unlicensed replica hats.
Etsy sellers blame ThinkGeek, saying they pushed Fox to do it so they could corner the market on Jayne hats.
ThinkGeek says "Whoa, Fox is the ones doing this.  We don't have nothing to do with it."
 
2013-04-11 03:02:33 PM  
What's funny is that none of those hats seem to be right. The ear flaps have some kind of fuzzy yarn on them, almost like a fringe. Seems to me that even the ThinkGeek one is kind of a pale imitation.

Otherwise, what a bunch of whiners. Not everybody wants a cheap knockoff, and not everybody wants the unlicensed version. TG was just filling a need as retailers often do. Whole bunch of douchebags in the first story, crying about ThinkGeek.
 
2013-04-11 03:02:36 PM  

ShawnDoc: cman: Am I reading this wrong?

Fox finds website that sells unauthorized merchandise of copyrights that Fox holds. Fox sends a cease and desist letter to a website that sells, but not produces, the infringing items?

So, Fox does not have the right to ask websites to stop selling copyright infringed products?

Yes, you read that wrong.

ThinkGeek sells an officially licensed Jayne hat.
Etsy sellers sell home made Jayne hats.
Fox sends the Etsy sellers Cease & Desist letters over selling the unlicensed replica hats.
Etsy sellers blame ThinkGeek, saying they pushed Fox to do it so they could corner the market on Jayne hats.
ThinkGeek says "Whoa, Fox is the ones doing this.  We don't have nothing to do with it."


Actually he read that right. The people who are dumb enough to sell products that infringe on copyrights are the ones that thought Think Geek did it.
 
2013-04-11 03:08:14 PM  

WTF Indeed: Actually he read that right. The people who are dumb enough to sell products that infringe on copyrights are the ones that thought Think Geek did it.


You're assuming that the design of the hat is copyrightable.  I posit that it isn't.
 
2013-04-11 03:09:12 PM  
Turns out, I haven't been following this story from the beginning. So go fark yourself.
 
2013-04-11 03:10:38 PM  

space1999: You're assuming that the design of the hat is copyrightable.  I posit that it isn't.


No, I'm assuming that selling them as "Firefly Hats" like the esty website said is a violation of the copyright.
 
2013-04-11 03:11:29 PM  
I'd rather they kept the money that it go to a project that funds 3rd wave feminists (the types that don't just want equal rights, but to impose their will on "depictions of women in the media").
 
2013-04-11 03:14:21 PM  

WTF Indeed: ShawnDoc: cman: Am I reading this wrong?

Fox finds website that sells unauthorized merchandise of copyrights that Fox holds. Fox sends a cease and desist letter to a website that sells, but not produces, the infringing items?

So, Fox does not have the right to ask websites to stop selling copyright infringed products?

Yes, you read that wrong.

ThinkGeek sells an officially licensed Jayne hat.
Etsy sellers sell home made Jayne hats.
Fox sends the Etsy sellers Cease & Desist letters over selling the unlicensed replica hats.
Etsy sellers blame ThinkGeek, saying they pushed Fox to do it so they could corner the market on Jayne hats.
ThinkGeek says "Whoa, Fox is the ones doing this.  We don't have nothing to do with it."

Actually he read that right. The people who are dumb enough to sell products that infringe on copyrights are the ones that thought Think Geek did it.


That's just ignorant. The proper response would be:

THANKS, OBAMA!
 
2013-04-11 03:18:38 PM  

Uzzah: If the seller just sold the hat as "Orange knit hat" or even something vague like "Space Mercenary hat," they'd be fine. It's the description of the product, not the product itself, that arouses Fox's ire.


They could probably get away with "hat that looks like the one on firefly"
 
2013-04-11 03:19:02 PM  

OtherLittleGuy: That's just ignorant. The proper response would be:

THANKS, OBAMA!


That would cover the conspiracy aspect to the story:

"Hey guys, I just got a cease and desist letter from Fox Corp. because we are using copyrights Fox owns to illegally sell products. You know who I bet did this? ThinkGeek! OMG WHY WOULD THINKGEEK DO THIS TO US!!"
 
2013-04-11 03:24:44 PM  

show me: So is Adam Baldwin the only farker who wears them?


That character is Jayne Cobb. He's the tough guy in a space western TV show called Firefly. The fact that a tough guy like him can wear such a dorky hat makes for high comedy. (His mother made it and sent it in a care package.) Firefly less than one season before Fox gave up on it. Eventually, a movie was made, but that's it. It's a favorite of nerds everywhere and there is a constant campaign to get it revived.

/I'll be taking no more questions.
 
2013-04-11 03:26:06 PM  

WTF Indeed: space1999: You're assuming that the design of the hat is copyrightable.  I posit that it isn't.

No, I'm assuming that selling them as "Firefly Hats" like the esty website said is a violation of the copyright.


No, it's not. It might be a violation of one or more trademarks, but you can't copyright a single word, or a title, or a name. Copyright covers original works of authorship - songs, paintings, etc The artistic design of the hat might be subject to copyright, but not the name
 

 
2013-04-11 03:32:30 PM  

Ctrl-Alt-Del: No, it's not. It might be a violation of one or more trademarks, but you can't copyright a single word, or a title, or a name. Copyright covers original works of authorship - songs, paintings, etc The artistic design of the hat might be subject to copyright, but not the name


This was the person in question's website:

s3-ec.buzzfed.com

She literally used "Firefly" in the name of the site. If that's not copyright infringement than nothing is.
 
2013-04-11 03:34:39 PM  
Except the one that Think Geek are selling doesn't actually look much like the prop in the show/movie.  It's the same colour scheme yes but it looks thinner than the 'real' one nor is the TG one shown to have ability to hold the side up with just a fold.

So.. If it doesn't actually look like the one in the show WTF is Fox's problem?
 
2013-04-11 03:35:57 PM  

Mikey1969: What's funny is that none of those hats seem to be right. The ear flaps have some kind of fuzzy yarn on them, almost like a fringe. Seems to me that even the ThinkGeek one is kind of a pale imitation.


I think what you're seeing in that picture is the straw-like packing material that Jayne's hat came in. It was just stuck to the hat temporarily.
 
2013-04-11 03:36:28 PM  
img594.imageshack.us
 
2013-04-11 03:37:32 PM  

Vaneshi: Except the one that Think Geek are selling doesn't actually look much like the prop in the show/movie.  It's the same colour scheme yes but it looks thinner than the 'real' one nor is the TG one shown to have ability to hold the side up with just a fold.


All ThinkGeek products are cheaply made. This is not surprising in the least.
 
2013-04-11 03:52:15 PM  
Just to be clear, you cannot copyright a hat.  You cannot copyright the design of a hat.  You can't copyright a name for the hat.  That's not copyright.  You can patent an idea if it's an original invention (which wouldn't apply here).  You can trademark the name associated with the hat.  Firefly is a trademark.  Jayne is associated with Firefly, but I don't know if that's trademarked.  But copyright doesn't come into it.

This isn't about copyright infringement, it's about trademark infringement.  If the store called itself Firefly Cargo Bay and sold Firefly-inspired materials, sounds like a trademark issue.
 
2013-04-11 03:55:15 PM  

Lando Lincoln: Mikey1969: What's funny is that none of those hats seem to be right. The ear flaps have some kind of fuzzy yarn on them, almost like a fringe. Seems to me that even the ThinkGeek one is kind of a pale imitation.

I think what you're seeing in that picture is the straw-like packing material that Jayne's hat came in. It was just stuck to the hat temporarily.


Maybe that's it. Still looks like whatever that fringe-y yarn is called. Hell, I think it would make the hat look even cooler, IMHO.
 
2013-04-11 04:00:15 PM  

WTF Indeed: Ctrl-Alt-Del: If that's not copyright infringement than nothing is.


If the logo is similar to something from the show, then that might be a copyright violation. But otherwise? No.

What Is Not Protected by Copyright?
 Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others:

• works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression
titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents
• ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration
• works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship


A lot of IP law can be very complicated, but this particular bit is not - If I call my hat a "Jayne Hat" or a "Firefly Hat" or a "Jayne Cobb Hat" it might be a trademark issue, but it is not a  copyright issue.And the hat itself isn't a copyright violation, because fashion designs aren't subject to copyrights in the US
 
2013-04-11 04:20:20 PM  

Lando Lincoln: Vaneshi: Except the one that Think Geek are selling doesn't actually look much like the prop in the show/movie.  It's the same colour scheme yes but it looks thinner than the 'real' one nor is the TG one shown to have ability to hold the side up with just a fold.

All ThinkGeek products are cheaply made. This is not surprising in the least.


Indeed. And this makes me sad. I got a ThinkGeek "Bag of Holding" as a Christmas gift, and in many ways it is just plain, pure awesome. it looks good, it holds a ton of crap, etc

But it is very cheaply made. If it lasts me more than a year I'll be surprised
 
2013-04-11 04:26:47 PM  

Lando Lincoln: Mikey1969: What's funny is that none of those hats seem to be right. The ear flaps have some kind of fuzzy yarn on them, almost like a fringe. Seems to me that even the ThinkGeek one is kind of a pale imitation.

I think what you're seeing in that picture is the straw-like packing material that Jayne's hat came in. It was just stuck to the hat temporarily.


EXCELSIOR!11!
 
2013-04-11 04:39:58 PM  

Dralenan: Just to be clear, you cannot copyright a hat.  You cannot copyright the design of a hat.  You can't copyright a name for the hat.  That's not copyright.  You can patent an idea if it's an original invention (which wouldn't apply here).  You can trademark the name associated with the hat.  Firefly is a trademark.  Jayne is associated with Firefly, but I don't know if that's trademarked.  But copyright doesn't come into it.

This isn't about copyright infringement, it's about trademark infringement.  If the store called itself Firefly Cargo Bay and sold Firefly-inspired materials, sounds like a trademark issue.


Don't trademarks have to be consistently used for the retainer of said trademark to defend ownership?
 
2013-04-11 04:58:39 PM  

Uzzah: However, Fox does have some limited copyright protection in names like "Firefly" and "Jayne"


the name of the hat would more likely fall under trademark issues, but since you can't trademark jayne, just like you can't trademark Mickey or Donald,  that would be right out the window.
 
2013-04-11 05:00:50 PM  
Just to be clear, it's called a toque.  Not knitted cap, not woollen hat, not Jayne headpiece.  There is a single word that describes this configuration of headgear.  Toque.  We'll beat it into you guys if its the last thing we do.

/love, Canada
 
2013-04-11 05:15:54 PM  

unyon: Just to be clear, it's called a toque.  Not knitted cap, not woollen hat, not Jayne headpiece.  There is a single word that describes this configuration of headgear.  Toque.  We'll beat it into you guys if its the last thing we do.

/love, Canada


Well, it's a cunning toque, then.
 
2013-04-11 06:14:16 PM  
This is what I loathe about Etsy and all the t-shirt sites: Loads and loads of people cashing in one someone else's intellectual property.  T-shirts featuring movie, video game, TV show, and comic characters that are not licensed. Accessories based off characters from movies. People using names and/or ideas from SOMEONE ELSE'S CREATION to sell their own stupid shiat.

If you're giving it away, it's fine. My problem is people who profit from selling things that are clearly stealing intellectual property. There's a difference between protected parody and straightforward counterfeiting.
 
2013-04-11 06:25:38 PM  

show me: Wow, I said that to be funny, and it turns out it is really him.

/Yeah, I'm the only person on Fark who hasn't seen Firefly yet.


You're not missing that much.

/dons asbestos suit
 
2013-04-11 06:41:22 PM  
I'm sorta wondering why Fox even cares. It's not like they're marketing any Firefly merchandise. How are they being harmed by this?
 
2013-04-11 06:51:06 PM  

ZeroCorpse: This is what I loathe about Etsy and all the t-shirt sites: Loads and loads of people cashing in one someone else's intellectual property.  T-shirts featuring movie, video game, TV show, and comic characters that are not licensed. Accessories based off characters from movies. People using names and/or ideas from SOMEONE ELSE'S CREATION to sell their own stupid shiat.

If you're giving it away, it's fine. My problem is people who profit from selling things that are clearly stealing intellectual property. There's a difference between protected parody and straightforward counterfeiting.


How is this hat intellectual property?  It's an ugly colored hat that was in a very short scene of a single episode of a short lived tv series.  The show logo isn't printed on the hat, so comparing it to bootleg band tshirts sold outside of a concert isn't valid.  The hate style has been around for ages and fashion designs are not copyrightable in the US.  The only thing special is people are saying, "it's just like the hat worn by a character in the show for all of 30 seconds."  Fox, the owner of the show, didn't even give a shiat about it until the fan base had been selling them to each other for years (almost eight?).  It would be similar to someone selling a leather jacket just like the one in "Rebel without a cause" and calling it a "rebel jacket", except these hats are hand produced by major fans.  Fox only cares now that they have licensed the rights so some cheap chinese knockoff can take a market created soley by a devoted fanbase.  The hat's only defining feature is the ability of a show fan to spot another show fan from across a crowded room, without anyone else really knowing this.
 
2013-04-11 06:54:17 PM  

WTF Indeed: Ctrl-Alt-Del: No, it's not. It might be a violation of one or more trademarks, but you can't copyright a single word, or a title, or a name. Copyright covers original works of authorship - songs, paintings, etc The artistic design of the hat might be subject to copyright, but not the name

This was the person in question's website:

[s3-ec.buzzfed.com image 625x230]

She literally used "Firefly" in the name of the site. If that's not copyright infringement than nothing is.


It's not copyright infringement.  It's trademark infringement.  Subtle but important difference, and either one is enough to get C&D'd.
 
2013-04-11 06:54:48 PM  

Ctrl-Alt-Del: WTF Indeed: Ctrl-Alt-Del: If that's not copyright infringement than nothing is.

If the logo is similar to something from the show, then that might be a copyright violation. But otherwise? No.

What Is Not Protected by Copyright?
 Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others:

• works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression
• titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents
• ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration
• works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship

A lot of IP law can be very complicated, but this particular bit is not - If I call my hat a "Jayne Hat" or a "Firefly Hat" or a "Jayne Cobb Hat" it might be a trademark issue, but it is not a  copyright issue.And the hat itself isn't a copyright violation, because fashion designs aren't subject to copyrights in the US


I don't think it's trademark, because trademark protection extends only to the particular stream of commerce where the mark is used. You can have a tradmark for Apple (computers) and Apple (records), and as long as they never intrude on each other's field, both marks live in harmony. Here, Fox doesn't have any protectible tradmarks in "Firefly" for clothing.

It's a copyright issue because the entirety of the "Firefly" product is copyrighted -- the episodes, comprised of the script, video, etc. Using character names from that work invokes a portion of the copyrighted work. For the same reason that I can't write a book featuring characters named Atticus Finch and Boo Radley in a way that associates them with "To Kill a Mockingbird," even though their names themselves are not copyrightable. I probably could make a sci-fi movie with two wacky Space Marines with those names, but I couldn't do a legal procedural involving them. Same with Jayne: I can write a book with a character named Jayne who runs a zoo, but I can't make a story with a character named Jayne who is the lunkheaded first-mate and hired gun on a rogue spaceship without running a substantial risk that Fox will come after me, because that has a tendency to invoke associations with "Firefly" as a copyrighted whole.
 
2013-04-11 06:57:39 PM  

Uzzah: Ctrl-Alt-Del: WTF Indeed: Ctrl-Alt-Del: If that's not copyright infringement than nothing is.

If the logo is similar to something from the show, then that might be a copyright violation. But otherwise? No.

What Is Not Protected by Copyright?
 Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others:

• works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression
• titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents
• ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration
• works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship

A lot of IP law can be very complicated, but this particular bit is not - If I call my hat a "Jayne Hat" or a "Firefly Hat" or a "Jayne Cobb Hat" it might be a trademark issue, but it is not a  copyright issue.And the hat itself isn't a copyright violation, because fashion designs aren't subject to copyrights in the US

I don't think it's trademark, because trademark protection extends only to the particular stream of commerce where the mark is used. You can have a tradmark for Apple (computers) and Apple (records), and as long as they never intrude on each other's field, both marks live in harmony. Here, Fox doesn't have any protectible tradmarks in "Firefly" for clothing.

It's a copyright issue because the entirety of the "Firefly" product is copyrighted -- the episodes, comprised of the script, video, etc. Using character names from that work invokes a portion of the copyrighted work. For the same reason that I can't write a book featuring characters named Atticus Finch and Boo Radley in a way that associates them with "To Kill a Mockingbird," even though their names themselves are not cop ...


If I remember correctly (from my GED in Fark Law class), the courts consider how likely is your "thing" to be confused with the other work.
 
2013-04-11 07:00:19 PM  

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: show me: Wow, I said that to be funny, and it turns out it is really him.

/Yeah, I'm the only person on Fark who hasn't seen Firefly yet.

You're not missing that much.

/dons asbestos suit


I knew I had you in green for a reason.

10/10
 
2013-04-11 07:07:51 PM  
But I can still buy poorly made knit hats featuring those colors on etsy, right? Just can't use the names Jayne or Firefly. Just have to call it "Formerly famous name style knit cap" and that it resembles a prop from an unnamed show that was canceled before it could be a hit and yet somehow still spawned a movie.

/The ThinkGeek product is crap
//too well made
 
Slu
2013-04-11 07:55:13 PM  
farking Firefly. I hate all the attention this shiatty show gets on the Geek tab. Get over it.
 
2013-04-11 08:06:25 PM  
I'm worried about the scotch supply. After this case of Lagavulin, and the other case, there's only one case left.
 
2013-04-11 08:09:00 PM  
D'oh...
 
2013-04-11 08:27:27 PM  

Slu: farking Firefly. I hate all the attention this shiatty show gets on the Geek tab. Get over it.


2/10. Right idea, too late in the thread. This sucker will be dead by 10p.
 
2013-04-11 09:50:49 PM  

wildcardjack: But I can still buy poorly made knit hats featuring those colors on etsy, right? Just can't use the names Jayne or Firefly.


My first instinct was to set up an Etsy account selling "Not Jayne Hats"
 
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