Did you know…

…that the Transamerica building — you know, the pyramid in San Francisco — is a registered trademark? And to put it in a movie, you have to get permission? Jon Carroll explains the strange and creativity-smothering world of rights and permissions. Bottom line: “Fair use” seems to be a myth.

Posted at 9:20 am in Uncategorized |

5 responses to “Did you know…”

  1. Connie said on July 8, 2005 at 10:45 am

    Fair use ain’t what it used to be. The great PBS documentary series about the civil rights movement, “Eyes on the Prize” can no longer be sold or shown because the rights to much of the music in it have expired.

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  2. alex said on July 8, 2005 at 11:55 am

    Sure ain’t. Fair use also applied to parody/satire until Vanna White sued Mitsubishi for a clever ad spoofing “Wheel of Fortune” in which a robot in a blond wig was turning the letters in the year 2020. She sued for misappropriation of her likeness and won. At the time, the law journals were suggesting that this could put an end to shows like “Saturday Night Live,” but so far no disgruntled public figure has tried to bring down an entertainment program for an unflattering portrayal, as far as I know. But it was an incredibly bad precedent. And cost my respect for Vanna, not that I had much, but what a greedy bitch.

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  3. brian stouder said on July 8, 2005 at 6:32 pm

    I thought it was laughable when the big defense contractors made a point of demanding royalties from toy and model manufacturers whenever they sell (for example) a model of an F/A-18E, or a Nimitz-class carrier.

    They could literally drown in all the billions of dollars that the Department of Defense pumps into them (even if all we count are the shadey deals, like Boeing’s refueler boondoggle), and then they want to shake an extra dollar out of some 12 year old who wants to hang a plane over her bed?

    I would have thought that some candidate for a congressional office could have added such an apple-pie-and-motherhood issue such as that – promising that before we (the US) sign ANY procurement contract from ANY supplier for ANYthing at all (including, at LEAST! – things like fighter planes that WE payed the RDT&E tab for!!) – that THEY sign away ALL rights to the likeness of the thing to ‘We, the people’

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  4. dETROITfUNK said on July 9, 2005 at 6:28 am

    Similar story with the “Cloud Gate” sculpture in Chicago – they tried for a long time to prevent photography, claiming that they owned its image rights.

    #@%&?! !

    Keep your damn “chromed bean” then…..

    They gave up on that Quixotian quest and now I have a billion photos of the “chrome bean”…I mean, Cloud Gate.

    The joys of a consumer based Capitalistic society.

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  5. Dwight Brown said on July 9, 2005 at 4:48 pm

    And I believe the same applies to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

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