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  1. #31

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    I am far from an expert, but it is my understanding that Disney characters are all trademarked. Under trademark law, if a party knows of the trademark violation, and does not take legal action, that trademark may be deemed void as a matter of law. Thus, the law requires Disney to take legal action or risk losing this trademark.

    Also, it is possible that Disney could be sued if the persons using the costumes do something improper while in the costume.
    Last edited by Goofus; 07-11-2008 at 04:40 PM.

  2. #32

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    The couple should've watched that one episode of The Simpsons where Springfield Elementary uses the slogan Happiest Place on Earth for their fair. At least the school had principal Skinner on their side and he beat up the lawyers when they showed up.

  3. #33

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goofus View Post
    I am far from an expert, but it is my understanding that Disney characters are all trademarked. Under trademark law, if a party knows of the trademark violation, and does not take legal action, that trademark may be deemed void as a matter of law. Thus, the law requires Disney to take legal action or risk losing this trademark.

    Also, it is possible that Disney could be sued if the persons using the costumes do something improper while in the costume.
    This is my understanding as well. There was some flak many years back when Star Wars fan websites were being ordered to shut down, but the reasoning behind it was the same.

    If Disney ignores some copyright violations, they risk being denied when they go up against a more serious infringement. They can't allow a precedent to be set that suggests they are fine with others using their characters.

    It's a little bit ironic, when you consider the Disney empire was largely built on material created by others, but they are in the right here.
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  4. #34

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    Yeah, this couple wasn't very smart about what they did.

    The manufacturers of the costumes should be sued as well.

    But this brings up something interesting...there are tons of minor companies that have people in trademark violation suits that entertain at parties. This may scare a few, but do we really think most of them are going to stop what they're doing? I doubt it, unless, of course, they're caught.

    As a previous poster mentioned, if there's such a high demand for these characters to come to parties, why doesn't Disney (and other companies with their respective characters) get in on this? I'd bet it would be a huge source of revenue, and I doubt there would be a shortage of actors and actresses wanting to do this. If Disney made an official offering like this, I'd apply in a heartbeat.

  5. #35

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    theres a peruvian costume company that sells awesome mm costumes on ebay for five hundred bucks.

  6. #36

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    When using Disney trademark you better have permission to use it or you'll just end up getting sued.

  7. #37

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by BC_DisneyGeek View Post
    If Disney ignores some copyright violations, they risk being denied when they go up against a more serious infringement. They can't allow a precedent to be set that suggests they are fine with others using their characters.
    And they take their trademark VERY! seriously.
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  8. #38

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    we live in a world of suing and lawers. lol.

  9. #39

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Dopey24 View Post
    we live in a world of suing and lawers. lol.
    So true, but in this case Disney doesn't spend millions of dollars for others to steal and profit off of their investment.

  10. #40

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    yeah.

  11. #41

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by OogieBoogie View Post
    A Clermont, Florida couple found out recently just how protective Disney is of thier licensed characters. The couple (David Chaveco, 32, and Marisol Perez-Chaveco, 31), who run a family business called Kool Klown Party People Inc, purchased an Eeyore and Tigger outfit from a Peruvian company on Ebay, and used them at childrens parties.
    Note that this couple has no excuse for "not knowing" they were infringing on the copyrights - when you form a corporation you are steepping into the Big Leagues, and the corporate entity can't use ignorance as a defense. Which is why most corporations have permanent relations with legal counsel, or they hire a lawyer (or lawyers plural) to work there full time.

    The corporate entity has to follow all the laws and rules, and copyright is one of those. They can't order a "Honey Bear" costume and a "Blue Donkey" costume (wink wink) and sell them to the customers as Pooh and Eeyore. Note that the "Honey Bear" shirt does not say "Honey Bear".

    They should be glad that the RIAA and ASCAP aren't on their case too - If they have ever sang "Happy Birthday To You" live at a party, and they don't have a valid ASCAP Public Performance License...

    (This is why restaurants write their own substitute birthday songs.)
    Quote Originally Posted by OogieBoogie View Post
    While the Chaveco's have sent the outfits back to the manufacturer, Disney is still going ahead with the lawsuit, saying "it has the right to "combat willful and intentional infringement of its copyrighted properties" to prevent misuse of its characters".
    One of the stipulations to not get sued was to surrender the infringing costumes for destruction. Instead, they sent them back to Peru, where Disney has no legal way to get them back - and the costumes can (and most certainly will) be sold to someone else to infringe again...

    "Kool Clown Inc." allegedly got their $1,800 back from the costume vendor, but this is going to cost them a lot more - and even if Disney shows some mercy and doesn't go for the full $1M plus legal costs, it should.

    If any copyright holder does not vigorously defend all their copyrights when they become aware of infringements, they will lose them. And Disney is not going to allow that.
    Quote Originally Posted by OogieBoogie View Post
    For more on this story please go to http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busin...tory?track=rss .

    For a video showing the quality of the costumes, please go to http://www.wftv.com/video/16824445/index.html
    Warning: The video link crashed my browser - and the first draft of this response.

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  12. #42

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapplewhipaddict View Post
    As a previous poster mentioned, if there's such a high demand for these characters to come to parties, why doesn't Disney (and other companies with their respective characters) get in on this? I'd bet it would be a huge source of revenue, and I doubt there would be a shortage of actors and actresses wanting to do this. If Disney made an official offering like this, I'd apply in a heartbeat.
    But between the legal rigamarole and all the costs of training and providing a character, and an air-conditioned and specially equipped motorhome or step-van to be a Changing Room and "Headless Lounge" for the characters, and a Character Lead & Driver, transportation time out to rural areas, and all the other things involved in upholding the standards...

    It would cost $3,500 to $5,000 to have one character come to your house for an hour or two. Two characters, $4,500 to $6K. Ouch!

    I'll guarantee that the fakes are working for a whole lot less, especially in the immigrant communities - and unless Disney hires a whole cadre of investigators to fan out across the country, they aren't going to be able to make a dent in the trade.

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  13. #43

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    It would cost $3,500 to $5,000 to have one character come to your house for an hour or two. Two characters, $4,500 to $6K. Ouch!


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    The funny thing is that even if they were making only a few hundred per party, they were still getting public assistance. Talk about working the system.
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  14. #44

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    Some feel that Disney has been less than genuine in the way it has taken the use of stories written by others, and claimed them as their own (most recently, I believe, in the case of some Japanese who say they stole the idea for the "Lion King" story).

    I'm just saying that wha's ethical and moral often times revolves around the golden rule - "them's that's gots the gold - makes the rules" ...

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  15. #45

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    Re: Disney sues couple for one million dollars for wearing Winnie the Pooh costumes.

    I buy a LOT of Disney merch and Disney collectibles at eBay and I spend a good deal of my time over there also reporting listing violations such as copyright infringement (sales of obvious replica Disney crap) and I also report the sales of Park Passes (which are NOT transferrable), of course WE all know that, but some people have been burned buying these tix on eBay and had a vacation ruined.

    I see so many of these auctions, but I try to do my part to help clean up eBay (never gonna happen). But it makes me feel better if I try to stop some of the obvious fakes and illegal sales there. I like getting REAL and authentic licensed Disney collectibles. I hate to see the garbage that some sellers pass off as *authentic* It burns me up. If Disney can try to put a dent into the ripping off of their characters, I say good for them.

    Most people KNOW that you cannot use a licensed character without permission, so many try to get away with it. This is just someone who got caught! Others get caught too! Disney will NEVER see a mil from this couple, probably never even planned to, but is trying to send a message that this could happen if you use characters and copyrighted info illegally!

    I use pictures of the characters and Parks I find online and in magazines and books all the time in my own scrapbooks and photo albums as decoration. Is that breaking the copyright infringement? I don't think it is because I do not and would never sell them. It is for my use. (I also buy all the scrapbooking stuff they sell at the Parks too!) I think that is where the line is drawn. You cannot profit from someone else's copyright. And that is as it should be.

    I hate seeing the knockoff crap cause it dilutes the characters so much. Nobody does Disney like Disney!

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