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  1. #151

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    It's a different type of agreement for the Chinese Theater Facade at the Studios. Disney approached Grauman's to get the rights in the first place, for although it might have been legal to build an exact replica, actually doing it would have created various lawsuits.

    As I'm sure you're aware, you can sue for just about anything, and the owner of an iconic building such as the theater, including the tradition of the hand prints in the cement, well, I can think you can see why Disney would want to cover their bases on this one.

    As you all may know the theater was bought by Mann's Theaters more recently, and when the agreement came up for renewal, Mann's brought it to the attention of Disney that they wished that it not be photographed, because they were being confused in photos as to which the real version is. And finally, a very odd twist... the Chinese Theater changes the foundation of the building more then any other, because the cement tiles are in a courtyard. As a result, the new pieces of "art" can be applied to the entire property as a whole, and Mann's WOULD have brought legal action against Disney on that basis if the hat had not been installed to block the replica from most photos. Not to mention that Disney didn't want to deal with a potential lawsuit that they knew they could win, over a building that directly competes with Disney's El Captain Theatre across the street.

    It's the weirdest thing I've ever heard... wait, no, I take that back. The reason we have Pepsi in the El Captain is the weirdest story I've ever heard. lol
    -Bill

  2. #152

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    As you all may know the theater was bought by Mann's Theaters more recently, and when the agreement came up for renewal, Mann's brought it to the attention of Disney that they wished that it not be photographed, because they were being confused in photos as to which the real version is. And finally, a very odd twist... the Chinese Theater changes the foundation of the building more then any other, because the cement tiles are in a courtyard. As a result, the new pieces of "art" can be applied to the entire property as a whole, and Mann's WOULD have brought legal action against Disney on that basis if the hat had not been installed to block the replica from most photos. Not to mention that Disney didn't want to deal with a potential lawsuit that they knew they could win, over a building that directly competes with Disney's El Captain Theatre across the street.
    Your history of the Chinese Theater is wrong. Disney made any original deal with Mann Theatres, as Mann Theatres purchased the Chinese Theater in the 1970s. In 2000 Mann Theatres was bought out by Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures. The new owners also restored Sid Grauman's name to the theater. Mann Theatres changed owners, not the actual theater itself.

  3. #153

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Whoops... yeah, you're right. I knew the owners changed, didn't realize it was that Mann's owners changed... sorry about that. But the story still stands... it's because of the little concrete blocks, and the fact that Disney doesn't want to advertise the Chinese Theater when they own the theater across the street.
    -Bill

  4. #154

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    But the story still stands... it's because of the little concrete blocks,
    So the whole rights issue could be resolved with the removal of the concrete blocks?

    i.e. the handprints?



    this bit lost me..........
    the Chinese Theater changes the foundation of the building more then any other,

  5. #155

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    No, it is some really stupid thing... when you change or perform major upgrades on a building, (as such what was done with the Eiffel Tower in France) the building can get a renewed copyright... it's very odd. I don't quite understand it, it was explained to me a while ago... but because they updated it, they can claim copyright to the entire structure because a building material at the foundation of the structure (the cement hand print tiles) was changed.

    I have no clue how it's legal to do that, nor do I think that argument would stand up in court, but the threat of a suit to Disney to keep using a building competing with their own building... well, it just doesn't make sense to fight the issue.
    -Bill

  6. #156

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    because they updated it, they can claim copyright to the entire structure
    Thanks.

  7. #157

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Sorry, Bill, I don't buy that. I've heard similar and it may true 'to some extent' ... but Disney has some of the best lawyers money can buy. They aren't going to get taken down on what amounts to a technicality.

    As for the handprints, I don't believe I've seen one at WDW that isn't at least 12-13 years old. If they have new ones, they sure aren't out in front.

    And Viacom is the actual owner of the real Chinese Theater since Paramount Pictures is simply a part of the bigger company.

    You just aren't going to convince me Disney plopped down a cartoon hat because they had no legal choice. That sounds like PR drivel.

  8. #158

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    No, I'm saying that they decided not to deal with the lawyers and try and sue over something that marketing doesn't want advertised anyways.

    And the newest cement at WDW is from 1999... Michael J. Fox.

    And WDI refuses to take credit for the location of the hat.
    -Bill

  9. #159

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    No, it is some really stupid thing... when you change or perform major upgrades on a building, (as such what was done with the Eiffel Tower in France) the building can get a renewed copyright... it's very odd. I don't quite understand it, it was explained to me a while ago... but because they updated it, they can claim copyright to the entire structure because a building material at the foundation of the structure (the cement hand print tiles) was changed.
    What happened with the Tower was the light show (which is entirely new), not the whole structure.

    I don't know much about construction, but I do know that foundations are usually found underneath structures. I find it very hard to believe that the constantly ripped up forecourt is a part of the 80 year old building's foundation.

  10. #160

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    As do I... but alas, it was the excuse I was given. A poor excuse it may be, but if there is one thing I've learned, it's that fact is stranger than fiction.
    -Bill

  11. #161

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    No, it is some really stupid thing... when you change or perform major upgrades on a building, (as such what was done with the Eiffel Tower in France) the building can get a renewed copyright... it's very odd. I don't quite understand it, it was explained to me a while ago... but because they updated it, they can claim copyright to the entire structure because a building material at the foundation of the structure (the cement hand print tiles) was changed.

    I have no clue how it's legal to do that, nor do I think that argument would stand up in court, but the threat of a suit to Disney to keep using a building competing with their own building... well, it just doesn't make sense to fight the issue.

    Yeah, that does not make any sense because I have seen it go the other way. People take bluprints for houses, which are copyrighted, and make minor changes, like add a room, and the say they dont have to pay the designer because its different. That does not fly. Its a pretty popular rumor in the home building trade that chaging 10% of the plans makes them "different" - nope, sorry, the courts dont think so.

    However, I can see WDC deciding its not worth the battle (cost and possibly negative publicity) so they just dropped the whole thing and stuck a hat there instead.

    -dave
    "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
    "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

  12. #162

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    haha, ok, I am now thoroughly confused as to why the hat is even there. =)

  13. #163

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    As do I... but alas, it was the excuse I was given. A poor excuse it may be, but if there is one thing I've learned, it's that fact is stranger than fiction.
    Sigh. Somehow that story took on a life of its own. It's almost completely false.

    Here was the issue: the water tower wasn't a good icon. It was impossible to photograph and rarely seen. The Chinese Theater is a good icon, but Disney doesn't own or control it (and they couldn't copyright it).

    The solution? The Big Ugly Hat. Easy to photograph, centrally located, instantly recognizable, and copyrightable. Perfect for selling t-shirts and mugs.

    The only legal issue was that Disney didn't own/control the theatre. The only monetary issue was that Disney wasn't selling enough t-shirts.

  14. #164

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by SanctumSolitude View Post
    The only legal issue was that Disney didn't own/control the hat. The only monetary issue was that Disney wasn't selling enough t-shirts.
    You mean the theater I assume? Not the hat. lol

    edit... wow, fixed before I could reply. lol
    -Bill

  15. #165

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    Re: Disney-MGM Studios name change official! (Merged)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    You mean the theater I assume? Not the hat. lol

    edit... wow, fixed before I could reply. lol
    Ninja edit. Bow before it.

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