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21945Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien estate sends cease and desist letter to Zazzle

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  • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
    Feb 28, 2011
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      I went back and looked at the two links, and noted some crucial things.

      (1) The Giro rant says that she got the take-down notice from ZAZZLE, not
      from the Tolkien estate.

      The wording from Zazzle is not reproduced, and the indication that it was
      in response to a C&D from the Tolkien Estate was made as "Guess who
      complained about copyright infringement?" - which is not really a clear
      indication that the Estate lodged a complaint about her specific button.

      (2) The Language Log link merely picks up the Giro rant, but says
      (although it is NOT explicity said in the Giro rant) that Giro received
      the C&D from the ESTATE (which is not what the original post says).

      I think what Giro does not "get" is that both Zazzle and Cafe Press have
      made a POLICY of watching out for products which use "Tolkien" or ANY of
      specific Tolkien related keywords (hobbit / Gandalf / Sauron, etc.) and
      have those products taken down. As a matter of POLICY in order to avoid
      lawsuits from the Estate. They don't wait for the Estate to move, if they
      happen to catch it.

      It's possible that if she had responded to ZAZZLE by observing that HER
      button did not infringe on trademarks, and was within Fair Use of
      Tolkien's name, she could have had her Precious Button back up in short
      order. But that would require her actually learning a few key things about
      copyright and trademark and it's more fun to go off ranting about Big

      > That's very interesting, Carl: do you happen to have any links to
      > expressing that perspective?
      > Certainly it does sound odd, to supposedly sue over a single button that
      does not itself infringe copyright or trademark, so I cite again the
      > of thumb I posted here last week: "If you read about what appears to be
      > totally absurd lawsuit, either 1) there's a lot more to the story that
      you're not being told (the McDonald's coffee case is the classic example
      of this), or 2) it was thrown out by the judge at the first
      > -----Original Message-----
      >>From: "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...>
      >>Sent: Feb 27, 2011 11:19 PM
      >>To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      >>Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien estate sends cease and desist letter to
      >> Zazzle
      >>The linked articles both fail to note that Zazzle.com sells a great many
      >> items in/on which Tolkien's name and/or associated characters,
      >> places, etc. feature prominently, the net effect of which is
      >> indistinguishable from producing and selling a line Tolkien-related
      products: i.e., Tolkien merchandizing on a non-trivial scale. The
      >> has every right to protect its trademarks by prohibiting their
      >> unauthorized (and unlicensed) use in such large-scale merchandizing
      >>Of course, it's much more provocative to pretend through silent omission
      >> that the Estate is suing over of a single button. That gives one that
      warm, tingly feeling of self-righteous outrage that is so highly prized
      these days, and it drives people to one's site.
      >>On Feb 28, 2011, at 2:02 AM, WendellWag@... wrote:
      >>> Another threatened lawsuit by the Tolkien estate:
      >>> http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2999
      >>> http://www.giro.org/2011/02/23/the-jrr-tolkien-estate-can-go-fuck-itself/
      Wendell Wagner
      >>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.orgYahoo! Groups Links
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