21945Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien estate sends cease and desist letter to Zazzle
- Feb 28, 2011I 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 tosources
> expressing that perspective?does not itself infringe copyright or trademark, so I cite again the
> Certainly it does sound odd, to supposedly sue over a single button that
> of thumb I posted here last week: "If you read about what appears to bea
> totally absurd lawsuit, either 1) there's a lot more to the story thatyou'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
>>Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien estate sends cease and desist letter to
>>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 isproducts: i.e., Tolkien merchandizing on a non-trivial scale. The
>> indistinguishable from producing and selling a line Tolkien-related
>> has every right to protect its trademarks by prohibiting theirefforts.
>> unauthorized (and unlicensed) use in such large-scale merchandizing
>>Of course, it's much more provocative to pretend through silent omissionwarm, tingly feeling of self-righteous outrage that is so highly prized
>> that the Estate is suing over of a single button. That gives one that
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:
>>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.orgYahoo! Groups Links
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