Vault Boy Delivers Pizza

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Khell_Sennet:
The greatest likelihood falls with them having hired someone to design their logo, and thus they are as much victims as Bethesda.

This is really pretty likely. Most small buisness will end up hiring people like "my brother's kid" for this kind of design work. Tech support as well, for that matter. After that, it barely raises an eyebrow when pesky concepts like copyrights escape their notice or understanding. And to be fair, American copyright laws are more than slightly obtuse.

For example it is completly legal to crack the DRM on System Shock 2 or Deus Ex, but it is completly illegal to doso with Fallout 3. First person to explain why gets a cookie... :p

Many of the takeaway resturants near my house have Mario in a chef's outfit on them.

I'm not that far from Billerica, maybe I'll make a trip down there. I've always wanted a Nuka Cola and plasma pizza.

I wan't some of that pizza haha.

Aristabulus:
This entire story is absurd. Has it occurred to _ANYONE_ that the sign might just be 50 years old??? Hmm? I live not far from there, in Boston, and vintage signs are fairly common in New England.

Also, prior art... You know, like _the_50's_stuff_ Bethesda derived from to create Vault Boy. O_O

Doesn't matter: the specific image is a copyrighted design owned by Bethesda. Unless the pizza joint filed a copyright on that image that predates Bethesda's, any more than a passing resemblance means that Bethesda is within their rights to protect their intellectual property.

According to SisterOfSolidStateMind (who happens to be a corporate attorney specializing in Intellectual Property Law at a major technology corporation):

What usually happens is that Bethesda will come in and either ask them to give them a cut or pay a fee for using their intellectual property (if Bethesda is so inclined), or tell the company to drop the image. If the company chooses not to do any of those, they can take the issue to court on one of several grounds. The most common:

-non-competitive, which rarely flies, because the burden is on the violator to prove that their usage doesn't or won't impact the original rights-holder's business in any way, and that's very difficult to do.

-original copyright is overly broad-- ie. the copyrighted item is too common, or the traits are too ambiguous to allow for a clear deliniation between what is covered by the copyright and what is not; also extremely hard to prove, since most copyright claims include specific images, as opposed to styles and motifs. In this case, it looks like the image is exactly the same as Bethesda's, so I doubt that this would fly. Plus, Bethesda would fight this hardcore, because the end result of a finding against Bethesda would be to invalidate the original copyright claim completely, and that could impact all of FO's visual style elements and would at least force them to refile the copyrights on them.

-pre-existing use: If the pizza joint has been around longer than Fallout franchise has been, and can prove that they were using that image all that time, then they can reasonably argue that they should be exempt from Bethesda's legal protections. Sort of "it hasn't been a problem yet..." angle. This would probably work if they have the evidence to support it, but I bet that joint isn't that old, or wasn't using that logo before recently.

I'm sure what happened is that somebody got lazy and grabbed an image off the internet they thought would be cool without bothering to research if someone owned it or not. (Technically, even clipart can have creators/owners to whom you have to pay a fee if you use their stuff for commercial promotion of a product.)

I hope Bethesda aren't dicks about it, and maybe even consider working out some kind of deal with the business... but if they decide to be dicks about it, it would be perfectly within their rights.

something really tells me that I've seen that fallout guy somewhere before... and it wasn't in fallout. I would not be surprised if they didn't know it was from fallout at all.

As cool as this is....it's still blatant copyright infringement, so Bethesda can and probably will sue.

I wouldn't be suprised if they didn't even know where that image came from.

solidstatemind:

Doesn't matter: *snip*

I think it very much matters. If that sign has been up since before Fallout, before _Bethesda_, the infringement suit will get laughed out of court. Based on what I know of this area, and the overall style of the sign, both of those befores are highly likely.

Old sign, old graphic style. The wisp of a connection to vidja gaems. This is what happens when there's not enough real news to go around.

I was born in Billerica and lived there for 9 years and i can tell you Expresso's is a risky pizza place. There pizza is actually really good. Probably because they put a little Orange soda in the sauce.

I think they could make this the ultimate Fallout: New Vegas marketing campaign. A whole chain of pizza shops across the country in the style of the vault, selling Fallout memorabilia and advertising the impending release of their new title. I suspect such a venture would be expensive to execute, but ultimately profitable in its own right, and they'd certainly be getting the word out.

Still, I suppose it'll cheaper just to send them a cease and desist letter...

I wonder if the people who made the sign were fans of the original Fallout games, and did so before the release of Fallout 3, having assumed that noone would probably notice (or care) by now. Seems to me that if they were fans, they probably would've known about Fallout 3 though, and would have taken the sign down.

Heheh, that's pretty funny. They should totally have a bit in a future Fallout game where you read on a computer or something about a company that used Vault Boy without Vault-Tec's permission and had their pants sued off for it.

Aristabulus:

solidstatemind:

Doesn't matter: *snip*

I think it very much matters. If that sign has been up since before Fallout, before _Bethesda_, the infringement suit will get laughed out of court. Based on what I know of this area, and the overall style of the sign, both of those befores are highly likely.

Old sign, old graphic style. The wisp of a connection to vidja gaems. This is what happens when there's not enough real news to go around.

I find it particularly funny that you kept the statement and discarded the support for the statement.

Let me reintroduce the relevant information, which you chose to ignore:

solidstatemind:

the specific image is a copyrighted design owned by Bethesda. Unless the pizza joint filed a copyright on that image that predates Bethesda's, any more than a passing resemblance means that Bethesda is within their rights to protect their intellectual property.

I'm sorry if that doesn't support your myopic point of view, but just because you don't want something to be a certain way doesn't mean jack shit.

Further, to bring up the relevant legal points I raised that addressed your 'position', and you chose to ignore:

solidstatemind:

-pre-existing use: If the pizza joint has been around longer than Fallout franchise has been, and can prove that they were using that image all that time, then they can reasonably argue that they should be exempt from Bethesda's legal protections. Sort of "it hasn't been a problem yet..." angle. This would probably work if they have the evidence to support it, but I bet that joint isn't that old, or wasn't using that logo before recently.

As I mentioned, this wasn't based off of my OPINION, this was based upon the legal opinion of a IP lawyer... although I suppose you could make the argument that Bethesda is based in Maryland, the truth is that most copyright claims in the USA are adjudicated on the Federal level... and while my sister's company is based in San Jose, CA, most of what she deals with is on the Federal or International level.

But hey, I see that this thread is the first time you've posted to the Escapist. Welcome. Feel free to post all you like... however, if you're the kind of person who feels that they can win arguments by dint of volume (or editing) rather than rational debate, or someone who thinks they can ignore rebuttals just because it makes their own positions untenable... well, you're probably not going to be comfortable here...

Release the super mutant lawyers! open the steel cages and prepare for an almighty suing!

Rawr

Bethesda seem fairly cool, so I don't see them pulling a Langdell spaz.

Hmm, maybe they just found the image online somewhere and used it without knowing what it was. It looks quite fitting, Bethesda should let them keep it.

"Ok, I gotta find something online that I can use for the hardware store I just opened. Let's see... well, there's this picture of a guy with glasses holding a crowbar, that might work pretty well. He looks pretty smart, so I can come up with a slogan saying my store is the smart place to go for your hardware needs. Yeah, that's the ticket!" *CLICK*

solidstatemind:
*snip*

I do that because I personally find it annoying to scroll through several paragraphs of quotes to read a single sentence of reply. I am being the change I wish to see in the world.

I read the whole thing, and I think your pro-litigious position is biased towards the vidja gaem angle. I also think you're ignoring _my_ point that the possibility that it's a genuine vintage sign using that art style. I do not possess a car, or the urge to go harass some pizza guys about their sign, so the Vintage Sign Question will remain in the box with the cat, at least for me. However, if it's correct, I believe no judge would let a software company grift a pizza joint over a sign because of an art style that was current when the sign went up. To make such a ruling would be tantamout to professional suicide.

For the record, I've been here since the beginning. Just haven't felt a need to register till now, when there was something regionally relevant for me to speak up about. I dearly miss the old front-cover-and-pages style Escapist originally used.

I've said all I have to say on the matter, so if you want to continue the "discussion", you should be able to locate a mirror in your nearest water closet. Good day.

TheRealCJ:

setvak:
If the pizzeria owners are fans, I say let them keep it. If they're unaware of who Vault Boy is, then let Bethesda reign down their legal might with the wrath of an angry Jehovah.

Yeah, that makes sense:

"if they knowingly and willingly commited copyright infringement, they should be let off scot-free"

"if they made the simple mistake of getting the wrong image of of Google Images, let's burn them to the ground!"

Damn straight.

Khell_Sennet:
The unanswered question here is "how did they come to use that image"...

Could be they just searched for clipart on the web when making their own logo. Could be that they hired a marketing company to design their logo for them, and said marketing company is the one at fault. Or, it could be they intentionally used a known pop-culture icon hoping not to get busted. The greatest likelihood falls with them having hired someone to design their logo, and thus they are as much victims as Bethesda.

The fun of law is this could go any which way. Bethesda could sue, they could license the image to Expresso, or they could even partner up as some have mentioned. But nothing here says Bethesda will definitely come out ahead. Being of different markets, and depending on how long they've used the Vault Boy image in their logo, Valve could blow lots of money on a lawsuit and lose. It's not fair, but that's how law works (or fails to).

You meant to have Bethesda there right?

Honestly, seeing the Vault Boy on my pizza delivery box would make my day. And if Bethesda sues successfully then it would just show the arbitrary nature of our law system. It's not like a small Massachusetts pizza shop can in anyone way negatively effect Bethesda's sales of Fallout games. Pizza Hut on the other hand would actually make a difference.

jake09050:
I was born in Billerica and lived there for 9 years and i can tell you Expresso's is a risky pizza place. There pizza is actually really good. Probably because they put a little Orange soda in the sauce.

Yeah, but when did they start using that logo? Actually, what do you mean "risky"?

Also, is it me or are Aristabulus posts getting more incoherant?

RobCoxxy:
Bethesda seem fairly cool, so I don't see them pulling a Langdell spaz.

A Langdell spaz at this point would be suing 2k Games for releasing Bioshock, and we'd still be waiting for Fallout 3 twenty years from now.

EDIT: A cookie to SolidStateMind for taking the time to articulate the legal situation.

Captain Pancake:
I just hope the pizza doesn't taste like iguana bits...

I see potential for a whole Fallout Theme'd restaurant here. Iguana Bits would be chicken, natch, since Iguana tastes like chicken.

Mole Rat meat could be pork...

Mirelurk cakes could be. . . Pidgeon.

Aristabulus:

solidstatemind:
*snip*

I do that because I personally find it annoying to scroll through several paragraphs of quotes to read a single sentence of reply. I am being the change I wish to see in the world.

I read the whole thing, and I think your pro-litigious position is biased towards the vidja gaem angle. I also think you're ignoring _my_ point that the possibility that it's a genuine vintage sign using that art style. I do not possess a car, or the urge to go harass some pizza guys about their sign, so the Vintage Sign Question will remain in the box with the cat, at least for me. However, if it's correct, I believe no judge would let a software company grift a pizza joint over a sign because of an art style that was current when the sign went up. To make such a ruling would be tantamout to professional suicide.

For the record, I've been here since the beginning. Just haven't felt a need to register till now, when there was something regionally relevant for me to speak up about. I dearly miss the old front-cover-and-pages style Escapist originally used.

I've said all I have to say on the matter, so if you want to continue the "discussion", you should be able to locate a mirror in your nearest water closet. Good day.

Wow. Not going to bother to engage in a flame war with someone like you. If you're not smart enough to see that I addressed the exact situation you were describing-- and even explicitly focused on it in my response to you-- then I guess I just can't help you. Even if it's too difficult for you to skip over the nice box that sets quotes apart from responses, that laziness does not justify leaving out germane information if you're really looking to have a reasonable conversation and not just 'prove' that you're 'right'...

He doesn't just deliver pizza's, he sells wall and floor tiles as well:
image
For all you folks who can't read Dutch, that's an advert from a tile shop taken from my local newspaper. I read the paper at work, and laughed so hard when I saw that advert. No one else got the reference.

Quick Ben:

HardRockSamurai:
Even though it's a blatant case of copyright infringement, I do hope they let them keep the logo. It actually looks pretty cool...

You think it's cool? I just think it looks silly and out of place. But maybe that's because I'm so used to seeing it in a different setting...

I agree with you, I think it would look better with a guy in a chef hat and a handle bar moustache.

Now with more radiation for that authentic wasteland taste.

Fat Man Spoon:
Sue them!

You know you want to, Bethesda...

all the other companys are suing someone what are you chicken bethesda

spike0918:

Khell_Sennet:
Valve could blow lots of money on a lawsuit and lose. It's not fair, but that's how law works (or fails to).

You meant to have Bethesda there right?

Hmmm... Probably.

Assassinator:
He doesn't just deliver pizza's, he sells wall and floor tiles as well:
image
For all you folks who can't read Dutch, that's an advert from a tile shop taken from my local newspaper. I read the paper at work, and laughed so hard when I saw that advert. No one else got the reference.

Busted, and far harder to argue innocence for this one.

LiandriTrooper:
Sue them all you want, I think its a very fitting image for the vault boy. Come one guys, you need to just relax, enjoy a good slice of cheese pizza and ice cold bottle of Nuka Cola Quantum.

I don't like Quantum though. It makes my pee glow.

HardRockSamurai:
Even though it's a blatant case of copyright infringement, I do hope they let them keep the logo. It actually looks pretty cool...

Man, I love your avatar

I'd put the box on my wall! Even if it might smell a bit "funky" after a week...

Bill Watterson wasn't too happy about Calvin pissing on the Ford Logo.

Aristabulus:
This entire story is absurd. Has it occurred to _ANYONE_ that the sign might just be 50 years old??? Hmm? I live not far from there, in Boston, and vintage signs are fairly common in New England.

Also, prior art... You know, like _the_50's_stuff_ Bethesda derived from to create Vault Boy. O_O

.....Bethesda didn't create a damn thing. Are you even aware of Interplay or Black Isle?

That must be some good pizza.

TheRealCJ:
"Expresso Pizza: Our food will Blow you away!"

Ha! Good one.

I'd personally buy a pizza if it had Vault-Boy on it. But I guess that's the problem.
Wait, how do we know that Expresso Pizza didn't have Vault-Boy first?

Don't you see? Fallout 3 is set in the future. Expresso Pizza goes on to found Vault-Tech Industries. It's happening!

This just goes to show that you should always check the source when you Google something...

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