DC Comics Sues Unauthorized Batmobile Garage

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I call bullshit on this guy "causing rerepairable harm to DC", seriously. Were DC secretly building their own line of replicas or something?

No, but there -is- a company licensed to produce such things, Booze, which you would have seen if you hadn't made a judgment before reading the actual article.

Tuqui:
The tittle was a little misgiving, I though someone who did it as a personal project being sued not someone who was selling with the name.

Its the news dude, if its not misleading, its not news :P

But seriously escapist, I thought this too :P But you know, all he has to do is stop advertising them as bat mobiles and take off the logo. Job done.

Reading the topic I thought "Some dudes kitted out his garage for kicks and they're taking him to court? WTH!", then... No, this guy has no excuses, it's daylight robbery and fair enough they're shutting him down. You'd think that someone that dedicated would just seek permission to do it...

HAH! The Fenix logo is priceless.

Edit: Typical, I quote the wrong post. /facepalm.

Fuck all that lawsuit shit, I just wanna know if these guys can make a Tumbler, I'll take a dozen :D

Bags159:

manythings:

GeeksUtopia:
True that he shouldn't be making replica's based off of something that already has licensing and rights to, but what could instead, and stay with me now, instead of suing why not make this guy a part of the DC comic universe open a variety of shops like this across the U.S. and take a cut of his profit so it could be a win win on both sides of the case. Though i might be dreaming about a perfect world this should still be possible.

Because the message then is "Steal our stuff and we put you on the payroll" not "Steal our stuff and we put you on the streets".

I'm willing to bet he could've gotten their stamp of approval if he'd looked for it, he chose not to do it.

Isn't this a good thing? I don't see how a message that causes more talent to crop up which they can recruit and profit off is a bad thing. If untalented/dishonest/evil/whathaveyou people begin to take advantage of it then they can go back to business as usual; suing.

I would encourage people to start out in the clearly legal area rathet than the using other people's IP for profit and not giving a cut.

dogstile:
But seriously escapist, I thought this too :P But you know, all he has to do is stop advertising them as bat mobiles and take off the logo. Job done.

Might work for the Adam West one, but DC got the rights for the other's designs too, not just the logo.
Y'know... 'cause it's the freakin' Batmobile, not merely a Hummer with bat wings.

And this guy is an idiot, really. Selling expensive stuff from one of the big merchandise players without the license to do so? Under your real name? Wonderful idea.

faefrost:

It's a little more involved than that. The problem is that there is a licensed business already serving this market. Licenses don't come cheap. This other business has shelled out a ton of cash to acquire it. I am sure that part of their contract dealings with DC is that they will aggressively protect said license, otherwise it is valueless to the legitimate license holder. DC isn't necesarliy sending out C&D orders because they want to be dicks about it, or because they don't want people driving batmobiles. They are doing it because they are legally obligated to do so. It is just par for the course when protecting and licensing IP.

As far as what DC can and cannot sue over, regarding the 1960's TV Batmobile, While any arguements that no IP exists because it used a Lincoln Futura as the base are complete and utter hogwash. (You can make a Futura, as soon as you add the batmobile modifications it is the protected property.) I am not 100% sure that DC actually owns those rights? Didn't Barris retain at least part of those back when he designed the thing for them? Isn't that why there really wasn't as much merchandise for that specific car as you might otherwise expect.

I would challenge the idea that one licencee would have power enough to thwart him trying to get one himself. DC is a business and the more licencees the more cash that comes in, not to mention I'm willing to bet through DC you'd gain access to marketting and better connections with suppliers. I'd say they have an inspection process and if this guys work was that good they'd be idiots to not work out a deal for a licence based on sales rather than single cash sums.

I'm willing to assume they can be reasonable about it but I sure wouldn't bet my life on it. Probably all comes down to the number of sales and the cash he has made.

and Gotham Garage had done irreparable harm to DC.

What, like free publicity? What the guy did was wrong, and a cheap cash-in, but I think DC is going slightly overboard trying to get back at him...
That said, the other companies that actually bought licenses have every right to be pissed. :P

Sue him, fine - fair enough. But "irreparable harm to DC"... Really?

dogstile:

Tuqui:
The tittle was a little misgiving, I though someone who did it as a personal project being sued not someone who was selling with the name.

Its the news dude, if its not misleading, its not news :P

But seriously escapist, I thought this too :P But you know, all he has to do is stop advertising them as bat mobiles and take off the logo. Job done.

Yes, and I think that's the problem, it would be easy to just do that, but people would still buy it since they look the same.

manythings:
Because the message then is "Steal our stuff and we put you on the payroll" not "Steal our stuff and we put you on the streets".

Right now the message is "Fill a hole in what we aren't selling, we will use our superior lawyer team to destroy your livelihood out of pure spite over exactly $0 of missed income".

Asehujiko:

manythings:
Because the message then is "Steal our stuff and we put you on the payroll" not "Steal our stuff and we put you on the streets".

Right now the message is "Fill a hole in what we aren't selling, we will use our superior lawyer team to destroy your livelihood out of pure spite over exactly $0 of missed income".

So it's only theft if I'm making it? They have licences to hand out for people who want to make product reproductions. I'm willing to bet all you have to do is make a good product and put up a portion of profits and you'll get the stamp. This guy wanted to make money off stuff he didn't own and got exactly what happens to IP thieves. Not shedding a tear for people who break the law and then get treated like law breakers.

Therumancer:

DrNobody18:
And he didn't think that DC might take exception to him making a fortune off their designs and logo's why, exactly? Seriously, how out of it do you have to be to think that you can get away with this, a full-size counterfeit bat-car selling business with website and all isn't exactly subtle.

Well, we're making a big assumption that he didn't ask to be honest. In a lot of cases where something this flagrent is going on, you have someone who DOES ask to do something like this, gets permission verbally, goes ahead and does it, but then becomes profitable enough to sue and winds up in a position without any paperwork or witnesses to a "verbal contract".

This is a big deal in Hollywood in paticular where there is a long history of business being done literally on a handshake. Contract law can be a mess, and I tend to think back to one case a while back where Kim Basinger wound up in court over her alleged agreement to appear in the movie "Boxing Helena", which she denied. She wound up losing the case and suffering millions in losses (well potentially) but then overturned it in an appeal. It's not all that famous a case right now, but it gets down to how messed up contract law is, and how dubious things like this can be.

Speaking entirely for myself, unless I missed something in the article where the guy said he didn't have permission, I'd tend to believe this is going to get complicated. Especially seeing as if the guy has a brain, even if it's a lie, he can probably give DC enough of a headache to give up on financial compensation (and just get him to agree to stop) by claiming he had a verbal contract gained by asking if it was okay to do.

See, verbal contract is a mess with a good lawyer, because while it can be argued that someone who says someone said something was okay didn't have the authority to make a deal like that, a lot also depends on whether the other party knew they didn't have that authority. I probably wouldn't win if I was trying to get something out of someone, but with a decent lawyer if I had three buddies agree to lie on my behalf about someone I "really believed was in a position of authority to make this desician" telling me something was okay, I could probably get a lawsuit to back off since when a jury is involved in a civil case it comes down to a preponderance of evidence, and clear and convincing testimony, the same standards to presenting evidence don't exist that are in a criminal trial.

Simply put, I doubt this guy is going to really have more happen to him than having to close down his business. If he has an intimidating enough lawyer, I doubt he'll even have to hand over the money he made so far... unless of course he already SAID he knew he didn't have permission... assuming of course that he DIDN'T ask DC to begin with, and that's always possible because he's operating so publically. It's not some kind of shady, backroom business run by a guy who was apparently afraid of prosecution. He also apparently operated long enough where it also raises some questions.

This is going off topic, but have you ever considered not writing a wall of text?
Most of it is meaningless and could be summed up in one paragraph but you insist on writing 3-4 all of which say nothing and is useless to anyone trying to read it.

Be to the point and concise, not make everyone read a huge wall of text just to find the points you might make, if any.

Bobbity:

and Gotham Garage had done irreparable harm to DC.

What, like free publicity? What the guy did was wrong, and a cheap cash-in, but I think DC is going slightly overboard trying to get back at him...
That said, the other companies that actually bought licenses have every right to be pissed. :P

Actually, it's Warner's responsibility to protect a legitimate licensee from infringement by others who do not have a license. It's not the licensee's responsibility. Which makes sense. Why should I pay good money to Warner for a license, find out someone guy's selling the same product without a license from Warner, and then be the one to have to try and stop them? That shouldn't be my responsibility. It should be Warner's.

you can't tell me the owner wasn't expecting this. no one can be that willfully oblivious to the implications to reproducing and selling for profit licensed material without authorization from the trademark owners.

So what is the problem/news here exactly? Someone tried to get rich of someone else's property and got caught.

GeeksUtopia:
True that he shouldn't be making replica's based off of something that already has licensing and rights to, but what could instead, and stay with me now, instead of suing why not make this guy a part of the DC comic universe open a variety of shops like this across the U.S. and take a cut of his profit so it could be a win win on both sides of the case. Though i might be dreaming about a perfect world this should still be possible.

Because that sets a bad example. Any copyright perpetrator will think this is a viable way to get a legit job.

Really confused by how some people think this guy is OK because DC wasn't making the cars themselves. That's kind of like saying well then anyone can make DC related products if DC isn't already, and it's OK. It's not how business works nor should it. Just because DC doesn't make Batman themed toilet paper doesn't mean Charmin can run out and start putting bat logos on their next double-thick roll.

Logan Westbrook:

DC Comics, the Warner Bros. subsidiary

Does anyone else find it sad/funny that DC Comics is introduced this way?

Logan Westbrook:
...Gotham Garage had done irreparable harm to DC.

How exactly? Not making money off of something you weren't making anyways doesn't seem like "irreparable harm" to me. It's not like this one guy was driving them in to bankruptcy.

BoogieManFL:
Sue him, fine - fair enough. But "irreparable harm to DC"... Really?

"Irreparable harm" can be nothing more than lost sales that can never be recouped. Or having to pay damages to a licensee when they sue you because you, as the licensor, sat on your ass and let someone else introduce unlicensed products into the market. As long as a financial injury can never be recovered, that's an "irreparable harm." It's not difficult at all to suffer irreparable harm.

beema:

Logan Westbrook:

DC Comics, the Warner Bros. subsidiary

Does anyone else find it sad/funny that DC Comics is introduced this way?

Logan Westbrook:
...Gotham Garage had done irreparable harm to DC.

How exactly? Not making money off of something you weren't making anyways doesn't seem like "irreparable harm" to me. It's not like this one guy was driving them in to bankruptcy.

Why is it funny? Once you realize that 99.9% of all entertainment media is owned by three companies? And Time Warner is the second largest of those three. It's kinda like the record business. There's only about three major players. Just like the news media business. Or the console business. Thre aren't too many industries left where you'll find many independent operators. The Big Guys gobble them up like Pac Man.

Because whenever an unlicensed product enters the market, the rightful licensor suffers irreparable harm in the form of a loss to the value of their rights to license. Warner can't grant a license at the same license fee rates they could have once there's some guy who has sold unlicensed products. Why would anyone pay top dollar to license a product that's being bootlegged? That's called "dilution" and it is a form of "irreparable harm."

Speaking on behalf of all the people who find a way to make a living without stealing IP, no sympathy. Sorry, he knew what he was doing.

Also, his site is incredibly ugly.

DC is within its rights here, but this is also another instance of where the pirates aren't crooks so much as they are poorly served customers.

Nicolaus99:
DC is within its rights here, but this is also another instance of where the pirates aren't crooks so much as they are poorly served customers.

How is this guy Warner's "customer?" He ain't giving them a cent in business.

...And they simply didn't just buy him and his store, thus, keeping an awesome idea which would probably help line their pockets a bit more?

/sigh

DC...y u so dum?

LogicNProportion:
...And they simply didn't just buy him and his store, thus, keeping an awesome idea which would probably help line their pockets a bit more?

/sigh

DC...y u so dum?

Do they have any experience making and selling automobiles and boats? Why would they want to own and operate a business that has nothing to do with their core business operations? It's Time Warner. Not General Motors.

JDKJ:

LogicNProportion:
...And they simply didn't just buy him and his store, thus, keeping an awesome idea which would probably help line their pockets a bit more?

/sigh

DC...y u so dum?

Do they have any experience making and selling automobiles and boats? Why would they want to own and operate a business that has nothing to do with their core business operations? It's Time Warner. Not General Motors.

Right, because it's not like they don't sell merchandise on the many, MANY franchises they own. True, this would be a specialized kind of thing, and they would probably have to strike a promotional deal with a company that actually works on cars, but I still think it would be a good idea to keep around.

This is just the thing rich people (often nerds/closet-nerds with a disgusting amount of disposable income) would (and have for many things like it) pay out the nose for.

Unless he made exact copies, I would think the cars, other than the obviously trademarked logo, should be fine. They are of his design and based around another, but without the plans there is almost no way he could do it exact. That said, I am not a lawyer so I don't actually know.

LogicNProportion:

JDKJ:

LogicNProportion:
...And they simply didn't just buy him and his store, thus, keeping an awesome idea which would probably help line their pockets a bit more?

/sigh

DC...y u so dum?

Do they have any experience making and selling automobiles and boats? Why would they want to own and operate a business that has nothing to do with their core business operations? It's Time Warner. Not General Motors.

Right, because it's not like they don't sell merchandise on the many, MANY franchises they own. True, this would be a specialized kind of thing, and they would probably have to strike a promotional deal with a company that actually works on cars, but I still think it would be a good idea to keep around.

This is just the thing rich people (often nerds/closet-nerds with a disgusting amount of disposable income) would (and have for many things like it) pay out the nose for.

They don't actually make and sell that merchandise themselves. They license others to do so and take a cut in the form of licensing fees. And that's what this guy is fucking with: their ability to license their products.

MUST SHOW TO EVERYONE NEED TO SAVE GARAGE.

Sean951:
Unless he made exact copies, I would think the cars, other than the obviously trademarked logo, should be fine. They are of his design and based around another, but without the plans there is almost no way he could do it exact. That said, I am not a lawyer so I don't actually know.

It doesn't have to be "exact." As long as Warner has a trademark on the distinctive shape of the Batmobile and the Batboat (which I assume they have), any product that's sufficiently similar in appearance to cause confusion in the minds of consumers that the product is in fact an official Batmobile or Batboat is enough to constitute trademark infringement.

Some peeps want Batmobiles. If whatever measures DC made to make the product available were adequate, they'd have gotten them there rather than from this guy.

Nicolaus99:
Some peeps want Batmobiles. If whatever measures DC made to make the product available were adequate, they'd have gotten them there rather than from this guy.

So? If I'm a record label and I decide that I'm no longer going to print and sell copies of a song in my catalog despite there still being strong demand for the song among the record-buying public, does that give someone the right to bootleg my record? It's my record. I can do with it whatever I like.

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