Browncoat Revolution

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Written by: Paul (SoSF Fan)

If you read Whedonesque, then you know what’s been happening with Universal, but if not, here’s the scoop:

Universal has started sending “cease and desist” orders to Browncoats who are producing unofficial merchandise. It’s come to a head with 11th Hour, who really kicked off the original guerilla marketing before Serenity was even released: she’s been given an order, and is being asked to pay retroactive liscencing fees of nearly $9,000.

For more info and some samples of the BC’s reaction, visit Whedonesque.com.

In case you can’t tell, I’m a Browncoat and I’m po’d as hell. For Universal to ask the Browncoats to help promote Serenity, then a year later turn around and sue them, that’s just bulls*%t.

Comments

  1. Suing 11th is completely f***ed up. She (and other BCs) worked her tail off to help Serenity. Universal and Fox should be paying HER some ducats for all of the work she put into promoting Serenity and Firefly
    She should send them a bill.
    Or a letter suggesting they kiss her ass.

  2. If they’re not going to make another Serenity movie, the “unauthorized” merchandise can only help to boast sells of the dvds and books. And, in truth, how much profit are they really missing out on?

  3. Well, there is this nice little tidbit of ridiculousness from her 11th hour site:
    All posters are original artwork created by 11th Hour (Susan Renée Tomb). The posters are offered for: (1) Download, reproduction and distribution to individuals for promotion of the Firefly DVD and the Serenity movie; and (2) For individual non-commercial use and enjoyment. The use of these images for sale, in any manner or form, is expressly prohibited by the artist. However, permission is granted for the use of the poster images to make T-shirt transfers, so long as this is not done for sale. “Firefly” is the property of 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy. “Serenity” movie is the property of Universal Studios. No affiliation between 11th Hour and these entities is stated or implied.

    Seems to me there might be a little misstep in her claiming rights to Fox’s properties. If there’s no affiliation between the two, as she states in this disclaimer, then she can’t claim rights to their images, or derivative works. I love how so many scifi geeks run around screaming when someone gets caught doing something stupid and/or illegal, and then the legal rights owners take legal action.

    Look, if you’ve got a problem with copyright laws, work to change them ala moveon.org style. Selling t-shirts using copyrighted images isn’t civil disobedience, it’s dumb.

  4. Sorry, I failed to emphasize the bits that are really catching my attention.

    All posters are original artwork created by 11th Hour (Susan Renée Tomb). The posters are offered for: (1) Download, reproduction and distribution to individuals for promotion of the Firefly DVD and the Serenity movie; and (2) For individual non-commercial use and enjoyment. The use of these images for sale, in any manner or form, is expressly prohibited by the artist. However, permission is granted for the use of the poster images to make T-shirt transfers, so long as this is not done for sale. “Firefly” is the property of 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy. “Serenity” movie is the property of Universal Studios. No affiliation between 11th Hour and these entities is stated or implied.

    She’s even trying to grant permissions she has no authority to grant! This is silliness, people!

  5. You know, you might read more carefully before calling people stupid. The part that catches my attention is: “So long as this is not done for sale.”

    She’s not selling t-shirts using copyrighted images.

    You might also be interested to know that Universal actively encouraged the creation and distribution of the art as guerilla marketing for the film.

  6. Here’s more info from Whedonesque:

    “The (Browncoat) Invoice (http://www.browncoatinvoice.com/).

    A tongue in cheek website set up in the aftermath of Universal’s actions against 11th Hour and others. It may be a light hearted approach but it does draw attention to the serious issue of what happens when a film studio and a fanbase get into bed.”

    Just imagine if you and all your friends had done hundreds of hours of community service for your city, and city officials had publicly congratulated you on how much you’d done, so then you decided to make t-shirts (or whatever) with the city’s name on them for everyone who’d helped out, and suddenly a year later out of nowhere the city’s threatening to sue you. How would you feel? I realize that legally, it’s a slightly different situation, but emotionally, this is exactly where a lot of Browncoats are right now.

  7. Spork: The action Universal is taking is related to my Cafe Press shop, and not my guerilla marketing poster site. The excerpts you copied, twice, have nothing to do with the Demand that sparked this situation.

    And just for the record, my Cafe Press shop did NOT offer reproductions of official graphics, logos, screen caps or likenesses of actors. All the designs were/are original and unique.

    Perhaps before you stoop to name calling and stereotyping, you should first take the time to more fully understand the topic.

  8. You photographed the production stills and prmotion headshots yourself? Or, did you just create some derivative works from licensed properties and then try to sell them on cafe press?

  9. Um.. Spork… you trolling or just not bothering to read?

    The designs being sold by 11th Hour were not production stills or headshots or even derived from them. They are unique artwork using english, oriental symbols/words along with some very nice drawing. The guerrilla marketing stuff was not being sold on cafe press, or anywhere else that i am aware.

Trackbacks

  1. How To Piss Off Your Fan Base…

    Have loyal fans? Die-hard, loyal? Want to piss them off? Ask Universal Studios/Universal Pictures how to do it right. I found this tidbit on Slashdot this morning and I just couldn’t stop shaking my head. I wonder what corporate genius thought this on…

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