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Another possible rip-off


flynnagain

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I should have started a wager pool to see how long this was going to take to get posted here. I'm actually surprised it took this much time considering it started over the weekend and has already generated long discussions on Icethetics and PuckDrawn.

The NAHL released an email unveiling the logo to the media midday Saturday. Since I used to blog on junior hockey I am still on the distribution list. I let Mike know about the theft minutes after it hit my inbox, and told the league (from whom I got no response) immediately following. Steven Heisler picked up on some facebook comments of mine and wrote the above linked blog entry on his site, and it's gone downhill from there. Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports Canada is supposedly working on a piece related to this as well.

There's supposed to be a press conference on the logo unveiling tomorrow. This was before the local media figured out it was swiped.

Since Keith Flynn didn't mention it, I will. Tag Sports has also swiped his Burlington Cougars logo.

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Correct me if I am mistaken, if I was to supposedly draw a logo but need to copyright it somehow, I would have to make 2 copies and mail one to myself to preserve the original date and also if I have to watermark the logo (I have yet to learn how but would be eager to do so) and that would be solid proof right?? Anyone can give some ideas and give some good input.. any input and advice would be good to read and understand why...

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Correct me if I am mistaken, if I was to supposedly draw a logo but need to copyright it somehow, I would have to make 2 copies and mail one to myself to preserve the original date and also if I have to watermark the logo (I have yet to learn how but would be eager to do so) and that would be solid proof right?? Anyone can give some ideas and give some good input.. any input and advice would be good to read and understand why...

Mailing it to yourself is the surefire, can't be disputed method so long as the envelope is unopened. Don't know if a court would accept an upload time from a website/host/what have you during a dispute.

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You'll never stop this type or re marking or re creating... Just part of life...

If we start caning or executing people for IP theft, it'll stop real quick. Just think about how many fewer members we'd have here if you could execute someone for ripping off a design.

No, I am not seriously advocating execution.

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Correct me if I am mistaken, if I was to supposedly draw a logo but need to copyright it somehow, I would have to make 2 copies and mail one to myself to preserve the original date and also if I have to watermark the logo (I have yet to learn how but would be eager to do so) and that would be solid proof right?? Anyone can give some ideas and give some good input.. any input and advice would be good to read and understand why...

Mailing it to yourself is the surefire, can't be disputed method so long as the envelope is unopened. Don't know if a court would accept an upload time from a website/host/what have you during a dispute.

http://www.snopes.com/legal/postmark.asp

Unfortunately it's not that simple. I've seen this explanation a few places, but snopes seems to be the most clear about it. I imagine that posting dates and upload times are probably the best thing that creators have right now, short of registering works elsewhere.

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I understand a bit of the outrage but cmon. This logo is itself a ripoff of the Blackhawks logo. You can't trade mark fan concepts for an existing team. Didn't we already go over this somewhere?

That is what i was trying to say, his is a concept design and I'm sure wasn't trademarked? Even still they can flip it an tweak a few things to create a difference and there isn't anything you can do about it...

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All he can do is try to scare off the people that are misappropriating it. If he took it to court he wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

If you look back at the various cases of unsolicited fan artwork being used by teams the law doesn't seem to be very interested in the issue of protecting the artist or awarding compensation to them. The courts don't tend to value this kind of work very highly. They value the overall brand of team a lot higher.

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This image is not trademarked (®) and I don't think it could be, however, anything that is created is automatically copyrighted (©). He still owns the copyright to his bird logo, and he does have a leg to stand on in court for others stealing it, though for the reasons stated above, he can not sell merchandise with this logo or sell this logo to another team without a license and approval from the Blackhawks, respectively. I also don't believe he will be able to collect compensation in a court decision, either. Just because it's a Blackhawks concept doesn't strip the artist of all his rights, though, as some of you are insinuating. It's an original interpretation of an existing identity and it is owned by the artist. A good litmus test for ownership in this case is as follows: could the Blackhawks generate revenue by using this logo on uniforms or merchandise without the artist's permission? The answer is no, because the copyright is owned by the artist, and not the Blackhawks. It's a confusing situation, though, because the Blackhawks could sue anyone (including the original artist, even though he owns the copyright) for using this logo on merchandise without a license since that would infringe on their business. The artist is safe as long as he does not (and I don't think he ever had any intent to) attempt to sell this logo in any way, but because there is nothing to really gain, he might be wise to let the Blackhawks' legal team handle the situation with the theft here.

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he might be wise to let the Blackhawks' legal team handle the situation with the theft here.

The same Blackhawks organization that's gone after the Portland Winterhawks, North Dakota Fighting Sioux, Soo Indians, and Boston Jr. Blackhawks over the years? Oh, wait...

The Fighting Falcons had an event yesterday to show off the team to the city. Despite the beat writer already noting the logo controversy in his blog, he did not follow up on the issue in his write-up of the press conference.

http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/20100715/SPORTS/7150322/City-fans-meet-Fighting-Falcons

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Even still they can flip it an tweak a few things to create a difference and there isn't anything you can do about it...

That is most definitely not true.

There is this common misconception that one could take an existing logo, and change it 30%, or 40% (the number shifts based upon whom is doing the telling), and the result is your property.

Not so. If you start with a logo you don't own, then there's no amount of changes that can make it yours. Mike ought to go after them with both barrels - we might not be able to execute intellectual property thieves, but we can force them to spend a lot of money undoing their crime.

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Even still they can flip it an tweak a few things to create a difference and there isn't anything you can do about it...

That is most definitely not true.

There is this common misconception that one could take an existing logo, and change it 30%, or 40% (the number shifts based upon whom is doing the telling), and the result is your property.

Not so. If you start with a logo you don't own, then there's no amount of changes that can make it yours. Mike ought to go after them with both barrels - we might not be able to execute intellectual property thieves, but we can force them to spend a lot of money undoing their crime.

And let me reiterate that just because Mike's hawk logo borrows visual language from the Blackhawks' own logo doesn't mean the Blackhawks own it; it's still an original creation to which Mike holds the copyright, which is being violated by this team. Whether the Blackhawks think the commercial use of this logo infringes on their business is up to them (I think it does), but Mike can and probably should still fight his own battle to get the team to stop using it and thereby vilify the designer who claimed it as original, if not only to save his own butt from the potential ire of NHL Properties.

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