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Ford Claims Ownership Of Your Pictures 739

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the like-a-child-shouting-MINE dept.
Mike Rogers writes "In a move that can only be described as 'Copyright Insanity', Ford Motor Company now claims that they hold the rights to any image of a Ford vehicle, even if it's a picture you took of your own car. The Black Mustang Club wanted to put together a calendar featuring member's cars and print it through CafePress, but an attorney from Ford nixed the project, stating that the calendar pics and 'anything with one of (member's) cars in it infringes on Ford's trademarks which include the use of images of their vehicles.' Does Ford have the right to prevent you from printing images of a car you own?"
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Ford Claims Ownership Of Your Pictures

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  • Free Marketing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:50PM (#22037616) Homepage Journal
    And they wonder why their stock is in the toilet. They're trying to stop free marketing of their products. How dumb is that?
  • by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:50PM (#22037622) Journal
    Wow, this is bad. Just the other day I was wondering about IP rights in taking pictures of products, and if arguments about IP in pictures of other stuff carried over.

    Now, imagine what it's like if you have to get permission to put *any* product in *any* picture.

    I have no idea what legal grounds Ford has, but this MUST be prevented from spreading to pictures of products in general.

    (Of course, Ford could just be trolling for easy cash because of that whole not-funding-workers'-pensions thing...)
  • no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:50PM (#22037628) Homepage
    they own the design of the car. but the photographer owns their picture.
  • Wrong question. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:52PM (#22037664) Homepage
    Does Ford have the right to prevent you from printing images of a car you own?

    You mean "Does Ford have the right to prevent you from selling images of a car you own?

    And the answer should still be know. Just thought I'd clarify.
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon@@@gmail...com> on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:53PM (#22037706)
    This definitely is the straw that breaks my back....I was looking at the Ford Fusion as our next car. Not anymore....

    Ford you get to lose out on at least one sale.

    To heck with suing. Just hurt em where it hurts....their profits.
  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:53PM (#22037708) Homepage Journal
    It's not so simple. The calendar looks like it might be trading on Ford's trademarks. Put it this way, if the Mustang wasn't in a particular image, would anyone want to pay the same for the image?
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:53PM (#22037712)
    As if we needed another one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:57PM (#22037784)
    Ford didn't claim to own the picture, or to have any sort of copyright-related rights, they simply claimed rights to the their trademarks. Rights which they have, as granted by the USPTO. Such rights aren't even in dispute, as they are with many patents and some copyrights; most trademarks are entirely uncontroversial, and Ford's are no exception.

    Should Ford be messing with their fan club over a trademark issue -- probably not. Do they have the right to prevent publication of a calendar containing their trademarks -- possibly, depending on how the trademarks are displayed and how the calendar is used. Is /. posting another intentionally misleading headline designed to make people rant about copyright/patent abuses, despite being totally unrelated to such issues -- definitely.
  • by ChromaticDragon (1034458) on Monday January 14, 2008 @01:59PM (#22037828)
    It simply seems to me that the simplest and most appropriate thing for Ford to do here would have been to provide all the necessary permission for them to proceed with their artistic work, or license it with a smallish fee if necessary.

    That would have seemed like a win-win sort of thing. Free marketing, retention of their rights, etc.

    It does seem that with trademarks you are indeed obligated to protect them or you may lose them. But I don't quite see why Fordwould have had to be so foolish about it.

  • Re:Wrong question. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Traxxas (20074) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:01PM (#22037884)
    If you are leasing that car from Ford or a Ford owned financing company then they do own 'your' car. You are mearly renting the car from them. If you got a loan and are buying the car then it is yours to do with as you please.
  • Re:Ford's response (Score:2, Insightful)

    by calebt3 (1098475) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:01PM (#22037890)

    The business is still misappropriating the goodwill and reputation developed by Ford, and attempting to capitalize on or profit from Ford's goodwill and reputation.
    There is obviously no goodwill here. And they're reputation at /. is now tanked, if it wasn't already.
  • by msauve (701917) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:02PM (#22037892)
    apply to automobiles, not calendars.
  • Re:Free Marketing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mosch (204) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:04PM (#22037964) Homepage
    The real problem here is the law. If Ford fails to go after this sort of violation, they lose the rights to go after other violations in the future.

    As such, American law is written such that they must either attack people who mean no harm, or lose the right to defend themselves in the future against actual harms.

    This isn't Fords fault, it's the broken-ass laws of the United States.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:06PM (#22038016)
    Campbell's Soup could have made a killing by suing him.
  • by Grond (15515) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:07PM (#22038076) Homepage
    Ford is making a valid trademark claim, not a patent or copyright claim as the summary, tags, and category would suggest. Ford does not claim to own the pictures, and it is certainly not making a patent claim. What Ford is doing is claiming trademark and trade dress rights in its name, logo, and the stylistic features of its vehicles. Ford is alleging that the Club's calendar trades on the good will that people associate with the Ford name, logo, etc, which is not allowed under state and federal trademark laws.

    Furthermore, trademark law requires trademark owners to respond to such acts of potential trademark infringement. If they do not so act, then later infringers may point to the inaction and claim that Ford has abandoned their trademark. Note that this is unlike copyright and patents, which give the rightsholder more discretion in pursuing individual cases.

    None of this is to say that this is a good business decision. In its current financial state, Ford should be working with its few remaining fans to produce properly licensed calendars, shirts, etc that maintain Ford's intellectual property rights. That way, everybody wins. This sort of knee-jerk "shut 'em down" response does both the company and its fans a disservice in the long run.
  • Tollways (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:09PM (#22038114)
    Does the state need to pay money to Ford when they take a picture of my Mustang blowing through a toll?
  • An answer. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:09PM (#22038118) Journal

    The Black Mustang Club wanted to put together a calendar featuring member's cars and print it through CafePress, but an attorney from Ford nixed the project, stating that the calendar pics and 'anything with one of (member's) cars in it infringes on Ford's trademarks which include the use of images of their vehicles.' Does Ford have the right to prevent you from printing images of a car you own?"

    This is a trademark vs copyright issue. The question asked is a red herring. The actual question is "Does Ford have the right to block one from selling, for a profit, an image that includes their trademark?"

    The answer is "Yes, they do have that right. They have to protect their trademark or they lose it."
  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv@gmaMONETil.com minus painter> on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:16PM (#22038314) Homepage
    This isn't a new article, this is small time operations going "oh the big bad company pooh poohed our idea they should be ashamed. Let's slam them by posting something negative!"

    The "article" here is on a site called "AdRants." Good start huh? Then it links back directly to BMC's web page that tells you little except their side.

    Basically, BMC (Black Mustang Club), created a calendar for it's members of, well, black mustangs! They then sent this to cafepress, who then sells it to BMC members.

    Ford owns the rights to it's own trademarks, the Ford Logo and the mustang emblem. These are clearly displayed on the calendar, which you have to go a few links in to find. It's your car, and you can do what you want with it, but this is a specific "mustang" calendar and it makes clear references to the Mustang and Ford. Ford at least has some complaint. To untangle this will require a lawyer steeped in trademark law, which I am not.

    The statement that Ford owns the images of your car is bogus, and was an obvious tantrum reaction to having Ford put a cease and desist on cafepress' desk. The letter that Ford sent to cafepress is not anywhere to be found in the chain of articles here, and without that, whining is pointless and childish, because Ford might have a point. Trademark law protects the little guy as well as the big guys so you can't complain that Ford is being a bully here without more facts presented.

    Now there are plenty of grey areas here, legally. Can cafepress sell the calendar only to BMC? Can they sell it at cost only? What's the difference between selling pictures of your own car for $5, and selling a calendar? What's protected and what's not when you take pictures of property you own? Was a line crossed when you grouped 12 people's mustangs together and sold them to a specific group of people through an unaffiliated company? I'm not a lawyer, but the "article" fails to address any of that.

    Sure, Ford is being heavy handed, all the big corporations are. But you should only skip to "pounding the desk" in legal terms after you'd pounded on the law and/or the facts first.

    So there is no real news here, and Slashdot yet again lets it a crap article get in.

    I hope the next post defines the legal points I could not uncover.
  • Re:EULA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:16PM (#22038316) Journal
    And thus yet another American industry is suing itself into extinction.

    I think what the United States needs right about now is a virus that kills about 80% of all litigators. You still need a few for legitimate, rational affairs, but it's clear that American civilization is going to be crushed under the weight of sheer greed, stupidity and self-destructive self-interest.
  • Ford is *NOT* claiming they own anyone's pictures. What Ford is objecting to is taking pictures of their cars, putting them in a calendar, and then marketing and selling a calendar of FORD cars.

    It's a bit of a grey area, but I can't say I see Ford being outside the realm of reasonableness here.
  • Re:Ford's response (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kebes (861706) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:22PM (#22038488) Journal
    Ford's letter is quite well-written and even includes answers to genuine questions. However I think they are over-reaching beyond what the law allows. In particular, they claim:

    "It is also not sufficient for a business to state that it is not affiliated with Ford but continue to use Ford trademarks without permission. The business is still misappropriating the goodwill and reputation developed by Ford, and attempting to capitalize on or profit from Ford's goodwill and reputation. Even with the best of intentions, unauthorized use of another company's trademark is against the law."
    IANAL, but my understanding of trademarks [wikipedia.org] was that "likelihood of confusion" really was the central criterion. That is, you can indeed captialize on someone's else's reputation (e.g. you can publicly say "Ford company purchased product XYZ!" if that happens to be true), as long as you do not claim official endorsement. If you make it sufficiently clear that you are not affiliated with Ford, then you are not infringing their trademark. I can use the word "Ford" and I can use the Ford logo, as long as it is for legitimate purposes and there is no consumer confusion (e.g. in commentary, parody, etc.).

    The use of wording like "depictions or photographs of Ford's distinctively shaped vehicles" (emphasis added) is similarly over-reaching. By that rationale, every product is distinctive and thus cannot be used in a commercial image.

    In any case, I don't think trademark law was intended to provide the blanket power that Ford is grasping for (where they inherently own all commercial endeavors that happen to include a Ford product somewhere).
  • Re:EULA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mmurphy000 (556983) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:29PM (#22038666)

    The original purpose of trademarks was for consumer protection. Specifically, it was to prevent consumers from being confused when buying products and services, so when they see a "Ford" branded car that they know it came from the Ford Motor Company.

    That's why, for example, there is still a Domino's Pizza and a Domino's Sugar. Two firms independently have trademarks on "Domino's", but they're on two separate products (pizza and sugar). Consumers are unlikely to mistake a large pepperoni pizza for a pound of sugar, and vice versa.

    If this club were making its own cars and trying to brand those as Ford using the Ford logo, or if the club were making its own cars and constructing them in the likeness of a Ford model, then trademark protection has merit — we don't want consumers mistaking Fords and pseudo-Fords. However, in this case, the club is selling a calendar. Ford is not in the calendar-making business, and it is difficult to imagine that a consumer will somehow mistake a calendar and a car.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:32PM (#22038778)
    It's unbridled hubris. Out of control brand extension.

    These cars aren't copyrighted. They may contain patents, but the image of them doesn't violate a patent, as images can't be patented. This is not a grey area in the copyright law.

    They are being totally unreasonable here. I'm reposting my own Ford pics on my sight the very next thing I do. I eagerly await a DCMA take-down message, for with it, gives me the federal nexus to demonstrate my injury to a federal judge. What hubris.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:37PM (#22038904)
    Just replace all pictures of Ford vehicles with pictures of the equivalent Toyota model.

    That should make Ford very happy
  • Re:EULA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by holophrastic (221104) on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:48PM (#22039052)
    First, there is a huge difference between my taking that NFL picture and your local news media doing the same. Your country has all sorts of freedom of the press laws, to keep your other industries from screwing you over. It's your whole checks and balances thing. But if you're not a part of the press -- and you can't just declare yourself a reporter -- then you can't simply publish a photograph of anyone you see on the street.

    Second, yeah, as a personal person, you can comment on your car. You can state anything that's true about your instance of that car. But you can't just make sweeping comments. You couldn't, for example, say that all Ford cars are green, just because yours is. Similarly, and for the exact same reason, you can't say that all Ford cars break, just because yours did. You're welcome to say that yours did, and say that it may be indicative of others.

    Consider this whole calendar thing. Of course you can't publish a Ford calendar withour Ford's consent. Anyone buynig such a thing would consider it made by Ford. Confusion in the marketplace is one of the largest driving factors of this sort of copyright infringement. It's the one that says you can name your web-design company "Ford" but not your car company or model cars, or lego car-set company "Ford" because it's taken in one industry and not in the other.

    You can't go out, and take photographs of your car, and then publish an ad, a billboard, a newspaper full-page spread, and a television commercial advertising your car as the best/worst.

    You can't pretend, and make people believe, that you are Ford.

    Oh, but in your country, you can make an obvious spoof/mockery of Ford commercials for comedic purposes.
  • by Pluvius (734915) <pluvius3.gmail@com> on Monday January 14, 2008 @02:53PM (#22039130) Journal
    These cars aren't copyrighted. They may contain patents, but the image of them doesn't violate a patent, as images can't be patented. This is not a grey area in the copyright law.

    There are three main types of intellectual property. You forgot the one that's relevant to this case.

    Rob
  • YANAL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jgoemat (565882) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:00PM (#22039214)

    This is a trademark vs copyright issue. The question asked is a red herring. The actual question is "Does Ford have the right to block one from selling, for a profit, an image that includes their trademark?"

    The answer is "Yes, they do have that right. They have to protect their trademark or they lose it."

    This is a misconception. They do have the right to protect their trademark and they say the logo of the group is too similar to their trademark. Trademark is not however a right equivalent to copyright. The purpose of a trademark is to distinguish the products of an individual or business from others. It does not grant a copyright interest in pictures taken of the products, even if they include the trademark on them. These are the products of the company that bear the trademark, it is not confusing in the least. Read this odd case [lsu.edu] about the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame which trademarked their building design and the photographer that sold a poster of the building. The appeals court specifically noted this:

    It is well established that "[t]here is no such thing as property in a trademark except as a right appurtenant to an established business or trade in connection with which the mark is employed." United Drug Co. v. Theodore Rectanus Co., 248 U.S. 90, 97 (1918).

    When we view the photograph in Gentile's poster, we do not readily recognize the design of the Museum's building as an indicator of source or sponsorship. What we see, rather, is a photograph of an accessible, well-known, public landmark. Stated somewhat differently, in Gentile's poster, the Museum's building strikes us not as a separate and distinct mark on the good, but, rather, as the good itself.
    So the trademark is protected only so far as it is used as an indicator of the source or sponsorship of the product. It is completely legal to take photographs of trademarked goods and to sell them. Andy Warhol's paintings [poster.net] anyone?

    Thus without reading the complaint itself and the reasons Ford has we are left with only two conclusions. 1) they are completely brainlessly trying to infringe on the rights of the motor club 2) there is something more to the case of the mark of the club that is used to identify the source of the calendar is too similar to Ford's own mark. In the first case the summary is correct and Ford is wrong. In the second case the summary is misleading and Ford might be right.

  • Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by postbigbang (761081) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:15PM (#22039432)
    If you extend copyright and/or trademark to Ford for let's say, the Mustang, then the theory of estoppel trumps Ford.

    Here's why and how:

    google image search this term: "ford mustang for sale". Look at the mind-boggling number of hits.

    Now tell me the use of a pic of a Mustang in a for-sale ad is different than putting them into a calendar on a website.

    It is not. It's an image, used for the gain of the advertiser. In one case, to sell a used or new Mustang. In the other case, to exemplify the characteristics of ownership of the car. No diff. Estoppel says that 80-90 years ago, Ford should have made a claim

    Fie.

  • Re:EULA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:18PM (#22039500) Homepage

    Consider this whole calendar thing. Of course you can't publish a Ford calendar withour Ford's consent.
    Right. Luckily, this wasn't a Ford calendar. It was a BMC (Black Mustang Club) calendar.

    Confusion in the marketplace is one of the largest driving factors of this sort of copyright infringement.
    You, like so many, have confused "trademark infringement" with "copyright infringement." Confusion is not an issue with copyright--it's an issue with trademark.

    Luckily, trademark is what Ford is talking about, here.

    You can't go out, and take photographs of your car, and then publish an ad, a billboard, a newspaper full-page spread, and a television commercial advertising your car as the best/worst.
    I wouldn't say that without advice from a lawyer. Certainly I can take a picture of something I own and publish it. I can publish that it broke down 3 times in the first month. I can publish lots of things, generally. The question here is largely whether or not the picture of a trademarked object (it strikes me as weird that an object can be trademarked) can be published. It seems reasonable to me that it could be.

    You can't pretend, and make people believe, that you are Ford.
    From what I've seen of the calendar, they weren't trying to.

    Similarly, and for the exact same reason, you can't say that all Ford cars break, just because yours did.
    That's not entirely true. Slander and libel laws are a little bit different for public figures (in the US.) There's a much, much higher burden of proof that there was a reckless disregard for the truth. You also have to convince the judge/jury that the average person would believe that the claims are true. It's not likely that the average person would believe that "All Ford cars break," though this is a bad example anyway because all cars break, eventually. Parts simply wear out.
  • Re:Ford's response (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jackal40 (1119853) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:22PM (#22039578)
    I wonder what Ford's response would be to the club in question making a calendar of the club member's Ford automobiles with "For Sale" signs on them? Granted, IANAL, but my understanding is this would be a legal, legitimate use of pictures of Ford vehicles. The method of distribution might be open to question, but I'd enjoy listening to that argument in court! Just my $0.02 worth, your mileage may vary.
  • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:24PM (#22039606) Homepage Journal

    "How many American industries have sued themselves into extinction? I'm having trouble thinking of one."

    Gee, you must be new here. How about those guys who used to say they "owned Unix"?

    You know, the SCOundrels, those litigious bastards who are in voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, because otherwise they'd already be in Chapter 7?

  • by darkcmd (894336) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:31PM (#22039772)
    I need to know something, what do you own these days? It seems that companies believe that they own every aspect of the product you own, including how you use it. If Ford can restrict people making a calandar of Ford cars what can other people do next? The U.S. car industry is in major trouble, you'd think they would be happy that people are buying their cars?
  • by reebmmm (939463) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:35PM (#22039846)
    Not true. Not unless you're using the photos of those cars in commerce as a trademark. Simply taking pictures doesn't infringe anyone's trademark. Taking picture of Ford Cars to sell a calendar about Ford Cars very well may.
  • Re:Public View (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:41PM (#22039946)
    Of course, working at ABC, you must be aware that "News" gets a special exemption on a lot of the laws governing privacy. You may well be able to use a picture of me walking down the street when you show it on the news but you have to get me to sign a waiver before you can use it for anything else.
  • Re:EULA (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:47PM (#22040104)
    "Stolen Ford Mustang Calendar ?"

  • Re:Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reebmmm (939463) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:55PM (#22040280)
    Here's how they're different:

    On the one hand you are selling the actual good (the car itself) that you legally acquired from Ford under the name that you purchased it. So an ad saying "Buy my Ford Mustang" is safe so long as it's a Ford Mustang. Even taking a picture of the Ford you're selling will likely be safe.

    On the other hand, you're selling a different good (a calendar) using the mark owned by Ford.

    As I've now said in a bunch of posts, the issues are: 1) was the use of the marks on the calendar a use in commerce; and 2) is the use likely to cause confusion.

    The answer to the first question is very clearly yes--they are/were SELLING a calendar by exploiting the the Ford marks. In some sense, it doesn't make sense for them to do it any other way.

    The second answer also seems to be likely "yes." A consumer picking up the calendar about Ford Mustangs might think that the goods originated with Ford or someone authorized to use.
  • by PortHaven (242123) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:56PM (#22040294) Homepage
    Great...if we take this logic to it's end point you've pretty much declared that the only photograph anyone is allowed to sell are nude pictures taken in nature. Unless you make all the clothes and any objects in the photo yourself.

    - as all the manufacturers of clothing will be able to object and prohibit photographs being sold with their products.

    - all the background objects, buildings, props, etc. will likewise be objected too.

    Come one everybody, let's enter into the 2nd American Slavery Period. When the mind and thought and idea became enslaved regardless of one's race.

  • by jskline (301574) on Monday January 14, 2008 @04:36PM (#22041180) Homepage
    This really is a page right out of the RIAA lawyers handbook of how to collect litigious fees, irrespective of whether or not it is legal.

    This very much is a show stopper now for Ford Motor company if the complainants decide to make this public. No self respecting American would be caught dead in something for which they give up some of their constitutionally protected rights to own.
  • Re:Hypocrites (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday January 14, 2008 @04:37PM (#22041196) Homepage
    Yes we will act to preserve a trademark iff someone tries to pass something off as if it were Firefox/... If they want to write a book about it, complete with screen shots, no one will complain.
  • by Pluvius (734915) <pluvius3.gmail@com> on Monday January 14, 2008 @04:38PM (#22041214) Journal
    The creators of the calendar are also not selling Mustang calendars

    It's pretty clear that they are, actually, since the pictures in it are all of Mustangs.

    Ignoring the fact that they are alienating a group of people who are (or were, at least) fans of one of the company's cars, they are opening themselves up to countersuit, and a whole bunch of bad PR...all over a fan calendar.

    If they didn't, they'd run the risk of losing their trademark protection, which would be far worse.

    Rob
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2008 @04:55PM (#22041522)
    If they didn't, they'd run the risk of losing their trademark protection, which would be far worse.

    So give them a free license for it instead of alienating them. Then the illusion of trademark protection remains and the Mustang fans get to publish a calendar.
  • Re:Ford's response (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VoidWraith (797276) <void_wraith.hotmail@com> on Monday January 14, 2008 @05:00PM (#22041606)
    The problem is that Ford has licensed other companies to produce calendars, coffee mugs, and the like, as they state in their letter. Since they are affiliated with these companies using their trademarks to make these things, having a non-affiliated company making a similar product creates confusion for the purchaser. Is it an authorized Ford calendar, or is it from a company that is not affiliated with Ford?

    If you bought a Ford calendar and found it to be terrible, or unflattering of their vehicles, or something like that, at least a little of that dislike would be carried over to Ford. That's why they want to control it.
  • Re:Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by postbigbang (761081) on Monday January 14, 2008 @05:01PM (#22041624)
    Let's say I go out and buy a Scion xB. It's square boxy vehicle like the Honda Element. Then I fiberglass it up, making it round, but don't take off the xB or Scion logo. It's my addition to the 'work' of that vehicle.

    I take a picture of it, like a million modders the world over might do, and post it, because I'm proud of my work. Let's say someone takes notice of it, and wants to include it in their calendar. Think of all the van and old pickup truck modders, the VW modders, and so on. Someone makes a buck from the calendar; after all, calendar makers aren't a not for profit group.

    Or let's say I like old Jags and put together an old Jag calendar. Or perhaps a nice picture book of old Jensens, or Harleys or whatever.

    It's not up to any of the aforementioned brand/trademark owners to claim anything. They ought to be blessed that we bought their pieces of crap to begin with. Invoking image ownership is a sure ticket to hell. I own the vehicle; I took the photo, and I'll do whatever I want to do with the photo, without the onus of some vendor's spin control hanging over me. It's mine, baby, no one else's.

    Should a vendor cite a vendor for infringement of a trademark or marque (think of putting a Bentley grill on a BMW--whoops-- BMW owns Bentley so a Rolls grill on a Subaru) and there might be some contention were it to be problem.... then what of the Rolls grills that were put on VWs as an aftermarket add-on? I see them around now and again.

    To reiterate: I own this stuff, and do what I want with it. If someone buys my image, so much the better. That trademark law should extend to contours is hilarious, but probably has been tested by some idiot judge somewhere. That Nike swoosh looks just like a check mark to me. Hmmmmm. These bonds are tenuous at best. Ford overstepped them with a big foot. Oh wait......
  • Re:Form? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2008 @06:08PM (#22042870)
    Also widely known as the Ford "Crustang", "Rustang", "Mustake", and "My Little Pony" where I come from.

    I thought it was Fix Or Repair Daily.

    You know, these Ford enthusiasts should should respond to Ford in the best way possible: buy a Toyota.
  • by ediron2 (246908) * on Monday January 14, 2008 @07:44PM (#22044178) Journal
    No, they can retain trademark by granting permission for limited, revocable use to the BMC. Problem solved. Sane, fan-friendly, and still guards trademark. How freakin' hard is THAT?
  • by YetAnotherBob (988800) on Monday January 14, 2008 @09:30PM (#22045226)
    Sounds like Ford needs to fire an attorney. Then, they can blame him (or her). That's the only way I can see for them to recover from this PR disaster.
  • Re:Form? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gandalf_Greyhame (44144) on Monday January 14, 2008 @09:42PM (#22045376) Journal
    Full Of Rust and Dents
    Found On Roadside Dead
    there are a lot more, but I cannot remember them.

    BTW. Ford Falcon for sale. Excellent condition. immaculate paintwork. Sorry, I have no pics, Ford's lawyer took them all away.
  • by nguy (1207026) on Monday January 14, 2008 @10:27PM (#22045734)
    It's pretty clear that they are, actually, since the pictures in it are all of Mustangs.

    The calendar isn't being sold under the "Ford Mustang" trademark, therefore it doesn't violate the trademark. The fact that it contains trademarked objects does not change that fact.

    If they didn't, they'd run the risk of losing their trademark protection, which would be far worse.

    No, they don't run the risk of losing the trademark. And even under your hare-brained interpretation, at most, they'd risk losing the "Ford Mustang" trademark for calendars, not cars.

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