Disney shuts down Star Wars tribute art show...

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Praenomen Cognomen, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. LunarMoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2012
    star 4
    Or people can learn the rules and put on great events. I don't see how you come to the assessment that Disney used the law against someone. They simply enforced it, as is required by the law if you want to keep your protected works protected. At the end of the day, this event could have been a great success if the organizers knew what they were doing. Obviously they do need to know the details of IP rights because they got shut down.

    Just because something is popular doesn't mean the laws should protect it less. At the same time, nobody said that events like this cannot take place. They simply need to follow the rules.
  2. Praenomen Cognomen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2013
    star 4

    If Disney had required that licensing fees be paid for the art for sale, it would have prevented the event from taking place, since the artists involved aren't at a price level sufficient to pay them. It is a gallery, so they do have to sell art. They enforced it in a situation where such enforcement was, by any reasonable appraisal, unnecessary.
  3. LunarMoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2012
    star 4
    Not true..... or should I say....not accurate. At least from the information presented here.

    These things get shut down for the way they are presented to the public, not what the event is per say. In other words, selling the art was not likely the issue Disney had with the event. The only people who have the right to have a "Star Wars" event is Disney. As I said earlier, had this been a "Sci-Fi" art show, this probably would not have happened. Using the name, or any other trademarked items in the title of an event is problematic, and had the shoe been on the other foot, you would want the same protection.

    P.S. I am trying to be helpful here as I deal with similar issues frequently, and you will find if you do things the right way, the events are often better and more successfull.
    Last edited by LunarMoth, Jun 27, 2013
  4. Praenomen Cognomen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2013
    star 4
    You're acting like, no matter the circumstances, doing it the right way would be totally feasible. You're telling me it wouldn't cost anything for the gallery to get proper license for a Star Wars-related event? I highly doubt that, as galleries ultimately make very, very little money, but I'll take your word for it. However, you're wrong about what would happen if the shoe had been on the other foot. Personally, I would want the right to shut down something related to IP I own, but only due to misrepresentation. It's offensive to the spirit of creativity and the very purpose of art to shut down a sincere tribute in this way.

    These kinds of art shows happen for every smaller franchise (look at places like Gallery 1988), and the fact that I, as a Star Wars fan, am not able to experience that with my favorite franchise makes me feel like I'm being edged out for my narrower set of interests. I can only imagine the effect it would have on people who aren't as big of fans as I am, and it only serves to continue the whole "F*** Star Wars" attitude in any group with any cultural relevance whatsoever.
  5. LunarMoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2012
    star 4
    No, thats not what I'm telling you. I never said anything about getting a license for anything. You are assuming that is what I mean when I say "the right way."

    If the shoe was on the other foot, you would have the right to make that choice. Just becasue others dont share your opinion does not make it wrong for them to interpret your use of their property as misrepresentation, which is how they see it. And according to the rules, they are right. People who are on your end of these situations have a hard time seeing it this way, but it would be like saying you should be able to use my car simply on the premis that you wont crash it. Legally, its no different.
  6. Praenomen Cognomen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2013
    star 4
    Then I don't understand what "the right way" would be; perhaps you can enlighten me? Because if "the right way" is so cost-prohibitive that it prevents an event like this from taking place, and thus prevents the exchange of ideas and styles, then it's not the right way. Business would eclipse art as it always does, and that's harmful, and I'm not the sort of person who's going to settle for saying "That's just how it goes." I don't know what about this art (link) is a misrepresentation, anyway; take a look at that Oola painting... if we only ever got officially-licensed Star Wars art, we'd only have ****ty commercial art that can go on t-shirts, not to mention the very poor, unstyled art that winds up in the essential guide books and such, because those are the only illustrators they're willing to pay. No art with varied styles, no classical portrayals, no explorations of any style that wouldn't sell on a mass scale. I have no doubt that George Lucas and Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston and anybody else on the creative end would be thrilled by paintings like the ones linked above, but you're gonna defend the Disney legal team? Seriously?

    And give me a break. Principally, it is different than asking to borrow your car. It would be like me, being your trusted friend, but having to ask your bank whether I can borrow your car. I'm not going to go over it all again, but I've said many times: I don't really care what a law says if that law can be abused. Laws are now so far removed from their purposes that they have nothing to do with right and wrong, and can be used in predatory ways just as often as they serve their purposes. If it can be abused, it needs to be changed until it can no longer be abused. The point at which that refinement process stops is the point at which humanity loses. If you want to know what I'm talking about, listen to this podcast. Intellectual property law is in shambles, and it holds back artists and inventors just as often as it protects them.
    Last edited by PraenomenCognomen, Jun 27, 2013
  7. LunarMoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2012
    star 4
    What I am telling you in a nutshell is that the right way does not cost anything, with the exception of taking the time to learn/find out what you can and can't do.

    Your are probably correct that GL and company would likely enjoy the paintings. If you understood what I posted earlier you would see that what I'm telling you is that the paintings, or selling them, was most likely NOT the problem. You think that because you are not familiar enough with what a trademark or copyright actually is, or the difference between them.

    Ask all the artists that sell their work at Comic Con. I mean the ones who do paintings of Star Wars character, Superman, Batman, and so on that do not work for Marvel or Disney. They will tell you that these companies do not bother them because they do not give them any reason to. They do the very same thing that this show would be doing, but they did not make the mistakes this gallery/promoter made in doing so.

    I said earlier that if this was a "Sci-Fi" art show, there wouldn't have been a problem. That's because trading on the term "Sci-Fi" and promoting an event wouldnt be stepping on anybodies toes. That being said, I dont know what they did to promote the show exactly, and if it was called "A Saga in the Stars" as you said in your original post, then it wasn't actually the title that triggered the issue. My guess is that they probably made up posters that used certain elements that are not allowed, or air radio or other advertising that broke the rules.

    I just so you know where I am coming from, I agree with you that these events are not causing and real trouble for these companies, and its a little silly that they do what they do sometimes. The point I am making is that its not that difficult to do what you want to do within the rules because the rules are not what most people think they are.
  8. Praenomen Cognomen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2013
    star 4
    Galleries of this size only really advertise on social media and within art circles, possibly in local LA arts periodicals. Essentially, if you're not specifically following any of the artists or the gallery itself on social media, you're very unlikely to have found out about it. It wasn't even listed on TF.N's list of May the 4th goings-on, and, like you said, didn't have "Star Wars" in its title, except in the description of the show.

    Anyway, being unable to say "Star Wars" cheapens the whole thing, and it's stupid that it works that way. Star Wars is a part of the zeitgeist, and I don't care if saying something else is how you'd get around it... you shouldn't have to. This kind of labyrinthine hunt for legal loopholes is completely nonsensical. I get what you're saying, but you're saying, "This is how it works," and I'm saying "It's stupid that this is how it works."
  9. LunarMoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2012
    star 4
    Sort of, but I think you are looking at the extreme end of how it works. Much like any other debate over laws and rules, the fact is that the rules have to protect everyone equally, and they can't protect you when you want them to and not protect someone else when you don't want it to.

    Looking for loopholes is not what I am suggesting either. I cant say why exactly this show was shut down because I don't have the details. However, the fact that it was means that something wasn't handled properly. Again, plenty of similar activity goes on every day without a hitch because those events do things the right way, otherwise they would be shut down as well. I wouldn't say that they cheapened their product or show, in fact many of them are very very popular.

    You seem to think that you have to cheapen something to do it the right way. You don't. But you do have to care about the boundaries that exist when you are working with something that doesn't belong to you. And even though things like Star Wars are very close to many many peoples hearts, it doesn't belong to us. Even if that sucks sometimes.
  10. Praenomen Cognomen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2013
    star 4

    But again, you're stating the reality, and I'm stating that the reality should change. I refuse to believe that there's no fair solution; I believe we simply haven't found it yet. Sorry for speaking philosophically, but this is only radical by today's standards; I think if you went back in time and told a renaissance artist how copyright law worked, they'd puke their pants.
  11. LunarMoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2012
    star 4
    I cant argue the puking thing.......;) But I also think if you ripped off and artist back then they would cut off your painting hand.

    I don't know how much more fair it could be and still provide any level of protection. You are allowed, to a degree, use other peoples trademarks and copyrights, in most cases without payment, and in many cases very little payment. If you use them in a way that does not require licensing or payment there are guidelines provided to the owner to protect them from any confusion over where whatever the example is comes from. I don't see a problem with that.

    A solution that says "I should be able to use your stuff" wouldn't be fair, and I don't think there is really and middle ground that it not already part of the laws.

    How does one puke their pants?
  12. Praenomen Cognomen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2013
    star 4
    Heheh, trust me, you can puke your pants. I got a case of Montezuma's Revenge once when I was a kid, and oh boy... [face_hypnotized]

    Ha, but anyway, for me, that's when it comes down to requiring a continued discussion. Without that, we'll never find a better solution. There are still many opportunists who make money off their IP in predatory ways (moreso in patent law than copyright law, though they both fall under general IP law and there are instances within both), and money means predatory IP holders can provide financial support to lobbyists who keep those laws the way they like them, and the cycle never ends. Ultimately, it can work both ways, but only at a ratio that favors the rich. Though minor artists have rights, they most often can't actually afford to enforce them legally. If a company steals your art and makes tens of thousands of dollars and you have absolute proof that you made it first, then maybe it's worth taking the risk of paying legal fees, but if there's any chance you'll lose or if they're not making much money, you're screwed.

    For instance, my wife was once alerted to someone who was copying her artwork, claiming it was his, and trying to sell t-shirts of it. In fact, he went so far as to take her in-progress photos from Instagram to try and prove that it was his. Now, the fact is, nothing actually stopped him from continuing it, even when my wife threatened legal action; yes, he wasn't stupid enough to publish anything else about it, but after some research, we figured out that he only sells shirts at events anyway, never online, so he could have gone ahead with it. And even then, the dude wasn't really making much money from it, so we couldn't have made anything off him anyway... and we certainly couldn't afford to sue him for simply taking credit.

    So, yes, if he'd hit it big, she'd be protected. But really, in practical terms, those are the only circumstances where it would be viable. The fact is, somebody could come along and continue to take credit under-the-radar, and there would be nothing we could do about it. So, protection... sort of. [face_dunno]
    Last edited by PraenomenCognomen, Jun 29, 2013