RE: [DMCForum] Copyright
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RE: [DMCForum] Copyright

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--- Jack Stiefel <jackstiefel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

> Something always confuses me when you get on this
> topic Marc -- what did
> they do wrong?

They claim ownership of something that does not belong
to them.  As if someone walked up to your truck in a
parking lot and says "Hey, looks like no one is
claiming this truck so it is mine now".

> Did they have an insider at the Fed level who
> allowed them to do this
> underhanded illegal thing of re-upping a
> trademark/copyright?  How did they
> get away with registering a public domain name/logo
> etc?

No.  Like all intellectual property, you can CLAIM
whatever you want.  It is up to someone else to
challenge it in court for it to mean anything.. 
Patents are a good example.  Sure, you can patent a
good idea or product you have and it can cost under
$1000 for the whole process.  Now, that there is a
public record of your "invention" available to the
whole world, someone can copy it.  You think you can
just call up the USPTO and say "Hey, someone is using
my patent"??  NO!  You have to go hire a team of
lawyers and have a long (expensive) court battle to
prove they stole YOUR idea.  At the end of the day,
the Patent is meaningless unless you have the means to
defend it.

> All I see is Stephen found out by some means that
> the trademark was up and
> he submitted the forms to re-register or re-up it so
> his company could use
> it.  Does he then not have the legal ownership of
> said trademark?  I am

Well, for the "DMC" trademark they registered
something a little bit different than what was
registered way back when.  The DMCH trademark has the
outline around the letters.  However, this logo's
usage ALSO pre-dates DMCH's registration (Heck, it
pre-dates the company itself!!). 

The "DeLorean" trademark (as on the back bumper) was
registered by JZD a few years back (probably for use
on his new car).  Funny, how it was done shortly after
DMCH claimed ownership of "DMC".  I doubt John
DeLorean had the financial means to take on DMCH for
proper ownership.  Besides, any judge that heard the
case would ask, "Why have you not been enforcing
ownership of this logo for the past 15 years?".  With
that, John would have lost the case but so would DMCH!
Any decent lawyer with the financial interest of
their client as the priority would advise not to
proceed with the case.

So again, the registration is a CLAIM OF OWNERSHIP.
It would have to withstand a challenge to have any
real meaning.

> quite sure I can't go in and fill out some forms and
> register the Nutcracker
> Suite as it is public domain now (Thanks Simpsons).
> So obviously someone
> still owned it or let it go and Stephen got it
> before it went into the
> Public Domain area. 

Your example is correct.  But in this case it HAD
become public domain.  Once something has become
public domain, you can't claim it!  The DMC logo was
public domain for over 15 years.

> Where is the justice lost?  How is this unfair?
> Where is the dishonest
> practice?  How is this un-ethical?  They are not
> claiming to be the original
> DMC, they even use DMCH for many of their
> promotional stuff.  If they were

They are saying they own something that they don't.
IMHO, that IS dishonest.  They are not claiming to be
the original DMC?  I'd like to think I am personally a
key reason as to why.  Anyone notice the post on the
DML last week about Cams and Rockers?  Warren said to
buy the parts from the FACTORY?  The quote was "No
better source than the factory".  Who would that be?

Side note here, I received a few private e-mails about
that one.  People asking me why I did not respond to
that on the DML.  Holy crap, I am now the official
watch dog of DMCH??  I don't think so.

> trying to pas themselves off as the company that
> went under 15 years ago, I
> might laugh at them for that, but as far as I see
> they are not (ok if they
> were the might be breaking an ethical rule). 
> I fail to see the problems?  I know some people have
> wanted to use the logo
> in products and now they have to get the permission
> of Stephen and pay a
> royalty for it (if I remember right they wanted to
> charge Lee Seiler a buck
> for his limited edition model kits).  His luck if
> you ask me.  Had I known
> it was available I might have registered it myself
> just for the fun of it.

So, log on to the USPTO web site and keep your eye out
for expiring trademarks.  You can register them all
day long if you like.  That does not make it ethical.

> There is money to be made by owning it sure but he
> is in business.

The earning potential of DMCH is pretty good.  I have
no doubt that they will continue to grow the DeLorean
community, remake new parts, and do a great job of
providing a needed service to all DeLorean owners.  I
see no reason for them to turn a quick buck by selling
something they really don't own.

If you have any doubts about the profitability of
DMCH, go back and read the Forbes article on Stephen,
and the company.

> Now if you have any specific times they have done
> unscrupulous things with
> their trademark, please inform me as I would be
> interested, but as long as
> they have had the ownership -- and it is legally
> "owned" by Stephen, I have
> not seen anything done that seemed below board.

Sure..  Nothing wrong with selling tee-shirts, and
hats, and even whine.  But people were doing that for
15 years before DMCH claimed ownership.  I don't think
I have ever said DMCH has misused the logo, other than
claiming they own it.

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