Old 11-18-2007, 01:31 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
Cuz universal will nevr crack, judging by the quality of the QL DVDs they are stubborn and care little about the fans of their shows.
No, it's not a matter of Universal being stubborn and not caring. It's simply that Quantum Leap is Universal's property. They hold the copyright to it and thus it falls within their right to pursue any violation of a copyright. How would you feel if someone took something that you owned and then used it for their benefit without even asking you?

As far as Universal producing and selling handlinks - it just wouldn't be profitable for them. When you look at the demographic of people who would be buying it, it's a very small demographic making it a niche market. In order for Universal to gain any profit, they'd have to charge a very high price. That's not a matter of Universal not caring about fans - that's just simply business. Universal is neither an NFP (not for profit) or NPO (non-profit organization). They are in business to make money. Their responsibility first and foremost is to their stockholders to show a profit. Like it or not, that's just the way things are. There's a reason why it's called the Entertainment Business...that's because it is a business.
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:49 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by jmoniz
No, it's not a matter of Universal being stubborn and not caring. It's simply that Quantum Leap is Universal's property. They hold the copyright to it and thus it falls within their right to pursue any violation of a copyright. How would you feel if someone took something that you owned and then used it for their benefit without even asking you?

As far as Universal producing and selling handlinks - it just wouldn't be profitable for them. When you look at the demographic of people who would be buying it, it's a very small demographic making it a niche market. In order for Universal to gain any profit, they'd have to charge a very high price. That's not a matter of Universal not caring about fans - that's just simply business. Universal is neither an NFP (not for profit) or NPO (non-profit organization). They are in business to make money. Their responsibility first and foremost is to their stockholders to show a profit. Like it or not, that's just the way things are. There's a reason why it's called the Entertainment Business...that's because it is a business.
I meant that as in if he were to try to ask them.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:34 PM   #53
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well, im thinking of selling some comics i have... if somebody were to offer just the right ammount then... id probably just give them a handlink if they want one... In all honesty, even if i could sale the handlinks even legally, its not that i would build them for "just profit" I mean, it Really does take alot of time to make these and make them look good!! I mean, This is coming from a person who doesnt even have the patience to put together a model car!!!! lol The reason i make my own handlinks is because i have a true love for the show and i have ALWAYS wanted a handlink since i was a young kid! Im 28 years old now... I took the time to figure out how to make myself one... i actually went through quite a few different attempts until if finally clicked... I Also Realized, "hey there might be other people out there who would like one as much as i did" and there are...
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Old 11-22-2007, 03:47 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
He doesn't have to make it look drastically different, definitely change the colors and maybe change the position of the area in which its curved to fit in your hand.
Then there is no point in making it. There is no value in something that looks "off".

What would be lovely is if they granted him a one-time limited license to produce either a fixed number of them or produce and sell them for a fixed period of time.


Some of you may be familiar with Criterion Entertainment. Starting with Laserdisc and then moving into DVD, they acquired the rights to produce lavish LDs and DVDs with tons of special features, meticulously restored picture quality, excellent sound, and really every possible angle on a particular movie. For example Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, many of Akira Kurosawa's movies, etc.

At the time, there was no studio interest in doing high quality DVDs of these largely forgotten or cult audience movies. Studio accountants and marketing people had determined that these were low-demand properties. But Criterion is a small company and can make a profit on pushing only, say, 5,000 units.


I would love it if Universal would grant such a limited license which would neither hurt their profitability nor prevent them from exercising their full IP rights in the future. But I doubt it's going to happen. Still, they allow Brian to run this website and the convention so maybe Brian can clear the way for this, in return for a few handlink props to be auctioned off at the convention.
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Old 11-22-2007, 05:24 PM   #55
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Thats definietly an idea Morgan, NueroMason there really is no harm in just asking them. Its worth a try if you are really set on doing this.
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Old 11-22-2007, 06:33 PM   #56
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Ok...just to make it clear...I even pointed out that going the route of "not exact copy" was not likely to appeal as much to the demographic he is looking to sell to. My whole point in all of this is that if one wants to reduce the risk of a lawsuit, my suggestions are ONE way to do it. I'm not suggesting it is likely to appeal to anyone. When looking at the potential for a lawsuit like this, it's like that early form of birth control pill...one aspirin held tightly between the knees is the best bet...in other words, you don't want to risk a lawsuit, then just don't do anything that could cause one.

Additionally, it doesn't sound like this would be a one or two time thing. In general, I doubt that the holders of the IP rights would be incredibly upset for such a limited 'sell' of a fanmade replica (although they would certainly be within their rights to sue someone for making money on their IP property.) However, the "I'll sell t-shirts for $400 and throw one in" is obviously a money making proposition and the holders of the IP rights are likely to be much more willing to nip that in the bud. After all, they look the other way for one such enterprise, it's a lot harder to close the barn for another one and then their IP property doesn't hold the same value.

As to the suggestion to call or write and ask for a limited waive of license or to pay a very small fee for the licensing, just realize, that WILL put the requester on their radar screens if Universal says 'NO,' and it would be hard to do ANYTHING after that without risking a lawsuit (even the knock off route...the phone call or letter could be used as evidence of 'intent.')

AGAIN...and I want this to be clear...I understand that the people who are willing to pay for these WANT an exact replica and not an 'almost there' knockoff. The questions in this thread, though, seemed to be about how to sell fanmade handlinks with the least risk. That's all I was pointing out. What people want to do with the information is up to them. I'm just saying that knowing how hard you are stepping on IP laws is generally a good thing. Then if one wants to take the risk, at least that person isn't surprised IF they get a letter from Weregonna, Sueyour, Assoff, and Howe (or whatever lawfirm Universal uses) who will just be protecting Universal's IP property rights which they have a right to protect, even if fans would like the reality to be something different.

That's all I'm pointing out...I'm not trying to be a 'wet blanket' JUST to be difficult.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:54 AM   #57
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I am sorry Helen, he was replying to my comment regarding your suggestion so I guess I am causing you the trouble. I will say no more.
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Old 11-23-2007, 07:48 PM   #58
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You actually shouldn't have any problem just selling these. Even if you say it's a "Handlink Replica."

People have been selling handlinks for years now. I haven't heard of Universal sueing anyone. Furthermore, another show by Universal, Knight Rider, constantly has people selling custom made K.I.T.T cars. Tons of people do it. I haven't heard a single lawyer call any of these people.

If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know. But doing a search online for custom made KITTs will reveal a bunch of people who can transform like cars into KITT replicas. And they've been calling them "K.I.T.Ts" too. Not "That car from Knight Rider" or "A FUTURISTIC FAN MADE CAR OF SOME SORT."

Usually when you ask for permission like this, they'll usually say no. Unless you plan on MASS PRODUCING THEM and selling them to stores, you should be okay.
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Old 11-24-2007, 06:22 AM   #59
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The first post in this thread was...

Quote:
I need to Contact Don Bellasario and/or somebody i can talk to about making Handlink Replicas. I can make them all i want and even trade for them however, in order to recieve cash for them i feel it would be best to at least ask Bellasario for permission. If there is anybody who can help please do! The Handlink has always been one of my Favorite Props!! I know alot of you feel the same so please help me Bring the Handlink into the hands of other fans!!! Even if you don't know how i can get a hold of Bellasario or the production company, then please feel free to at least give me some advice on how to create these without stirring up any legal problems. Thanks everybody!!
It was pointed out quickly that Universal was the holder of the IP rights. The gist of the question was thus

Quote:
how to create these without stirring up any legal problems.
The fact is that whether Universal decides to sue or not to sue, they have the RIGHT to sue. For the K.I.T.T.S cars, for Handlinks, and for anything else that they have IP rights to. They could sue people for writing fanfiction or making music vids (as could the artists whose songs are being used without their permission to be the music part of the vids) even though the creator is not making any money off of their creation (look at the legal warning on DVD's and CD's...it states that use without permission is strictly forbidden.) It may be fact that often times the IP rights holder choses not to go after the offender, but that does not negate the possibility that they COULD.

Several years ago (probably about 23 or so based on the age of my son,) you were able to get 'Mickey Mouse' on any birthday cake just about anywhere you wanted. After allowing this for many years, Disney decided to crack down on bakeries across the country that were doing so. They sent letters out to the bakeries saying if they didn't pay a licensing fee, they were not allowed to put any Disney character on any of their cakes. Now, most of those bakeries simply ceased to put Disney pictures on the cakes, much to the chagrin of many a parent (and children.) Eventually, many of the bakeries (especially in chain groceries) purchased the license and were able to start putting them on cakes again (at a slightly higher charge due to the need to generate the continuing licensing fee.) That was an example of Disney excercising their rights after not doing so for many years.

The point is, most cases when IP rights violations have occurred never make it to court. Rather, if the IP holder sends a letter threatening legal action, most will comply and cease their activity. After all, if you were a little guy up against a big corporation and you KNEW you didn't have a legal leg to stand on, wouldn't you capitulate quickly?

So...you're right. NeuroMason could be quite safe in making handlinks and selling them. Universal COULD look the other way. Then again, Universal COULD decide to do something about it (and other things that are being done in violation of their IP rights if they so desired.) It would be wrong to mislead him and say that they just WON'T come after him. They might not but then again they might. It's a risk one takes.

I can say this, if Universal WERE to legally come after these types of violaters (the K.I.T.T.S and such,) those people wouldn't have a leg to stand on UNLESS they have purchased licenses or otherwise received permission. They are making money off of someone elses IP rights (just like the bakeries were with Disney characters on cakes.) That IS a violation of U.S. IP laws and as such is actionable.

Thus, I stand by what I've said. NeuroMason will have to decide what he wishes to do and accept whatever risks are inherrent in that decision (potential and current.) Risk is the probability of an event times the magnitude of consequesnce. Again, it's good to know what IP rights a person is trampling on so that they aren't surprised if one get called on it. The call may never come, but assuming that because the calls haven't been made in the past means they won't in the future is simply sticking your head in the sand.

So, NeuroMason, make your decision based on the calculated risk and the amount of risk you feel comfortable with. Only you can decide that.
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:59 AM   #60
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I'll chime in on this a little bit. I think Helen's being very wise and helpful with all of this. It's a VERY tricky area when you're dealing with copyrights held by a large corporation like Universal. We had to go through quite a bit of negotiation with them just for the right to use the QL logo in a few limited places to advertise the con.

As far as the KITT cars and other such items go, they probably do have all of that on their radar but have apparently decided that pursuing that person legally wouldn't be cost-effective. In a sense it's a form of advertising for their product, keeping interest alive, and it wouldn't be worthwhile for them to pay attorneys' fees to get the person shut down. I imagine that's why a lot of fan-made products get by.

I was at a con a number of years ago where Richard Arnold explained Paramount's take on fanzines. They very much saw them as advertising for their product (Star Trek) and were willing to look the other way provided the print run didn't go above 1000 and no obvious profit was made. Now that fanfic has moved to the Internet and is available for the asking, it's very plain that there's no profit happening, while the "advertising" factor is very much alive. So yes, fanfic isn't strictly kosher (although there's increasing interest in the "secondary creativity" area of law) but it has worth to the holder of the original copyright.

Speaking from my own opinion though ('cause...NOT a lawyer), I'd be VERY careful about marketing $400 handlinks. Nobody in Univeral's legal department is going to be fooled for two seconds by an item description that says it's a t-shirt that's being sold, and the handlink is "free." It's nice to want to make a product that other fans can enjoy - but I think the underlying motive here is profit.
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:51 PM   #61
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Cool I have an idea...

I think instead of selling a "Handlink" im going to sale the buyer a "box of acrylic".... What that person will recieve is a box with "an item in 2 pieces"..... What they do with those 2 pieces is totally up to them. All there buying is "pieces" but when put together..... (2 screws and thats all that will be needed) Then they can call it what they like.... sound good???
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:02 PM   #62
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That won't absolve you of any copyright or intellectual property issues. It will still be quite clear what the intent is. Basically, if you are going to go ahead and do this, you need to do it with the full knowledge and understanding that it is within Universal's rights to either issue a Cease and Desist or even take it as far as filing a lawsuit.

As has been pointed out, through the extensive posting regarding this on this board it's highly unlike it will fly under Universal's radar. You have also made publicly known your intentions.

The simple fact is, short of actually getting permission from Universal to use their intellectual property, there really is no way to do this without there being a risk of legal action from Universal.
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:45 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmoniz
As has been pointed out, through the extensive posting regarding this on this board it's highly unlike it will fly under Universal's radar. You have also made publicly known your intentions.
Yes, and as Brian stated there is a very small chance that they may even glance at this thread since they are aquanted with him and have assisted him in the past with site events.

I have to agree hun that there is really no safe way around Universal's wrath when it comes to this deed.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:49 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroMason
I think instead of selling a "Handlink" im going to sale the buyer a "box of acrylic".... What that person will recieve is a box with "an item in 2 pieces"..... What they do with those 2 pieces is totally up to them. All there buying is "pieces" but when put together..... (2 screws and thats all that will be needed) Then they can call it what they like.... sound good???
If you're that insistent about making these, just sell them privately. The buyer will just have to use discretion and hope it's a smooth transaction. Not that I'm implying you'd steal anyone's money or anything. It's just a risky thing for a buyer to do without the safety net of eBay, where people can get reported, etc.
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:15 PM   #65
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Ha Ha your right.. well, ive had plenty of offers from people wanting one of these but i can't help but get that strange feeling that i might be getting set up! lol so i just tell everybody that i can't sale any right now until i know something more... Its just sad that i put all this hard work into these and even though i originally intended to only build one for myself, i know that there are other people out there that want one as well... I do know that i CAN Trade for certain things.... No money involved... If anybody has a nice '89 Batman Costume out there i might consider that.. or any kind of "Highlander Prop" ... Im big into movie props and television props.. Mainly the ones ive already mentioned...
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:58 AM   #66
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I Just Talked To somebody not long ago about building a '89 Batmobile Replica and i asked them how they could do that without getting in Trouble (Theyve built quite a few of these) and he said that The company that created the Design.... LOST the Rights to the Batmobile Design! He said that unless they keep Re-newing the License to keep the copyright that they automaticaly lose the Rights.... He said alot of companys don't really care after a certain period of time goes by so they just never re-new. Its just costing them extra money. Maybe thats why people can build the Batmobile and Knight Rider car as well as the Back To the Future Delorean without getting in Trouble.
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:29 PM   #67
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Default IP rights

While it is true that patent protection must be kept up, the same is not true of copyright. Copyright USED to require registration but hasn't for sometime. Renewals are required at certain timeframes (when the common law expiration of copyright would take effect otherwise.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ22.html

However, I believe there may be a different situation in the case of the 'cars.'

Since copyright covers books, musical recordings, software, photographs, paintings and other visual art forms, plays and other performance arts, I'm not sure that copywrite is the right format for protection of a 'product' such as vehicle modifications (I may be wrong about that...see my statement at the end of this post.) Those may be under 'patent' protection. If so, as I said before, patent licenses must be kept up or they can be lost (read the part about maintenance fees.)

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/patent/patent-cost/

Now...I'm the first to say, I'm not an intellectual property lawyer. If you really want the scoop on what is legal and what is not legal, go to one of them. You'll pay some bucks for their expertise, but ultimately, you'll have the answers that fit the case you're questioning.

There is a certain amount of knowledge common to intellectual property (including the information that I learned in school which is what I've been basing my information on) and pretty much this is it in a nutshell: if someone else created it, there's likely protection available to them so be really careful before stomping on someone's intellectual property rights just because you want to do something with them (whether for fun or profit.) Legally, one can get up a tree rather quickly and if the person that owns the intellectual property is protected, ignorance of the actual law (e.g. going off of conjecture as to what's legal or not) will not protect you. Going into court with a defense of "I heard from some people on an internet forum that it was ok to do this or other people were able to do this and didn't have any problems" is just asking for a judgement against you. Sure, the intellectual property owner may never take you to court, but you have to ask yourself if you *really want* to take that risk. Up to you though. Just don't walk in blind.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:54 PM   #68
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Cool

Anybody wanting a handlink replica im still making them so please feel free to contact me. Im currently looking into even better materials to make them out of but the cost may go up just a tiny bit. Other than that these handlinks are very very cool! Hope to hear from you!!


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