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The REAL facts on the Marvel/Ebay Copyright situation


Jin Saotome
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Alright, first off everyone needs to stop panicking. Glaken here is stirring up stuff and talking out of other orifices as per usual without even bothering to obtain the facts. I've been on the case for a few days now and everything has seemed to of settled down.

 

The real facts? A few days ago some custom auctions were pulled. Mucci, K&L Customs, Eagle's, and whoever elses were removed by EBay. Mucci actually got a whole email which you can read here on the Fwoosh http://www.fwooshnet.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=40137 but most people didn't even get that, their auctions were just removed.

 

That started a panic. However since then no custom Marvel legends auctions have been touched and there are over 100 auctions still up. I personally called Jesse Falcon and asked him if he had heard about any change in Marvel's stance on custom figures or if they're cracking down on Ebay auctions. He hasn't heard squat, in fact he even said Marvel is aware that fan-made items promote character intrest. He's never heard of (dalthoff@marvel.com) the guy that had Mucci's auction pulled and for all we know he could just be an artist at Marvel who got pissy and contacted EBay's VeRo to have some auctions of his characters removed.

 

I have emailed dalthoff@marvel.com and protectmarvel@marvel.com asking why those auctions in particular were removed, if Marvel's stance on customized figures has changed, and if they're enforcing anything new, etc. That was two days ago. I've yet to recieve an email back from either source and nobody else's custom marvel auctions have been pulled. Go do a search, 'custom marvel legends' and you'll see a ton. My auctions ended fine and that was after Mucci and K&L's were pulled. Why didn't they go after me or any others? We don't know but I'm trying to find out.

 

Hasbro hasn't said anything about us making customs or putting pressure on Marvel. Anything else is pure speculation. When all the custom Star Wars auctions were pulled a while back it was Lucasfilm that gave the order, not Hasbro. There's always custom Hasbro wrestlers or Sigma 6 figures up there and most custom Star Wars figure auctions go through just fine now. I had two of my own custom Star Wars hasbro figs that ended just fine. Please don't go beating on their door making a fuss.

 

So don't jump to conclusions, don't freak out, and I'll let you know when I hear something. I'll call Marvel's legal department if I have to, to get some answers. Right now it seems to be an isolated case and there's no offical word from Marvel yet. If you're a customizer and selling your creations on EBay, take some precautions and remove any copyrighted art like images of Spiderman or other official Marvel logos. Make your own on Photoshop and so they can't be mistaken for an offical Marvel product (ie, don't slap a block letter red-n-white Marvel logo on your auction) because if it's one thing companies hate, it's having someone else's product mistaken for one of theirs. Also, make sure you're clear in the fact that it is a custom figure and not one produced by Marvel or Hasbro. These are just tips for staying out of trouble however and you take responsibility for selling on EBay in the end.

 

And Glaken, please do us all a favor and keep your hype at the Fwoosh, thanks.

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Jin,

Last I saw, this is an open forum and the point is to pass along information. When 3 individual sellers from 1 board get auctions pulled from ebay for customs in one day, it comes across as much more than sheer coincidence. I was passing on the information I had as a warning to beware that they apparently were at least checking ebay and were taking down some auctions of those who sell custom figures. Technically it is an illegal activity and they have the right to do it, but whether they choose to pursue it or not is a whole different story. Three sellers in one day tends to come across as a pattern most of the time. Since they've not pursued anything else since then, it MAY HAVE BEEN a coincidence or it COULD have just been an over zealous intern told to check ebay for bootlegs, who knows. Once he turned in his report,(AGAIN THIS IS JUST SPECULATION NOT ANYTHING ELSE) they saw what the bootlegs were and reprimanded him and told him to hassle the real bootleggers and not fans selling homemade stuff. I hope it's the latter but it doesn't hurt to warn people when something does look like it's a pattern that's emerging. Hopefully, this is just an isolated incident and it will blow over, but it HAS started a good discussion on what IS legal and what isn't so that if they do decide to enforce their copyrights, people more fully understand why. I clearly stated in previous posts that all the information was speculation and that it was intended to inform people to be careful in what they were doing. I appreciate that you've pursued information on this as have I. As soon as I hear anything, I'll pass it on as well, but I have a feeling, if this IS an isolated incident, we probably won't hear anything official from Marvel on it. Why put information out there in writing that can be interpreted that they "condone" or "allow" it and risk pissing off paying license partners? I only expect that we will here something "official" IF they are truly cracking down. Either way, I feel it's a responsibility to pass along information as it becomes available so whoever hears something, hopefully we can share it in a manner to benefit the community as a whole.

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Jin,

Last I saw, this is an open forum and the point is to pass along information. When 3 individual sellers from 1 board get auctions pulled from ebay for customs in one day, it comes across as much more than sheer coincidence. I was passing on the information I had as a warning to beware that they apparently were at least checking ebay and were taking down some auctions of those who sell custom figures. Technically it is an illegal activity and they have the right to do it, but whether they choose to pursue it or not is a whole different story. Three sellers in one day tends to come across as a pattern most of the time. Since they've not pursued anything else since then, it MAY HAVE BEEN a coincidence or it COULD have just been an over zealous intern told to check ebay for bootlegs, who knows. Once he turned in his report,(AGAIN THIS IS JUST SPECULATION NOT ANYTHING ELSE) they saw what the bootlegs were and reprimanded him and told him to hassle the real bootleggers and not fans selling homemade stuff. I hope it's the latter but it doesn't hurt to warn people when something does look like it's a pattern that's emerging. Hopefully, this is just an isolated incident and it will blow over, but it HAS started a good discussion on what IS legal and what isn't so that if they do decide to enforce their copyrights, people more fully understand why. I clearly stated in previous posts that all the information was speculation and that it was intended to inform people to be careful in what they were doing. I appreciate that you've pursued information on this as have I. As soon as I hear anything, I'll pass it on as well, but I have a feeling, if this IS an isolated incident, we probably won't hear anything official from Marvel on it. Why put information out there in writing that can be interpreted that they "condone" or "allow" it and risk pissing off paying license partners? I only expect that we will here something "official" IF they are truly cracking down. Either way, I feel it's a responsibility to pass along information as it becomes available so whoever hears something, hopefully we can share it in a manner to benefit the community as a whole.

 

Glaken,

 

I find it offensive you would try to contribute any information on this. That should be for Jin, and Jin alone to do. He is our presumptive leader, and really, if the information isn't coming directly from him, it's less than worthless, it's harmful. He's already told you he called Jesse Falcon, who basically told him he has nothing to do with Marvel's legal department and wouldn't really know anything about what they might be doing. That should be enough right there, but Jin went the extra mile, as only a leader of his caliber would, and sent emails to two Marvel addresses referenced in the eBay message. The fact that they haven't been answered in two days should make it clear that Jin is on the case, and no one else need contribute any SPECULATION. With the cornucopia of information Jin has already gotten from Marvel, your facts only pollute the situation.

 

Please just stay out of it and let Jin do what Jin does. His inside connections are proving invaluable.

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Come on people, don't be so grumpy. We're talking about toys here!

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Glaken, re-read your original topic post a few times. Your title alone sounds like Marvel has made some official statement that they're taking action. Then you're telling everyone that customizing is coming to an end. After that it's guess after guess on what Marvel may be thinking and what you think Hasbro might do. And we have no idea if they're going after any big sellers or if it was an isolated incident. It's been what, a week and nothing else has happened. All your post did was scare people and make Marvel/Hasbro/Ebay look like bullies.

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Glaken, re-read your original topic post a few times. Your title alone sounds like Marvel has made some official statement that they're taking action. Then you're telling everyone that customizing is coming to an end. After that it's guess after guess on what Marvel may be thinking and what you think Hasbro might do. And we have no idea if they're going after any big sellers or if it was an isolated incident. It's been what, a week and nothing else has happened. All your post did was scare people and make Marvel/Hasbro/Ebay look like bullies.

 

Jin--Glaken might be over-reacting to a very small degree, but he's not far off the mark.

Hasbro has gone after customizers before, and I know of about 2-3 cases off hand.

One being a fellow by the name of Mike Cherry.

Mike was creating some neat customs using Barbie and Hasbro's 12" Classic Collection GIJANE figures, and was doing a masterful job at it.

He would take Fimo modelling clay and enhance the figures body and hair and carefully repaint the faces, and create a seemingly endless line of different looking female figures. His work was highly sought-after (I own one of his gals) and they became known as the "enhanced GIJANEs", or the "Cherry Janes".

And it got him into trouble.

He was using the name "GIJANE" to label his work, and as a selling point and Hasbro took note.

Its a matter of record--viewable both on the 'Net and in legal documents.

So there are indeed legal "precedents" or at least paper-trails indicating the intention of enforcement by the license holder in the recent past.

To say that "nothing has happened" might be true in this immediate occasion, but it HAS happened in the past and very likely CAN happen in the future.

I'd consider this not to be an alarmist call, but rather a call to be careful.

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one more thing I don't think its cool at all that you guys are telln gla to keep his posts to other forms :S thats sometihng only jayc should be able to say/do/enforce :P

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@popcorn@ @popcorn@

 

 

This is good stuff.

 

Oh what you have two bags? Give me one!

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Jin,

Last I saw, this is an open forum and the point is to pass along information. When 3 individual sellers from 1 board get auctions pulled from ebay for customs in one day, it comes across as much more than sheer coincidence. I was passing on the information I had as a warning to beware that they apparently were at least checking ebay and were taking down some auctions of those who sell custom figures. Technically it is an illegal activity and they have the right to do it, but whether they choose to pursue it or not is a whole different story. Three sellers in one day tends to come across as a pattern most of the time. Since they've not pursued anything else since then, it MAY HAVE BEEN a coincidence or it COULD have just been an over zealous intern told to check ebay for bootlegs, who knows. Once he turned in his report,(AGAIN THIS IS JUST SPECULATION NOT ANYTHING ELSE) they saw what the bootlegs were and reprimanded him and told him to hassle the real bootleggers and not fans selling homemade stuff. I hope it's the latter but it doesn't hurt to warn people when something does look like it's a pattern that's emerging. Hopefully, this is just an isolated incident and it will blow over, but it HAS started a good discussion on what IS legal and what isn't so that if they do decide to enforce their copyrights, people more fully understand why. I clearly stated in previous posts that all the information was speculation and that it was intended to inform people to be careful in what they were doing. I appreciate that you've pursued information on this as have I. As soon as I hear anything, I'll pass it on as well, but I have a feeling, if this IS an isolated incident, we probably won't hear anything official from Marvel on it. Why put information out there in writing that can be interpreted that they "condone" or "allow" it and risk pissing off paying license partners? I only expect that we will here something "official" IF they are truly cracking down. Either way, I feel it's a responsibility to pass along information as it becomes available so whoever hears something, hopefully we can share it in a manner to benefit the community as a whole.

 

Glaken,

 

I find it offensive you would try to contribute any information on this. That should be for Jin, and Jin alone to do. He is our presumptive leader, and really, if the information isn't coming directly from him, it's less than worthless, it's harmful. He's already told you he called Jesse Falcon, who basically told him he has nothing to do with Marvel's legal department and wouldn't really know anything about what they might be doing. That should be enough right there, but Jin went the extra mile, as only a leader of his caliber would, and sent emails to two Marvel addresses referenced in the eBay message. The fact that they haven't been answered in two days should make it clear that Jin is on the case, and no one else need contribute any SPECULATION. With the cornucopia of information Jin has already gotten from Marvel, your facts only pollute the situation.

 

Please just stay out of it and let Jin do what Jin does. His inside connections are proving invaluable.

 

I hope thats sarcasm... because if not its damn funny @loll@

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Well for what it's worth I 'd like to say "Thanks" to Glaken and Jin for the info.

 

Jin went above and beyond, but Glaken bought this to our attention.

 

We're all adults here so let's act like it, quit giving Glaken crap because he thought we might like to know this info.

If he made speculations, so be it, he still posted info that he thought, as his "community" would find useful.

The way I see it, he was doing all of us customizers a service by airing this info, and for that he should be thanked, not vilified.

 

Starman

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Well for what it's worth I 'd like to say "Thanks" to Glaken and Jin for the info.

 

Jin went above and beyond, but Glaken bought this to our attention.

 

We're all adults here so let's act like it, quit giving Glaken crap because he thought we might like to know this info.

If he made speculations, so be it, he still posted info that he thought, as his "community" would find useful.

The way I see it, he was doing all of us customizers a service by airing this info, and for that he should be thanked, not vilified.

 

Starman

I could never forgive Glaken for his insurection against our leader. They used to hang a man for such betrayal. Thems was the days.

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Okay...so let me get this straight? Glaken comes in with some news he believes to be true...Jin rebutts it displelling all the rumors...Jin is the bad guy because? Some of you seriously need to check your egos at the toilet!

 

Nevermind the fact that Jin and few others have paid commissions from Toyfare, and if there was even a whiff of stink coming in from either "The Bay", or "The Bro" he would be one of the firsts to know!

 

Maybe it's because his $8 investment plus a little elbow grease has netted him over $500 a couple of times, you cats are gettin' all MrrroowW and stuff?

 

I have no idea who Glaken or Wiating are but I know Jin is responsible for my passion for the hobby! (Along with Iron Cow, Airmax, Joe Acevedo & few others...) You dudes sound like Faux News making a big deal out of nothing, without all of the details!!!

 

Damn you Jin, I hope all of your customs are infested with maggots and poop on your workstation!

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