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Discussion in 'Puppets For Sale' started by MUPPETMONKEY, Mar 29, 2007.
Thank you Biblebetty, very eloquent and truthful reply.
Thanks SPC and BB... I will listen to Fozzie and bite my tongue. But know that I now have a mouth full of blood!
Thanks for keeping everything diplomatic.
Honestly, I know for a fact folks from all the companies whose work we celebrate here visit this message board. They don't post (not that I know of, anyway), but they see what we say.
If we begin to support the copyright infringement on the characters we could see a day when either of the companies begin to force both this website and forum closed, and I don't want to see that. Muppet Central is the first online website and forum I ever got interested or participated in, so it's important to me for many reasons.
I also think that diplomatic handling of situations is more along the lines of how Jim Henson would handle things and is how he would expect us to handle anything. Another reason for asking for truces and pleasantness. There are a lot of things I take into consideration, and I do have a tough time being a fan, friend, moderator, and opinionated at the same time, but I do consider what would Jim like or appreciate from his fans, and beg others to consider the same thing.
Yes, it is great that we can all be here as Fans and that this fan based website keeps going.I have heard of a few companies and Artists that will only have one official website and all the others had to close, so lets not rock our privelege and remain friendly but also truthfull and express ourselves without arguement.
Original Muppets at Ebay
a seller named hydrocraft offers real custom made Muppets at Ebay. The Photos of the characters look great, and the puppets are quiet expensive. You'll find them here:
What's your opinions about the offer?
I really want the Scooter one. You should've seen his Piggy! WOW!
Alas! If only I had a thousand bucks to spare...
Really it's still alas, if only I had 200 bucks to spare to buy the Kermit photo puppet... Soon I'm gonna need 400 for Kerm and Gonzo...
You'll find a lot of opinions in this thread.
same guy/girl who has been the topic of much discusion, keeps having to make new auction accounts because he/she gets reported , since he/she is selling unliscened replicas, basicly they are breaking mnay copyright and trademark laws, they know it and continue to sell the knockoffs, disney and Henson and CTW(sesame workshop) are aware but he/she is hard to track down.
Ebay has a policy against selling unauthoried replicas , many people report this person, and the auctions get closed.
in all honestly you should not be supporting this persons theft of intelectual ,trademarked,and copyrighted properties.
If you guys feel so strongly about copyright then you wouldn't favourite stuff from television and film on youtube then.
I'm sure you'll say "but this is different, they're making money off something that isn't theirs."
But the way I see it, Henson company doesn't make muppet replica puppets for sale, they're not losing money on some ebay seller's replicas. You're paying for the time and materials gone into making a puppet.
Yeah it's technically breaking the law, but so it recording stuff from tv.
I don't understand why you guys police something on behalf of a company, when that company isn't actively persuing them. I think it's because these puppets don't degrade or devalue the muppets image. Someone who buys one of these isn't go to film beaker selling crack to a kid or something and say it's real.
I love the muppets as much as the next person but this whole "omg, you can't do that" thing comes up all the time and it's always the same thing.
Technically breaking the law. So it IS breaking the law then.
my problem with it, is it cast suspicion on just about any freelance puppet builder out thier , I for one do not want my work to become suspect beacuse of the actions of this individual.
if this person feels that its within thier right to sell things they dont own, then they need to stop hiding in the shadows and show us who they are .
aside from that , if you were to create a character , would you really want someone selling Knockoffs of your work ?
i wouldnt be so sure, we have all seen the stupid "Kermit" vids on youtube and myspace., using a character in inappropriate situations, doing things totally against the characters image, the same will happen with these .
I didn't like that "Sad Kermit" video, but while we all know from past debates on this issue that Fair Use can be a murky concept I suspect that Sad Kermit is a legitimate (if distasteful) example of it, while these replica puppets clearly are not.
I also gotta say posting auctions for Count replicas as a "Professional Counting Vampire Puppet" is kind of amusing.
I want those replicas to play with here at the house. Maybe he/she can just send me some for free. Then, he/she wouldn't be breaking any laws.
(Look at me, trying to get more freebies...)
The problem is that Sad Kermit was done with an officially licensed puppet. It became so popular, mentioned in major magaizines, etc...it doesn't matter if it's an official muppet puppet (that people know isn't the REAL kermit) or a knock off (that looks like the REAL kermit).
I agree with Fozzie, I want all of the puppets for free and then I don't feel guilty at all! They are really good, but the prices are really high. My wife, and several of you on this board, would kill me if I bought one. I actually won a beaker from this guy about a year ago, but he messed up and made it a Buy It Now at a low price when he didn't mean to....and being a nice guy I didn't press the issue.
That is a false argument. If your statement were true, then making copies of Rolex watches wouldn't be illegal as long as the movement were different. And we all know that is not true. It doesn't matter if you drafted the patterns yourself, it doesn't matter if the construction lines are different, it doesn't matter if they are the exact same size or not. These are unlicensed replicas.
You are conciously attempting to make something that looks as close to the original as possible... that is defined as a replica. You do not have permission from the rights holders to do so... therefore they are unlicensed replicas. That makes what you are doing against the law.
I have turned down dozens of requests to build replicas of Muppet characters for people. Just because you can make money at it, doesn't make it the correct or lawful thing to do.
The Henson Company, along with MHC and Sesame Workshop are the rights holders to the IMAGE of these characters as well. So making them look like the originals at all is illegal. Any court in the land would rule that. No amount of spin will change that fact.
Contrary to popular myth, there is NO guideline for "making it 20% different so it's not a replica". That's a fable created by people to assuage guilty minds and clinch a sale of unlicensed merchandise.
Once more, I think your puppet building skills are par excellance. I wish you would abandon the Muppet replicas and keep developing your own patterns/look. You could be providing a much greater service to the world of puppetry-at-large by going your own original way.
I would like to point out that JHC/SW/and Diz folks visit these message boards and see these posts. I don't know if they will ever follow up on this, but those are some pretty hefty companies to take any chances with, but it is up to you.
I mentioned in conversation to a bud that I don't agree with selling them, but it's not my license to worry about. It's a mute point in a way because you can't convince anybody that selling them is right, and they can't convince you that it's wrong. It just becomes a conversation that circles and circles and...
Some can argue, "Well, what's the difference in selling a Ghostbuster's Proton Pack Replica or a Muppet puppet replica?" Especially since the proton pack is as much a character as Slimer or Dr. Peter Venkman? I dunno. I've seen some that I wish I had! And I think the craftsmanship of the Muppet puppets you make are good. Iv'e seen some that I wish I had! Still, I wouldn't buy one.
But that's just me. I don't have time to make other people's licensed characters when I have my own to pursue, even though I'd love to have a Fozzie of my own to play with. However, Muley is my gig, and that's where I'm focusing my attention. What'll happen if someone makes any Muley replicas for sale? There's legal routes and, unlike (so far) the corporations who aren't doing any cracking down, I would.
Plus, I need the lawsuit money!
I also made a suggestion that perhaps this talent is being used on replicas since there isn't any particular product of your own and that you might be someone good to partner with to construct puppets for those of us whose time is tight, but THEN I'm left worrying if it would be safe, or if replicas would end up on the 'net, even if changed a little bit?
I know that the costume company I had make the Muley suit head and feet for me were told in the beginning that I wanted them to make those for me, and I sent along maquettes and drawings and photos of the puppet, and they made a beautiful head and set of feet for me. A year or so later it ended up for sale on their website under "Hee Haw," and after I told them to take it down and the information about why I needed it off their site, they did so.
You may not have heard from them yet, but they may be on the side-lines waiting for the moment to say something or follow through. I would tread lightly and not worry so much about what we, the fans, think or say or do, but about what those companies who own those have to say or do later.
There isn't any need to defend what you do to us, but to those who own those characters when you're on the side where the table reads Defense. Ha ha. The table where I hope I never end up.
And you can't hold it against others on these boards for sharing their opinions. They simply love the characters and respect them--and that's not saying you don't. It's just saying that they have a certain way of showing it different than you would. I love the characters, too, and appreciate all they stood for, and stand for, but it's not my fight.
Question on the boards just opening the table for discussion: What if he were selling patterns instead of puppets?
Now there, Fozzie Bear, you have a very interesting and logically progressive point.
If you want to get technical about it, if TheFabricator developed the patterns on his own and provided no other intellectual property indicia, meaning that he didn't encourage people to use the patterns to make replicas of Muppet characters or use images of Muppets or Muppet replicas in the insructions or sales materials , he'd be pretty much in the clear, legally.
The shapes of the patterns are relatively generic... as can be seen by the "redressing" he does for his ebay auctions. You can make the Ernie-style head pattern in different colors, with different noses, eyes, etc. and it is no longer a licensed character... it is a generic puppet with only similarities to the Ernie character puppet. For example, it is not the shape of his head by itself that makes Ernie "Ernie" in a visual sense. It is the collection of features that define the look of the character and therefore the intellectual property.
Assuming the Fabricator has taken the time to develop these patterns on his own, and is not directly copying or using Henson Co. copyrighted patterns, he's not stepping on anyone's IP toes. Independently developed patterns, so long as you have a paper trail to prove they are yours, belong solely to the creator.
In fact, with a few modifications to each pattern style (to move them away from the original Muppet characters more like changing the mouth on the Beaker pattern so it wasn't so much the exact thing) , TheFabricator might even convince a reputable pattern developer/retailer like Project Puppet to include them with their product line. Maybe.
Just a thought.
I love patterns. Should that be made available, I'm likely to buy that. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some Project Puppets patterns. They are so awesome.
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