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Vault of Puppets Lawsuit

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by CB Boy, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. CB Boy

    CB Boy New Member

    Has anybody else seen this yet? Looks like Disney is finally laying the legal smackdown on the infamous Muppet replica builder on ebay.
  2. Conor IX

    Conor IX New Member

    I hope they don't get sued by Disney, yeah, make them stop, but I can't imagine the kind of money they'd try and get off them. I think it's good that there are people selling replicas. People want them, I want them... If I had a load of money to spend, I'd probably buy one. It's not like they're taking any business away from anyone!
  3. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    The page isnt found on the link?
  4. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Sigh....I deliberately didn't post this here to avoid kicking up an old debate.

    The correct link to the blog post is http://www.puppetvision.info/2008/11/muppet-replica-lawsuit.html

    The thing is, Muppet Studios owns the characters and controls the commercial rights associated with them and they've decided to sue someone they believe is infringing those rights. Moral outrage and legal arm chair quarterbacking not withstanding, those are the facts.
  5. Conor IX

    Conor IX New Member

    Totally. I completely understand that. Still doesn't outweigh my lust for an actual muppet replica.
  6. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    There's clearly a demand...maybe they will do something through the FAO Schwartz store eventually?
  7. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    regardless of personal feelings they were warned ,

    but in the words of Nelson Muntz.

    "HA HA"
  8. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    I'm just glad I'm not in that guy's shoes. I don't have the time or talent to make my own Muppet replica puppets...plus I'm kind of scared to make one of my own, even just for myself. I don't want Disney's lawyers swooping down on me! (If they felt like it they could go after any Joe Shmoe, no matter how small...after that day care incident)...

    BUT I'd sure buy a licensed Muppet puppet from FAO Schwartz! (Granted they'd make 'em good enough like they did with the Fisher Price Rowlf and Eden Kermit puppet).

    Companies can make good quality Muppet puppets...so why don't they? If they did, this lawsuit could've been prevented.

    But for now, I'll just echo Ravagefrackle: "HA HA".

    Convincing John
  9. Yes, no need to bring up that debate again. I will say that since Vault of Puppets was so "brazen" as Andrew put it in his post, and they were advertising through google adwords and selling through Amazon . . . they took it WAY too far. They were asking to be busted.
  10. Slightlychilled

    Slightlychilled New Member

    IF you make it for your self then you should be good to go... JUST DON'T SELL IT... I could be wrong
  11. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    No, you're right. The rule of thumb is generally if you're a fan and you make something for your own personal use they are not going to use (some companies like Lucasfilm have made this an officially policy). As soon as you sell it (like Vault of Puppets) or use it to promote a product or service (like the daycare did with the Disney illustrations) then they will probably sue you.

    It's also worth noting that selling puppets on ebay that are original but calling them "Muppet style" as many builders do could be construed as trademark infringement (under the strictest interpretation of the law) because you are using a registered trademark to help you advertise a commercial product. The only way to determine or prove that if you're sued unfortunately is to fight it out in court.
  12. I'm only aware of Lucasfilm actually getting nasty toward one replica stormtrooper maker. It was a guy who was claiming copyright ownership of the designs because he was contracted for the first movie, I think, and that's when the lawyers attacked.
    Generally they turn a blind eye to small operations, I reckon, mainly because of the 501st who protect the image and branding, more often than not people creating better props than original screen used props.
    And yes they get sold and resold.

    It's interesting to see the henson lawyers taking action now though.
  13. MGov

    MGov New Member

    Not the Henson lawyers, the Disney lawyers.

    I'm sure it's been it's been in the works a long time coming so that Disney's legal team could collect a mountain of evidence against them.

    And having gotten into arguments over this here and at another now defunct puppet message board, I can honestly say it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

    Sorry, I'll wipe up the dripping sarcasm later.


    edited to add: And $2300 for Miss Piggy? Who's gonna pay that?
  14. CoOKiE

    CoOKiE Member

    I have to say this really stinks. I dunno the guy, but he provided his talent to make dreams come true.

    You can say what you want about the situation. But i myself always wanted a muppet. I have no training, so i cant to the best when it comes to replicas, and alot feel the same way.

    I really think that Fozzie, Miss Piggy were outragous. But Kermit himself was crazy too. For one, i watched him raise and decrease his price on Kermit... but hes simple to make.

    Not REALLY simple... but he doesn't have much that should make him so expansive.

    I tried Ernie... and i wanted to cry lol. He came out HORRIBLE. I've made puppets of my own in the past and one was too thin for my arm. So, makin Ernie, it brought back memories, so i made him wider... but TOO wide and his head is HUGE lol. Anyone can see his likeness. Its just his heads too big.

    I also worked on Cookie, and wanna work on a Kermit... but i'm afride to mess up.

    Anyway... i wouldn't want someone stealing my work, to make money off of something i could do... at the same time... its really hard for Disney to sell their puppets for us dreamers... because some people will use them to promote their own things... and thats why they can't.

    But, its like watching a Hero get taken down. I wasn't happy about their prices... but yes i saw them as a hero to us dreamers.
  15. muppetguy

    muppetguy Member

    I second that, Cookie. There's a demand for this and always has been. I'm sorry, but if Disney isn't going to make them for the fans, it's nice to see someone who can. For the dreamers...
  16. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    well lots of people like Hand guns and dont have lisences or the proper training, ,lots of people like controlled substances, lots of people like lots of things, but we live in a society of laws, and just because you and a few other people want something doesnt make it it right or legal,



    wow are you really complaing about the price of a hand made illegal replica being sold essentialy on the black market , and you are upset that it cost more than one hundred dollars,

    aside from the fact that supply and demand are pretty basic concepts in any economy, do u think real muppets cost less? do you think any pro is going to make a custom made original creation for less?
  17. MGov

    MGov New Member

    "Hero"?

    Dude, you need to choose your words a little better.

    The guy is a thief.
  18. rtgentry

    rtgentry Member

    wwjd.... thats j for jim..

    It really doesnt matter because he is not here and henson doesnt own the muppets so, basically I say mind your own business. Both ways for that matter. Copyright laws protect someones idea or product. I dont always agree with the law. But I am not going to argue it knowing its not going to change. Just accept it or not.

    sorry thats my two cents

    its no secret what I think on the matter
  19. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I can’t speak for him, of course, but I never felt Jim Henson wanted such posers or realistic Muppet puppets out there. Still, that hasn’t kept the idea of owning one a lifelong dream! I do think FAO’s Whatnot Workshop would be something Jim would have liked. It inspires creativity.

    We’re lucky to have the Muppet posers (with or without Fozzie and Miss Piggy to round them out). I can’t fault Vault of Puppets in filling a need that fans wanted, but I can fault him for turning a profit. If he just charged for the materials and made these discreetly that would be one thing. It’s still illegal, but closer to tearing off a mattress tag than mass marketing bootleg copies of The Muppet Movie.

    The thing is, he officially advertised these and profited from them. That’s not okay. I still want me a Fozzie Bear. Don’t you think I’ve felt like pulling a bank-job and commissioning Vault to make me the whole Muppet Theater cast? I just couldn’t do that. Hey, if I hit the lottery I’d hire a puppet builder to create a private collection. Still, illegal and very unlikely.

    Since there is no Copyright Police, Disney must defend this infringement with their notorious lawyers. See, if they allow such rampant disregard for intellectual property with one source a judge might allow it for others. It is rare, but it could happen. I feel sad about this, but it happened much later than expected.

    My dream is that commercial Muppet replicas fall into the hands of a company that can actually get them to the customers! I don’t care who’s making them as long as it is legal.
  20. rtgentry

    rtgentry Member

    I am sorry if that sounded rude. Its just getting old hearing about this as much as it is politics


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