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Wocka-Wocka... He's at it again!

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Was Once Ernie, Jul 9, 2007.

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  1. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    Well, I definitely don't want this to become a flaming thread... its already a hot subject full of passions one direction or another. But I really don't cotton to anyone trying to demonize doing what we all know is right.

    As I said earlier, I'm not the only one on this board who has reported the person in question. And I really admire the veracity of those who have taken it upon themselves to do the right thing.

    The use of my signature as an allegorical point against my argument is spurious. The statement has nothing to do with the perceived rights of someone who makes a lot of money, but the excesses brought on by it. I have nothing against making lots of money... far from it... I hope to do so myself in future days. But just because somebody has lots of money doesn't mean they've abandoned their rights under the law.

    -G
     
  2. Mistersuperstar

    Mistersuperstar Well-Known Member

    I have seen numerous eBay auctions from this guy but never seen a single bid on any of his "replicas". I don't understand why eBay don't have a more advanced system of removing these kind of sellers. They must have his email, Paypal details and home address when he signs up for a new account each time. He'd need to supply those details if he expected to get paid if someone bid and then won.
     
  3. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    Well, like any business, the bottom line for eBay is to make money. If this seller does complete a sale through the auction site, its an automatic percentage of that sale for eBay. And they don't necesarily WANT to pay attention too closely to the "gray area items" that are passing through their service. If they kiboshed every seller who'd repeatedly broke the rules, they'd be cutting off quite a few dollars from their bottom line.

    I'm not saying ebay is crooked or corrupt, but they obviously aren't adhering to the letter of their own policies. The deniable culpability generated by the "we have an enormous service to watch over...we can't catch all those who infringe the rules" is convenient and profitable.

    Without someone putting the red flag in the air, they'd ignore even more.

    -G
     
  4. SurfPark

    SurfPark Well-Known Member

    You chose your battles. You decided that this was important and its something to act on. In the grand scheme of things, illegal internet auctions are not high enough priority for me to put effort forth. To each their own.
     
  5. Jinx

    Jinx Well-Known Member

    I wonder if you would feel that way if the illegal internet auctions were ripping you off?
     
  6. Mistersuperstar

    Mistersuperstar Well-Known Member

    I think this is less about the moral issue about some guy making money out of rip-off replicas and more about the fact that we feel "how dare he cheapen The Muppets like that". Either way, it really doesn't take much effort at all to report a seller to eBay when they are selling something that is illegal or questionable.
     
  7. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    I'll agree... there is an element of respect for the Muppets in my motivation. But as someone who has every intention of creating many licensable properties myself, I cannot help but me motivated by a sense of fair play and attention to the Golden Rule.

    Say my show Transylvania Television takes off and (I'm crossing fingers here) turns into something even remotely popular. I know I'd be pretty cheesed off if somebody decided to start selling unlicensed replicas of my characters on eBay. Flattered, yes, but non-plussed and angry as well.

    I've worked like h-e-doubletoothpicks to get this show off the ground and spent more than a little personal money, time, effort and sweat to do so. To have somebody simply come along and start profiteering off my efforts without so much as a "hello, please bend over" certainly wouldn't do anything to make me stop defending intellectual property rights. Especially my own.

    -Gordon
     
  8. Telly

    Telly Well-Known Member

    Just out of curiousity...has the guy ever sold any replicas? They're priced kinda high and I was just wondering if anyone's paid the prices he's asked for.
     
  9. Mistersuperstar

    Mistersuperstar Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen any bids at all when I have looked at his auctions. I am sure there are people out there that would bid but his prices are ridiculous.
     
  10. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    He has received bids in the past. And he has sold puppets in the past. I suspect he's got a thing going on with this... a pretty standard ebay tactic that works very well for lots of people. You post your item at a very high price. If you get that price, then you're happy. But you don't really want to get that price. You want people to come to you asking if you would do a deal outside of ebay for less. In this way, you are paying a minimal amount for "advertising" that will reach a VERY large audience that is specifically targeted to what you make or sell.

    Ebay doesn't like this kind of activity, but there's nothing they can do to stop it. You're following all the rules as long as you don't put "contact me outside of ebay" in your listing.

    -Gordon
     
  11. JHartnow

    JHartnow Member

    Wow...just wow.

    I've seen this guy come and go on eBay, and I wanted to know how he was getting around the © laws. This is the response that I got back from him when inquiring about his Miss Piggy:

    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]"Hello there, and thanks for your interest in our custom puppets! Miss Piggy is an amazing puppet to both perform and display, and if you can do the voice even more fun! [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]These are all built from my own interpretations and are in no way shape or from exact to the originals. Even the actual Muppets change in look each time they are built. As an artist it's my freedom to build from inspirations, which in this case are the Muppets. I also offer a full-range of original characters as well, but of course everyone wants the Muppet puppets! [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]Feel free to contact me directly if you'd like at: landofthepuppet@yahoo.com [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]Also, stay-tuned for our website at: theatreofpuppets.com [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]-Steve"[/FONT]

    Okay...so it's his right as an artist to build from inspirations...I don't deny him this...BUT...to capitalize and infringe by taking money for it is STEALING. His Miss Piggy was almost dead-on (I had issues with the eyes)...and I congratulate him on pulling off some really beautiful tributes, but he's got to be kidding himself if he thinks these are his "own" creations. Sheesh. :mad:

    -John
     
  12. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle Well-Known Member

    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]"Hello there, and thanks for your interest in our custom puppets! Miss Piggy is an amazing puppet to both perform and display, and if you can do the voice even more fun! [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]These are all built from my own interpretations and are in no way shape or from exact to the originals. Even the actual Muppets change in look each time they are built. As an artist it's my freedom to build from inspirations, which in this case are the Muppets. I also offer a full-range of original characters as well, but of course everyone wants the Muppet puppets! [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]Feel free to contact me directly if you'd like at: landofthepuppet@yahoo.com [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]Also, stay-tuned for our website at: theatreofpuppets.com [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Verdana]-Steve"[/FONT]


    HAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    wow talk about delusional
     
  13. Muppet Loverr

    Muppet Loverr Well-Known Member

    His Prices are outrageous, Really Miss Piggy, she like $3000. too high
     
  14. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle Well-Known Member

    not to get off topic, but $3,000 dollars is a reasonable price for a cutsom built puppet be it original or a Knock off, puppets built by Pros for legitimet purposes (like original characters, or replacemnets for originlas, cost far more than many people are willing to accept , talent is expensive.

    but i digress,
     
  15. JHartnow

    JHartnow Member

    He's back on as of this morning, minus Piggy. He's persistant, I'll give him that. He does have a great eye...and his replicas are purdy. Trying to stay positive...:smirk:

    Now if he were to *GIVE* me a Miss Piggy...things would be different.;)
     
  16. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member


    yes id have something to say if he GAVE me a kermit
     
  17. JHartnow

    JHartnow Member

    Custom?

    Slightly off topic...but...out of curiosity, has anyone ever seen a revamped, custom FP Piggy puppet? I've been contemplating doing one for years. Procrastination...oy. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Kevin the Frog

    Kevin the Frog Well-Known Member

    About a month ago I saw what really looked like a FP Miss Piggy on ebay, but she had a custom dress, gloves and her hair was styled differently. She looked really good.
     
  19. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    It is not his right to build replicas and sell them. It doesn't matter how much they differ from the originals. They appear, to any casual observer to be the real thing. In fact, he makes it a point to excalim how much like the originals they look. It would be the same if he was making picture books featuring the Muppet characters and selling them. He doesn't have the legal rights to reproduce the likenesses of the characters in any form. Period.

    If what he says is true, then people who make fake Rolex watches could do so with impugnity as long as they claimed that they were "artist's interpretations". Which we know is patently false.

    Don't be fooled. He is sorely mistaken.

    -Gordon
     
  20. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    Even if she was $1.50, he'd still be infringing on the rights holder's property.

    It doesn't have anything to do with his pricing.

    -Gordon
     


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