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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

    Your question is simply answered by this: the law doesn't know what you will and will not do with the replica. Therefore it is unlawful for anybody, even those who have no nefarious intent, to replicate or own an unlicensed replica.

    Look at it this way: I'll make it a really black and white concept... it is illegal to own fully automatic firearms without a specific and special license. Even if you have absolutely no intent on using them in an illegal manner, no intent to harm or kill anyone, no intent to use them in a robbery, the law simply cannot judge your intent. Therefore, simply owning or selling fully automatic weapons is illegal.

    The same applies here (though it'd be awfully hard to commit a robbery or murder somebody with an unlicensed Muppet replica). There's no way of anyone being able to judge your INTENT, so it simply has been ruled illegal for ANYONE without express license to make or own a replica like this.

    Its not a condemnation of your personal life or frame of mind. And it's not intended to keep Muppet lovers from loving Muppets. The law applies to everyone.

  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Sounds like one dangerous bear! :o

    (He he...just had to say it! I get it, but never would have drawn the association of Fozzie Bear and automatic weapons. It begged a response. Still giggling.) ;)
  3. DPuppets

    DPuppets Well-Known Member

    Just curious and mean nothing by it. But, I hear everyone really knocking this guy. But what about Jarrod? I hear alot of "WOW" great work. Your replicas look so good. I know Jarrod is not selling his. With all that is being said, seems to be just as bad. I am not knocking Jarrod, I have a couple of his puppets. Hard to see why we get we can be talking about one and not the other.
  4. Kevin the Frog

    Kevin the Frog Well-Known Member

    The fact he's not selling them on ebay is why no one is talking, but you have a valid point. We don't know his intent when he makes these copyrighted characters, and becuase we or the law doesn't know his intent he is not allowed to make these according to the logic of some on here. He could be the next sadkermit for all we know and use a real looking Kermit! (just kidding) I'm not knocking Jarrod either, he should keep making both replicas and originals because I love looking at them.
  5. Toasty

    Toasty Well-Known Member

    You've already addressed the critical difference: Jarrod does his replicas as a fan and is making no attempt to sell anything. This type of practice, while technically still illegal according to IP law, is generally allowed by the holders of such intellectual property as "healthy fan activity," or in the case of artists copying other artists in a class, a form of education.

    What the subject of this thread does falls outside of these "friendly" boundaries due to his clear intent to sell designs based on the intellectual property of others, for which he does not have permission to do so.
  6. PMK

    PMK Active Member

    Here's my two cents. People make and sell custom action figures all the time on eBay. Sometimes they get pulled, but normally they do not. No licensed company is selling quality Muppet puppets. If this guy was taking money out of someone's mouth, I could understand the hostility, but since he's creating something that there is a demand for and he is the only supply, I don't think you can fault him as much. A lot of things are illegal by the letter of the law.
  7. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    You need to read the whole of this conversation.

    Its been said many times that the owners of certain property rights have a very generous policy of ignoring those who build eplicas as "fan activities"... meaning that they understand that some folks are exercising their skills by making replicas for themselves and maybe learning something.

    That's their call. They own the rights.

    But when it comes to making money building unlicensed replicas, most rights holders get a little testy. They don't like it when they've paid LOTS of money to own the rights only to have someone come along and infringe on them by making money off something they own.

    What if you woke up one day and found out that somebody was using your car as a taxi while you weren't looking? You wouldn't be too thrilled, I bet.

  8. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    We're looking at this situation in a much larger context now. Not just some guy making replica Muppets, but a much more global discussion.

    You've posted what's called the "drug dealer's defense" and it's just as spurious as any other. This argument hinges itself on the idea that, just because somebody WANTS something means they are ENTITLED to it. We know this is untrue.

    Sadly, in our modern world of consumer-based thought, people don't understand why that's wrong. We keep being told by all the major retailers that it isn't.

    I want a million dollars, but that doesn't give me the right to simply take it from somebody who HAS a million dollars... even if they aren't using it.

    This argument also relies upon the "if nobody's looking defense". Which assumes that whatever you like to do, you can... even if it's illegal. As long as you don't get caught doing it.

    Of course, we know this is also untrue. Because, when the unlawful nature of what you've done is discovered, you can be punished for it.

    Sure, break the law when the police aren't looking. But be prepared to pay for the crime when somebody calls the cops on you.

  9. PMK

    PMK Active Member

    I want to travel great distances. It takes so long to walk, so I need to make something that will help me move faster, so I make a wheel.

    Not everyone can invent or even craft their own wheels, but people should still have the right to be able to use them.

    I cannot sew my own Muppets, but others can. Shouldn't I have the right to own something that, if I had a greater skill set, I would be able to make myself?
  10. spcglider

    spcglider Well-Known Member

    The wheel is not a piece of intellectual property. It is one of the basic machines that create all other machines. It is not and cannot be copyrighted as a concept.

    Do you have the right to replicate a particular model of Dunlop brand tire? No you do not. The design of that tire is the intelectual property of the Dunlop Company and you'd get your pants sued off for appropriating the design.

    Your first statement subtextually classifies the Muppets (tm) as puppets in only the most generic terms. It is the details of those puppets that make them a piece of intellectual property. The characters they represent, thier particular style, look, design, voice, and catchphrases are all property of the Muppet Holding Company, Jim Henson Company and Walt Disney Company.

    Your second statement is absolutely true. You have every right in the world to use a puppet. But you do not have the right to use an unlicensed replica of a copyrighted puppet design. For any reason.

    Your question is irrelavant... because even if you had the skillset to make an unlicensed replica of a Muppet, it would still be technically unlawful for you to do so. So the answer is no.

    So once again, just because you WANT someting doesn't mean you can have it.

    For further elaboration, please go back and read the entire thread.
  11. PMK

    PMK Active Member

    I have been. This appears to be a polarizing issue. We either see it as wrong (for whatever reason) or not wrong (for whatever reason). In this instance, wrong equates to criminal. Criminal being something that should cause an eBay auction to be shut down.

    Whoever said that today's generation is one of entitlement is absolutely correct, but I do not view that as a negative thing. We want the best and will not settle for less. The whole reason companies like MR exist is because people demanded high quality props. Short of stealing a lightsaber off a set or building it yourself (is there such backlash against lightsaber prop building and selling?) there was nowhere else to turn before MR started pumping them out.

    Ever since I was a kid I have wanted my own Muppets puppets. If I had the money, I would absolutely buy one of these or commission someone to build me my own. When I saw the Pepe replica, my first thought was "does he sell these?". Master Replicas is making nice poseable Muppets, but these aren't puppets. It just seems crazy to me that people would rather walk around in the dark, bumping into each other, exclaiming they are the virtuous because they do not support Muppet replicating than own something that looks like something they love.

    Disney is an awfully big company. Do you think they are hurting for cash? I never thought I would see people shedding tears for the financial strain of the Mouse.
  12. Was Once Ernie

    Was Once Ernie Well-Known Member

    So, what you're saying is, if the company is big enough, it's okay to steal from them.

    Woo-hoo! I'm off to Best Buy to get me some DVD's! They'll never miss 'em. They have thousands... maybe even hundreds!

  13. PMK

    PMK Active Member

    Yeah, that is basically what I'm saying. As wrong as that may seem typed out in black and white, I think the majority of people would admit to stealing a loose grape from time to time.

    Maybe I'm just a renegade rebel without any sense of right or wrong, but Disney is a conglomerate; I'm not worried about stealing from their penny jar.
  14. Jinx

    Jinx Well-Known Member

    So, PMK, you prove our point for us. You believe that the law only applies to you as far as is convenient to your specific way of thinking.

    By this kind of reasoning we can say that a stop sign can mean stop, slow down a bit, or just keep going, according to how it suits the individual driver. Not a good idea, but I'm sure you'll come up with some lame-o excuse for making it "work".

    Since you don't care about Disney, I'm sure you won't mind my finding all the homeless people in your area to come over to your house to sleep, and while they're there they can help themselves to your food and clothing as well. After all, by comparison you are like a conglomerate, and therefore they are entitled to "wanting the best and not settling for less." They also need not care about how it affects you, since you have more than they do.

    "Entitlement" philosophy is nothing but LAZINESS. I don't mind you wanting something, but I most certainly mind the way you suggest acquiring it.

    Bottom line is that YOU do not get to decide what's right and wrong as pertains to matters of law. Just because you don't agree with a law does not make your actions "right".
  15. PMK

    PMK Active Member

    Someone wrote those laws. They did not sprout from the ground.
  16. Telly

    Telly Well-Known Member

    I think it's kinda funny that people are praising the people who do build replicas for themselves. They're the ones who are being unlawful. Shouldn't we be telling them that what they're doing is just as wrong? Personally, I think some of the their work is beautiful and dead-on!

    I still say if they're only charging for materials and their time and not making profit from it, it should be no different than if they build one for themself.
  17. Was Once Ernie

    Was Once Ernie Well-Known Member

    You keep saying that, but just who is this philanthropist that's going to spend many hours building you a puppet and then just giving it to you for cost? You're making an argument about something that can never happen. The guy who is the subject of this thread is most certainly making a profit from what he is selling.

    And the other part of your argument that I didn't quote has been answered many times and you continue to choose to ignore it. Copyright holders tend to look the other way at genuine fan activity. There is a difference between that and putting goods up on e-Bay. I don't see why that's so hard for you to understand. That's why we congratulate Jarrod and condemn The Fabricator.

  18. Was Once Ernie

    Was Once Ernie Well-Known Member

    Thanks, PMK. You just made me glad I'm as old as I am. I wouldn't want to be a part of a generation that thinks the way you do. Good luck with that when chaos reigns.

  19. DPuppets

    DPuppets Well-Known Member

    Hey spcglider you said

    "Your question is irrelavant... because even if you had the skillset to make an unlicensed replica of a Muppet, it would still be technically unlawful for you to do so. So the answer is no."

    So, you are saying anyone who makes a replica is breaking the law. Does not matter weather he is learning or just a big fan.

    But wrong is wrong who ever makes them then. Even if there is a genorous policy.
  20. Telly

    Telly Well-Known Member

    You never know, there might be somebody out there who IS willing to willing to charge for only materials and time.

    I think the law should apply to EVERYBODY not just certain people. They're making replicas for themselves...they are STILL breaking the law at the end of the day.

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