RE: Populated screenshots

Subject: RE: Populated screenshots
From: "David Berg" <dberg -at- dmpnet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 10:45:34 -0500

> Be careful about using names of copyrighted characters in screen
> shots. You
> could be headed for a serious legal nightmare. Don't even think of using a
> Disney character name. Disney could sue your company into the ground. They
> aggressively protect their copyrighted characters and names at all cost.

Yes, they do. Back in the 70s my wife used to live in central Florida, not
too far from Mouse-land in Orlando. A nearby child care center had a parent
volunteer paint Disney characters on the walls. Sure enough, Disney
threatened to sue and the story hit the papers.

Of course, this created an opportunity for sharp minded marketers.
Hanna-Barbera (I think) got wind of Disney's threats, and made the child
care center an offer. For no charge, they'd send in professional artists to
paint over the Disney characters and decorate the walls with Hanna-Barbera's
cartoon characters. Needless to say, everyone was thrilled, except Disney.

You do have a point about using the names of copyrighted characters. Just a
couple of years ago an 11 year old handicapped kid whose nickname is Pokey
received a great birthday persent, his own web domain name;
It was only a short time and he found himself facing a legal challenge from
the makers of Gumby. They finally worked out an agreement, but I don't know
the details.

It's a shame we need to worry about this sort of thing. It seems like one of
the perfect opportunities to use a little humor in tech writing. "For
example, when Clark Kent logged onto Krypto-Chat he discovered that the
Superman userid was unavailable, so he selected PhoneBoothGuy."

David Berg


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