IS this legit? Copywrite and legal questions.

Nyria

Diggin TPF
O.G.
Aug 20, 2006
12,156
12
Alberta, Canada
Hi all,
I sell custom made italian charm bracelets on Ebay. I do pictures that are sent to me but I also do pre-made bracelets etc. and a really popular item I do is broadway bracelets.
I've been selling Bracelets and charms from the Musical 'Wicked' for about a year now and the other day I got this message in my ebay messages:

I am an attorney with Universal Pictures and Wicked LLC, the copyright owners of the musical play Wicked and all elements thereto, including all of its associated artwork and photos. Your charms are an infringement of Universal's and Wicked LLC's copyrighted materials and we hereby demand that you immediately cease the manufacturing and selling of your infringing items. We appreciate your enthusiasm towards our show, but we have an official and exclusive arrangement with Araca Merch to do all of the show's merchandising. If this auction continues or you continue to infringe our rights, we will have no choice but to report you to Vero @ ebay. Thank you. Keith Bxxx. xxxxxxxxx


So - I did some digging. Keith Bxxx is an attorney with Universal pictures.
Also - the message was sent from the account of 'wickedkeith' which has no transactions on record and was opened March '05 - the same time that Wicked opened.

So - it all seems legit -- but I noticed that another seller has their Wicked bracelet up.
I'm thinking maybe she reported me because I was selling the same thing as her (but at a higher quality).

What are the copywrite laws when it comes to this?

Thanks =)
 

designermummy

Member
Aug 7, 2007
1,569
1
38
UK
I definantely think you are in the wrong for selling them! And if you continue selling them and they took you to court they could sue you for damages, for reproducing an inferior product and for copyright laws! They will look into how much money you have made selling their products and seek compensation for lost sales. And if you are not business registered this could cause you even more problems!
If another seller has hers up- let her- she may also be fined!
 

Nirodha

Member
Nov 7, 2007
175
1
I'd just tweak the design a little bit, call them Wicked inspired, and tell the lawyer to piss off. Or, just register your company in a country where U.S. copyright laws don't apply; the lawyer can't touch you then and it's not that expensive to do.
 

lulilu

O.G.
Mar 28, 2006
24,929
9,747
iiving the dream
I'd just tweak the design a little bit, call them Wicked inspired, and tell the lawyer to piss off. Or, just register your company in a country where U.S. copyright laws don't apply; the lawyer can't touch you then and it's not that expensive to do.
Unless you are familiar with US copyright laws, I think it is dangerous to give this kind of advice. If the OP is living in the US, the US laws would likely still apply to her.

I would contact your supplier and see if they can obtain permission from Universal to make and sell the items.
 

lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
O.G.
Oct 7, 2006
31,676
6,330
San Francisco
I'm not sure I would want to deal with Wicked's lawyers. It seems more trouble than it's worth. I'm not knowledgeable on copyright law but I myself would probably cease and desist.
 

Babyjlo

Purse banned for 08!
Aug 7, 2007
824
0
Chicago
I too would listen to the lawyers and leave it well alone. While you're there think about stopping with any other trademarked images and names...
 

kimalee

Member
Jul 30, 2007
17,669
19
^yep, I agree...I would listen to the lawyers. If you don't, it will probably just get worse and more of a mess to deal with.
 

CynthiaNYC

Member
Mar 2, 2007
4,652
13
Yep, I would unfortunately have to agree that the items are potentially infringing UNLESS the only way they reference Wicked is that there are some charms that are manufactured BY Araca Merch, or someone else legitimate...in that case you would have every right to incorporate those charms--which were legally acquired by you--into your own original designs.

And this DOES come directly from an attorney.

C--will you send me a link to an auction via email, so that I can just make sure my advice applies?
 

Vegas Long Legs

Traveler
Nov 13, 2006
11,009
9
I'd just tweak the design a little bit, call them Wicked inspired, and tell the lawyer to piss off. Or, just register your company in a country where U.S. copyright laws don't apply; the lawyer can't touch you then and it's not that expensive to do.
Someone with no ethics or integrity giving advice. Wonderful. :tdown:
Karma will catch up with you. This I know for sure.

Doubt very much she is copyright attorney cause they wouldn't give out this BS advice.
Just pond scum who's not creative enough to come up with their own ideas. So they steal others. :yucky: No class.
 

friponne

fop
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Jul 19, 2006
1,264
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54
Someone with no ethics or integrity giving advice. Wonderful. :tdown:
Karma will catch up with you. This I know for sure.

Doubt very much she is copyright attorney cause they wouldn't give out this BS advice.
Just pond scum who's not creative enough to come up with their own ideas. So they steal others. :yucky: No class.
???:wtf:
Guard your tongue please.
 

lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
O.G.
Oct 7, 2006
31,676
6,330
San Francisco
I'd just tweak the design a little bit, call them Wicked inspired, and tell the lawyer to piss off. Or, just register your company in a country where U.S. copyright laws don't apply; the lawyer can't touch you then and it's not that expensive to do.
I also have to disagree wtih this advice; I'm sure this is what all counterfeiters count on when trying to sell their items.
 

designermummy

Member
Aug 7, 2007
1,569
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38
UK
I also have to disagree wtih this advice; I'm sure this is what all counterfeiters count on when trying to sell their items.

I agree with lorimatthews- and i can understand the above posters point too- just not how she worded it!

Obviously you are not liscensed to sell these products or is your distributor otherwise the question in your original post would not have been asked! Therefore the post answers itself.

This is not a counterfeit issue though unless you have copied merchandise already being sold by them, although it is an infringement of copyright laws!