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1 wrenchwench  Wed, May 8, 2013 8:56:42am

Update:

After Outcry, Disney Withdraws Effort To Trademark ‘Dia De Los Muertos’

…using the bogus-sounding reason that they decided the movie would have a different name. I think it was the massive outcry. This fabulous illustration was part of the outcry.

2 kerFuFFler  Wed, May 8, 2013 8:57:39am

What nerve! They probably thought that everyone would say how good and inclusive and multicultural Disney was being for using the Mexican holiday in their picture.
But seriously, you can’t trademark words or phrases that are in common usage. A logo or stylized print, sure. But the name of a holiday? Do you suppose they understand they can’t trademark “Christmas”?

3 HappyWarrior  Wed, May 8, 2013 9:35:49am

As my college Spanish professor would always say “Dios Mio.” Seriously Disney? This is part of their culture and was a long time before you came along. Back off.

4 KiTA  Wed, May 8, 2013 10:39:06am

re: #3 HappyWarrior

As my college Spanish professor would always say “Dios Mio.” Seriously Disney? This is part of their culture and was a long time before you came along. Back off.

Yeah, like something having existed a long time before Disney got to it has EVER stopped the Mouse from trying to steal and copyright it.

Heck, if you really want to see something fun, take a look at this website chronicalling Disney’s shameless theft of “Nadia: Secret of the Blue Water” (which we know as “Atlantis: The Lost Kingdom”).

thesecretofbluewater.com

And heck, that’s not even the first time. Kimba vs Simba, anyone?

voices.yahoo.com

Hell, 99.9% of the reason why our IP laws are so messed up in the US is due to the unofficial rule of US copyright: “Copyright terms extend for as long as it takes to ensure Steamboat Willie and the rest of the Disney library never leaves copyright for any reason.”

5 JamesWI  Wed, May 8, 2013 12:42:23pm

Though it sounds outrageous, the article ignores the facts about trademark law. If Disney went through with this, it wouldn’t trademark all uses of the phrase “Dia de los Muertos.” It would prevent people from using the phrase “Dia de los Muertos” in a way to confuse people into thinking their products were related to the movie, to Disney, etc.

So no, people wouldn’t have to pay Disney to celebrate the holiday.

6 sagehen  Wed, May 8, 2013 12:46:08pm

re: #5 JamesWI

So no, people wouldn’t have to pay Disney to celebrate the holiday.

Right. So if a costume shop (or a candle shop or candy shop or statuary shop) wanted to do a Dia de los Muertos window display for seasonal promotion…

7 JamesWI  Wed, May 8, 2013 12:51:21pm

re: #6 sagehen

Right. So if a costume shop (or a candle shop or candy shop or statuary shop) wanted to do a Dia de los Muertos window display for seasonal promotion…

If the window display used characters that look like unique characters from the Disney movie, or did something else that would make people think they were pointing to the Disney movie instead of just referring to the well-known holiday, that would be an issue. If they just used the normal skeletons, etc. that everyone associates with the holiday, then it wouldn’t be a problem.

Kerfluffer in #2 brings up the more important point - that is, in trademark law, your trademark has to be “distinctive” in order to be protected. So even if Disney tried to go through with this, they probably would fail, because you can’t just trademark generic words. Though they would be able to trademark a stylized “Dia de los Muertos” and keep people from using a logo using those words that looks similar to Disney’s.

8 JamesWI  Wed, May 8, 2013 12:57:52pm

re: #6 sagehen

Just like how Apple is trademarked by a computer company (and a record company). You don’t have to pay Apple Records or Apple Inc. every time use you the word “Apple,” set up an “Apple” Orchard, or make “Apple” cider. But if you start making electronics and use the word Apple in the name, you’re gonna go to court.

9 HappyWarrior  Wed, May 8, 2013 1:38:05pm

re: #8 JamesWI

Just like how Apple is trademarked by a computer company (and a record company). You don’t have to pay Apple Records or Apple Inc. every time use you the word “Apple,” set up an “Apple” Orchard, or make “Apple” cider. But if you start making electronics and use the word Apple in the name, you’re gonna go to court.

Ah makes sense now. Apologies to Disney. This makes sense upon explanation and is understandable.

10 EPR-radar  Wed, May 8, 2013 1:48:13pm

re: #4 KiTA

Hell, 99.9% of the reason why our IP laws are so messed up in the US is due to the unofficial rule of US copyright: “Copyright terms extend for as long as it takes to ensure Steamboat Willie and the rest of the Disney library never leaves copyright for any reason.”

QFT. Every so often, when these copyrights get close to their expiration date, Disney et al. go to Congress, which will emit a copyright extension act as if it were a Pez dispenser.

After that, some idealistic fool will waste their money bringing suit to argue that the limited term for copyright provided for in the constitution does not reasonably extend to 100+ year copyright terms (as we presently have).

A three line judicial opinion will then issue, consisting only of textual analysis of “limited” and stating that any finite copyright term passed by Congress is inherently “limited” and is therefore constitutional. QED.

This is how the system works for the powers that be. Only the little people have to struggle mightily to get anything useful out of Congress and the Courts.


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