Author Topic: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book  (Read 3440 times)

Jscareshock

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Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« on: April 20, 2010, 10:58:33 AM »
Folks, many of you know me.  I am John Skerchock and i've written a numbe rof books that were published by Michael Enoches Publishing Company.  This weekend at Chiller Theatre, Mike told me that he got the official cease and dsist letter from unviersal Studios.  Mike published an art book called Electric Frankenstein a collection of album covers.  Because the frankenstein monster in the pictures resembles Universal's copyrighted character Mike had to stop publishing the book.

The copyright that Universal has is a green skinned creature with a flat top head, scar on his forehead, bolts on his neck, and protruding forehead.  If an image has all 5 of those items then you are violating Universal's copyright.  Put the bolts on the forehead and the scar on his chin and you do not violate the copyright.

Just thought you all should know.

Toy Ranch

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 11:04:10 AM »
Sorry to hear that, John.  They are cracking down all over. 

Radioactive Rod Whitenack

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2010, 11:25:02 AM »
My friend here in Louisville, Jeff Gaither, has some art in that book. That stinks. Boo.

mike c

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 12:49:13 PM »
I wish I knew what the idiot children in charge of the legal department at least thought they were accomplishing. And before anyone comes in to edjimicate me about copyrights and protections I understand all of that, believe me. But it's been ridiculously beyond any reasonable application of the law for some time now.

I just would like to know what zealously acting against the most remotely technical claim of infringement is getting them, other than acrimony, resentment and bad karma?

How does it protect or further the business potential of the property?

Is this a cease and desist under any circumstance, or cease and desist unless you pay for licensing? 

Anton Phibes

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 03:21:09 PM »
I wish I knew what the idiot children in charge of the legal department at least thought they were accomplishing. And before anyone comes in to edjimicate me about copyrights and protections I understand all of that, believe me. But it's been ridiculously beyond any reasonable application of the law for some time now.

I just would like to know what zealously acting against the most remotely technical claim of infringement is getting them, other than acrimony, resentment and bad karma?

How does it protect or further the business potential of the property?

Is this a cease and desist under any circumstance, or cease and desist unless you pay for licensing? 


It will accomplish what Universal does best these days.  Make the character be forgotten until someone comes along and "re-invisions" him for a "new generation"..... and the film flops. Or maybe they just want to zealously guard the integrity of the character until they get the Frankenstein musical off the ground. ::).  Products [roduced withotu permission will always be made. I will always buy it.  because alot of times its better than the end product which has been tampered with a zillion times before it gets to the poor peasents who actually buy it. that would be me.  ;)
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Gillman-Fan

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 07:46:17 PM »
I'm all for laws protecting people but the current (draconian) state of US copyright laws goes against EVERYTHING our alleged "free trade" system is supposed to stand for.

My 2˘: All these efforts by big companies to protect their old properties ought to be spent creating/innovating NEW MATERIAL!

MDG

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2010, 10:01:59 AM »
John, did this make it into the book? It was done for the split EP "Graveyard Drag Race."
I bought it from Johnny Ace a long time ago.



There's been such a wide anauthorized use of the green-skin flat-head Frankenstein over the years (for example, the haunted house discussd in another thread, and i just looked at a scan of the Captain Company ad for the Jack Davis poster which doesn't credit Universal), I wonder if it could be ruled that Universal didn't protect its trademark and let it lapse.
MDG

Wolfman

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2010, 01:11:30 PM »
I'd rather be a garbage man than one of the suits at universal. I could just picture this scenario after one of them arrives home from work. Honey, I nabbed 2 more people today, are you proud of me?


depressedlarrytalbot

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2010, 05:14:51 PM »
I'm unable to determine which if any of the myriad google-image results is the book-cover in question, but assuming it is any of them, all I can say is, Universal Legal : desperate much ?? Having a slow day were we ??
It's a bit late in the day to be spitting over the fact that your predecessors' more-talented business affillate Mr Jack Pierce created a cultural icon that slipped out into the wider world many decades ago and became, itself, generic. An archetype the volume in question merely observes, and does not 'peddle', I'm sure. What a vicious threat to your empire !
What is next ? Vampires in capes ? Widow's peaks ? Beards with underbites ? Uncut fingernails ? Old Band-aids ?
Pardon my vehemence. I've encountered this sort of professional bottom-feeder myself a few times and I find them eminently disrespectable. They so love putting a tick like this on their work-sheet.

Absolutely unbelievable.    
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 05:18:00 PM by depressedlarrytalbot »

Gillfan

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2010, 08:52:32 PM »
I’d like to discuss this situation without discussing Universal directly.

First, overall, I agree with our copyright system. It doesn’t stifle creativity; it stifles people making money off of someone else’s work. Parody is still allowed and artistic representations are allowed. Andy Warhol and his soup can did a great deal to help artists and clarify the laws.

Recently there have been some amazing copyright issues; in the UK the creators of Dr Who now have the rights to the image of a police box despite the box being created by the police. Barbie lost several lawsuite regarding art made using Barbie dolls.
Damien Hirst had a very interesting case. In a nutshull, Mr Hirst bought a miniature anatomical model
http://arts.guardian.co.uk/pictures/image/0,8543,-10104640117,00.html
and then made a giant replica.
Here’s the full details:
http://epublishingcorp.com/articlesRaichel/Art-News/Hymn.html

This is made more interesting by the fact that Mr Hirst won a lawsuit several years prior when some of his sculptures were copied and used in a film. He also stopped a (then) 16 year old artist from selling work that Mr Hirst said violated his copyright.

Now, time and again we see exceptions to copyright issues; unauthorized biographies are a great example. So are art catalogs.

Lets use the art catalog as an example. Lets say I run a museum that has several pieces of art in it from contemporary living artists. The museum could publish  a book/ catalog of all the art and sell the book without permission from the artists and without paying royalties to the artists. This is a very common practice. Likewise, I could for example, make a price guide to Gone With The Wind collectibles and show photos of the items without permission from whomever own the copyright to GWTW at this time. Similarly, someone could make a documentary about GWTW collectors without copyright infringement.

What is interesting about so many copyright cases is that very few make it to trial so they are never “tested”. Very often the threat of a large company’s lawyers will make an individual or a smaller company settle out of court.

The Drunken Severed Head

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2010, 12:10:56 AM »
This is depressing news.

CreepysFan

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2010, 09:37:24 PM »
Sorry to hear about this Mike, this really sucks.  Electric Frankenstein has some really great covers, my favorite of them being 'How to Make a Monster'. Blocking such a tribute to such a great band seems sad.
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wolfbain Productions

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 05:33:29 PM »
the Funny part of this is, The make up that Karloff wore was not Green at all, but a mixer of green and blue. so he would read dead white for the film.  I got my info from Sara Karloff . Also I had ask my Make up Man Ron Chamberlain and he stated the same as Sara. As far as the flat Top of the head, it has been stated that may have come from the movie / stage play ? that had Edison who was the monster at that time .  That info comes from the Frankenstein files on the DVD Frankenstein by Universal studios. This is just my in put .   

Big Bad Wolf

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 07:34:52 PM »
It will accomplish what Universal does best these days.  Make the character be forgotten until someone comes along and "re-invisions" him for a "new generation"..... and the film flops. Or maybe they just want to zealously guard the integrity of the character until they get the Frankenstein musical off the ground. ::).  Products [roduced withotu permission will always be made. I will always buy it.  because alot of times its better than the end product which has been tampered with a zillion times before it gets to the poor peasents who actually buy it. that would be me.  ;)
If my theory is correct, Universal's "new vision" of Frankenstein may be coming from Guillermo del Toro. So it may not be so bad in and of itself.

That said, I have to agree. They don't seem to understand that in the long run, they could be only hurting their stable of monsters rather than maintaining their integrity, or holding on to what little popularity they have left.
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Count_Zirock

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Re: Universal Studios comes down on Electric frankenstein book
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 09:38:05 PM »
Yes, because rebooting "Van Helsing" is such an inspired idea!
???::)

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