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Playmobil Is Upset That Its Pirate Figures Have Been Used To Illustrate The Pirate Party

from the too-flipping-bad dept

Playmobil, makers of the rather popular little toy people that many of us had as kids, has a bit of a history of being over aggressive when it comes to what it thinks you're allowed to do with the toys you've purchased. A few years ago, we wrote about how it sued over an "unauthorized" use of the toys to depict violent scenes. It seems its latest complaint is with the fact that its pirate figures have been used in photos describing The Pirate Party:
The company sent a letter to the German Pirate Party declaring that it was a "politically neutral toy," and indicating a concern that the toy should be associated with the party. As the Pirate Party responded, those who purchased such figures should have the right to then do with them as they wish, considering they are their property. They also noted that they have not used the figures for "marketing," and no one would assume that Playmobil the company had specifically endorsed the party. Thankfully, the company has indicated that they don't see any reason to take this issue any further, such as by commencing legal action, but merely the decision to raise this suggests a company that believes it has much more control over toys that it sold than it really does.

In the meantime, if Playmobil does not want to be associated with the Pirate Party, perhaps it shouldn't sell Pirate Party Cups.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Cerberus (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

    Haha, brilliant. It's always party time with pirates, harr!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    Re:

    Ahoy there Matey, we are goin' to have a parrrtay. So shiver me timbers and lets have a ruckas.


    Anywho, What I'm wondering is, if I purchase a treasure chest from Playmobil, is there a EULA that tells me what I can and can't do with them upon purchasing them? How am I supposed to know what the 'license' associated with those toys permits?

     

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  3.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    ZOMG!

    People will look at the toys we make and think bad things of us!

    You understand you made a toy based on pirates.
    People who robbed, raped, pillaged, murders, and many other not so good things... and your worried about them being associated with a political group that some people don't think well of...

    *boggle*

     

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  4.  
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    icedtea (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    It amazes me that so many companies hate to get free advertising. Eh. Every article I read on Tech Dirt seems to be about some company trying to screw itself over. It's an epidemic.

     

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  5.  
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    PlagueSD (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

    I don't think "pirate" means what they think it means...

     

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  6.  
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    Digitari, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    But........... but........... but......... Pirates!

    oh OH!!!!!

     

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  7.  
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    Laroquod (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    We should praising Playmobil

    Hasn't Playmobil done the right thing here? They expressed a discomfort with how their products were being used, but didn't escalate that into a legal issue. Ergo, they exercised their free speech rights to complain without actually attempting to legally curtail anyone else's free speech rights. Aren't we in favour of this? Shouldn't we applaud and support this kind of behaviour?

    I am not being sarcastic.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

    Re: We should praising Playmobil

    No they should be mocked, that is the appropriate response for silliness.

    The fact they didn't yet try to use the courts is immaterial to the actions taken.

    It is stupid to try and control things you sold.
    There are limits to what those people can do and trying to exert influence on sold goods is just not acceptable and should never be acceptable else you find yourself being target by apparel, auto, electronics and so forth targeting others for the same idiotic reasons.

     

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  9.  
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    illuminaut (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 5:22pm

    Re: We should praising Playmobil

    The reason they haven't sued anyone is because there's nobody to sue. The pirate party itself never used the toys, just multiple news outlets. Someone did it once, other thought it's cute, and now it it has turned into somewhat of a meme. The party itself doesn't even particularly like being associated with toys. It's funny that Playmobil then direct their complaint to the party who isn't responsible for any of this.

     

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  10.  
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    Squig (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: We should praising Playmobil

    The way I understood it (in German) was that their complaint was directed at German media. Don't think Playmobil did anything wrong here.

     

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  11.  
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    illuminaut (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: We should praising Playmobil

    Naw, they complained to the pirate party via email. Well, they didn't accuse them of anything really, just "expressed concern". Maybe they thought this way the story makes the news and therefore the message reaches the intended audience :)

     

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  12.  
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    bob, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:33pm

    The Pirate party's attitude toward property cuts both ways

    How rich that they claim all of the power of ownership when it suits their needs yet they deny it whenever they feel like taking someone else's stuff.

    The problem with the Pirate Party's view about intellectual anarchy is that it's, well, lacking in any useful structure. If they feel that anyone can use a logo or an artistic creation for their own purposes once they purchase it, what's to stop someone from taking some Pirate Party logo swag and wearing it while burning down some hospitals? Or just wearing it while causing mayhem and then putting it on posters. Agent provocateurs do this kind of crap all of the time and it's perfectly okay in the land of intellectual anarchy embraced by the Pirate Party.

    We've watched political candidates eat crow after they use some song by an artist with opposite political views. Everyone gets bent out of shape.

    There are many advantages to giving the creator the right to control how their items/songs are used. It generally adds clarity to the debate.

     

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  13.  
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    oh bobby, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 7:29pm

    do you ever get anything?

     

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  14.  
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    Drew (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

    Re: We should praising Playmobil

    I'm actually inclined to agree with you on that. Free speech is pointless unless it applies to everyone. Do I think playmobil are being little bitches about it? Yeah, but they have to right to speak their mind just as I have the right to speak mine.

    Their action of not taking retarded copyright actions I give them props for that. I'm glad they could see a copyright case would turn them into a laughing stock.

     

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  15.  
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    abc gum, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:17pm

    Re: The Pirate party's attitude toward property cuts both ways

    Look - I realize it is 420 and all ... but really.

    Get a grip man, I know you can do it. Just hunker down, chill out and put on some Allman Brothers.

     

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  16.  
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    Laroquod (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: We should praising Playmobil

    "No they should be mocked, that is the appropriate response for silliness. The fact they didn't yet try to use the courts is immaterial to the actions taken."
    If the public responds with the same ridicule when a company says, 'I don't like that,' as when a different company says, 'I am suing over that,' what incentive does a company concerned with its image have not to sue? We should encourage companies to manage their images via public statements rather than through the courts, even if we disagree with those public statements.

    The perfect is the enemy of the good.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re:

    Or is it an implied license, it's implied that all 'rights' are reserved.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 2:30pm

    Re: The Pirate party's attitude toward property cuts both ways

    > We've watched political candidates eat crow after they use some song by an artist

    We have?

    I don't think so.

    The usual politician reaction to being told "no you can't use us to represent your nutbag views" is to simply pretend that they are above the law. No such politician ever ate crow over the issue.

    H*ll, most of the time they completely miss the meaning of the work they're pirating an make hilarious implications.

    ...like Palin being a sleazy A&R man.

     

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  19.  
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    anonymous, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:17pm

    doesnt matter, pirate party sucks anyway...bunch of "geniuses"
    all they do is blablabla but no fucking action(like the rest)

     

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  20.  
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    Squig (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 10:34pm

    Re:

    ¿Qué?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:33pm

    Re: The Pirate party's attitude toward property cuts both ways

    Still not reading the articles, huh, bob? I know it's hard, but it's fundamental to taking you seriously.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:37pm

    Re: Re:

    Don't worry about it. They don't know what they're talking about, either.

     

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  23.  
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    Isaac the k (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 5:43am

    wait a minute

    How do the CUPS constitute a choking hazards for three year olds? the must have been sued by babies with HUGE mouths...

     

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  24.  
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    Isaac the k, Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 5:43am

    wait a minute

    How do the CUPS constitute a choking hazards for three year olds? the must have been sued by babies with HUGE mouths...

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:28am

    But .... but.... think of the children!

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Andrew, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 6:48am

    that's not a pirate

    As a Pirate Party UK member and a dad of a 4-year-old who has the flipping Playmobil pirate action figure, that's not the pirate, it's a navy captain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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