Motion Picture Academy Threatens Costume Shop For Offering An Oscar Costume

from the trademark-fun dept

The Motion Picture Academy is notorious not just for its incredibly aggressive stance when it comes to copyright, but also to trademarks — especially when it comes to the Academy Awards, better known as The Oscars. I’ve heard stories of them threatening/suing people for holding Oscars parties with mock Oscar statues. So it comes as little surprise to see the following story, sent in by Lawrence D’Oliveiro, that the Academy is threatening a small costume shop in New Zealand for daring to offer costumes that look like the Oscar statue. As if they don’t have anything better to be focusing on? The Academy and misguided trademark lawyers will of course chime in and insist that they must do this or risk the statue becoming “generic” such that the trademark goes away, but it still seems like a bullying approach. Why not just work with the shop to offer a “licensed” version? It’s not like having such costumes around the world causes any actual harm to The Oscars. In fact, it helps to promote them…

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Companies: mpa

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Comments on “Motion Picture Academy Threatens Costume Shop For Offering An Oscar Costume”

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Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Trademark vs Copyright

The 3 News item talks about copyright, not trademark. Of course, journalists typically have trouble telling the concepts apart. But if it is a copyright issue, then I’m told it would date to the design by Cedric Gibbons, who died in 1960. So under NZ law the copyright would expire at the end of this year.

hmm says:

But aren’t these kinds of awards just a waste of everyone’s time anyway?

Prejudice, homophobia all play a part in who wins/loses, and you can pretty much BUY yourself any of the major awards just by accidentally “donating” the most that year to which ever corporation owns the award body rendering the film and music awards utterly pointless except as a self-congratulatory pat on the back.

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