Dune's New Logo Started Disappearing From Twitter Due To Copyright Claims, But No One Is Quite Sure Why

from the it's-a-logo-people dept

Late last week, Boing Boing reported that after the logo for Denis Villeneuve's upcoming Dune movie that people have been obsessing over for decades (well, the idea of a new Dune movie, not Villeneuve's version in particular), some people posted some photos of the launch event, showing a stage with an image and the logo behind whoever it is on stage. It looked something like this:

People seem very, very opinionated about the logo -- in both good and bad ways. At the very least, it generated a lot of discussion. However, people started to notice that many of the Twitter accounts that posted the image had had it pulled down due to a DMCA takedown. And suddenly a bunch of Twitter accounts were looking like this:

It even got so crazy that one guy tried to recreate the logo from scratch to try to avoid a DMCA:

That said, I can find a bunch of accounts showing the logo now (and a bunch more making parody/memes out of the background image and a similar font). However, what remains unclear is who is actually taking down the logo and under what basis. Many have assumed that it's Legendary Entertainment, which produced the film, and/or Warner Bros., which is handling distribution. Still others have argued that it could be the Australian photographer, Leah Kennedy, whose otherworldly aerial image of sand dunes in Namibia appears to be the basis for the background in the original screenshot shown.

What's even less clear is under what basis there would be to take down such an image. Yes, it's possible that Warner/Legendary had a promotional plan that wasn't set to launch just yet, but that's not a legitimate reason to abuse copyright law to take down what are clearly fair use images of the logo in action. It's also unclear why anyone thinks some crazy whac-a-mole over a logo is ever actually going to work. Copyright is a tool that can, and frequently is, used to take down content, but that doesn't mean that it's supposed to allow such blatant censorship, or that such efforts will ever be particularly effective.

Filed Under: copyright, dmca, dune, logo, takedowns


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Pixelation, 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:08pm

    Because?

    It could be read as Dunce...

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:21pm

    It is by will alone I set the keys a clacking...

    Seems pretty obvious to me, clearly it's a first strike in the AI revolution, showing the folly of using machines for moderation rather than human moderators hopped up on some good old spice.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 7:13am

      Re: It is by will alone I set the keys a clacking...

      Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man's mind.

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

      • identicon
        Annonymouse, 6 Feb 2020 @ 5:31am

        Re: Re: It is by will alone I set the keys a clacking...

        For it is akin to building a castle in a swamp.
        It is a a silly idea for once you eventually manage to build it to completion you are still in a swamp.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Feb 2020 @ 3:24am

      Re: It is by will alone I set the keys a clacking...

      "...clearly it's a first strike in the AI revolution, showing the folly of using machines for moderation rather than human moderators hopped up on some good old spice."

      Well, if anything can give the cause of a good old butlerian jihad due weight of validation it would be contemporary filtering algorithms...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 8:49pm

    No surprises there really its surely an automated system going full ham on anything even remotely resembling it. With Copyright being as it is, there is pretty much zero downside or legal risk for the ones issuing the bogus takedowns. (Even if those were actually manually issued takedowns.)

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

  • icon
    GS (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 10:09pm

    "...but that's not a legitimate reason to abuse copyright law..."

    It's not like that's actually stopped anyone from abusing copyright law before.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 5:29am

      Copright law is what you get when someone takes the concept that you can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride and purposely designs the ride to be lethal. Just imagine how much more compliant the physical public would be if cops kept live cobras in the backseats of their cruisers.

      Rights only matter if you can survive (financially) to assert them.

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

  • identicon
    Queex, 5 Feb 2020 @ 3:19am

    Not an original design?

    As striking as the logo is, it's kind of an inferior version of one design that appeared on a book cover:

    https://i.redd.it/ji5nb6jxn8r21.jpg

    I wondered if the designer of that book cover has taken umbrage at the new logo and is behind the takedowns. Not exactly a proper use of copyright law either, but makes slightly more sense.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 5:46am

      I wondered if the designer of that book cover has taken umbrage at the new logo and is behind the takedowns.

      Why would they be mad about the new logo?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 11:41am

        Re:

        It's for intellectual property they don't own.

        Essentially, the new logo could be argued to be infringement by a third party on THEIR book cover.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 12:27pm

          If anything, both logos are work-for-hire product that would be owned by whoever holds the copyrights and licenses for the Dune multimedia franchise. The logo designer for the book would have no real legal standing for a copyright claim in that situation — no matter how they may or may not feel about the new logo.

          Also: I somehow doubt the designer “took umbrage” to a new Dune logo existing. Dune has never really had a singular logo that represents the franchise itself, including the one made by that designer. For what reason should they be mad?

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

  • identicon
    Adam, 5 Feb 2020 @ 6:38am

    dunes

    For what it's worth, those dunes in Namibia are even better looking in person!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 7:30am

    I honestly don't get what the big deal is. After hearing everyone go on about how awesome Dune is, I read it in college and was completely underwhelmed. The concept was OK, but the writing was dull, the execution was boring, and the ending was (and still is) one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. Why do so many people get so excited about this book and want to see adaptations of it?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      Because they are tired of the Brady Bunch remakes?

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

    • icon
      Coogan (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 7:50am

      Re:

      Because people enjoy different things and that's OK?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      At the time Dune was originally released in 1965, it took a significantly different approach to dystopic Sci-Fi from classics like Asimov's Foundation series. As such, it was a breath of fresh air to see a completely new writing style in the genre.

      That, of course was the original book by Frank. The sequels by his son were more formulaic and "in the style" for people who were already invested in the Dune universe.

      And now of course, 55 years later, it's all about the nostalgia.

      When I read the book for the first time shortly after reading Foundation and Earth, around 30 years ago, it was truly different and entertaining. When I went back to read it again recently, I only got through the first few chapters before I permanently put it down and decided I'd had enough of books written by the Herberts.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 12:32pm

        55 years later, it's all about the nostalgia

        Not…really? I mean, I’m sure plenty of people have nostalgia for the franchise (or only parts of it, e.g., the original film), but let’s not act like Dune is a globally known property like Star Wars. The new film reeks of an attempt to make that leap — to create a new tentpole film franchise around an existing property which has at least some name recognition in broader culture. Nostalgia might aid the attempt, sure. But nostalgia alone won’t push Dune across that particular finish line.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 12:53pm

          Re:

          To clarify, the nostalgia I'm referring to isn't cultural nostalgia, but nostalgia for the book by those of us who read it over 20 years ago. Things from the past bringing up fond memories and all that.

          So this is in answer to "I honestly don't see what the big deal is." Anywhere that Dune is a big deal, it has more to do with nostalgia or its historical place in literature than it does to the actual plot or writing of the book or series.

          That said, the series also has an existing stable fan base, a LOT of existing works under a pretty unified copyright umbrella, and a well developed fictional universe. This makes it ripe to do the Star Wars thing. Although... Dune LEGO seems a bit off, considering the adult content prevalent throughout the stories that made it stand out from other SciFi at the time.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 1:20pm

          Re:

          The new film has the same hurdle to leap as previous films, the action in Dune was the background to an exploration of what was going on inside peoples heads. What the characters were thinking is an important part of the book, and that does not translate to film well.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 6:08am

          Re:

          "let’s not act like Dune is a globally known property like Star Wars"

          Most things aren't.

          But, when something has already spawned numerous sequels, 3 movie & TV adaptations and a videogame franchise, among other things, it's also hardly something without an audience. It's certainly got more of a built-in audience than, say, Valerian or John Carter did for their movie adaptations.

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

          • identicon
            Almost Anonymous, 6 Feb 2020 @ 11:49am

            Re: Re:

            Man, Dune 2 (the PC game) is arguably the father of all RTS games. I sunk sooo many hours into that game!

            For the nitpickers: it may not have been the first RTS (although I can't think of a good example before Dune 2), but it was the first to do it well.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 11:59pm

              Re: Re: Re:

              I sank many hours into Emperor: Battle For Dune and could never get past a certain point. Years later I tried again, and I swear it was a game-breaking AI bug that was preventing me from progressing.

              Anyway, the point is that there's a built-in fan base even among people who have never touched the source books.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Feb 2020 @ 3:38am

        Re: Re:

        "When I read the book for the first time shortly after reading Foundation and Earth, around 30 years ago, it was truly different and entertaining. When I went back to read it again recently, I only got through the first few chapters before I permanently put it down and decided I'd had enough of books written by the Herberts."

        Well, the Dune series DID pave the way for quite a lot of modern sci-fi writers - biotech and genetech, cybernetics, meditative feedback enhancements...etc etc...

        But it's pretty sparse and reads like a hybrid of a John Carter sci-pulp novel and a bad Gene Roddenberry script. The world building in particular is drier than the dunes of arrakis. There's too many conversations you just lose completely because the terminology in them requires you to guess what they're actually discussing. WTF is a "tleilaxu" for instance, a "ghola" or a "bene gesserit sister"?

        Turns out it's, in order, a member of a clan of isolationist bio-engineers, a cloned replicant, and a member of a political-religious sects of supremacy masterminds running a centuries-long breeding program. But you don't get that context just by picking up the book and trying to read it which renders shit more confusing than it'd have to be.

        World-building is an art and Herbert would have done well to take that initial novel of his and spread it out in tolkien fashion.

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

        • identicon
          DDDD, 7 Feb 2020 @ 10:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          MOST BOOKS HAVE DICTIONARY IN BACK FOR WORDS

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Feb 2020 @ 3:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "MOST BOOKS HAVE DICTIONARY IN BACK FOR WORDS"

            Not the Dune novel - nor many other sci-fi and fantasy works, especially not from that era.

            The "Dune" dictionary was left in the scribbled notes of Herbert and never made it to publication until in later books.

            That's why modern authors are keen to add context enough to make the use of new vernacular less confusing so it adds rather than subtracts from the reading experience.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 6:01am

      Re:

      Because people like things you don't like?

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

  • identicon
    guest, 9 Feb 2020 @ 8:06pm

    ** You call it a "launch event", but the movie is not due out for nearly a year. This is probably either a briefing & trailer for industry insiders / management / investors, or a pre-release screening with a carefully selected audience, for the purpose of getting their reaction to a rough edit which they dont want people to discuss.

    The use of a photo without permission here is probably just barely legal so long as they are not using it to promote the film in any public fashion. When it was leaked, maybe that became a potential liability. I think the photographer should be thrilled to get this kind of respect & exposure, but they might have smelled money and quickly objected to unsanctioned use. It will be interesting to see if this photo appears in official promo materials. **

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

  • identicon
    anonymous, 9 Feb 2020 @ 8:39pm

    🐛 🐛 🐛 🐛 🐛 🐛

    BEST PARODY

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.