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DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue 249

An anonymous reader writes Jeffrey Baldwin was essentially starved to death by his grandparents. Funds had been raised to build a monument for Jeffrey in Toronto. The monument was designed to feature Jeffrey in a Superman costume, and even though Superman should be public domain, DC Comics has denied the request. "The request to DC had been made by Todd Boyce, an Ottawa father who did not know the Baldwin family. Boyce was so moved by the testimony at the coroner’s inquest into Jeffrey’s death last year that he started an online fundraising campaign for the monument. DC’s senior vice-president of business and legal affairs, Amy Genkins, told Boyce in an email that 'for a variety of legal reasons, we are not able to accede to the request, nor many other incredibly worthy projects that come to our attention.'... For Boyce, it was a huge blow, as he felt the Superman aspect was a crucial part of the bronze monument, which will include a bench. The coroner’s inquest heard from Jeffrey’s father that his son loved to dress up as Superman."
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DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue

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  • Put it up anyway (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Monday July 07, 2014 @04:24PM (#47402509) Journal

    Then, while they're tearing it down, get it on film...

  • I should add... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Monday July 07, 2014 @04:26PM (#47402523) Homepage

    ...one good thing DID come out of this. We now know that DC are a bunch of heartless asses.

    I guess finding this out is good for society. Makes me want to be their customer less, that's for sure.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Monday July 07, 2014 @04:53PM (#47402749)

    Which is why it's on ~1 out of 9 t-shirts, ~4 out of 10 underwear, and 3 out of 100 tatoos. They could license it for 1$.

    Perhaps they can get around the "license requirement" for this memorial by purchasing a $10 T-shirt off the shelf. And simply don the product they purchased to the statue after folding.

    The product then is already licensed; and the statue is not an article being used in trade.... it makes no difference if you wear it in public or attach it to a statue: you purchased a product that included the right to contain that logo licensed to the apparel distributor ---- the trademark holder's consent simply isn't required (they already consented to the mark's usage).

    They could also "treat" the shirt by covering it with some chemicals, plastics, and protective coatings to help preserve and protect it. and possibly take some other steps to "emboss" or emphasize the mark, as long as the logo itself remains unaltered.

  • This is a non-issue. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 07, 2014 @04:55PM (#47402775)

    Depict the kid in a skintight suit and a cape. Design a trianguar shield featuring the first letter of his own name. It would evoke Superman, but be non-actionable.

  • Re:Superman (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday July 07, 2014 @06:36PM (#47403543)
    Or the Make-a-Wish Foundation felt that what they were doing was fair-use. Remember, while they dressed the kid in an off-the-shelf costume, they called him "Batkid", not "Batman", and had DC tried to kibosh the whole thing they'd have looked like monsters.

    Media companies struggle with this. There have been fanclubs that have received glowing endorsements from marketing departments while simultaneously receiving cease-and-desist letters from those same companies' legal departments. On the one hand letting the fans run wild with sanctioned merchandise and games and other enthusiasm brings value, but they have to be careful with derivative works and other uses, but if they step too hard then they'll be seen as douchebags and will alienate the very people that make them all their money. The best thing that they can do is to offer enough things with their IP on them for legal sale (look at Thinkgeek as an example of what's available) and the fans will probably be sated without resorting to IP violations en-masse.
  • by quax ( 19371 ) on Monday July 07, 2014 @06:44PM (#47403593)

    Actually, this is exactly what they are doing now.

  • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Monday July 07, 2014 @09:51PM (#47404487)
    Well, you could have phrased that a little better... I do think it's odd that a Superman costume would be so integral to this monument when the only suggestion that the kid cared about Superman at all was a single comment by his abusive father.

    Random Stranger who's organizing this didn't know the kid at all... which is itself also rather odd. Monuments like this aren't for the dead, after all, they're for the living, those who still remember and care about the people who have passed, and Random Stranger never knew this kid. Random Stranger doesn't know the first thing about his personality. Why is it so important to Random Stranger whether or not the statue is dressed like Superman?

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!