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Old 2007-12-26, 08:56 PM   #1
secretcode
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Default Bee-Otch Air Freshener causes Lawsuit... Seriously.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/12262007...dea_473566.htm

Is nothing sacred?
 
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Old 2007-12-26, 10:36 PM   #2
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Doesn't say if she's cashed in on the link, does it? It's probably just another 'ohh! ohh! lookee here!' lawsuit to bring in even more dosh.

Has anyone, out of interest, bought one of these air-refesher items?
 
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Old 2007-12-26, 11:20 PM   #3
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Why would they need to pay a copyright fee for having the air freshener in the car? Do they have to pay copyright fees to every car manufactor for all the cars shown in the background throughout the movie?

And how does a merchandise booth having the air fresheners involve the filmmakers?

If people are making bootleg air fresheners (that's a funny thought), then she would have a case against the people selling the counterfeits. Her rationale for suing Dreamworks makes no sense, though.
 
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Old 2007-12-27, 02:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clogs
Has anyone, out of interest, bought one of these air-refesher items?
my theater received a TF movie promo pack- a cybertron leader prime (that a manager stole, despite a bunch of people asking for a raffle for it- the b*tch!)- a legends prime, a duffle bag with the autobot logo- a t-shirt with the same sigil, a film crew t-shirt- but it was a medium... some dvd with the trailers on it- i lost the raffle for it...

and the bee-otch airfrshener- which i have...
 
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Old 2007-12-27, 03:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clay
Why would they need to pay a copyright fee for having the air freshener in the car? Do they have to pay copyright fees to every car manufactor for all the cars shown in the background throughout the movie?

And how does a merchandise booth having the air fresheners involve the filmmakers?

If people are making bootleg air fresheners (that's a funny thought), then she would have a case against the people selling the counterfeits. Her rationale for suing Dreamworks makes no sense, though.
She's suing because its use in the movie is costing her money. People are thinking she's the copy-cat, and aren't buying her product as a result. If I were her, I would have done the same thing. They're profiting from the "gag" and she's losing money. They were also selling versions of it without her approval, and had gone as far as to remove her copyright marks from it. There is a big difference between using a bunch of "unidentified" cars for background which will only appear once on screen, and using a specific copyrighted product throughout the movie without proper licensing or permission. This is especially true if you alter it in the way they did by removing the copyright notice. It may seem trivial, but it isn't.
 
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Old 2007-12-27, 09:46 AM   #6
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Another waste of good ol' money if you ask for my honest, and yet humble opinion. I guess she is right, but at the same time it has that "hot coffee, despite knowing it IS hot, in lap lawsuit". I get honestly annoyed by these lawsuits and it shouldn't be such a huge public debate. I haven't even heard, nor seen, this brand of air freshener ever in my travels to many mini-markets, major chain stores, etc. I say give her a little money to shut up and be done with the lawsuit.
 
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Old 2007-12-27, 10:46 AM   #7
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The "hot coffee" case was a bit different. It was ACTUALLY "way too hot for drinking" hot. The reasoning was that you wouldn't drink it right away, but would take it with you to your office and expect it to be just cooled down enough for drinking it by that point.
 
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Old 2007-12-27, 01:13 PM   #8
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The coffee thing was a wake up call for people to stop making coffee that hot, to place warnings on all cups, and for people to realize that: "Hey, you know that coffee that is "COOKING" is freaking hot and maybe you should let it cool BEFORE you drink it!!!! Just like normal people do but hey if you want to be an over achiever and try to drink it just off the burner then you get what you get, you freaking tool!!!! As for the air freshner thing, we will have to see were this goes, she kinda has a case becuase who ever the person was who decided to use this thing did what he did, now Dreamworks might have to take the hit for his/her mistake. It's a shame but it happens. I just hope it doesn't effect the next movie in any way.
 
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Old 2007-12-27, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Springer007
it has that "hot coffee, despite knowing it IS hot, in lap lawsuit".
Poor example, as that one was justified* -- McDonald's were in breach of legislation that required hot drinks to not be at a temperature whereby third degree burns (a level that requires skin grafts, IIRC) would occur in thirty seconds of exposure. The store served theirs to customers at a temperature that resulted in it occurring within three seconds, which isn't long enough to brush off splashes.

It's okay to brew it hotter, but not to serve at that temperature -- for the safety of staff if a cup gets dropped, if for no other.

This case is also pretty open and shut... the makers are profiting from someone else's design (specifically using it on displays outside the film) and since their business is IP that's rather hypocritical.

*Moreover, they were sued for medical costs. The court awarded high extra punitive damages because McDonald's were complete arseholes in court.
 
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Old 2007-12-27, 07:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
The "hot coffee" case was a bit different. It was ACTUALLY "way too hot for drinking" hot. The reasoning was that you wouldn't drink it right away, but would take it with you to your office and expect it to be just cooled down enough for drinking it by that point.
We do usually cite links on the site but getting into legal conversation is citing cases too much? like the X-Files we want to believe...
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Last edited by stoltobot; 2011-03-09 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 2007-12-27, 07:20 PM   #11
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I admit, horrid comparison on my part. I was trying to think of frivolous lawsuits from the past that just could have been fixed with just a smidgion of common sense. I wish people would step back, take a deep breath, and reconcile and say "ok. you can use it, but please give me the royalties of that idea." and all would be well and agreed upon easily. It reminds me more of the theme song issue with Sunbow and the lass who had created so many themes for the various 80's cartoon series. She got her royalties though in the end, but I wish that could have been settled when they were made. I guess that is the better comparison: take care of it when it is discovered, or made firstly than later. I hope that makes better sense.
 
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Old 2007-12-27, 07:46 PM   #12
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Just to clear things out a bit...no coffee was spilled. The coffee was literally so f***ing hot it melt the bottom off from the polystyrene cup, which naturally meant all that boiling hot liquid ended up straight in her lap. Also, she wasn't even driving, she was sitting on the passenger seat, and placed the cup in her lap to...I don't remember, browse her purse I guess.

And that's actually the only one of these so called "frivolous lawsuits" that are even remotely true. Check out snopes for them; Man mistaking "automatic cruise control" for "autopilot", someone slipping in a store on a liquid he had spilled and suing the store for it, the thief trapped in his victim's own garage and suing the owner...all fake.
 

Last edited by Tetsuro; 2007-12-27 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 2007-12-28, 12:21 AM   #13
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I have read this article a few times and I did have a few beefs with it now that I read it several more times:

"In papers filed in Brooklyn federal court, Alia Madden says the only big difference between her "Bee-otch" air freshener and the one in the film is the deletion of her copyright notice."

**** Does she really have proof of her copyright being deleted? Did Michael Bay and company directly claim the Bee-Otch logo as their own?

" "Now she tries to sell her work, which had been a consistent seller, and people think she's ripping off 'Transformers,' " said lawyer Daniel Abraham."

**** Who accused her? Fans of the movie, would-be customers of the product?

"Madden came up with the design for a bee over the word "Bee-otch" back in 2002, and licensed it out for use on air fresheners, mugs and shirts."

**** Did she bother to renew her contract? Did it the license expire? What could have happened is incompetence in the Michael Bay group, hopefully either the person is dismissed for not doing homework: like asking for permission, or they were fired horridly and embarassingly in front of many of the person's co-workers.

"In June, she attended a merchandisers convention at the Javits Center and was stunned to see it being displayed on air fresheners in the "Transformers" booth."

**** I would have been a bit suspicious if my "product design" was featured in the very booth for either a toyline or an upcoming movie. That should have been a flag for her to ask questions.

"Madden, 34, said the movie's producers, DreamWorks, bought several of her air fresheners, but never asked permission to sell a version of it."

**** Again, once it is bought, aren't they supposed to let the person know they are using the product? They obviously didn't if there is this much fuss over such a logo.

"After the movie was released, Madden discovered her design was also featured in the flick."

**** As stated by a few friends I showed this article to, their response is: "Here's your sign!" "


"The disguised Bumblebee "has an automobile air freshener hanging from its rear view mirror which is . . . nearly identical, to the image created by plaintiff," the suit says."

**** "Nearly" identical? How specific are we being? Is it fully identical, or just a few similarities?

"The suit seeks $850,000 from the filmmakers. A rep did not return a call."

**** I need to make a stupid idea, let an executive of an upcoming movie franchise buy it. then later after seeing the movie, or my merchandise anywhere, sue them for "infringement" because my lack of common sense to ask questions about anything.
 
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Old 2007-12-28, 03:09 AM   #14
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The actual airfreshener she produces and licenses out for production woul have printed along the edges the copyright symbol along with the year and her name. That is missing from the "BEE-OTCH" airfreshener in the movie and being produced as a movie tie-in merchandize. They literally printed their own without the proper copyright information, thus, in effect, claiming it as their own, and not giving her the credit that she deserves. That is illegal. That is also what she means by "nearly" identical. The difference is that the one in the movie is missing the copyright information which is supposed to be printed on a genuine, licensed "BEE-OTCH" airfreshener. That is blatant copyright infringement. Also remember, she is the owner of the design, not the licensee. She is the licensor. It is her design.
 
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Old 2007-12-28, 05:11 PM   #15
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Other than the obvious copyright infringements she got tons of publicity across the world and didnt have to pay a single penny for it.
 

Last edited by Mabus; 2007-12-28 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 2007-12-28, 06:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mabus
Other than the obvious copyright infringements she got tons of publicity across the world and didnt have to pay a single penny for it.
Wrong. Just the opposite. Not only did she not get payed for its use, but people have begun to think she copied the movie. She is losing money because of this. Therefore, she isn't getting "free publicity" at all. She is paying for what they did. She's paying through lost income.
 
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Old 2007-12-28, 08:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tramp
Wrong. Just the opposite. Not only did she not get payed for its use, but people have begun to think she copied the movie. She is losing money because of this. Therefore, she isn't getting "free publicity" at all. She is paying for what they did. She's paying through lost income.
Ah, there's the rub on't: she alleges she's lost money. No doubt her income statements will show this - most especially the ones to the taxman.

Call me a cynic (and I do have the word stamped through my spine like Blackpool rock).
 
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Old 2007-12-28, 09:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Springer007
"Madden came up with the design for a bee over the word "Bee-otch" back in 2002, and licensed it out for use on air fresheners, mugs and shirts."

**** Did she bother to renew her contract? Did it the license expire?
The copyright on the design doesn't expire for decades (thank Disney and other corporate bottom-feeders for that) and that design has been used on air fresheners made as a film tie-in by the producers, after they purchased originals.

Open and shut case, if those facts are true.
 
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Old 2007-12-28, 09:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clogs
Ah, there's the rub on't: she alleges she's lost money. No doubt her income statements will show this - most especially the ones to the taxman.

Call me a cynic (and I do have the word stamped through my spine like Blackpool rock).
And I have no doubt that she has lost money. Copyright infringement can be extremely damaging to an individual or company. It can be especially damaging to individuals because they often don't have the resources to fight the battle to get the proper dues owed them.
 
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Old 2007-12-28, 09:15 PM   #20
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Umm... exactly what qualifies here as copyright infringement? The product itself isn't being sold by anyone involved in the movie - it just happens to have been there as an in-joke. What's the copyrighted item redistribution here? The phrase 'bee-otch'?

Since it's a pun on 'Bumblebee', this is an open-and-shut case... it's called 'parody'.
 
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