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Copyright Infringement - Non-Licensed Merchandise


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#1 CandyO

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 03:15 PM

Two questions:

#1 Are you aware of the massive amount of people selling non-licensed band items these days?

It’s hard to keep up with even when one is looking for it. It’s not just DIY shirts on eBay anymore, made by people not from here. There are eBay Stores, Etsy Stores and sales via twitter/stand alone online sites, often run by people who claim membership in the newly expanded 30STM community.

- Fans making their own merch has always been encouraged. Sometimes we traded with each other. Trading is good.
- There used to be some here who “sold” things at cost. I wasn’t a fan of that, but at least they were not making a profit off of Mars… if they were being honest about the costs. I think the band might have thought differently but that was up to them to police.
- There was the selling of band type items strictly for charity. The creator received zero monies. The purchase amount went directly to the charity. I could deal with that. It’s for charity.

But now we have people selling items with the Mars symbols/name/lyrics/etc. with a small percentage of the profits going to charity. Nice idea, but that person is still making a profit off the band. And the blatant Sales For Profit sites don’t even pretend to be anything but that. Some of these people claim to be huge THIRTYSECONDSTOMARS fans/Echelon while making money via selling unlicensed merchandise, albeit it DIY items in most cases, but still.

For example, I awkwardly found the following cafepress store by accident today via Twitter. I wonder how many such “30 Seconds To Mars Stores” are out there?
Cafe Press The Room 6277-The Store! The Store for Thirty Seconds To Mars

#2 Do you want/need help finding such stores? Give us a place to send links. Or perhaps you don’t mind people selling copyrighted items anymore? That’s cool too. They are your copyrights. It would just be good to know, either way.

As an artist, I respect the copyrights. I have refrained from selling anything Mars related that I have made. I gift or trade. Period, the end. Having said that… as an artist, I could make a shitload of money off of the Mars stuff that I make. I cannot tell you how many times I have turned down an offer of cash for something I’ve made, because the interested party had nothing to trade & I refused to violate the copyright. I have turned down cash money while others have not been so forthright, so I am very interested in the response. Thank you.

#2 Alexandros

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 04:09 PM

HOLY FUCK. THANK YOU.

#3 piewacket

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:53 PM

I have to agree with everything you said ,  but can I add , I've said for a long time Mars Merch Sucks they are not selling to their fans do they know who their fans are ? How many mens t shirt's in relation to women's for a start and tbh its boring. There is also postage costs for outside the USA . When you find yourself paying as much to have something sent and then on top paying import duty its not worth it. The europe shop didn't do very well mainly because it had hardly anything in it. Surely it goes to show if all these places are doing busines something is wrong with the Mars Merch ?

#4 HELIOS

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 08:40 AM

Regarding Copyright Infringement:

All Band symbols, including pictures/photographs, Glyphics, fonts, Triad, Phoenix, etc. are copyright material, thus cannot be used for ANY profit gain (including charitable foundation). As general knowledge, copyright material is illegal to use, without consent, for profit gain. This is a basic copyright rule that applies in all cases and to everyone.

If any questions regarding this standard arise, feel free to email The Hive at thisisthehive[@]gmail.com with concerns.

#5 Alexandros

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 09:22 AM

Thanks Heliator.

It's spreading everywhere. ;)

#6 VanillaMintFusion

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 02:25 PM

Thanks Helios for clarifying that!

@Pie

While I agree with the ratio of male vs female t-shirts that are available in the MT store is out of synch considering the amount of female fans. I know lots of ladies buy the mens shirts too but yes it'd be nicer to have a bit more variety in women's both in print and silhouette. Or the variety of what's on sale... Though that alone should not give reason to start up illegal side businesses on product with Mars logo's. It is never acceptable to make money out of other people's intellectual or artistic property.

The shipping costs are actually I think the real shipping costs from the USA to Europe. So they are not really making a profit. Though I guess it depends on the companies approach on whether to "punish" customers for not living in the country they ship from. Last company I worked for had a flat rate for all shipments from their B2C site as it was their choice to set up a warehouse in a certain country, not the customers. So on some shipments they made a loss, on others they made a profit and it all levelled out. But yes, perhaps the European store(s) should be stocked more/better. Logistically obviously it's always tough have a DC with inventory across different countries. Requires some good planning...

Also some of the stuff I've seen out there being offered with Mars logos, lyrics etc are just  :blink: a yoga mat? ORLY? A dog's drinking bowl? A baby blanket? I do think Mars could/should add some stuff to their shop. Perhaps they should do a poll or something on what we'd like to see added. Mousepads? Stickers? iphone or BlackBerry case? Decals? Just a thought.

#7 CandyO

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 04:12 PM

Thanks guys. And thank you Helios for clarifying once again what Copyright Infringement is, which those of us who follow the rules already know. This seems to answer Question 2B… yes, the band still cares. But is that gonna be it?

99% of the current offending parties are not even members here so they won’t see your post. Even if you tweet it, 99% of the offending parties do not follow you/have no idea who you are. Even if The Hive were to tweet it, it wouldn’t be “official” in the eyes of most who are infringing on the copyrights. Based on the tweets bitching about Golden Tickets after The Hive took them over, the new people have no idea that The Hive and Sisyphus Touring are 30 Seconds To Mars holdings and as official as one gets.

I don’t want to be a pain in the ass, but it’s for a good cause so I will soldier on. I am looking out for the band’s best interests and have done so for years, regarding their copyrights specifically. Being a fellow artist makes me want to go after those who abuse the band’s copyrights even more than the next guy. I will defend the band’s copyrights as if they were my own. The last copyright discussion I had on here resulted with the offending party saying the following. And I quote:
“As far as copyright goes, it is my understanding that Mars encourage their fans to use the symbols to spread the word and further the cause, I do not manufacture, I individually handmake pieces, often custom requests. I also sell them at cost and for every 10th piece I have sold I have donated a piece to the Echelonhouse or other echelon fundraisers. Sorry if you think this is wrong”
It’s a losing battle. Nobody making money off of Mars gives two shits who I am when I point out that what they are doing is wrong. It needs to come from someone “official”.

The band [and those who are employed by the band and EMI employees etc.] cannot be everywhere all the time. Which is why I asked if help is needed/wanted to find those who are, knowingly or unknowingly, infringing on THIRTYSECONDSTOMARS copyrights by making money off of unlicensed band merchandise.  Helios, did you give the Hive gmail address so we can report links so an official email will be sent to the sites/stores in question to please cease and desist?

May I strongly suggest that Mars issue a simple statement: “Sales and/or profits of any unlicensed items using Mars symbols/artwork/trademarks will not be tolerated. Period. If you do so, you are NOT echelon.” Post it here, Tweet it from the Mars account, facebook it, put it on the official website. Something. Make an official statement so those of us who combat this copyright monster every couple of months on behalf of Mars have something “official” to refer to when people get uppity that a nobody like me dare speak up for the band’s best interest.

I realize not much can be done unless funds are spent to actually prosecute, but a simple official request to halt such sales would go a long way to stop the "fans" who are doing it. "zomg I don't want the band pissed at me. I will stop now!" The joe shmo's who crank out illegal merch for lots of bands might not stop, but those people never annoyed me half as much as much as those who claim to be the "Best Echelon EVER" while making money off the band's artwork.

If something is not done beyond the simple acknowledgment by Helios in this thread that profit gain by way of the band’s symbols/etc. is illegal without prior consent, which those of us with scruples already knew, then nothing has been gained. If those who sell unlicensed merchandise should not do so but are not told to stop… if the powers that be are turning a blind eye to these actions then, in essence, the bad behavior is condoned.

Which means my question was a moot point. Nothing has changed. We are right back where we were 24 hours ago. I could have asked if they like the color blue. Let’s trend #marslikesblue !!1!!!

#8 Alexandros

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 04:36 PM

I think that if we all take some initiative on this and relay in people who tend to do that, that it's illegal and they may get in legal trouble for using and exploiting an artist's intellectual property (consequently the artist's royalties that come from it) for profit and/or charity use without the artist's consent/approval, we maaay reduce the wave of such acts. No?

I did that just today with a recent case and I explained how things work when it comes to intellectual property and copyright and how serious offense it is. The person in question withdrew the designs from her store, but i told her also that using the name of Jared Leto, or any band member, their lyrics etc on products made for profit is also forbidden by law and that she should take them down to avoid trouble.

My point is that there are way too many clueless people who don't know shit about copyright material and profit/non profit use. They confuse the "zOMG the band encourages me to use the artwork!!!" with the "oh well I can sell them too, or give the money to charity using the Mars name/artwork". Plenty are unaware that there is a legal issue here and they need to have the artist's approval to commercialize with his work. So a few messages here and there in the social networking sites, it may do the deed neatly.

#9 Mistressred

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 09:42 PM

Maybe it would not hurt to ask fans what they would like to see in the form of merch? Things in the store become redundant after a few years, and the glyph bear, didn't really do it for me.I would love for the white old school hoodies to be available again, I still hate white, but sorta wish I had gotten one.
Maybe if the store offered the same items that you can get at concerts as well. I know there were things sold in Europe at shows, that were never seen here ( like those scarves).
Give the people what they want, and maybe they won't go looking elsewhere. Being able to copy and paste Helios's copyright blurb may be of use. Twitter that, instead of marslikesblue...??? :huh:

#10 VanillaMintFusion

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 07:12 AM

Good point though Candy. If we find site, what to do? Pass them on, approach ourselves?

I see the use of the copyrighted logo's, lyrics etc in so many places, a lot under the header "charity". But as it's been mentioned before that even for Charity you can not use them unless you have band approval (which I believe none have).

http://twitter.com/30STMDAY has the following store http://themarsfactory.spreadshirt.net/
http://twitter.com/echelonforhope has http://www.cafepress.ca/echelonforhope
http://twitter.com/echelonforhaiti has this store http://www.echelonforhaiti.org/shop

I think it's fab that the band inspires fans to do something for Charity. But approach it in the right way, be INSPIRED and not just try to raise money through fake Merchandise. There are plenty other ways to do something for charity and collect money without doing that.

EDIT: another site *sigh* http://www.yesthisis...-the-edge-tour/

#11 CandyO

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 03:35 PM

Alexandros, you are absolutely correct. It's great that you managed to get that person to take down some of her sale stuff. Well done. But you are definately having better luck with it than I ever have. I usually get the "who the fuck are you to tell me not to sell band stuff?" or people who give reasons and make excuses as to why it should be "okay" for them to break the law and "sorry if you think it's wrong."  I get exhausted. :/

Hahaa Mistress... I threw in the marslikesblue trending comment in at the end just for you. ;)

Laris... I mean Vanilla - oh geeze, those links. See? That's what I mean. That stuff looks official like while totally not being official. And I agree 100% with the inspired bit rather than selling fake merchandise to raise money for chairty. I could go into a long dissertation of my derivative House Mithra piece but I have been long winded two nights in a row. Short version: she was unique. That unique but inspired logo raised a LOT of money for Habitat For Humanity before Lily retired her "just in case" due to *drumroll* possible copyright issues. I never recieved nor asked for a single penny for that work. Neither did Dai who turned my watercolor into digital form. Okay, I babbled anyway despite myself.

I do get worked up every couple of months about this topic, don't I? I see the cafepress store or the triad lady and get all hot under the collar. I remember when candyobandy's ebay store link was tweeted by The Hive this past winter... no, maybe it was Helios... shoot, maybe it was Dai... anyway, someone in the Mars camp re-tweeted her store link and that was a mixed message for me. That's when I started wondering if maybe the band really didn't give a fuck about fans using their copyrights for profit gain anymore.

I remember the artist's copyright hooplah back in the 90's... or was it the 00's?... anyway, it's a subject that is dear to my heart. That's why I get all worked up even when it's not my copyrights that are being compromised. When we get down to it, did the cafe press store push me over the edge again? Yes. Did I really think Mars was going to address this here in Purgatory? No. Did I want them to? Yes. Is the world going to end based on any of this? No.

So... do me a favor ya'll. The next time I get my dander up on the subject of 30 Seconds To Mars copyright infringements, someone remind me that I tend to be a little too passionate about it and need to breathe. I can type until I am blue in the fingers but I will never be able to stop it. There will continue to be people who make money off of the band using their artwork without permission, and some of these people will call themselves Echelon. And even though it is wrong and illegal, chances are nobody will ever actually get in trouble over it.
*says 5 Hail Mithra's and lights a candle*

#12 Mistressred

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:07 PM

Ok, so besdides Glyph Rings, what do people want to see? Anyone besides me want those old white hoodies back?
I liked the guitar picks, but people just bought them bulk, and then are selling them for a profit on ebay.
The ones I have a real, they look a bit more transparent, and they glow in the dark, I don't think the ones in the store did... Did they?

Yes the Mareslikesblue thing easily confuses me, I may have to wander around this thread, until something else gets my attention, damn it!

#13 SvtHoff

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 06:18 AM

While I'm not really into band merch at all, it is mostly because the items from official stores don't appeal to me at all. And sure, unofficial stores might have the things I would like, because of everything mentioned here, I won't buy it. It's fake and the wrong people make money off it.

In answer to Mistressred's question, what would I like to have? Leather writs bands with the symbols. More choice in terms of women's shirts. Throw out the bear, we're not in kindergarten anymore  <_<  The guitar picks back. Digital donwloads (saves shipping costs) with unique songs/interviews/concert registrations etc. A photobook with tour pics (and not just Jared's private BB pics of up close bugs and food :P) Hell, bring back patches and buttons!  ;)

Anyway, I agree something should be done to stop people (other than the band/EMI) selling Mars stuff for profit. Again, the wrong people make money from it. Not cool. Although the official shop should really start to stock stuff the fans actually want. Like, women's stuff, since your fanbase is largely female :P

#14 Mistressred

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:58 AM

Yes I think the patches and things you can sew on your clothes were cool. You may not want to wear all their merch, you may want to make your own stuff "Mars" inspired. I stitched 3 Mars patches on an army looking jacket, that already had it's own patches, and I like it. The hats were cool when they had them, although I never bought one because I don't wear hats. Those black rubber This Is A Cult wristbands they sold at the shows, those would be nice to have in the store, because I am sure the print wears off. What happened to the black wristbands? Oh and tank tops, did they ever have just basic tank tops in the store?

#15 VanillaMintFusion

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:09 AM

The rubber wristbands are cool, but too wide I find. The more narrow ones (like the Livestrong ones) are easier to wear and better to be combined with other stuff you wear on your wrists. Yes more patches to make your own stuff...

#16 alexus

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 01:33 AM

Thanks guys. And thank you Helios for clarifying once again what Copyright Infringement is, which those of us who follow the rules already know. This seems to answer Question 2B…

#17 uttelpjed

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 09:24 AM

...... in the case of both copyright and unregistered design right, copying of an original work is an infringement, but it does not have to be an exact copy to infringe.

#18 CandyO

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 04:07 PM

View Postuttelpjed, on 28 April 2011 - 09:24 AM, said:

...... in the case of both copyright and unregistered design right, copying of an original work is an infringement, but it does not have to be an exact copy to infringe.
Well thanks for bumping this, after I finally calmed down again. ;)

I awkwardly stumbled upon this etsy store today via twitter...
Chick selling Mars stuff
She has phoenix rings and necklaces, skull logo rings and necklaces, "echelon logo" [the X with the glyphs around it] rings and necklaces and a Hurricane inspired key necklace.

I've got people wanting to throw money at me to sell my Mars design shirts. And scarves. And patches. Etc. I won't do so, of course, because I'm an honest sort. Meanwhile, the dishonest and/or ignorant cash in by selling stuff made with the band's artwork. And they won't ever get in trouble for doing so.

It annoys me to no end, on so many levels. AND now I am worked up again... Cheers! :D

#19 El Kabong

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 10:59 PM

I remember how it was back in the day. We'd come out of a concert and there'd be an aging, balding, smells like patchouli hippie selling bootleg t-shirts out of the back or a beatup kombi. "Hey, man, wanna buy a shirt?" he'd ask while flashing the peace sign and looking at imaginary fairies flying above his head "they're like totally awesome, man. We'd go up to him and say "Sir, you are selling merchandise without the express written permission of *insert band name here* and that, sir, is illegal. I should have you arrested". He would then reply "Whoa man, harsh. Why you gotta be a buzzkill and bring the man in?". It was at this point I'd study him closely "Sir, are you high? I'll have you know that marijuana is illegal, sir. I am going to find a police officer right now and have you ejected from the site." Those were the days. Now it's all on the Internet. Somewhere a hippie is sitting in his kombi, tears streaming down his face "Kids on the Internet stole my job" he'd sob quietly to no-one in particular. "How am I supposed to afford weed and sunshine juice for Betsy (Betsy is the name of the Kombi van) now?"*

The shirts on that first link posted sucked too. Wouldn't pay $5 for one of them.




* = This is all a lie.

#20 El Kabong

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 11:00 PM

Unlicensed double post. My lawyers will call your lawyers in the morning.




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