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Posted 7/7/2014 1:32:13 AM
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After reading the different posts and I am new at this, can you legally build an 89 Batmobile and own it. I bought blueprints to the 89 from DC along time ago and nowhere did it say on the prints that you could not build the car. I bought blueprints for a house and that gave me the rights to build it. . About my name.... I am fat and have white hair Ho Ho. The 89 is the sled I plan to build...much more cool.
Post #103288
Posted 7/7/2014 9:34:16 PM


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Right now that is a complicated question that not many people would want to answer. There is a civil suit in process against someone that made a business building replicas placed on him by DC Comics. There is an appeal that everyone is waiting for the verdict on. The General consensus right now seems to be that you can build one for your own non commercial use and as long as you don't profit from it in any way, but that is simply a theory as there is nothing I have seen that indicates this is true other than the fact that so many people have done it.

Batmmannn
Scott
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www.scottlee.org
Post #104291
Posted 7/8/2014 1:04:14 AM
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Thank you batmmann for your answer. That still is my thought too. I used to do 89's that the canopy opened like a jet fighter so it was different.
Post #104292
Posted 7/11/2014 12:16:11 AM


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Holy Schnikes, Batman! Who Really Owns Your Ride?

July 1, 2014
DLR Contributing Author
· Copyright · Thumbnail Carousel

batman66preview

Holy Hollywood! It turns out the Caped Crusader doesn’t actually have the pink slip to that fancy whip we know as the Batmobile.

So, who does? The 9th Circuit Court is poised to answer that question this summer. For those of you who haven’t been following all things Batmobile (you really need to get out of your Bat Cave), there has been an ongoing litigation over whether or not the Batmobile is protected by U.S. Copyright Law. The Players: Gotham Garage Owner, Mark Towle, and DC Comics. Towle has been making and selling unlicensed Batmobile replicas from the 1960’s TV show and 1989 film. However, this past February, the District Court for the Central District of California informed him his replicas violated DC Comics’ copyrights and trademarks.[1] Alas, the story doesn’t end there. Refusing to drive off into the sunset, Towle is appealing the ruling and, while the issues for trademarks and trade dress have been discussed throughout, the main issue in the appellate production deals with copyright.[2]

Ok, let’s talk a little legalese. DC Comics is, in fact, the copyright holder to the Batman comic books. As such, they have the exclusive right to prepare derivative works and can sue for copyright infringement. Since replicas fall under the category of derivative works, DC Comics was within their legal rights to sue Towle for copyright infringement. Towle returned fire with a claim that the Batmobile is just a car, so it is not protected by copyright. The District Court for the Central District of California disagreed, holding that the Batmobile is subject to copyright protection because it is an especially distinctive character.[3] (See D.C. Comics v. Towle (2013)) (available here).[4]

There is no special category for characters within the realm of copyright law. Characters may be protected by copyright, but they must meet specific requirements in order for protection to extend to them. The character must be sufficiently well-delineated in order to be more than an abstract idea and can become a protectable element if sufficiently expressed. The 9th Circuit has previously held characters may receive protection if they have “displayed consistent, widely identifiable traits.”[5] Basically, in layman’s terms, the character must be an integral part of the story being told.

Towle’s main argument is that Batman’s set of wheels is simply a “useful article,”, merely functional, not a character, and thus not protected by U.S. Copyright Law. However, this argument may not hold much ground given previous 9th Circuit decisions regarding inanimate objects being afforded copyright protection as characters. Case in point: Eleanor from “The Fast and the Furious” and even Freddy Krueger’s glove. Yes — Precisely, Robin — a car and a glove. Both inanimate objects, both protected by copyright. In fact, Krueger’s glove was deemed to be copyrightable simply because it was so closely associated with a well-known character.[6]

Since the Batmobile is known across generations, it is fairly safe to say that it has a strong association with a widely-known character known as Batman, the main character and namesake of a hit television show and several movies. Cover your ears, Robin…the District Court even went so far as to state the Batmobile appears as Batman’s sidekick, “central to Batman’s ability to fight crime…if not an extension of Batman’s own persona.”[7]

Towle countered that only conceptually separable artistic elements are protected by copyright. In other words, only elements that can stand on their own as art can be protected. He contends the Batmobile is just a car and the design is not protected. In other words, Towle claims that the sculpted bat fin is not just for show; it functionality contributes to the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Towle further argues the Batmobile has not remained consistent over time. It has changed and evolved in that it has not always been aerodynamic, and/or had fancy bat gadgets or exaggerated parts.[8] This particular argument could make or break the case since only characters that are “especially distinctive” are entitled to copyright protection; those that have been afforded this protection have displayed consistent traits.[9]

Batmobile: protectable character or just another car? All opinions aside, the upcoming 9th Circuit decision will either be a powerful win for Hollywood studios or we will start seeing a proliferation of movie prop imitations. So grab some popcorn, place your bets, and stay tuned for the ruling. You’ll read about it here. Same Bat time, same Bat channel.


Batmmannn
Scott
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Post #104303
Posted 7/12/2014 1:49:58 AM
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The reason the 89 Batmobile was changed after the second movie was the toy market. It was all about the all mighty dollar in the toy industry and royalty's to DC Comic's. The toy 89 did not sell well from the second movie because everyone had it from the first movie. So the car is not important to them or they would have kept it in all the movies. Think about it, Star Trek always destroys the Enterprise in the movies to make a new toy to sell.....money, that's what it's all about. They even tried to sell the 89 Batmobile toy with a camouflage paint job in the second movie. That's why we got a new Batmobile in all the new movies ( Tumbler cost allot and did two movies but was destroyed) and Batman's other toys, batmissile, Batboat, Batett destroyed . Even Batman's equipment , gadgets and the bat emblem change. Why because every time you change an item, you can sell a new one.

Santa Clause knows toys
Post #104308
Posted 7/12/2014 2:19:30 AM
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So everybody it's all about the toy market and the money they make off of them. Remember George Lucas made allot of money off of his Star War licence for making toy's.
If the Batmobile is part of Batman and such an important part of him Then I ask why DC Comic's changed the car?
Post #104309
Posted 7/13/2014 12:35:47 AM


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I would have to say I am wondering why Mark Towle has removed the Mach 5 from his new incomplete web site, his forum seems to have no action, the web site still sits with most of it uncompleted. Have to wonder if Mark has received something legal from Tatsunoko in Japan. The Mach 5 has mysteriously been pulled from his list of cars offered. Currently he is showing only a Paddy Wagon and The Munsters Koach and one has to wonder if he has licensing for either of those to build them as well. Speed Racer Enterprises in America according to web articles like the one below lost all of the rights, so you have to wonder how Mark Towle can or was able to continue building Mach 5s in America. Is this why suddenly his Mach 5 is no longer offered on his itsy bitsy Web Site? Mark Towle told me 3 years ago that he would have no problem getting another Web Site as good or as grand as he got from me while he was telling me I would be hearing from his Attorney, yet here we are 3 years later and his site is incomplete, showing only 2 replicars available and most sections claiming Opening Soon we are building something Great, Sit Tight! I mean what are these guys doing anything other than defending Law Suits? I betcha Mark Towle is wondering if he shouldn't have just paid me what I was owed.

Batmobile

"Speed Racer" Licensing Lawsuits Settled
Parties agree that Tatsunoko alone owns and controls the rights to Speed Racer intellectual property rights worldwide
Scott Green
January 02, 2014 6:40pm EST (1/2/14)

In October 2012, anime studio Tatsunoko Production (Gatchaman, Tekkaman, Samurai Pizza Cats, Macross) filed suit against James Rocknowski, John Rocknowski and Michael Cisneros of Speed Racer Enterprises Inc. The filing in California Central District Court sought damages for nine causes of action, including false advertising, unfair competition, interference and misappropriation of intellectual property rights. Tatsunoko has announced announced that the suits have been settled by mutual agreement of all parties and are being dismissed in full.

Tatsunoko said that they granted Speed Racer Enterprises a 10-year license to Speed source material Mach Go Go Go in 2000, which was then extended a year in summer 2010. During that time, the Rocknowskis oversaw production of the Speed Racer: The Next Generation animated series, which aired on Nicktoon alongside the launch of the independently produced live-action Speed Racer movie.

Tatsunoko asserted that the the defendants continued to claim that they owned the Speed Racer rights after they expired in May 2011, and the defendants misappropriated and exploited the rights, licensing the property to a list of companies that includes Hollywood studio Lions Gate and Toonz Entertainment.

According to the settlement, the Speed Racer rights terminated in their entirety on May 31, 2011 and at that date, rights automatically reverted to Tatsunoko. As a result, Tatsunoko alone owns and controls the rights to Speed Racer intellectual property rights worldwide.



Batmmannn
Scott
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Post #104314
Posted 7/14/2014 7:15:04 PM


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" According to the settlement, the Speed Racer rights terminated in their entirety on May 31, 2011 and at that date, rights automatically reverted to Tatsunoko. As a result, Tatsunoko alone owns and controls the rights to Speed Racer intellectual property rights worldwide."

Sooooo you have to wonder how is it Mark Towle had me building his web site past this point? If all rights reverted back to Tatsanuko and Mark Towle had claimed his rights were through Speed Racer Enterprises, how is it he has just recently 3 years later decided to pull his offering of his Mach 5 on his website? Why was I not told? Why was I designing Speed Racer advertising for him to be used on the Web after Speed Racer Enterprises evidently lost all their rights? Is this one reason why Mark bailed and refused to pay me with my replica? Was it because his 3 main replicas, the 1966 Batmobile Replica, the 1989 Replica, and also the Mach5 were shortly going to be denied him commercial enterprise of? Was it because he no longer needed my past work and decided he simply would not pay me for years of my work and sacrifice? Oh how the plot thickens. Now I find out not only did he have a Law Suit from DC Comics that I was not informed of by him while still being made to design Batmobile and Batman related images, but had to find out by accidentally finding a discussion about it on the Web, I also now find that the Speed Racer work he was having me do and coercing me to publish without any of his approvals in writing were likely also not authorized by Tatsunoko to publish. Anyone that has ordered or put a deposit on a Mach Five I would guess has good reason to be upset and to be demanding answers. Were his current clients also told he had full legal rights to build Mach 5 Replicas? Will they be the next ones filing a summons against Mark Towle?

I heard a rumor that Mark was issued a Cease and Desist from Tatsanuko, I do not know if this is true, but if it is, does that mean that the Mach 5s he is or was building for the good faith people that laid out their money actually won't be getting their Mach 5s and will have to take him to Court like I have had to do? A cease and Desist means just that Cease and Desist (to cease all activity in the building, sale or delivery of any Speed Racer associated products). All speculation at this point but being that the Mach 5 was off the site when I captured the image above, I would have to suspect the rumor to be true. Without the Mach 5 and the Batmobiles, what will Mark Towle do? Does he have rights to Build the Munster Koach replica, isn't that owned by Universal? Does he have rights to build the Paddy Wagon, isn't that owned by Mattel, or are all these corporate behemoths patiently waiting with a legal hammer, (being the precedence of the DC Comics case) in hand, once the rulings of his DC Comics case becomes law? Will they one by one come to California District Court and simply crush him?

Below is Mark Towle's page that was still offering the Mach 5 before the image above was captured before the Mach 5 was ripped from his list of available replicars. Did he again tell another Web Designer he had full license rights to logos and the use of trademarked protected images and convince him to publish them world wide on his behalf even published 3 years after Speed Racer Enterprises lost all rights to do so? Is that not the same Speed Racer logo used for the Speed Racer Movie and all licensed merchandise? Good Question is it not?

Batmobile



Are the Gotham Garage Walls tumbling down? It's interesting to see how his web presence has fallen to a near non existence without my efforts. I have to admit Mark's Mach 5 sculpt was very good and I know it must be heart breaking and devastating to lose all that work for future income if that is indeed what has happened. The Heartbreaks you cause, may they be returned to you 10 fold. I don't believe in Karma but Man this seems to be what is coming down, does it not?

Make your own conclusions, I don't think I need to do that for you. Here is the DVD packaging for the Speed Racer Movie only pushed into a perspective effect. Same logo? Did Mark have legal use from Tatsanuko for use of this logo or to be advertising it to the world and to be selling his Mach 5 replica past May 31st of 2011? Do you think he convinced his Web Designer he had all legal rights to assign him the job of Publishing Speed Racer Trademarked logos? Surely a person going through trial and subsequently found guilty in a California Federal Court of Law for Trademark and Copyright Infringement pending appeal wouldn't just continue the same acts upon a company in Japan......would he? You Decide.

Batmobile



Batmmannn
Scott
Artist/Illustrator/Batfreak
www.scottlee.org
Post #104324
Posted 7/27/2014 11:40:56 PM
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Well, damn.

So if the court rules in favor of DC, is it likely they will go after the other builders and kits will no longer be available?
Post #105374
Posted 7/28/2014 9:48:21 PM


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Yes that is likely. It's likely that not only Batmobiles but all unlicensed star car replica cars will cease be available. in Kit form... It's hard to say. After the ruling is final, Trademark Owners have a powerful precedence to use to shut kit builders down.

Batmmannn
Scott
Artist/Illustrator/Batfreak
www.scottlee.org
Post #105380
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