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Green Stuff World Bogus Copyright Claims


Doug Sundseth
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1 hour ago, Doug Sundseth said:

You have to challenge anyone using your trademark. None of that happened here. No competent lawyer could possibly claim that had happened here. And you don't get to break the law to "defend your trademark". If I saw someone with an unauthorized T-shirt that had my registered mark, I would not be within my rights to go up to him, punch him in the face, rip the T-shirt off his torso and use, "I was defending my trademark" as a defense.

 
They didn't. They went straight to YouTube and had 'em yank the video. It could be argued that they did so in defense of their trademark, although I wasn't aware that they lied about it. And if they did, well... there's a different kettle of fish entirely. Judges tend to frown on that sort of thing, defense of yer trademark or not.

I am glad to hear that the video's been reinstated. Another victory for the unruly mob, there.
 

1 hour ago, Doug Sundseth said:

...if they will lie in a legal filing (from the available evidence, I'm convinced that they have, though others could see that differently), I think it's reasonable to assume that they will lie in other parts of their business lives as well. We'll see what else shows up in the next few years; perhaps after a time I'll be more willing to countenance dealing with them.


Can't really argue with that reasoning. To consult with an attorney and then not follow the letter of the law is flat out stupidity. I'd LIKE to think they'll learn from this debacle. Whether or not they will remains to be seen.

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8 hours ago, kristof65 said:

It really looks to me like they got some bad legal advice or misapplied good advice they had previously received.  

If it was bad advice, was it due to the competency of the lawyer, or due to differences in Spanish law vs EU and/or international law?

Or, was it something like the lawyer that helped them file the trademark told them "Now, remember, you have to vigorously defend this TM" and they saw this and simply jumped to an incorrect conclusion based on that previous advice and took action? 

 

There is a good chance that's the case.  And changing the name may not have been just because of the lawsuit - the new name may be more defensive as a trademark of their own.

 

This is also the thinking that led to the d20 System Trademark License* - somebody in the original WotC going 'You know, defending our IP will be an enormous and expensive pain in the butt. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some way we could let third parties use our system, and support our game, without risking our IP?'

 

They found a creative way out of the mire that is Trademark protection.

 

TSR's solution was to sue everybody, then settling out of court - paying their potentially trespassing competitor to not compete. One of the many ways that TSR hemorrhaged money.

 

The Auld Grump

 

* Not to be confused with the Open Game License - which governs the mechanics, and the terms under which those systems can and must be shared.

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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19 hours ago, TGP said:

I heard/read/was told that his other business (forget what it was) was going gangbusters making lots of $$$$$$$ and it made sense to devote all hours in the day to that. 

 

While it's entirely possible this happened with Happy Seppuku as well, I think you may have them confused with Hanger 18.  H18 were the ones selling everything at a steep discount this past Reapercon and going out of business because their other business was doing so well it needed full attention.  

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31 minutes ago, buglips*the*goblin said:

 

While it's entirely possible this happened with Happy Seppuku as well, I think you may have them confused with Hanger 18.  H18 were the ones selling everything at a steep discount this past Reapercon and going out of business because their other business was doing so well it needed full attention.  

 

That sounds closer to correct; I have blurred the details. 

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Took this picture at Target this afternoon. And I know, it isn't a trademark for PAINT, per se, in that the paint in the picture is not liquid in a bottle but a solid coating on a toy car. Still think the phrase is a bit too common for actual trademarking. But I'm far from being a lawyer so what do I know?

IMG_20200104_135951028.jpg

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1 hour ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

Took this picture at Target this afternoon. And I know, it isn't a trademark for PAINT, per se, in that the paint in the picture is not liquid in a bottle but a solid coating on a toy car. Still think the phrase is a bit too common for actual trademarking. But I'm far from being a lawyer so what do I know?

IMG_20200104_135951028.jpg

Not to mention that Hot Wheels has had such products on the market since the early '80's, or even earlier...

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It could be argued that "Colorshift," "colorshift" "color shift" and "ColorSHIFT" are four different trademarks. It could also be argued that a trademark that applies to a liquid in a bottle doesn't apply to a solidified coating on a toy vehicle.

But, yeah, this is copyright law. It's legal until it isn't, and even then, it's arguable. Meanwhile, attorneys get paid.

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15 hours ago, NebulousMissy said:

But ColorSHIFT is totally different from Color Shift, right? The capitalization makes all the difference <_<

 

Not generally. This sort of thing comes up pretty often and differences in spelling or capitalization are not generally seen as significant in a word mark. And I don't think the GSW mark claim was specific as to anything but the name. If it had been more specific, they would have even less claim against anyone else.

 

Which I consider appropriate for a very descriptive mark like this.

 

10 minutes ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

It could be argued that "Colorshift," "colorshift" "color shift" and "ColorSHIFT" are four different trademarks. It could also be argued that a trademark that applies to a liquid in a bottle doesn't apply to a solidified coating on a toy vehicle.

 

You can argue anything you want, but some arguments are more likely to be successful than others. With trademarks, the major issue is market confusion and as word marks, those would be confusingly similar. Of course, since they're very descriptive, similar is generally fine: "Annie's Apple Pies" and "Arnold's Apple Pies", when used to sell apple pies, are protectable only as far as the full name, and you might need some distinctive graphic design as well. The "Apple Pies" part isn't protectable at all in isolation, since it is just ordinary words used in the ordinary way.

 

10 minutes ago, Dr.Bedlam said:


But, yeah, this is copyright law. It's legal until it isn't, and even then, it's arguable. Meanwhile, attorneys get paid.

 

Not copyright in any way. Trademark is not copyright, nor is it patent or trade secret. (Those being the four classes of intellectual property.) Each kind of IP has its own laws, restrictions, applicability, and treaties. And they're very different.

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3 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

 

Not copyright in any way. Trademark is not copyright, nor is it patent or trade secret. (Those being the four classes of intellectual property.) Each kind of IP has its own laws, restrictions, applicability, and treaties. And they're very different.

and by all accounts they're all a mess - as every country has it's own laws and approach things differently

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I was on a farm in the middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin as all this was playing out.  I think it had basically all resolved (to the point at which it is now resolved) by the time I got home, turned on YouTube, and had the "Why YouTube?" video recommended to me.  The only truly new development after that point was Naomi posting the follow-up 'my video was reinstated' video the next day.

 

I had watched her channel prior to this incident.  I wasn't a loyal follower or anything, but I found several of her reviews helpful in making my own purchase decisions on a few different occasions.

 

In reading some of the responses about this incident, and that reading bringing to light some of the past practices and behaviors of GSW, I have found that, in my opinion, Green Stuff World has a history of acting in bad faith, and is quite hypocritical.

 

In some of their responses to the outcry by fans/consumers regarding this incident, GSW have stated several blatant falsehoods.  First, in their initial emails with Naomi of the Sword 'n Steele channel, they claim that she is infringing their copyright.  As previous discussion in this thread has mentioned, they do not have a copyright on the term Colorshift, only a Trademark, and only in Spain.  Here is but one other falsehood I noticed in a reply to someone (not me) when challenged on this issue (I include the first screenshot only to be complete from the beginning of the response up until the lie, in red):

 

GSW1.thumb.jpg.e81284df8faa5ff9defc128197458bd0.jpgGSW2-red.thumb.jpg.a805b8431c8ca8657be1f463c7f7da99.jpg

 

When I read that, I immediately became suspicious, as I had seen images of the GSW Colorshift box previously, and had seen images of the new version of the Vallejo product, renamed "the Shifters," and recalled them not at all being the same font.  As the original uncensored video had been restored, I decided to check it...

 

176765330_ScreenShot2020-01-05at2_29_46PM.png.fcbf63ddf2157320c87b926f677bf5da.png

1793732349_ScreenShot2020-01-05at2_32_37PM.png.9b1b46bb294df7cfe5fc5d2987b1c2fc.png

 

That's... not at all the same font.

 

Then in some of the discussions ensuing about GSW's actions, it came to light that they routinely breach other companies' copyrights and IP to advertise their own products on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook...

 

1819628336_GSWpink.jpg.068e08f3a6ee64fccaf1020d4d2ffbd7.jpg

448125061_GSWGreen.thumb.jpg.0e0eaedb2b1699831462a9d780a8a606.jpg

 

Then I learned it appears that Green Stuff World stole the idea for their roll makers (which Black Magic Craft reviewed a year or two ago): https://tinyurl.com/rzj8aws

 

The original creator of that product has proof he was selling it as early as 2010 or 2011.

 

Then Green Stuff World had the audacity to legally try to stop him from selling his own, pre-existing product.

Edit: It seems they may have succeeded in stopping him from selling his tube roller.  I can't confirm that, though.  But I can see that the product is still listed on his website, but is listed as "sold out."  It could simply be sold out, but it may be for legal reasons.

 

All in all, I personally am starting to see a pattern of behavior that severely impacts my desire to do business with GSW.  Which is too bad; I was planning on getting into XPS foam terrain building, and was planning to pick up several of GSW's acrylic textured rolling pins.

Edited by ksbsnowowl
Grammar.
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1 hour ago, WhiteWulfe said:

Wow, just... Wow. Assuming that's all true, wow, that's rather heavy on the double standards to say the least... 

 

Sorry, I should have provided links previously.

 

Here is the flubber green image, posted by them to their own facebook page.

 

Just to be safe, here is an archived link:  http://archive.is/lNBnd

 

Last I read, the Instagram image may have been taken down in the last day or so, but there are screen grabs of it all over the comments of the GSW Facebook Post about their apology.  I will try to hunt down a live link, though.

 

Edit: Here is a live link of the Twitter posting of the Dragon Ball Z advertisement.  Here is an archived link:  http://archive.is/mF07b

 

Ooof!  I'm really disappointed in GSW's behavior, and admit that I just learned of another of their products that I would LOVE to use.  They have Futhark runes that can be superglued to models quite easily.  I would have tons of uses for those.  But after what I've learned of their business practices today, I don't think I can justify buying from them.

Edited by ksbsnowowl
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I spent a few hours reviewing all the videos and letters and found the whole situation interesting and very concerning on a number of levels. I'm still trying to decide what my thoughts are on all of this, but one thing I have decided is that I will be buying Vallejo's colorshifting paints rather than Greenstuff World's, as I had originally been planning. 

 

Here's some follow-up material:

 

Sword n' Steele's initial response video (since I didn't see it posted elsewhere in this thread): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz79dwh_CQw

 

Their response video after the matter was resolved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJPiAxScEyQ

*I would strongly recommend watching this one

 

Also, here are a couple of letters that Vallejo posted publicly. 

 

First, their initial letter about them changing the name of their paints:

Vallejo1.thumb.jpg.6eb857555dd08f1ff95be101cda12346.jpg

 

And here is their letter after the matter was resolved:

Vallejo.thumb.jpg.31e336bfcdbebc57eab137fd91b24d5f.jpg

 

Lastly, a couple items of note (as detailed by Naomi in the second video I posted):

  • After the claim was retracted and her video reposted, GSW asked her to take down her initial reaction video. After some thought, she decided it was important to leave it up.
  • The day after Naomi posted her initial response video, Alex Vallejo (the CEO of Vallejo) reached out to her personally. Not only is he sending her a full set of the (renamed) color shifting paints, but told her that if she needs help in the future he would be there for her.

Regardless of how GSW handled this mess, I think Vallejo was really pretty classy in all of their responses.

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

Edited by OneBoot
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4 hours ago, ksbsnowowl said:

Then I learned it appears that Green Stuff World stole the idea for their roll makers (which Black Magic Craft reviewed a year or two ago): https://tinyurl.com/rzj8aws

 

The original creator of that product has proof he was selling it as early as 2010 or 2011.

 

Then Green Stuff World had the audacity to legally try to stop him from selling his own, pre-existing product.

Edit: It seems they may have succeeded in stopping him from selling his tube roller.  I can't confirm that, though.  But I can see that the product is still listed on his website, but is listed as "sold out."  It could simply be sold out, but it may be for legal reasons.

 

All in all, I personally am starting to see a pattern of behavior that severely impacts my desire to do business with GSW.  Which is too bad; I was planning on getting into XPS foam terrain building, and was planning to pick up several of GSW's acrylic textured rolling pins.

 

I have since found much more concrete information regarding this stealing of other's inventions.  A German YouTube channel posted a video about this, yesterday I believe.  After requests for an English translation, they have provided one on their Facebook page.  In very brief summary, Green Stuff World has a history of manipulating loopholes in the appallingly weak requirements of EU trademark law to file trademarks for things other companies have already produced and sold, and in some cases hold patents for in other countries.  Then they use this Spanish trademark to force the other sellers off of eBay and Amazon.  This trademark fight with Vallejo is at least the second time that GSW has learned of a competitor bringing a similar product to market, and then filing a Spanish trademark at the last moment to effectively block the competitor from selling their goods anywhere except their own business websites.

 

I suggest you go give the FB translation a read.  It is eye-opening and jaw-dropping.

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