Black Mustang Club calendar is go, Ford releases images under Creative Commons -- a he said/she said blow-by-blow


19 Responses to “Black Mustang Club calendar is go, Ford releases images under Creative Commons -- a he said/she said blow-by-blow”

  1. shortfatsteve says:

    A question : Was it okay for the BMC to make the calendar even without Ford’s permission because they weren’t intending to sell it? Or would have it been okay for them to make a profit off these calendars even over the objections of Ford?

  2. eingram says:

    Don’t have much to say about this, except it’s fun to bash big corps.

  3. Talia says:

    Always makes me feel a bit better about the world to see a big company doing the right thing.

  4. eingram says:

    Just wondered; if I took some pictures of mountains and lakes, then put them on a calendar for sale, could GOD sue for trademark infringement?

  5. Learethak says:

    Frankly my suspicion is Cafepress being twits.

    There is a reason I use zazzle.

    A couple of years ago I was teaching a class at ye’ community college on digital convergence and used a tattoo design that I had done (and been tattood with.)

    This design had actually been sitting in my Cafepress for over year when I ordered a t-shirt (and other products) as an example for this class.

    They billed me for the order, but shortly after that I got a snarky e-mail that it was violation of a known copyright and wasn’t allowed.

    1) I pointed out that it was a derivate work, and as the artist of said work I held the copyright of that specific design since over 30% of the design had significantly changed.

    2) The t-shirt was instructional material for a class along with several other products I was ordering, and provided a syllabus to the class and requisite information of the college, including my edu address.

    They replied with the exact same form letter as before. When I requested a real human being read and respond to my letter, a follow-up e-mail indicated that the “offending” design had been removed.

    Logging in actually revealed that ALL my designs had been removed.

    At my insistence that they restore all my deleted items, and either process the order or reverse the charge on my credit card I received a final e-mail informing me my account had be revoked and no further contact would be acknowledged. Nor were any follow-up e-mails responded to.

    Nor was the charge rescinded. (I eventually had my credit-card company issue a chargeback.)

    It took me 5 minutes to recreate my order with Zazzle, and I’ve never had a problem with them since.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Ford “clarified” their position after they noticed that this had spread all over the tubes. When you’re a small forum fighting a big corporation, legality is often secondary to publicity.

    Nice job BoingBoing for shining the bright light on this.

  7. thebassguy says:

    We had the same problem with Ford and Cafe Press a couple years back, where the band was posed in front of a 67 ‘Stang for a promo shot, and when we tried to order merchandise with that pic, Cafe Press said it violated Ford’s copyright.
    sheeesh! they should have paid US for using their brand in our promo!

  8. Piove says:

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs of this, when the first article appeared, I said something along the lines of “Print and be damned, I’ll buy two”.
    Takuan replied that he would buy three.

    My two are on order, Takuan, I hope you have ordered your three.

  9. Takuan says:

    mmph,the Cafepress link comes up ” not available”

    give them a few days to sort things out

  10. MentallyRetired says:

    As I said before, this practice by CafePress is nothing new. This is all a big fuss about nothing.

    More detail:

  11. fydebeetles says:

    Whilst it’s absolutely true that the end result is the right one, I’m curious as to your assertion that “Ford did tell CafePress to kill the BMC calendar, they’d have been wrong. ”

    If you buy a painting, even if it’s an original, unique painting, there is NO transfer of copyright, and you have NO additional rights than anyone else.

    There’s somewhere buried an example case of a cafe owner who bought a painting, and put the image on their mugs & plates and was sued by the original painter for copyright infringement.

  12. Cory Doctorow says:

    Fydebeetles, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Any copyright interest in the silhouettes of the cars, etc (“design rights”) are thin at best and clearly overridden in this case by doctrines like fair use (USA) and fair dealing (elsewhere).

    You need to look to trademark to find the doctrine at issue here. And trademark only extends to uses of the mark that mislead the public about the origin of goods or services. Thus a use that does not cause a member of the public do believe that Ford endorsed it is not covered by trademark law, either.

    As to whether there are “no additional rights than anyone else,” this is untrue as a point of law. As the owner of a physical object, many rights are conferred upon you by doctrines like first sale.

    In Europe, first sale is somewhat eroded by droit morale and its cousins, but it’s simply untrue that owning a painting confers no rights upon you (and even less true in the US, where droit morale doesn’t exist, and to a lesser extend in the UK, where it is alienable).

  13. philipb says:

    CafePress ARE candy-asses, try using any image with Che Guevera on it (even self-created art) & see how far you get.

  14. webmonkees says:

    There’s some commercial out there with someone driving a classic ’65 Mustang. The thing one notices as they pull up is that the horse in the grille has been covered with black cloth. Thank goodness they did that or I would have bought their product thinking they produced Ford Mustangs!

  15. Pixel says:

    When this story broke initially, it hit every car blog, mailing list & forum I’m on. They have been full of rampant Ford bashing, speculation and hyperbole, and several of these are lists for Ford fans.

    What bothers me most is that I can guarantee you that the followup that states this is a Cafepress issue more than a Ford issue, and that Ford has done their best to clarify the problem and fix it will *NOT* appear on at least 80% of the places the initial story appeared. In fact I would put even money on the ranting uninformed discussion continuing beyond this announcement on at least one of them.

    People seem to love a chance to rant and rail against the failings on the part of any major corporation, even (or possibly especially) one they feel some sort of connection to or affinity for.

  16. BipolarLawyerCook says:

    I spend more of my time as a lawyer telling lawyers on the opposing side that their knee-jerk “conservative” stance will only lose them customers, and money, when I tromp them in court. Taking a “cover all the bases” approach to advising your clients, as Cafepress’ counsel so clearly did, will only cost them future business– for sure, I’m never going to send them any t-shirt business.

  17. kjcronin says:

    Ford even has a Flickr stream with CC licensed (attribution) photos!

  18. Robert says:


    It’s true, people remember the bad things more than the good things — that’s why product feedback forums are filled with complaints rather than happies.

    But Cory contends that it was FORD who did the wrong thing initially, by sending a letter to Cafe Press containing blatantly over-reaching claims.

    So yes, Ford corrected the mistake, but Ford still deserves the black eye. As does Cafe Press.


  19. dculberson says:

    Pixel’s got it.. people just over react way too readily. I even commented on the last post that if they contacted PR they would probably get permission. Ahh well, hopefully this helps clear the way for future enthusiast calendars and such.

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