Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter
Joined: April 1992
||Posted: Dec. 22, 2011, 8:29 am
The Disney fan site Stitch Kingdom broke the story, and now it's going viral.
Movie was originally titled "The Bow and the Bear", but Disney-Pixar renamed it "Brave". Now the Major League Baseball team The Atlanta Braves are getting lawyered up to sue Disney-Pixar over the alleged unauthorized use of the "Brave" in the title, on the grounds of it creates trademark confusion.
Nope, Disney fans, you're not dreaming, I'm not making this up, and what some folks and corporations won't get all lawsuit-eager about these days..... Sheesh IMHO....
Read on at the link, and within the link is a link to Stitch Kingdom's article.
I love two of the Comments at this link, one is ironically the Atlanta Braves do their annual spring training at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Orlando FL, and two is had Disney-Pixar stayed with the original title "The Bow and the Bear" then the Chicago Bears would be suing Disney-Pixar over the same issue.
My observation is that companies are so "branding conscious" these days that there's no reasonable wiggle room for common usages of words or ideas. Let's say in Real Life someone rescues someone else, saves a life or two or more, hailed as a hero, gets a lot of publicity for this. Somehow someone uses the word "brave" and for whatever reason in the feel good euphoria over this hero and the accomplishment the word "brave" sticks and resonates and starts being used in print, maybe in logos and posters for a new foundation to further the work the good deed accomplished. "Brave" is a regular word. Are the Atlanta Braves going to sue in that kind of a case scenario?
In context, the Atlanta Braves derived their name and mascot imagery from American Indians-Native Americans back in the day when being "an Indian" was considered warrior-like and the stereotype is used in sports to describe a team as aggressive fierce competitive players to be reckoned with on the playing field.
When I see Disney-Pixar's "Brave" movie poster or hear advance publicity about the movie, I dunno, maybe 'cause I don't live in Atlanta or follow Major League Baseball at all, I draw -0- connection to any sports teams, professional or local community teams or school teams of any kind, that are logoed like American Indians-Native Americans or the Atlanta Braves.
Back when the New Orleans Saints NFL football team was very hot and heading into, then won, the Super Bowl there were copyright issues springing up over the official and licensed (meaning "pay me if you want to use it ") use of a popular fan chant "Who Dat" ("Who is that who say they intend to defeat the New Orleans Saints on the playing field" or "Who dat say gonna beat dem Saints! Who dat? Who dat?") Lots of people thought it was just an expression. Saints claimed to own it. T-shirt marketers claim to have owned it and Saints claimed to own any depiction of fleur de lis and not just it's own uniquely drawn and colored version of their logo. Meaning a lot of decorative items, the logo itself originated in France, the fleur de lis emerged as a symbol of the city rising above hardship after Hurricane Katrina in 2005..... Any depiction of "Who Dat" on a shirt sold for commercial profit, or any fleur de lis on anything also sold for commercial profit whether the fleur de lis was identical to the trademarked distinctive Saints logo or not any "unauthorized users" had to pay up some royalties money or cease and desist. These tempests in teapots and shorts getting up in a wad were greedy attempts to stake out rights territories and get some money flow going on.
I see this as the Atlanta Braves doing something similar, trying to make some usage of just a word in a title be something more than it is in a money grab attempt.
Professional sports teams and heir leagues want their money from fans, bars, stores, retailers.... In a way I "get it" that distinctive logos or similar ideas need to be used with some sort of permission or appropriate business sharing of profits from the commercial use of precisely those logos, etc. On one level, that is right, proper and legal. But when it gets vague, such as use of a word "brave" (and not "braves" by the way, and nothing about American sports or sports teams or American Indians-Native Americans in the plot or characters or settings of a movie) or fleur de lis that look nothing like a sports team's distinctive version of it..... It gets to be unreasonable and commercially overreaching and tyrannical.
In all kinds of ads and company products "words" get used to attract attention, that and fonts, font sizes, colors, placements etc. We use words to convey ideas, wants and needs. When you "brand" and trademark and copyright everything under the sun that can be stifling under some circumstances and contexts, and probably is the legal equivalent of legalized petty thievery 'sticking up' and victimizing passers-by in order to free them of any available cash they have.
I don't care what Disney-Pixar titles their movies so long as the content is something I feel like paying a movie ticket price to go see. But sheesh, we can't sue each other over things like this. IMHO it's frivolous and a money grab attempt by the sports team. "Brave" is a word that can be used for the title of anything appropriate. Book authors and titles chosen for books. Newspaper headline writers. Dictionary and thesaurus listings. Somebody in school writing a report or essay or story about something. If a character in a fictional movie set in Scotland is "brave" then it has nothing to do with an American professional sports team where the logos of the team or what the team does isn't any "braver" than what any other sports team does and the team never goes to Scotland or shows team anything in movie theaters. Movie memorabilia and toys and licensed logoed products Disney-Pixar will be selling this summer will look nothing like American baseball, professional sports team equipment or corporate logos the team uses in it's merchandising.
Totally apples and oranges here.
Or am I wrong about this, did Disney-Pixar step into something and should they appease the Atlanta Braves?