Ford Slaps Brand Enthusiasts, Returns Love With Legal Punch

bmc_calendar.jpg

While brands certainly don't want people using their products, logos and other related imagery to create products of their, own, the hammer that Ford legal dropped on the Black Mustang Club seems a bit heavy handed. Recently the club created a calendar which contained images of club members' cars photographed by the members themselves. Ford didn't take kindly to this and asked CafePress, the service the group had chosen to print the calendars, to kill the project claiming all the images in the calendar are the property of Ford...including the Black Mustang Club logo (this has been clarified in the update below. in actuality, it was CafePress which, based on past Ford trademark dealings, initially refused to print the calendar).

It's understandable that a brand would and should do everything it can to protect itself from any kind of potential negative effect but to attack a group of people who, clearly, love the product in question simply for showing their love of that product is, well, idiotic and more harmful to the brand had they done nothing at all.

BMC Owner Lisa commented to group members, "I'm sorry, but at this point we will not be producing the 2008 BMC Calendar, featuring our 2007 Members of the Month, solely due to Ford Motor Company's claim that they own all rights to the photos you take of your car. I hope to resolve this soon, and be able to provide the calendar and other BMC merchandise that you guys want and deserve!"

We hope this can be resolved as well. It's one thing to protect your brand from being harmfully tarnished. It's another to shoot down the very people who love your product the most.Wake up and smell the CGM, Ford.

UPDATE: The issue has been resolved. Ford Car Communication's Whitney Drake tells us "Mustang (and other car owners) can take pictures of their cars and make calendars and sell them to whomever they like. They can't however use Ford logos in the calendar." She further clarifies, "The club (Black Mustang Club) and cafe press (or another printer) now has permission to print the calendar. Apparently, CafePress misunderstood the intent of an earlier communication from Ford regarding the use of trademarks on other products they sold when it told Black Mustang Club it would not print its calendars.

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Consumer Created, Specialty, Worst   

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Comments



Comments

I am now disinclined to purchase the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid I was considering.

Posted by: disenchanted on January 14, 2008 2:11 PM

You could use some refining of your first paragraph. "...club members' cars photographed by the members themselves."

Posted by: Grammar Nazi on January 14, 2008 2:13 PM

1. So the poporatzi can take pictures of me or a celeb and they cannot benefit, but I cannot take a picture of my car??

2. So if the cops photograph me for speeding... I can now get them sued for copyright infringement?

What is this world coming too....

Posted by: WTF on January 14, 2008 2:16 PM

1. So the paparazzi can take pictures of me or a celeb I cannot own the copyright, the pervert taking the picture does. But now, I cannot take a picture of my car??

2. So if the cops photograph me for speeding... I can now get them sued for copyright infringement?

What is this world coming too....

Posted by: WTF on January 14, 2008 2:18 PM

They can't make it legally stick if it was challenged. Harley Davidson tried the same crap 10 years ago with their motor cycles. They took it far enough to try and trademark the sound of it.

Kill all the lawyers I say.

Posted by: Indrid on January 14, 2008 2:36 PM

I respectfully insist that you immediately cease and desist any mention of the words Ford or Ford Motor Company or Mustang in your blog postings, as these are company trade marks and copyrighted and it is illegal for any company or person other than Ford Motor Company to profit from their use in any conceivable way that we may perceive. Thankyou.

Posted by: Ford Legal Department on January 14, 2008 2:37 PM

Dear Ford Legal Department. Your use of the F-word in your comment is in violation of the terms of service with F*** M**** Company. Further usage of the F-word will result in legal action. Have a nice day.

Posted by: Ford Even Legaler Department on January 14, 2008 2:42 PM

> They took it far enough to try and trademark the sound of it.

Tried nothing, they DID. Honda electronically "stole" the sound of a HD, making their bikes sound like an HD. HD sued and won, forcing Honda to change their sound to make it distinctive and non-HD like.

Ford has the right to protect their Emblem, trademark, designs, and likenesses of their products. The car group is using the calendar to raise money on Ford's trademark. they aren't doing it under the "Fair Use" laws, which is why they are objecting.

Posted by: A.Nonymous on January 14, 2008 2:47 PM

THIS IS UNTRUE!

I had a similiar problem with cafepress back in 2000. I used to own the largest ford escort site on the net, and when we tried to print up a calendar and posters, we got bitch slapped by CafePress as well. After contacting cafepress they told me that I did not own the trademark to the vehicles in question and that they were not printing in order TO AVOID A POTENTIAL LAWSUIT.

I seriously doubt Ford contacted them. I had Ford.com IP addresses in my logs for YEARS without ever being contacted by Ford.

Posted by: James Thomas on January 14, 2008 2:57 PM

The site was not raising money on Ford's trademark. They were raising money through the work their members had performed to the cars. In fact, the less a car looks like a stock Ford product, the more desirable the photo.

Ford was shutting down enthusiast forums a couple years ago, simply because they used the word Ranger, so this does not surprise me at all.

Posted by: DilutedImage on January 14, 2008 3:01 PM

Dumb like the RIAA. Note to FORD You want as many people as posable to see your cars cause they may like one and BUY one. If you stop people from seeing your cars NO ONE WILL BUY THEM FOOL

Posted by: Kev on January 14, 2008 3:06 PM

Dear Ford Legal Department,

What the fuck are you one about, and why the fuck are these people listening to your shit. Fuck Ford, go and sell you calendar and tell them to stick it up there arse. Then stop buying there cars because they're wankers...

Sue me you wankers... Come on I dear you....

Posted by: John on January 14, 2008 3:08 PM

James, that's exactly what I said. Ford contacted Cafepress.

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 14, 2008 3:11 PM

Always look at the positive sides of things. If cases like this get to win in court, then have the copy-righted material replaced on your Ford vehicle at their cost. Get that old bug-ridden grille, dented trunk lid, or faded steering wheel replaced!

Posted by: Steve on January 14, 2008 3:26 PM

Its not ford, its cafepress not understanding what ford meant when they told them they cannot sell their logos. cafepress is covering their ass.

contact ford, they will approve your calendar.

Posted by: Jason Arden on January 14, 2008 3:32 PM

Absolutley rediculous. I was just warming up to the new mustang and thought I may actually buy a Ford. I will now stick with my current euro brand.

To me its not just about the car but about the people behind it. Ford lost my business forever!

Posted by: Anti on January 14, 2008 3:41 PM

This is insane.

Buy a Mini cooper S, way fun to drive!

Posted by: Jacques on January 14, 2008 3:46 PM

>>Tried nothing, they DID. Honda electronically
>>"stole" the sound of a HD, making their bikes
>>sound like an HD. HD sued and won, forcing Honda
>>to change their sound to make it distinctive and
>>non-HD like.

NOT true. Harley-Davidson tried to get a trademark on the sound. They did NOT sue. They withdrew their trademark application. It was NEVER official.

That being said...they made their point.

Posted by: mobycat on January 14, 2008 3:51 PM

IF it's ford makign these claims, why isn't every mustang enthusiest site shut down? I think it's cafe press, I use cafepress for my site, and I have yet to here anything like this, and I use mustang in my url (AmericanMustangs.net). I don't have a calender, but I have t-shirts and such. I will be discussing this with my roommate, since she's a lawyer. If ford does come after me, I will sue them for all the money I have been DUMPING into my MUSTANG project car, and then take that money and go either by a 96 impala ss, or get out of the car game all together, and get a bike.. this sueing shit is getting out of hand..

Posted by: Joe on January 14, 2008 4:17 PM

Does this mean the GAP owns every picture of myself that I've taken while wearing a shirt I bought from there? Or Nike owns every picture of me playing basketball in high school?

Absolutely, completely, totally, utterly, redundantly retarded.

Talk about a way to lose business. What happened to companies that encourage you to explore and actually have fun with their products?

http://reasonableagreement.org

Posted by: lhomme77 on January 14, 2008 4:33 PM

YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME...what about all the pics of FORDS on other calenders i see in the malls.....you don't see GM doing this...wouldn't you want the cars out there for the public to see...free advertising....and what about all the cars in mags....are they going to get blasted as well in the future....Ford HAS TAKEN THIS TOOOOOO FAR.... ..i think i'll sell my fords and guy GM...

copyright..going a little far here FORD....another 4 letter word....

Posted by: PRO SHOW SS on January 14, 2008 5:12 PM

This is one of the many reasons why we buy Toyota, Nissan or Honda!

Posted by: smarterthanthat on January 14, 2008 5:37 PM

I've never owned a Ford. Now I don't think I ever will. In fact, I'll be sure to snub my nose at them.

Posted by: GregL on January 14, 2008 5:47 PM

Maybe this has to do with making money using the Ford name. It's fine to be an enthusiast, but Ford should get a cut if you want to make money from their name.

Posted by: beepbeep on January 14, 2008 5:51 PM

This is an issue with trademark. Ford is in the right here. The use of the Ford, as well as Mustang, trademarks will give the impression that the calendar was then approved by Ford or possibly a Ford product. If Ford does not pursue this, and later someone else wants to use their trademarks, they can then claim this as a precedent proving Ford abandoned their trademark. As for the comment concerning the Ford trademark being used elsewhere, either permission is granted or Ford is taking action there as well, or they just don't know about it in some cases.

I would like to know if the club attempted to contact Ford to get their blessing first. I bet Ford would have approved it had they gotten permission before just jumping into it. Many people do this, and generally, it costs nothing.

Then again, I would like to see Ford end this in a friendly way, and not a litigious way.

BTW, this is NOT a copyright or patent issue, so waving those banners for reform is useless.

As for questions regarding pictures in general, these pictures you speak of are not representative of the specific items in question. The calendar was specifically about black Ford Mustangs. Your picture of yourself in a bar put up on MySpace is not about your jeans, shirt, or whatever, so those companies don't care. Now, if you made a GAP calendar because you enjoy GAP clothing, with pictures of people wearing GAP clothing, then you are infringing on trademark. You are attempting to represent the material as GAP material specifically so you better have permission from GAP. Chevrolet, Nissan, etc, will do the same. Ever visit www.nissan.com?

Posted by: Nimdae on January 14, 2008 6:15 PM

beepbeep said... "Ford should get a cut if you want to make money from their name."

A nice calendar featuring Ford Mustangs is FREE ADVERTISING... Ford's legal department needs to wake up and grab a brain before Ford loses even more of it's dwindling market share...

Posted by: Robert on January 14, 2008 8:05 PM

So, let's extrapolate. If F*** is correct, then other manufacturers may be able to claim the same, so if clothing manufacturers claimed this, then everybody would have to take their clothes off (unless they made their own clothes. Unless the textile manufacturer claimed the same of their products....) to take pictures.

Of course, pictures of naked people opens up a lot of other legal issues, so it would be best to not take pictures at all.

Well, that saves me the $650 I was going to spend on that sexy SLR I had my eye on...

Posted by: KevinA on January 14, 2008 9:03 PM

Hey everybody,

I was a photo major back in school, but anyway, check out this page. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/2005-12-29-camera-laws_x.htm

It tells you generally what is accepted for photographs and what is not. If the car is in public I dont see how this could be held up in court. By the way, you actually could sue Ford for threatening you.

Posted by: Kyle on January 14, 2008 9:30 PM

What a bunch of you aren't quite understanding is why Ford DOES have an argument (albeit, not one that is very good for PR).

The Mustangs are the FOCUS of the picture. Yes, just a photo on the street of a Mustang is not going to get notice from them. But when you have 12 pictures with the focus being the Mustang...you might run into a problem.

That being said, I think Ford trying to claim to own the COPYRIGHT of those photos is completely wrong. Trademark isn't the same thing (as Nimdae pointed out).

Posted by: mobycat on January 14, 2008 10:00 PM

"Ford has the right to protect their Emblem, trademark, designs, and likenesses of their products. The car group is using the calendar to raise money on Ford's trademark. they aren't doing it under the "Fair Use" laws, which is why they are objecting."

No, Ford does not have that right. Trademarks don't exist for the benefit of companies, they exist for the benefit of buyers: to ensure that buyers get what they expect they are getting when they are buying a product that's been sold under a trademark. For example, you can publish pictures of a Ford and say "I think this Ford is crap" and Ford can't do anything about it under trademark law; it's a legitimate use of the trademark.

"Ford" and "Ford Mustang" are trademarks on cars. By making a calendar, nobody is going to accidentally buy a Yugo thinking it's a Ford. Therefore, the use of the trademark is legitimate.

Posted by: Tom on January 14, 2008 10:23 PM

FORD,

F(ix)O(r)R(epair)D(aily).

I guess service isn't making enough money to save them. God only knows they aren't selling more than F-Somethings.

Geez - fire that lawyer! How pathetic.

Let's see how this flies in the Internet age.

Guess what car show is here in town this week?

http://www.barrett-jackson.com/

I'll be sure that everyone show know.

JJMacey
Phoenix, Arizona
www.jjmacey.net

Posted by: JJMacey on January 14, 2008 10:36 PM

Ford has no more right to the images of their cars than any celebrity has to not having their pictures taken in public. It's called public domain, and their thinly held conviction that they can govern any image taken of a car THAT WAS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE OWNER is just plain wrong.

Lotsa luck in court, guys from Ford, you'll just become even more unpopular when you lose.

Posted by: Jeb Boyd on January 14, 2008 11:17 PM

Ford has no more right to the images of their cars than any celebrity has to not having their pictures taken in public. It's called public domain, and their thinly held conviction that they can govern any image taken of a car THAT WAS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE OWNER is just plain wrong.

Lotsa luck in court, guys from Ford, you'll just become even more unpopular when you lose.

Posted by: Jeb Boyd on January 14, 2008 11:17 PM

Wow if they only focused on making better cars instead of this crap...

Posted by: sr on January 15, 2008 12:15 AM

Hmm, I wouldn't buy a Ford anyhow..... yet another reason not too. FORD = First On Rubbish Dump.

Posted by: gmrza on January 15, 2008 12:34 AM

So let me see if this is correct. F**D is saying that they legally own all photos and images posted or printed for the purpose of making a profit. So, if I have a F**D and would like to now sell it say through a place like autotrader.com using images that I've uploaded to help with the sale and do it so with the full potential of making a profit, do I now have to contact a F**D representative and get written permission or is this just not allowed anymore ?

Posted by: Damien Speed on January 15, 2008 12:37 AM

@ Damien Speed,

No it won't matter because you can never sell a ford for a profit :)

Posted by: Spaced1 on January 15, 2008 1:07 AM

I'm a but concerned -- if I sell my used F0RD, who within FMC do I send the prodeeds to?

Posted by: Daron on January 15, 2008 3:18 AM

I hope somebody is bringing this to the attention of the mass media. This affects anybody that runs a car club. I've produced posters with pictures of members cars to promote car shows. Was I setting myself up for a lawsuit? This is out of control. It's time something was done about this abuse of copyright laws. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Posted by: jesse on January 15, 2008 3:23 AM

I'm sure someone made the comment that "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business." I pretty sure this applies in this instance when you're more concerned about making profits (and lower profits due to diminished image) than you are about your customers. Now who was it who said that? Henry some? :D

Posted by: asterix on January 15, 2008 5:03 AM

I'm sure someone made the comment that "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business." I pretty sure this applies in this instance when you're more concerned about making profits (and lower profits due to diminished image) than you are about your customers. Now who was it who said that? Henry some? :D

Posted by: asterix on January 15, 2008 5:03 AM


>>No, Ford does not have that right. Trademarks
>>don't exist for the benefit of companies, they
>>exist for the benefit of buyers: to ensure that
>>buyers get what they expect they are getting when
>>they are buying a product that's been sold under a
>>trademark.

I'd suggest reading up on trademark before making false statements.

From the USPTO website (note the "exclusive right" in there):

"a legal presumption of the registrant's ownership of the mark and the registrant's exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration;"

Posted by: mobycat on January 15, 2008 6:36 AM

The trademark and copyright laws exist to protect against the encroachment of another business whose intent is to duplicate or profit from proprietary manufacture or concepts, not from people who have legitimately purchased their automobiles making a few bucks from an enthusiast calendar. They have *NO* right to tell someone what they can or cannot do with their car provided it's not being used in the process of stealing proprietary information or practices.

The cars in that calendar are NOT Ford's property so they cannot do a damn thing about it.

Ford gives up a certain portion of their rights to their propriety of anything resembling an image on two counts.....one, someone who has purchased their car can take any picture of it they want and Ford can't do a damn thing about it, they no longer own the car. Two, because the cars are out there in the public domain, a little thing called the Photographer's Right's, which has been upheld in court, states that you cannot stop someone from photographing people or objects in a public place......whether they like it or not. See: http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

The long and short of this whole thing is that it's a typical schoolyard bully scenario.....Ford flexes its muscles, they'll actually bluff their way to court and put up a fight, but ultimately whether they win or lose, which is highly debatable, they'll do nothing whatsoever good for their image and cost someone a bunch of money, which will, in turn, hurt them the worst regardless of the outcome. If they win, it'll be a case of the big guy stomping on the little Joe Everyman, a public relations nightmare, or they'll lose, and establish themselves as fools.

Posted by: Jeb Boyd on January 15, 2008 6:59 AM

This is utterly retarded in every way. Ford should embelish the fact that its consumers are proud of there product, not turn on them. I think after 20 years of buying mustangs Im done until Ford takes its head out of its ass.

Posted by: rich on January 15, 2008 9:24 AM

In response to:
"Two, because the cars are out there in the public domain, a little thing called the Photographer's Right's, which has been upheld in court, states that you cannot stop someone from photographing people or objects in a public place......whether they like it or not. See: http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm"

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I agree that photos can be taken, but I'm pretty sure there are restrictions on the use of the photos. You cannot sell images of trademark/copyrighted items commercially, no matter where you took them. You can print the photos for personal use and may also sell single prints (I'm not sure about this) under artistic license.

Whether the car club was making a profit could impact the decision made by Ford (if they were involved directly - does sound like CafePress is involved also?).

Posted by: glad2badad on January 15, 2008 9:33 AM

Same shit VW of America pulled on the fans of vintage Volkswagens years ago...

Posted by: autiger on January 15, 2008 10:09 AM

If this is true, then insurance companies should be sued as well. Many require photographs of cars before they will insure them.

Just a thought.

Posted by: BeetleJuice on January 15, 2008 12:48 PM

So what if I post a pic on Cartrader for the purpose of selling my Ford... Will Ford sue me because I am making a profit from that image? A picture is worth 1000 words and the image that FMC is painting is not appealing.

Posted by: KillerB on January 15, 2008 1:29 PM

Even if Ford has a legal leg to stand on, this is a stupid policy. They are going after the very people who are their strongest supporters.

Posted by: MUTTSTANG on January 15, 2008 1:37 PM

Show Ford about as much respect as they've shown you, choose another make of car the next time you buy. VWOA did the same thing to the vintage VW owners a few years back and we now own our second Toyota.

Posted by: Tim G on January 15, 2008 1:43 PM

So how would a used car dealer advertise a used ford he has for sale? If he can't say ford anywhere in the description, and obviously he is trying to make a profit. He sure isn't going to write for permission before tryinf to sell every ford. Are they just going to stop selling used fords? So that just makes it harder to get rid of a used ford unless you are trading it back in to a ford dealer. That is enough to make me want to get out of fords. I have owned almost all fords my whole life included 3 1963 mercury comets currently. Maybe it's time I get out of ford all together. I have been riding in a friends toyota corolla that is getting 40 + mpg. Maybe toyota will be my next brand. DO YOU HEAR THAT FORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jay on January 15, 2008 1:49 PM

This was not the position of Ford.

Check out original post on Boing Boing..

See Comment #83 :
http://www.boingboing.net/2008/01/13/ford-car-owners-are.html

Posted by: collin on January 15, 2008 1:59 PM

Ya I also am a f0rd guy i have a love for Mu$tangs....but seeing how ford has been going down the pipes nowadays and seeing this and that they are slapping the people who love the products and autos in the face as they keep the legend alive .....I think ford will be losing alot of sales on cars from this legal action.This sucks but I will not buy a f0rd Car,Truck or SUV from a F0rd dealer ever again from seeing this.

Posted by: demonlx on January 15, 2008 2:23 PM

My name is Whitney Drake and I work in Ford Communications.

We've been watching this discussion with interest and I'd like to
clarify what is essentially a misunderstanding.

Yesterday we spoke to both Cafe Press and the Black Mustang Club
and explained the situation (about the Black Mustang Club's calendar) to everyone's satisfaction. Ford has no problem with Mustang or other car owners taking pictures of their vehicles for use in club materials like calendars. What we do have an issue with are individuals using Ford's logo and other trademarks for products they intend to sell. Understandably, we have to take the protection of our brands and licensing very seriously.

Ford did not send the Black Mustang Club a "cease and desist" letter telling them that they could not use images of their own cars in their calendar. The decision not to allow the calendars to be printed was made by Cafe Press, because we had gotten in touch with them in the past about trademark infringements on products they sold.

The Black Mustang Club, and any other Ford enthusiast club, are free to take pictures of their own vehicles for use in calendars or other materials as long as they don't use Ford trademarks in products that will be sold.

I think it is great that the Black Mustang Club, and any other enthusiast club, would take pictures of their own vehicles for use in calendars or other materials.

I'm looking forward to purchasing a copy to hang in the garage next
to my Mustang (even if mine isn't black).

Thanks for giving us the chance to have our say.

Posted by: Whitney on January 15, 2008 3:59 PM

collin, we know that. We know it was CafePress that told Black Mustang they couldn't print the calendar because of Ford's position. We know Ford didn't send and legal c and d to Black Mustang. What's odd, though, about the Boing Boing Ford comment is that Ford's Whitney Drake says Ford is against people using Ford imagery in things they intend to sell while at the same time, she says she looks forward to purchasing a copy of the calendar for herself. Huh?

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 15, 2008 4:20 PM

You will just have to black out all the Ford Emblems on the cars. Right?

Posted by: Kevin on January 15, 2008 5:16 PM

I suggest the BMC ask Ford what they want to
accomplish with the cease and desist. If the
answer is that Ford wants to protect their
trademark, then it may make sense to them that
such protection could be maintained by having
them send a 'permit and proceed' letter to this
club of valued enthusiasts and customers.

The heavy-handed alternative of the 'cease and
desist' just alienates their most loyal fans,
and does nothing to improve Fords share-holder
value.

There is still time for Ford to come to their
senses and turn this potential word-of-mouth
nightmare around and for Ford to see the light
and welcome such efforts as the BMC calendar
while still protecting their trademarks.

Posted by: unix_porter on January 15, 2008 5:49 PM

Steve:

Whitney didn't say she was against People using Ford imagery... she said "trademarks"

"The Black Mustang Club, and any other Ford enthusiast club, are free to take pictures of their own vehicles for use in calendars or other materials as long as they don't use Ford trademarks in products that will be sold."

It seems fair to me that Ford should protect their trademarks doesn't it?

Those trade marks have little TMs next to them. They are typically logos, not photos.

This is a non-story...

Posted by: collin on January 15, 2008 5:51 PM

The situation is apparently resolved.
If you trace things down eventually you will get to ...

http://www.bmcforums.com/showthread.php?t=42820

So the calendar will go forward although Cafepress
will NOT be involved. I can understand FoMoCo
wanting to protect their trademarks, but this can be
done without alienating their most loyal fans and
customers.

Posted by: unix_porter on January 15, 2008 6:20 PM

After reading everything... Seems to me that Cafe Press is in the doghouse on this one. I wouldn't be so quick to blame ford, or the enthusiast group...

Posted by: Walter on January 15, 2008 6:44 PM

Collin: My bad. I meant logo when I wrote imagery. Yes, Ford should protect its trademarks. It may now be a non-story but it wasn't when it began.

unix_porter: yes, I have been in contact with Whitney Drake from Ford and it has been clarified that the Black Mustang club or any club can print calendars using CafePress on anyone they like.

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 15, 2008 7:12 PM

This question is for Whitney from Ford communications:

If the pictures in the calender clearly show the Ford logo on the actual vehicle, does this count as an illegal use of a ford trademark? What if the calenders are being distributed free of cost? Is it only an issue if the product in question is being sold?

Also, on a seperate line of thought, I am a student in a public relations program and we have been discussing the use of social media and its effect on company reputation. I am curious how your company monitors blogs such as this (with how much regularity etc.) and how you choose which blogs to monitor.
Thank you for your time, and on a personal note I think you did a good job of clearing up the confusion surrounding this branding issue.

Regards,

Anika

Posted by: Anika on January 15, 2008 7:36 PM

"Buy A Chevy"

Posted by: 454 on January 15, 2008 10:58 PM

Well it look's like it's time to sell the Mustang...and get yourselves a new Camaro or Challenger, that is so sad about Ford discriminating it's loyal customers!

Posted by: Sinister on January 16, 2008 2:04 AM

Yep, the new hemi challenger looks pretty good. Would probably have to wait a couple years for the fighting over them to go down before the dealers stop gouging the public for an extra 20,000 - 30,000 over sticker. Of course someone crafty could probably take a v6 challenger and throw intercooled twin turbos or a supercharger on it an make it go like a raped ape. :)

Posted by: Jay on January 16, 2008 10:39 AM

why the hell would ford try to sue the owners of cars that arent even ford's any more, they are the owners vehicles to do with what they please. to make a calendar and sell it to the car club, even if some other people who are mustang owners, is a great advertisement for the mustang.. them tryin to sue the mustang owners for their own pictures that they took and are ightfully theirs is like charmin selling me toilet paper and telling me i cant wipe my ass. ford, you are stupid fro doing this and will get nothing but negativity towards you for being asshats.

Posted by: mark on January 16, 2008 12:04 PM

Welcome to America! ;-) The fastest way to get rich (...or poor...) is through the court...
Right now I`m removing the logos on my F&% and also my other american cars. Can`t be careful enough nowadays.
Well folks; you`ve all been a part of this "evolution", and don`t tell me you did`nt love all these TV-series with court & lawers...
The question is; how far will this madness go???

Posted by: JohnnyS. on January 17, 2008 11:32 AM

I think, if this issue is understood, the lawyer overreached in his opinion. The true issue here is: Can the Ford owners make their own Ford calendar and call it a Ford calendar? Most companies would object to you making something and then using their name in the product's name. A Ford calendar called "Ford Calendar" would look like it was officially put out by Ford or endorsed by Ford. It might be neither.

Otherwise, the lawyer's opinion overreached. This would mean every used car dealer and used car mag would need explicit permission from Ford to display photos (or even use the Ford name!) in ads. Imagine that you own a used Ford, and you can't list your Ford for sale in the classified ads because Ford won't allow you to use "Ford" in your ad.

This is the classic balancing act between ownership and licensing. This affects not just this issue, but music and software, where the intellectual property rights get harder to "own." If this lawyer's opinion were upheld in court, then it might be illegal for me to give or sell someone my no-longer-used music or software.

This is the wet dream of marketers everywhere, of course: a product you can only buy new and never can sell used.

Posted by: Michael on January 21, 2008 12:24 PM

Even though this has been "resolved", the damage has already been done.

This is a classic case of what happens when you allow attorneys, accountants, and loss control people to affect the marketing decision(s). In this case, there's been a tremendous negative impact customer/enthusiast loyalty, and Ford has made itself look idiotic and mean-sprited.

Damage control? It takes seven positives to offset one negative. Certainly a good first step would be for Ford to offer to work with the club and even offset part or all of the printing expense, or something similar. (Think of what Coca-Cola does each and every time it offers to help pay for a sign that features its logo.) Cultivate ALL the clubs, giving them first look at new cars, stock photos, juciy product tidbits, whatever.

Clearly, and in any case, a change in policy that would require all all trademark/copywrite notifications sent out by Legal would first have to be routed through Marketing is in order. This would be a clear message to Legal that it is an adjunt to this department, and not a final authority.

This is a situation that can be salvaged, but it will be a long road back.

Posted by: VICB3 on January 28, 2008 1:39 PM

Hey, as an postscript to this thread, have a glance at the FORD POWERED BY YOU SITE. Twas supposed to be an OPEN forum, but those poltroons at Ford have tried to homogenize it into a palatable (for them) poss. And they wonder why Toyota/Honda are kicking their fat arses.

Posted by: sd on April 28, 2008 4:09 PM

The Ford lawyers just had me kicked off of ebay for selling cartoon caricature car pictures!!!! After 8+ years I can no longer sell on Ebay because of this trademark foolishness. These lawyers are simply trolling for victims. They are threatening you with either paying a $5000.- fee or face prosecution of $100,000. This is simply legal extortion at this point!!! After being a devoted blue oval owner for over 30 years, owning over 12 Mustangs and other models, I am just fed up with all their bullshit. I got rid of all my Ford crap and put my Expedition and wifes Escape up for sale. And to think I was going to order a new shelby gt500 this year after saving 2 years for one. You guys can go f*** yourselves!!!!

Posted by: Jay on May 12, 2008 8:41 AM

The Ford lawyers just had me kicked off of ebay for selling cartoon caricature car pictures!!!! After 8+ years I can no longer sell on Ebay because of this trademark foolishness. These lawyers are simply trolling for victims. They are threatening you with either paying a $5000.- fee or face prosecution of $100,000. This is simply legal extortion at this point!!! After being a devoted blue oval owner for over 30 years, owning over 12 Mustangs and other models, I am just fed up with all their bullshit. I got rid of all my Ford crap and put my Expedition and wifes Escape up for sale. And to think I was going to order a new shelby gt500 this year after saving 2 years for one. You guys can go f*** yourselves!!!!

Posted by: Jay on May 12, 2008 8:41 AM

It seems that the Ford Motor Company (FMC) has an unreasonable lock on the word, 'Ford'. You will have a difficult time getting a T shirt printed up with the words, 'Ford Sucks' on it, even though those two words do not incite crime, violent revolution, child abuse or anything else. Together, the two words form a symbol of an opinion. Last I checked, it was still okay to voice your opinion on your clothing.
The company that refused to print 'Ford Sucks' prints T shirts with designs that do indeed glorify gangs and gang life. I'm referring to the company, Zazzle.com.
It doesn't matter that you might be referring to the actor, the car company or the act of crossing a river. Ford has it locked down, and that's enough to scare the gutless Zazzle.com into denying me my right to expression of opinion. This is wrong. This is un-fair. This is un-American. This needs to be changed. In the expression of one's opinion, one should, very much, be able to have printed up a T shirt with the words 'Ford Sucks'. It's a matter of freedom. FMC is abusing it denying it to others. Let's shine a spotlight on Ford, while it's down financially, maybe it will be more willing to listen and react to reason. As long as FMC keeps me from using the word 'ford' as I choose, Ford does indeed suck.

Posted by: DAN LEWIS on July 2, 2008 10:06 PM

I disagree with the so called 'UPDATE' that claims the matter has been settled. Maybe the photography aspect has, but there's more to go. Read the statement I made earlier, just above. Ford needs to assume an all new kinder, friendlier stance and let go of their death-like grip on the four letter combination, F O R D . It's the right thing to do.

Posted by: DAN LEWIS on July 2, 2008 10:16 PM

So if a calendar showed Ford vehicles burning up "Consumeraffairs.com" I wonder if Ford would want rights to that?

Posted by: Steve Herbelin on November 22, 2008 10:53 AM







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