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CafePress.com sensors the word "Tesla".

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by AntronX, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. AntronX

    AntronX Member

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    So I tried ordering custom license plate frame that read " POOR MAN'S TESLA" to put on my Nissan Leaf as a joke. Order went through. Few hours later got an email that my order is canceled due to:

    Replied asking if they censored use of word "Tesla". Their reply:


    So there you have it. Looks like another nail in freedom of expression coffin due to egregious abuse of copyright. I know, first world problems and all, but this really irked me. I am going to CNC it myself then.
     

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  2. AntronX

    AntronX Member

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    I would be forever grateful to any mod who can fix my spelling mistake in the title.
     
    • Funny x 2
  3. pchilds

    pchilds Member

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    Tell them that Tesla doesn't own the word Tesla, it is someone's name. Idiots!!!
     
  4. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    Doesn't matter whether Tesla is a name or a copyrighted term or not - its just easier (and cheaper) for them to crack down on their users when they get a complaint from a company. I design stuff for sale on several of those types of sites, and they are all the same in this regard. A company complains to them that people are infringing on their copyright, and the ban hammer comes down across the board. No way to protest the decision - you can just take your business elsewhere if you have a problem with it.

    Usually it doesn't happen until the company in question complains, though. So its possible Tesla sent them a note if people were using the Tesla logo, etc.
     
  5. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    The actually do, when it comes to vehicles, batteries, vehicle financing etc.
    Tesla Motors Trademarks - Company Legal Profiles

    It's the same as Microsoft having trademarked: "Windows". It's very highly protected, but only in the context of software
     
    • Like x 1
  6. pchilds

    pchilds Member

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    I don't see license plate frames as falling under those Trademarks. The closest is "Automobiles and structural parts therefor".
     
  7. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Right, but the license plate is just the medium.

    The word Tesla is clearly not referring to a brand of license plate holder - it's referring to the car. Similarly, if you print it on paper it doesn't have to do with the brand of paper you're printing it on.

    Context can also be implied. A while back a BMW dealer close to where I lived came out with a 3-series convertible with the tagline: "Hardware without Windows". The mere insinuation of what that meant put them in violation of the Windows trademark, and they had to take it down.

    I doubt Tesla actually lodged a complaint here though. They probably had a bunch of complaints from other manufacturers, so they just blocked all of them.
     
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  8. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Just FYI, it's about trademark law, not copyright. They're different things.
     
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  9. AntronX

    AntronX Member

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    So, CafePress agreed to print the frame with those words if I get them official permission from Tesla Motors. Hmm, anyone know someone on the inside? (Yes, I am that naive). Or should I go for the Hail Mary pass and spam Elon's twitter?
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    If you go the route of twittering, consider including another option for him: "... or make such frames available at Tesla stores".
     
  11. AntronX

    AntronX Member

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    That would be kinda awesome.
     
  12. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Did you order this from some other Cafe Press store, or did you create your own CP store with this item, and then tried buying it yourself? If you just want a custom license plate frame, there are dozens of online places that will print anything you want without regard to trademark. The problem with CP is that they assume you're selling items for a profit, where you can't use a trademark without permission. But if you're just creating a one-off for yourself, no such laws/rules apply.

    And you're going to need more than a tweet from Elon Musk before CP allows you to create such products -- like a certified letter from the lawyers at TM, which "ain't gonna happen".
     
  13. AntronX

    AntronX Member

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    Only wanted custom one for myself. They were 2nd result from google. Apparently even that it is not allowed.
     
  14. Vitold

    Vitold Member

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    Parody is a defense to trademark infringement.

    My Leaf is Tesla = Parody and therefore not a trademark infringement.

    Case closed :)
     
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  15. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Why not just get a blank license plate frame and print out the words on adhesive label paper?
     
  16. AntronX

    AntronX Member

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    I can do that. But it's the restriction of my freedom to use some words is what really annoyed me. Basically I can put a sticker on blank frame and be fine, but I cannot pay $20 to cafepress to professionally engrave and paint same text into the same blank frame for me... Sad reality of overly legal society.
     
  17. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    I suppose. Until you invent something or come up with an idea or write a book or create a comic book character only to find others ripping off your work.

    It's not a sad reality at all. It's just reality and people/companies have a right to protect their intellectual property.
     
  18. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    No, it's not. It's the company you've contacting exercising good judgement against litigation.

    Would you have the same "freedom" complaint if you asked them to make one with "cafepress sucks" and they said no?
     
  19. AntronX

    AntronX Member

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    Exactly, which is directly caused by overly legal (litigious) society. It sucks.
     
  20. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    That part I agree with. The part I quoted was about the freedom aspect.
     

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