Grumpy Cat Wants $600k From ‘Pirating’ Coffee Maker

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Sure this is a pretty blatant rip-off but, given the fact that the coffee company didn't even bother to respond to the initial lawsuit, I doubt they are going to pay a $600,000 judgment. Anyone think Grumpy Cat is going to see a penny of that money?

Grumpy Cat is not pleased, yet. Her owners have asked a California federal court to issue a $600,000 judgment against a coffee maker which allegedly exploited their copyrights. In addition, they want damages for trademark and contract breach, and a ban on the company in question from selling any associated Grumpy Cat merchandise.
 

Skripka

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Sure this is a pretty blatant rip-off but, given the fact that the coffee company didn't even bother to respond to the initial lawsuit, I doubt they are going to pay a $600,000 judgment. Anyone think Grumpy Cat is going to see a penny of that money?

Grumpy Cat is not pleased, yet. Her owners have asked a California federal court to issue a $600,000 judgment against a coffee maker which allegedly exploited their copyrights. In addition, they want damages for trademark and contract breach, and a ban on the company in question from selling any associated Grumpy Cat merchandise.
Actually Steve you'd be wrong there.


A default judgement...means that company's bank accounts pretty much are legally bound to pony up. At least for normal people. Now it is up to the defendants to prove the courts were wrong.
 

Jim Kim

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Sure this is a pretty blatant rip-off but, given the fact that the coffee company didn't even bother to respond to the initial lawsuit, I doubt they are going to pay a $600,000 judgment. Anyone think Grumpy Cat is going to see a penny of that money.
Not a chance. Shutting them down is the best they can hope for.
 

Kor

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I'm amazed they thought they could get away with using the likeness on a commercial product without paying for it in the first place.
 

thesmokingman

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Lmao, Grenade Beverage even bought the Grumpycat.com domain and setup a webshop. How the hell? Who thought this whole thing was a good idea? I'm not sure how its possible to pass this off.
 

HardOCP News

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Actually Steve you'd be wrong there.


A default judgement...means that company's bank accounts pretty much are legally bound to pony up. At least for normal people. Now it is up to the defendants to prove the courts were wrong.
I had no idea. I thought a default judgement just meant the defendant didn't show up for court. I was under the impression that the plaintiff would then have to seek the defendant in civil court, get a lien, garnish wages, etc. etc. and that's only if they don't declare bankruptcy in the mean time.
 

Skripka

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I had no idea. I thought a default judgement just meant the defendant didn't show up for court. I was under the impression that the plaintiff would then have to seek the defendant in civil court, get a lien, garnish wages, etc. etc. and that's only if they don't declare bankruptcy in the mean time.
Default judgements happen all the time because people don't show up for court. And they mean "the other guy won".

Say I accuse your company, Steve Inc., of something and demand $10,000,000 in damages. You don't show up. You never answer. I ask for, and get, a default judgement. I can get your wages garnished. I can have your assets. including bank accounts, seized. Now, you can fight it and request to have the default vacated....but now you have to FIGHT it and defend it. Because you were found guilty. And you need to fight it fast...except court hearings are not instant and take several months to come up. And while that is happening, creditors will be vampires anyway most often and seize whatever they can.

Could you file for bankruptcy? Sure....but that is the nuclear option with its own consequences. And of course filing for and getting it approved takes time....during which the accounts may be taken anyway. And odds are no matter what Steve Inc will probably cease to exist.



The problem for these guys....they very easily on the surface look like they were in the wrong. Unlike lots of default judgements where someone ignored a clearly bogus suit. The judgement doesn't look like it should be voided at a passing glance.
 

sfsuphysics

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I have noticed on billboards driving home those "memes" of the outlines of Jackie Chan, Doc Brown, etc... I'm actually surprised they're allowed to get away with that while the art itself is someone's creation (I"m sure they didn't pay for that either), but the likeness of the actual actors can't be used can it?
 

Tsumi

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I have noticed on billboards driving home those "memes" of the outlines of Jackie Chan, Doc Brown, etc... I'm actually surprised they're allowed to get away with that while the art itself is someone's creation (I"m sure they didn't pay for that either), but the likeness of the actual actors can't be used can it?
It really depends on a multitude of factors. See Fair use - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

evilsofa

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I have noticed on billboards driving home those "memes" of the outlines of Jackie Chan, Doc Brown, etc... I'm actually surprised they're allowed to get away with that while the art itself is someone's creation (I"m sure they didn't pay for that either), but the likeness of the actual actors can't be used can it?
Let's take, for example, the Jackie Chan one. The outline drawing is a derivative of a real picture, from a movie, maybe? I don't know which one. The art of rendering a real picture into an outline for a meme is itself derivative; here is a bunch of them. Who made the outline drawings? Could whoever it was possibly prove that it was them?

But the Jackie Chan meme is derivative in its entirety from the "My Brain Is Full Of Fuck" meme, which was out years before the Jackie Chan version:



This page states "One of the earliest image macros featuring the tagline can be found on a MyConfinedSpace[1] blog post uploaded by user TikiGod on February 27th, 2008. The image depicts one of the Gargoyle sculpture ornaments found on the facade of Magdelen College building at Oxford University, United Kingdom".

So, why does Jackie Chan get paid for this meme? No, he doesn't. Who does? The person who took the picture of the gargoyle? The person that sculpted that gargoyle?

And this meme is particularly well documented. Many memes just appear out of anonymous nowhere. Good luck finding your "original artist".

Grumpy Cat is a completely different case. The originator knew what the hell they were doing and locked up the copyrights before they even started disseminating it.

The coffee company they're suing can't even claim ignorance of where it came from since they had a contract with Grumpy Cat and then broke it! Idiots.
 

OregonLAN

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Steve, you are correct. A default judgement guarantees you nothing. It's the responsibility of the prevailing party to collect on a civil lawsuit, not the courts. There's still a legal process to discover and seize assets. Depending on how the company was setup, some assets are ineligible for recovery. Also, it's fairly easy to stop or block any asset seizures by filing for bankruptcy and/or filling a motion to vacate. Assuming the company was profitable, you still may never recover enough to cover the court and attorney fees.
 

Burticus

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Here's a thought. Put an eyepatch on the cat and call it "pirate cat coffee". Problem solved.
 

sfsuphysics

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So, why does Jackie Chan get paid for this meme? No, he doesn't. Who does? The person who took the picture of the gargoyle? The person that sculpted that gargoyle?
Ok, I'm not saying he should get paid for a meme, I'm saying that people are using drawing on a billboard that is OBVIOUSLY Jackie Chan and not that gargoyle to sell their products. I'm curious how that in itself is legal, there has to be a line to where things can't be done and I'm curious as to that line, I mean if they put a photo of Jackie Chan on the billboard, that's not legal so somewhere in between?
 
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