HBO Slaps Takedown Demand On 13-Year-Old’s Painting That Used “Winter Is Coming”

dandirk

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jun 5, 2004
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And how do you even connect the phrase Winter is Coming to GOT? It is a generic saying. Unless you are bundling it with art assets or fonts from the series you aren't even directly referencing the show.

Are they trying to imply that they OWN the phrase "Winter is Coming?" I can't believe that would hold up.

It's called paperwork and fees, complete it and pay and bam! you own common phrases.
 

dandirk

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jun 5, 2004
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I cannot believe any competent legal system would award "ownership" rights to any individual or corporation of a common phrase such as, "winter is coming". HBO can yell as much as they want, but no competent legal system would support them.

A painting of a cold scene titled "Winter is Coming" should be free from harassment.

It remains to be seen if the tattered remnants of Great Britain's legal system retains any competency.

In reality they probably can't. If the family would hire a lawyer and fight it, they would most likely win. Though this costs $$$, which is (based on % of income) probably is much more expensive for the family then HBO/Lawyers. The lawyers probably look at it as a way to charge some hours and there is some laws that state you have to protect your trademark or lose it.
 

Advil

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No you can't the whole point is that you cannot own a common phrase. And that is a VERY common phrase.
 

Lunas

[H]F Junkie
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Jul 22, 2001
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No you can't the whole point is that you cannot own a common phrase. And that is a VERY common phrase.
But that is exactly what you can do you can own a phrase like "I'm Lovin it™" or "Winter is Coming™" or "Have it your way™" the difference here is mcdonalds or burger King are not in the habit of suing little girls. It was meant to protect jingles and such from people making profit off copying the same jingle for yourself...

A Trademark protects names, terms and symbols that are used to identify the source of goods and/or services on the market. In other words, a trademark lets the consumer distinguish one company's offerings from another's. Trademarks include brand names such as "Coca-Cola™" and images such as Nike's famous "swoosh™." As the owner of a federally registered trademark, you can sue for trademark infringement in federal court and prevent the importation of foreign goods that display your trademark.

https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics/trademark-patent-or-copyright

The only thing that will come of this is people will see a little TM after the words Winter is Coming™
 
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AK0tA

Gawd
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Mar 4, 2012
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813
This wave of crime must be stopped. Autistic children creating heartfelt artwork must be removed from the streets.
 

Phatal

Limp Gawd
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Aug 11, 2004
Messages
130
I live in MN. A large group of concerned citizens have contacted our State's attorney's office to bring suit against HBO / Game of Thrones. They stole our tagline. We've been using it since the first settlers came here. (n)
 

cyberguyz

Gawd
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
710
"Winter is coming" was trademarked back in 2005.
Still stupid of HBO's lawyers going after a kid for using it. All the more reason to pirate their show!

Shame!... Shame!... *Ding Ding* Shame!... Shame!... *Ding Ding*
 

spugnor

[H]F Junkie
Joined
May 2, 2001
Messages
11,220
The problem is, if you own a trademark or copyright, you HAVE to defend it. If you do not, the courts can basically nullify your trademark or copyright. I have had to deal with this in the past, and while it sucks to have to squash some kids dream, who had no intent to harm, it's necessary. Otherwise someone who DOES have a vested interest in stealing your work can, and might win, the right to steal your IP. It's stupid, but it's also how it works.

Now, while i don't think the kid meant or even may not have realized, the simple fact is the law does not recognize that fact. If you do not defend your trademark/copyright, you can lose it. Sucks for the kid, but as others have pointed out, it's all over, and has gotten more publicity than if it had been left alone. So realistically, both sides win here. HBO defends their property, and the little girl gets her work seen, which is all she probably wanted in the first place.
 

c3k

2[H]4U
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Sep 8, 2007
Messages
2,288
The issue isn't the need/desirability of trademark defense. The issue is that a common phrase can even be considered a trademark. Theoretically, EVERY phrase can be trademarked if this type of abusive trademarking is allowed. "Spring showers bring May flowers." Wait...."May flowers"? That's a trademark!

Legal systems which see no limits to their powers will extend their powers into more and more minutiae of every day life. (Gah! "Every day"! Another trademark!) Like branching roots, they will invade ever smaller cracks and fissures, then grow and disrupt every structure.

A little kid drew a painting and HBO lawyers roll in. If you cannot see the wrongness and innate corruption inherent in that act, then you may want to consider where you think the limit of that abuse of power ends.
 
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