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Buick enthusiasts under attack

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If you have a company facing bankrupcy, sales are going down, what is the first thing to do?

Right! Send your lawyers to the only loyal fans you have.

So did GM. TeamBuick (www.teambuick.com) got a note from its shop (CafePress.com), that their use of the GM logos and emblems - like Buick - is not allowed and they won't be able to supply Buick fan stuff anymore (T-Shirts for example). Maybe the TeamBuick Forum itself will get the same message soon.

Here is the original text:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Shopkeeper,

Thank you for using CafePress.com!

In accordance with our Intellectual Property Rights Policy, Anessa Owen Kramer on behalf of General Motors provided us with a notice stating that your use of "GM". “Chevrolet”, “Buick”, “Chevy”, “Corvette”, “GMC”, “Oldsmobile”, “Pontiac”. “Cadillac”, Hummer”, and/or the use of GM’s numerous emblems and logos infringes upon their intellectual property rights (copyright/trademark/trade dress). Please click here for more information about intellectual property.

Accordingly, we have set the content that is alleged to infringe the rights of the third party to “pending status” which disables said content from being displayed in your shop or purchased by the public. You may review the content set to pending status by logging into your CafePress.com account and clicking on the “Media Basket” link. The content set to pending status will be located in a “pending images” folder, which can be accessed via the pull-down menu bar on the left hand side.

We realize that you are a dedicated fan and are expressing such through your art work, as only a true fan could. That being said, feel free to contact General Motors directly to voice your concerns about not being able to express you true love for the automobiles. You are, after all, part of the fan base and, more importantly, part of the purchasing public and have assisted in creating greater sales of the automobiles, and have helped elevate the GM properties to their current cult status. Please find the contact information for the representative of General Motors below if you want to share your concerns.

Anessa Owen Kramer

Brooks Kushman P.C.

1000 Town Center, 22nd Floor

Southfield, MI 48075

Ph: 248-358-4400

Dir: 248-226-2912

Fax: 248-358-3351


We apologize for any inconvenience that our actions may cause you. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. </div></div>

We all know and accept copyrights. But Buick fan sites and forums have only one aim: To maintain and spread the glory of the brand Buick and its products. Sadly, this is no longer appreciated.

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If TeamBuick wasn't authorized to use the logos, then this was something that should have come through a long time ago. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but if copyright was infringed upon, GM is well within their rights. When I buy something with Buick on it through the BCA or the Sloan Museum store, there is typically a tag about authorized use.

This is a case where asking permission may have been better than begging forgiveness.

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I agree with Derek 100%. The law is the law, that is what protection is all about.

Run off some football jerseys with a team's logo and try to sell them and see how fast you get into trouble. Same Thing.


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Buick Motor Division has treated the Buick Club of America very well over the years. In the past they have supplied both prototype and production cars for the BCA National meet.

At some point, the founders of the BCA received permission to use the Buick logo for the club and to allow (with approval from the national office) BCA chapters to use various Buick trademark logos for club promotion.

Buick and all the other car manufacturers are very strict with their trademards and that is why they will license certain vendors to use the logos. If you are not approved, then you cannot use the logos.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Thriller</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This is a case where asking permission may have been better than begging forgiveness. </div></div>

Asking permission comes at a price...and I'll bet it's one that is far higher than any money collected through cafe press sales.

GM licensing is expensive, and it provides GM a means of assuring the items put forth with a GM owned logo are of a quality GM agrees to via channels GM approves of. Although I have seen some real crap get licensed...so the quality control part isn't always the greatest.

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