You’d think that if you take photographs of your own property with your own camera and then put those photos on tee shirts, mouse mats, etc, that you wouldn’t be breaking the law. Well, you might think that, but you’d be wrong, as a Ford owners club found out:
The folks at BMC (Black Mustang Club) automotive forum wanted to put together a calendar featuring members’ cars, and print it through CafePress. Photos were submitted, the layout was set, and… CafePress notifies the site admin that pictures of Ford cars cannot be printed. Not just Ford logos, not just Mustang logos, the car -as a whole- is a Ford trademark and its image can’t be reproduced without permission. So even though Ford has a lineup of enthusiasts who want to show off their Ford cars, the company is bent on alienating them. ‘Them’ being some of the most loyal owners and future buyers that they have. Or rather, that they had, because many have decided that they will not be doing business with Ford again if this matter isn’t resolved.
If that’s the law, then the law is an ass. I sometimes wonder whether the whole of intellectual property law in its entirety shouldn’t be scrapped; on the whole, probably not, though every abuse like this makes the system harder to justify.
UPDATE 2008-Jan-25: Ford say it was a misunderstanding, and BMC can print the calendar after all.