Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Really Suck At These Things...



But when the app is using SHAZAM in a manner that seems like it is meant to call to mind the Whiz/DC Comics franchise, is there some way DC has a case against them?

13 comments:

  1. In what way is that calling to mind the Whiz/DC comics franchise, aside from the use of the word Shazam (which for many, I suspect, conjures up images of Gomer Pyle as opposed to the Big Red Cheese)?

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  2. The Captain Marvel comic pre-dates Gomer Pyle using Shazam as a catch phrase, I believe.

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  3. Sure, but you're saying their using it in a manner to call to mind the character. In what way are they doing that, aside from using the word "shazam," which I highly doubt that "average joe" is going to associate with Captain Marvel?

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  4. I'm saying it evokes an element of their property, not the character as a whole. The instantaneous nature they're trying to evoke? The almost magical results?

    I do think you tend to underestimate how well known the Captain Marvel/Shazam property is. It's not dominant in pop culture, but with the reach it has had over its lifetime, more people recognize it than you'd think.

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  5. While you may be right about CM, you're really reaching as to whether or not there is any litigious action DC could pursue. I mean REALLY reaching.

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  6. Not what I said. You were reaching here: "I'm saying it evokes an element of their property, not the character as a whole. The instantaneous nature they're trying to evoke? The almost magical results?"

    That's what you referring to in your original post, right? When you said that it "call(ed) to mind the Whiz/DC Comics franchise"? THAT is a reach.

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  7. Never seen someone play devil's advocate before?

    When I originally posted this blog, I nearly included that I doubted DC had a real argument here. Then I realized that'd not help encourage a discussion.

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  8. Condescend much? I was, in fact, discussing this, by suggesting that DC does not in fact have a case here. I started by asking what aspect of that app would be infringing upon DC's trademark. Your replies haven't really discussed the actual subject, but instead just take little jabs. So I wonder then, what were you trying to discuss, since, according to your last post, you were only playing devil's advocate & were just trying to "encourage a discussion"?

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  9. I think you're seeing "little jabs" where none were intended, Zod.

    As far as encouraging a discussion, if you come here and say that DC has no case and I (or others) don't back up the other side of the argument, there's no discussion.

    Oh, btw, Googling the issue, I found that not only does SHAZAM pre-date Gomer Pyle, it's use by Gomer Pyle was directly from it's use with the Captain Marvel character.

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  10. There's no discussion to begin with. In order to have any sort of discussion on the matter, someone would have to start reaching for things to debate. Which, is exactly what Kevin did. And since that's the situation, I have to ask: What was the point in the first place?

    Hey, I have an idea for your next post, Kevin:

    The new X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie calls to mind the University of Michigan Wolverines. I wonder if U of M has a case FOX/Marvel?

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  11. Right, Simon (if that is your real name), because a word created in Captain Marvel, popularized by the comic and a TV character, and used as the trademarked title for their publications of the character since the 70s is the same thing as the pre-existing word used to describe a certain creature that was adopted as a college sports mascot.

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  12. Kevin - not to pick nits here, but the link you provided to Wikipedia page doesn't really say that. What it says is that Shazam is a "catchphrase/mild expletive, originating from the Captain Marvel character and popularized by TV character Gomer Pyle from The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, USMC." That simply means that the word originated in Captain Marvel comics, but it was brought into the mainstream thanks to Gomer Pyle, which backs up what I said. The article on Gomer Pyle makes no mention of the character Captain Marvel.

    From the Wiki article on the Shazam comic series: "In pop culture, Billy Batson/Captain Marvel's magic word, "Shazam!", became a popular exclamation from the 1940s on, often used in place of an expletive. The most notable user of the word "Shazam!" in this form was Gomer Pyle, a character from the 1960s sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. Foxxy Cleopatra from the 2002 film Austin Powers in Goldmember is also fond of the word."

    The word may have originated in the book, but the fact that it's woven its way into pop culture the way it has would make any kind of copyright dispute nearly impossible to pursue, as the word isn't associated with any specific character in the minds of the masses.

    If they'd called the app Kryptonite than maybe DC would have a case.

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