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Thread: Outrage: All RAF artwork soon to be banned??? Where your tax money really goes...

  1. #1
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    Angry Outrage: All RAF artwork soon to be banned??? Where your tax money really goes...

    This evening I got a number of warnings from my webstore holders: apparently I had breached someone's copyrights and some of the artwork and photographs I had for sale were removed from my webstore. The images involved were all British: the TSR2, Spitfire and Vulcan.

    As I am the creator of these artworks/photos, I enquired who would be claiming the copyright on these. This was the reply:

    Unfortunately, it appears that your products titled, "spitfire mk ix","hell-for-leather (2)", and "vulcan", did not meet Zazzle's Acceptable Content Guidelines. Specifically, your products infringed upon The UK Secretary of State for Defence intellectual property rights of The Royal Air Force. This also includes all logos, insignias, badges, etc.

    Zazzle has been contacted by legal and commercial rights representatives of The UK Secretary of State for Defence, and at their request, to remove products that infringe upon their rights from the Zazzle Marketplace.
    I am in absolute shock. Is the RAF really spending tax money on hunting down hard working artists and photographers and disallowing them to sell their images because it uses the RAF roundel? As far as I'm concerned...

    THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!
    Last edited by Skyraider3D; 28th March 2012 at 20:58.
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  2. #2
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    sounds like blox.....contact your MP as this is not what our brave veterans fought for

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    I'm wondering if this is actually the web host reading too much into something, there does seem to be some serious copywrite issues going on at the moment that Wiki, Google, Flickr etc have all been worried about.
    If it is the MoD then it's pretty shoddy.

  4. #4
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    Is it not the case that the MOD have registered their "copyright" of the RAF roundel in all its various forms?

    I am aware of a certain local charity who had an excedingly unpleasant communication from MOD lawyers stating that copyright had been breached and that the said logo (horrible word...but it was actually an RAF roundel) must be removed from their material.

    Barking.

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    Start with a simple letter to Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP asking him if 'Zazzle' have their panties in a twist.

    Moggy
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  6. #6
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    See here:

    http://www.armedforces-int.com/news/...-logo-use.html

    Up and down the country, I can hear the sound of Humbrol tins being opened in order to paint out the offending roundels....
    Last edited by Tangmere1940; 28th March 2012 at 21:04.

  7. #7
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    If you do a search for "Spitfire" on http://www.zazzle.com you get 800+ returns... would there really be a team of the MoD sitting there clicking on all these links and reporting the images as copyright violations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tangmere1940 View Post
    Yes I saw that too... so sad... too pathetic for words.

    But look, someone found a solution!
    http://forum.planetalk.net/viewtopic.php?p=74374
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangmere1940 View Post
    Is it not the case that the MOD have registered their "copyright" of the RAF roundel in all its various forms?
    I thought that the roundel was an internationally recognised symbol that has to be worn by requirement or convention by British military aircraft, rather than any sort of commercial product?
    I would think they could have difficulty proving otherwise, even under the recent 'RAF PLC' system.

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    This i doubt would stand up in court...

    For a start you're not trying to pass off the roundel as your own work... you're producing artwork based on objects that exist in the real world as artists have done for centuries... can you imagine the architect who built the house in Turners Hay Wain sueing him for infringement of his intelectual property...?

    The owners of the Atomium in belgium tried this on a couple of years ago... tried to claim every photograph of it infringed their copyright...

    Atomium Worldwide copyright claims

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  10. #10
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    Unfortunately, I can fully believe this story. My family makes a lot of products for the RAF and the licensing is madness. It really is a joke (IMHO), and yes, we're paying for civil servants (and some RAF officers) to enforce this. In some cases we (the family business) cant make something at the squadrons request because of this bureaucracy... Its ridiculous.

  11. #11
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    so no RAF aircraft to be represented at the Guild of Aviation Artist Exhibition this year and all the artist that have made a living over the years and still are doing so are going to have their works removed?.

    what of the artwork on display at Cosford and all other museums and galleries around the UK?.

    i think some silly bod has has read it the wrong way and had a panic attack. go back on to their website and see what other artists are offering along the same line, i bet theres loads for the Roundel Police
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    I have been speaking recently to the department that deals with Applications For Merchandising. You apply for a licence for a term of two years. The fee paid depends on your projected profit for the use you are intending.

    The RAF roundal, how I understood it from both the conversations I have had with the department and also the guidance notes I have recieved was not subject to the restrictions you are all suggesting.

    It applies to actual crests such as squadrons and/or commands. Additionally it also applies to the Royal Air Force title with the roundal featured by the text as seen on display Hawks & Typhoons of late.

    The guidance notes state "We will not licence the MOD’s Departmental Crest (Tri-service crest), the Sea Cadets, the SAS and the SBS logos"

    My interest is in producing a range of aftermarket decals for modellers. I was advised that as the MOD is operating under reduced staffing levels as a result of government decisions they have had to evaluate licence costs/benefits to the taxpayer on that basis. Furthermore there has been a change in policy and the MOD do not expect to licence standalone decals going forward, nor to renew any existing licence

    Just glad I applied for the licence on my first planned sheet.

    Time will tell how that one pans out I guess.

  13. #13
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    I think, although I am not certain, the the MOD were initially seeking to restrict the use of the roundel for commercial (and perhaps inappropriate) uses. That said, there does seem to have been a bit of jobsworth-ism creeping in here, probably due to an inability on the part of the enforcers to grasp what should be done or to apply any such 'regulations' in the spirit with which they were intended. Mind you, where does one draw the line with such a silly and impossible to enforce 'rule'?

    Martin - just read your post. Interesting, though a little confused by what you mean in the final sentence of your last paragraph. Can you clarify??
    Last edited by Tangmere1940; 28th March 2012 at 21:22.

  14. #14
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    I seem to recall that American Airlines prevented the use of their livery in Flight Simulator or in add-ons some time ago. Not sure if it still applies. Tcch, lawyers, eh?

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    A Google search seems to throw up lots of talk, discussion and news about pending court actions claiming copyright...but anything on any outcome is strangely absent so far as I can see. Was this case quietly abandoned? If so, it seems their 'claim' to copyright/ownership has not been abandoned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Garrett View Post
    I was advised that as the MOD is operating under reduced staffing levels as a result of government decisions they have had to evaluate licence costs/benefits to the taxpayer on that basis. Furthermore there has been a change in policy and the MOD do not expect to licence standalone decals going forward, nor to renew any existing licence
    So do you mean that they won't object to anyone making decals, or that they will not licence them (Thus killing the trade)?

    I know they trademarked all the RAF logos etc a few years back, but had a big case with Ben Sherman about the roundel.


    Skyraider - did your material have any RAF titling or badges that weren't on the aircraft (e.g. in inserts or similar?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveF68 View Post
    So do you mean that they won't object to anyone making decals, or that they will not licence them (Thus killing the trade)?
    I have had subsequent applications for planned future sheets declined. Have asked the same question along with a few others. As soon as I have answers I will let you know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveF68 View Post
    Skyraider - did your material have any RAF titling or badges that weren't on the aircraft (e.g. in inserts or similar?)
    Thesre are the "offending" images... I did not add any titles, logos, badges - nothing. They were sold like this:







    The Vulcan doesn't even have any visible markings!!!


    Amongst other words, I set "Royal Air Force" as a search tag. Maybe this triggered the problem? Is this not allowed either?
    Last edited by Skyraider3D; 28th March 2012 at 22:09.
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    Anybody told these guys yet?


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Garrett View Post
    I have had subsequent applications for planned future sheets declined. Have asked the same question along with a few others. As soon as I have answers I will let you know.
    So, they have declined to licence your manufacture of further decal transfer sheets containing RAF roundels for model aircraft?

    Words fail me, really. However, on the back of the recent story about a charity that had to remove the roundel from its club goods and stationery just recently then it does seem to be something of a more widespread issue.

    I suppose one ought to be surprised. Sadly, nothing very much surprises me about this country anymore.

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    Ah, finally I got a useful reply from Zazzle's customer service. Apparently it is also not allowed to tag your work with "Royal Air Force". MoD no likey. And that is the true reason why these images were removed: I tagged these images with "Royal Air Force". I should've known I was breaking the law there. Silly me.

    Sigh.

    Of course THE Royal Air Force is the only royal air force in the world and all... ah nevermind... time for bed, my head spins. Hopefully tomorrow I'll wake up in a sane world again... (slim chance)
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    PS. 389 offenders to go. Go get them MoD! Defend Britain against this scum of the world!

    http://www.zazzle.com/%22royal+air+force%22+gifts

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    Just to clarify, the licensing isn't just about the rounadall... Its the whole RAF brand. It includes crests, the RAF logo, the red arrows trade mark... All sorts. It's designed (apparently) to controll quality but that's cr*p. Some people have exclusive licenses meaning they have the monopoly on that product... Like I said, it's not just the roundall - and the whole thing is a massive waste of time.

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    Once upon a time about ten years ago there was - and still is, a website that had a library of just about every unit/station badge that ever existed.

    Almost all were removed under threat from MoD that any use of Squadron badges or the like would be prosecuted. I would have thought (and so said at the time in correspondence with said MoD) that the "intellectual property" belonged to those that served on those units and that they had well and truly earned their ownership.

    Luckily, by that time, I had all those that I needed.

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    Such a contrast. Everything the US military produces is free for all, public domain, etc...

    Such lunacy, perhaps even vicarious shame. It's just appalling and saddening.
    Last edited by Skyraider3D; 28th March 2012 at 23:29.
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    Somewhat ironic, really, that, in a file in the National Archives, it states that, due to complaints about how the Union Flag, in certain lighting conditions, could be mistaken for the German cross, it was planned to use a roundel, similar to the French design, but with the colours reversed.
    A letter, asking the French for their permission, received the answer, "No objection." Due to this, isn't there a case for the roundel being French "intellectual property," and the MOD should take their sticky fingers elsewhere?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar Brooks View Post
    Somewhat ironic, really, that, in a file in the National Archives, it states that, due to complaints about how the Union Flag, in certain lighting conditions, could be mistaken for the German cross, it was planned to use a roundel, similar to the French design, but with the colours reversed.
    A letter, asking the French for their permission, received the answer, "No objection." Due to this, isn't there a case for the roundel being French "intellectual property," and the MOD should take their sticky fingers elsewhere?
    That is absolutely brilliant. I laughed out loud and you're probably quite right too. Thanks for ending the day on a positive note!

    Tomorrow I will write the French government and ask if I can use their roundel with the colours reversed on my aircraft photos and artwork!
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyraider3D View Post
    Such a contrast. Everything the US military produces is free for all, public domain, etc...

    Such lunacy, perhaps even vicarious shame. It's just appalling and saddening.
    Not so. Both NASA and the US Coast Guard have trademarked their respective logos. I'm not quite sure how that's possible, given that the US Government does not copyright its works, nor has any other agency tried this little gimmick.

    To the subject at hand, I'd *love* to see the MoD try to do anything about me using the roundel, badges, etc on a piece of decal art. Please. Let's get real folks. The UK Government (like governments everywhere) has *much* better things to do with its taxpayer money than silliness like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangmere1940 View Post
    So, they have declined to licence your manufacture of further decal transfer sheets containing RAF roundels for model aircraft?

    Words fail me, really. However, on the back of the recent story about a charity that had to remove the roundel from its club goods and stationery just recently then it does seem to be something of a more widespread issue.

    I suppose one ought to be surprised. Sadly, nothing very much surprises me about this country anymore.
    No not quite Andy. Declined as my requests were to produce decals for special anniversary schemes which featured squadron crests on the airframes and/or the logo below. Managed to get one sheet licenced before.................

    I know I am breaking the law by using the below image. However to highlight the point I am willing to run the risk all in the name of furthering your education on the subject
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Martin Garrett; 29th March 2012 at 06:04.

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