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“You’re portraying OUR unit, you must stop”


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I got the oddest e-mail today. Some guy I’ve never heard of e-mailed me after seeing my Desert Storm group’s website and pretty much sent a “cease and desist” message because he’s forming a group dedicated to that era and feels that as his group is going to be bigger and “higher profile” (his words), we need to stop because the public will associate us with his group which will, “soon be the standard for Desert Storm impressions” (again, his words).

I just responded to him with several key facts:

  • Nobody “owns” a timeframe, period.
  • More than one of our group was IN Kuwait either during the war or immediately afterward.
  • We’ve been doing this since this spring, and his group hasn’t even gotten together for any events yet.
  • Our group is already known among the larger events in the area, including the Army which we got great feedback from at an Armed Forces Day event at a large Army post this year.
  • We have darned good impressions and he should consider himself lucky if people confuse us with his bunch (whenever they get together for events).
  • The WW2 group I and my pals are normally associated with is the best-known WW2 living history group for this region. If anything, the public would confuse us with our WW2 efforts.
  • General overall public interest in Desert Storm for the public is at best, very weak at the moment and will drop off sharply after 2011 once the 20th anniversary year is over. We’ll probably put away the impressions for the most part except for timeline events and the 25th anniversary.
  • I am a former US Army Captain. The day someone tells me I can't wear the uniform in a correct-historical context to honor the troops is the day they better have eaten their wheaties and come well armed.

I ended the message in essence with, “…and the horse you rode in on.” :thumbdown:

Has anyone else ever had this happen? I heard that a guy in my living history group wore a specific unit patch at a display event years ago and two guys from a tactical re-enacting group in a neighboring state portraying that same division told him he couldn’t wear it because everyone in this region associates that Division with their group only. If that’d been me, I’d have told them to go choke themselves.

Anyone else have this happen to them? I'd never heard of it until I moved to the West Coast, and have experienced it more than once here...

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REALLY? What an idiot! That sounds about right for some of the individuals I have dealt with in the recent past. We were told our unit was "not a viable unit" as we don't do a "combat" impression. I merely laughed and kept on doing ground crew.

 

Scott

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I don't reenact (although I once played in a Revolutionary War fife and drum corps), so I am speaking from the outside. But I am struck by the arrogance, jealousy and the short sightedness of such a request.

 

Wouldn't it be better if MORE groups were reenacting from this period?

 

And how exactly does a Desert Storm reenactment group achieve a "higher profile"? And what public is he referring to? It's all just too funny for words.

 

I predict his group will not last very long due to internal personality conflicts with this guy being at the center of them.

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Garandomatic

Wow... 2 things...

 

cco23i, you actually reenact alongside the Collings Foundation's planes, and somebody said you shouldn't portray ground crew???? With the REAL planes???? That makes sense, sure.

 

Willys, you're too polite. Shoulda included some family members in the closing of your letter. How big of a moron do you have to be to send someone a cease and desist THAT HAD THE IDEA FIRST?????

 

REALLY? What an idiot! That sounds about right for some of the individuals I have dealt with in the recent past. We were told our unit was "not a viable unit" as we don't do a "combat" impression. I merely laughed and kept on doing ground crew.

 

Scott

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DesertRatTom
I got the oddest e-mail today. Some guy I’ve never heard of e-mailed me after seeing my Desert Storm group’s website and pretty much sent a “cease and desist” message because he’s forming a group dedicated to that era and feels that as his group is going to be bigger and “higher profile” (his words), we need to stop because the public will associate us with his group which will, “soon be the standard for Desert Storm impressions” (again, his words).

 

Has anyone else ever had this happen? I heard that a guy in my living history group wore a specific unit patch at a display event years ago and two guys from a tactical re-enacting group in a neighboring state portraying that same division told him he couldn’t wear it because everyone in this region associates that Division with their group only. If that’d been me, I’d have told them to go choke themselves.

Anyone else have this happen to them? I'd never heard of it until I moved to the West Coast, and have experienced it more than once here...

 

I have been in several groups that have encountered this issue. What you do next is determined by several factors.

 

I will email you with the rest, I'll assume the other individual, or cohorts have access to this thread and replies.

 

Tom

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Wow... 2 things...

 

cco23i, you actually reenact alongside the Collings Foundation's planes, and somebody said you shouldn't portray ground crew???? With the REAL planes???? That makes sense, sure.

 

Willys, you're too polite. Shoulda included some family members in the closing of your letter. How big of a moron do you have to be to send someone a cease and desist THAT HAD THE IDEA FIRST?????

 

 

Scarey aint it! The individual in question who made the comment thinks he runs the "reenactor community" in the state and of course I just laugh and continue to play with airplanes! :thumbsup:

 

Scott

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The only thing funnier than this would be if a group of REAL desert storm vets showed up and told all of them they can't wear THEIR uniform!! :lol:;)

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Can't say I've ever heard of it happening here Lee. Not that there is no delusions of grandeur and some posturing by some units. ;)

 

I imagine you and your guys thread on his dreams of being the only ones doing a Desert Storm group.

 

I would be interested to hear his response (if any) to your reply.

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Member_2114

Beggers belief, but nothing much now surprises me in this hobby. That said, is it all in order to stop portraying a unit , due to so many others portraying? Some really well (Belgian friendly 101st) some not so well (No names no pack drill).

 

Our group used to portray 101st quite alot, but I concluded after a while, especially after seeing some awful "101st troopers" in Normandy during June, that I wanted to dis-associate myself from those persons- many members of the publiuc would see the same patch and no doubt thought we were part of the same group. I like portraying US Airborne, but when vets' point out in Normandy every June that there are more paratroopers than actually landed on D-Day, kind of puts you off!!

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ww2reproductions

I was told that I could not be an American WW2 medic in their unit as they were reenacting a "combat" platoon and it was a requirment that everyone was a rifleman :blink:

I asked who will look after the casulties...the SS with a pistol :blink:

So I moved on :thumbsup:

Leo

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Absolutely incredulous :w00t:

 

No one has any right to object, apart from the guys who where actualy there, and even then ye'd find guys who don't object, just as much as those who do.... :think:

 

Though, on reflection, I have heard of a group who do other well known impressions* with the sole aim to (and i quote) "ruffle a few feathers", ye know like a petulant "we can do it better" :thumbdown:

 

 

* not yer normal Band of Blubbers types, I'm talking about established groups doing "out of the box" units...

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I like this part:

 

"I ended the message in essence with, “…and the horse you rode in on.”

 

:D

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"You mean there were medics in rifle units"? :lol: Some of these guys kill me. I remember one guy had the state copywrite the 116th PZ so he could ONLY be the one portraying them in the state. Ego's kill me.

 

Scott

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"You mean there were medics in rifle units"? :lol: Some of these guys kill me. I remember one guy had the state copywrite the 116th PZ so he could ONLY be the one portraying them in the state. Ego's kill me.

 

Scott

 

How do you copyright a foreign country's wartime unit from 70 years ago? As you say, ego's sometimes get way out of realistic levels with some folks :rolleyes:

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No response. Go figure. :think:

A good friend of mine is a copyright attorney who handles international copyright violations (does a fair trade in busting video piracy in the Pacific Rim countries) and I ran this by him. It was a little outside his area of expertise, but he told me, "If you really wrote back for them to go choke themselves (which was indeed part of my response), there's really nothing they can do about it, as they'd have to trademark every aspect of that time period to be able to prevent your outfit from doing anything, and there's no way he will be able to do that."

How do you copyright a foreign country's wartime unit from 70 years ago? As you say, ego's sometimes get way out of realistic levels with some folks :rolleyes:
Scott's right, I remember reading about that as well. There was GI unit on the east coast that tried that in the 90s as well, but it went nowhere of course.
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Actually Lee it was here in Arizona too! :o I almost fell over when I read your post, man I cannot understand why units think like that. Hell, I WANT more ground crews, it's less work on a flightline I have to do! :lol:

 

Scott

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DesertRatTom
Actually Lee it was here in Arizona too! :o I almost fell over when I read your post, man I cannot understand why units think like that. Hell, I WANT more ground crews, it's less work on a flightline I have to do! :lol:

 

Scott

 

This has happened here in Nevada with most all era groups and reenactors organizations; there are still folks from the shallow end of the gene pool with too much money & time to kill. It may be proof that Darwin was right! :crying:

 

Perhaps the best way to deal with such miscreants* is to file complaints to your's and their home state Secretary(ies) of State, Dept(s) of Revenue and Attorney's General if these people* are members of a group that is incorporated. Yes, it takes a certain type of individual to be willing to follow up on a official level, and yes there could be repercussions to the complaining person or coporation.

 

* Yeah, I know I'll hear from their unions! :lol:

 

What do you do? Take a lesson from the groups we are portraying, they were, and in some cases still are betting or giving all to prevail. Once again it's time that this hobby to purge itself again of those that would compromise it for the[ir] idea recreation. Too many groups have come and gone for inaction to such challenges; perhaps they got what they deserved.

 

My $0.02 err $0.01 adjusted worth.

 

Tom

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Agreed Tom, I don't understand anyone wanting to "corner the market" on a specific group. As I said I WANT MORE ground crews as they outnumbered the aircrews 10 to one! All well, as you said "shallow end of the gene pool", or maybe the mud of the pool they are. :lol:

 

Scott

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There are two things that destroy organizations more than any other, greed and egos.

 

Tom

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An easy way around this would be to write to the Army unit you portray, requesting permission to provide historical interpretation of the unit's activities for educational purposes. When you get a response (which you probably will from PAO), you can now claim that you are authorized by the US Army, which will trump almost any copyright or trademark infringement that anyone could ever throw at you. And you can claim your unit is "authorized to portray" that unit. Make sure you explain that your members do not claim TO BE ACTIVE DUTY, as this can be a deal killer from DoD perspective.

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DesertRatTom
An easy way around this would be to write to the Army unit you portray, requesting permission to provide historical interpretation of the unit's activities for educational purposes. When you get a response (which you probably will from PAO), you can now claim that you are authorized by the US Army, which will trump almost any copyright or trademark infringement that anyone could ever throw at you. And you can claim your unit is "authorized to portray" that unit. Make sure you explain that your members do not claim TO BE ACTIVE DUTY, as this can be a deal killer from DoD perspective.

 

Absolutely inspired!

 

Tom

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