Toyota Claims Ownership of Fan Wallpapers!

LazyLion

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http://torrentfreak.com/toyota-claims-ownership-081114/

Toyota Claims Ownership of Fan Wallpapers

Motoring giant Toyota is normally ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. The company is known for innovations like the Synergy Drive in the Prius, as well as long term reliability. However, if you take pride in your Toyota, and have it as a wallpaper on your system, Toyota doesn’t want you sharing.

Toyota, one of the biggest car companies in the world, is often a name synonymous with quality. There is even a philosophy of doing business, called “The Toyota Way”, which emphasizes that the right result will come from the right process, and that solving the root problems brings the organization the greatest benefit.

This ‘Way’ is probably not communicated to its lawyers in great detail, which is why Desktopnexus, a site that provides desktop backgrounds, has been contacted by them. In perhaps one of the most wildly arrogant demands in DMCA history, Toyota’s lawyers are demanding the withdrawal of all wallpapers that feature a Toyota, Scion, or Lexus. The site’s owner, Harry Maugans contacted Toyota to clarify. He was told that all images featuring Toyota vehicles should be removed, even images with copyright belonging to others.

Speaking to TorrentFreak, Maugans said: “Their lawyer, Garrett Biggs, told us that if we wanted them to specifically identify their images, we would have to pay for them to do so”. Maugans also said he was afraid it would come to a lawsuit, fearing the attrition effect that is so common now in copyright disputes. Toyota, with cash assets of over $23Billion can surely afford to spin out the legal costs in an attempt to bankrupt the site – the same strategy that is often used to ‘encourage‘ a settlement in RIAA cases.

Yet, Toyota has also been cagey. These demands have not been sent in the form of a DMCA notice. While sending such a notice would require the takedown, it also requires that the person sending the notice legally certify that they are legal representatives for the copyright holders at issue. Making a false statement is ‘punishable under penalty of perjury‘, which is not taken lightly in US courts.

That copyright holders should be properly identified is also not lost on Mr. Maugans. “What if Toyota comes back and says “yes, we own the copyright to all of those [Toyota images on site]“. How can we know if they’re lying to get us to take them all down? How can we prove they do in fact own the copyrights on those wallpapers? Some are very hard to believe, such as this which looks more like Fan Art than a professionally designed marketing photo. Or this one which they’re claiming they own, but it has a “Created by:” line at the bottom by someone who doesn’t seem to have any connection to the actual Toyota company.”

The ‘huh what?’ value of Toyota’s position has been noticed by others as well. On the FreeCulture News site, one comment questions the action saying “What are they trying to accomplish by attacking free advertising?” Indeed, this is what it comes down to. Instead of embracing free advertising and word of mouth, Toyota seems desperate to control and micromanage every aspect of it’s publicity.

At the end of the day, the best question is that asked by Mr Maugans, “Has DMCA abuse really gotten this bad?”

At the time of press, Toyota Inc. did not respond to requests for comment.

LOLWhut??? WTF???

/me goes to put a Toyota Wallpaper on every computer I own. Just because I can!:p
 

LazyLion

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Yep, you are in violation... even if you own the copyright to that picture. You owe Toyota money for displaying that on your desktop! :rolleyes:

Actually... I wonder if this isn't some kind of stunt by Toyota to try and get everybody to put pictures of Toyotas on all their computers???

Remember the debacle with the AACS decoder key which was leaked onto Digg a year ago?
 

Peder

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ha ha ha, this is absolutely hilarious i can't see how they can enforce this its not as if you sign an agreement with Toyota saying you will not take a picture of a toyota and use it as a desktop background...

I smell something fishy and underhand over here...
 

vodacom3g

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Copyright lawyers are normally on a retainer. So to ensure their contracts get renewed every year, they have to find something to do to be seen to "protect the rights" of their employers.

Thus these demand letters are fired off to whomever as a show of competence.

Been on the receiving end of these myself in the past. Normally a well worded p!ss-off and that's the end of it.
 

The_Unbeliever

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Bah, humbug - they haven't got their heads screwed on properly... :rolleyes:

by their logic it means you commit copyright violation every time you drive your toyota and a lot of people see it... :rolleyes:
 

mancombseepgood

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http://torrentfreak.com/toyota-claims-ownership-081114/



LOLWhut??? WTF???

/me goes to put a Toyota Wallpaper on every computer I own. Just because I can!:p
I say give them their wish and get rid of every wallpaper you have with a toyota in it... heck, stop talking about them, switch off the telly when top gear does an episode with a toyota in it, switch off every toyota ad out there...
I've just decided I'll do just that lol... and I'll be none the worse for it... toyota driver or not.

Next time a toyota salesman tries to sell me one, I'll tell him it's illegal to advertise them.

Here ya go... a toyyoda:
 
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.Froot.

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Okay I admit... Toyota might be a brand synonymous with quality... but sure as hell not nice to look at. A lot of their cars designers need to get replaced. But yeah... me taking a photo of a Toyota does not mean they own it. I can even legally prove it...
 

OhGats

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Actually Ford did a similiar thing awhile ago, and it was not a popular move either, and created a lot of very bad vibes in motoring circles. But, you know what they say.. vote with your feet.
 

PeterCH

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Toyota is the BIGGEST car manufacturer in the world atm. They recently assumed this position. I wonder if this is a Toyota US thing or a Toyota HQ thing now.

Toyota's not issuing Take down notices against this site:
http://www.project-mu.co.jp/e/e-index.html
Must be a Toyota US thing.

EDIT: Sorry GM is currently No 1.
 
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LazyLion

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Toyota Admits Wrongdoing in Wallpaper Case

http://torrentfreak.com/toyta-admits-wrongdoing-in-wallpaper-case-081120/

Overreaching corporate claims are nothing new, certainly when it comes to copyright. Toyota vastly over-reached recently, requesting all images containing their products be removed from a wallpaper site, citing copyright issues. Finally, Toyota responds.

toyotaCivil litigation and especially copyright disputes, are often a David and Goliath battle. With lobbyists pressing hard to increase punitive damages well beyond any potential damage imaginable, or even a sane multiplier of that damage, being taken to court can be an expensive prospect.

That’s where many lawyers, such as Davenport Lyons can make a tidy profit. As has happened in some of the cases they are involved with, many will admit wrongdoing, and even pay ‘damages’ where no actions (wrong or otherwise) have occurred. It has led to a general feeling that a claim of copyright infringement by a large powerful company will get the actions they desire, irrespective of facts, through fear of litigation. This was the situation last week, when Toyota ordered wallpaper site Desktop Nexus to remove all images featuring Toyota vehicles, even those with copyright belonging to others.

However, sometimes a company can be pressured into accepting mistakes, and this is the case here. With a large amount of negative publicity (a selection of which can be found on DesktopNexus’ blog) Toyota today contacted TorrentFreak and DesktopNexus, expressing their apologies for the incident.

From: Scott DeYager
Date: Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 12:52 AM
Subject: Desktopnexus Toyota Wallpapers
To: tips@torrentfreak.com

Dear Torrentfreak.com,

The recent request Toyota made to have certain photos of Toyota vehicles removed from the public wallpaper site, DesktopNexus, was the result of an internal miscommunication.

To protect the legal rights and agreements we have with the photographers we hire, we ask that the photographs not be used for direct consumer advertising, sales brochures and the like.

If people wish to post their own photos of one of their own vehicles, that’s their right. In fact, we’re pleased that people would want to show their Toyota vehicles to the world. So have at it. Consider the wallpapers on DesktopNexus to be fair game for personal use.

Please let your readers know that we offer a sincere apology to the DesktopNexus site and its users for any inconvenience or disruption this miscommunication may have caused.

Thanks for your understanding,

Scott DeYager
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Corporate Communications

DesktopNexus told TorrentFreak that they will be releasing a statement on this shortly.

dummies!
 

OhGats

Senior Member
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That may have the opposite effect, next thing we know there will be anti-toyota wallpaper sites. The damage is done, its just a pity they make such a reliable product
 
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