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Apr
09
2013

Nice hat, Jayne

UPDATE: We've decided to donate 100% of profits from our Jayne Hat to Can't Stop the Serenity until we run out of stock. More info.

Our dear Browncoats,

We've heard the news that FOX, the licensors of Firefly merch, is sending out cease and desist notices to Etsy sellers who carry their own cunning hats.

We just wanted you to know that ThinkGeek has nothing to do with the C&D notices. The hat is licensed by a vendor with whom we have a relationship and while the hat is not an exclusive to ThinkGeek, we did have a hand in its development and answered the difficult questions like, "Are the earflaps long enough?" and "Is that man afraid of anything?" (Yes and no, respectively.)

Would the C&D have happened if we did not carry the hat on our site? We're not sure; we'll leave that question to sharper legal minds than ours. We're here to carry the shiniest of goods from 'round the 'verse, even maybe makin' them ourselves. We just want y'all to know that while we might not always aim to misbehave, we'll always be sure to get you the best stuff this side of the Eavesdown Docks.

The way we see it, if people want to make their own, shiny. For those out there who can't knit to save their gorram lives, we can help.

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Comments

meaningless icon! Considering that Fox sent out C&D letters to shirt makers long before they were selling licensed shirts, it's probably pretty safe to say that the presence of licensed Jayne hats isn't likely to be directly correlated to these new C&D letters.
rayhill said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! rayhill, there's been some chatter that indicates this is very precisely related to someone reporting Etsy hat sellers to Riddle Junction, who contractually then had to tell Fox, although I've still not seen specific details on that claim.
theonetruebix said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! Thanks for posting this. I love your site and I also love things made by friends (and internet friends) from scratch. I think the 'verse can include both of them and I hope FOX backs off. It doesn't look like the Browncoat community considers anybody responsible for the attack on knitters except FOX.
Carmen Sandiego said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! While I can see how they can shut down an online store using the name "Jayne hat", they cannot copyright earflap hats. Knitters can add an extra layer of security by bartering. No mass produced hat will be as nice as the hand knit ones.
gojirama said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! Most of the people selling DIY Jayne hats did so at conventions to raise money for Joss Whedon's charity of choice, Equality Now. The fact that Fox would send a C&D to people raising money for charity is just wrong, and shows you what kind of company Fox is (and always has been). Fark Fox!
Kao Nevar said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! I don't know where my loyalties lie here. I love Think Geek but I am a Firefly fan through and through, AND I have a shop on Etsy (though I don't sell these hats). I would rather buy hand made than from a mass producer, the latter are typically not well made or very soft (Tom Baker scarf, ahem). So now do I "boycott" Etsy AND Think Geek for something that is ultimately only the fault of FOX in the hopes of effecting a change?
Chenini said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! One would think that, as the show hasn't been in production for quite sometime that they would have any real grounds to gripe anyway. I believe that if they want to stop people from making these types of items then they should resume production of the show and marketing/production of their own merchandise, till then let the browncoats misbehave and shiny swag for all
Tenisen said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! I agree with Carmen Sandiego. The Browncoat community knows who the Epic D-bags in this little situation are. Those of us who knit (and I learned how so I could make this hat, because, shock, gasp, clutch the pearls, nobody licensed and sold them ten gorram years ago) will still make the hats. It's nothing against ThinkGeek or Riddle Junction; we just won't buy a second-rate, mass-produced copy of something that is supposed to be handmade with love.
TechnoCowboy said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! Thank you so much for the explanation. I just heard about it. I love this site and being a young nerd it is REALLY hard to find good, reliable source for information and geeky stuff in general! I LOVE YOUR SITE SO MUCH! Thank you for being a good, friendly, fun site!
TheDoctor1234 said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! First they cancel Firefly, then they cancel Firefly hats made by sincere fans.... When will the atrocities end?
The Angry Light Bringer said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! Here's the thing - a hat is an article of clothing. Clothing is considered to be a "useful article" that is NOT protected by US copyright law. So on what basis are the C&D letters going out? Provided a seller doesn't claim the hat is a "Jayne Cobb" or "Firefly" or "Serenity" hat, there is nothing to complain of. And yes, I'm a damn lawyer.
checkwriter said this 627 days ago.
meaningless icon! No hate to you guys at Thinkgeek, but this is an open letter... The Firefly merchandise would have never been popular if it wasn't for the hard work and skill of the die hard fans of Firefly. You brought no supply to our demand until we supplied it our selves, only then did you think to profit from what we've already been doing. No power in the verse will stop our shirt presses or knitting needles. Just remember, there's more of us than there are of you, and we're relentless.
Wickedcreep said this 626 days ago.
meaningless icon! I thought for sure that Fillion and Whedon bought the rights from FOX... Maybe that was just a dream.
Rez Delnava said this 626 days ago.
meaningless icon! I trust ThinkGeek enough to believe that you guys never meant for this to happen, but it did... and this situation has me livid. I think why everyone is so outraged is this - The Jayne hat became the very symbol of being a Browncoat... of unity... of not backing down in the face of giants like Fox. And now the very enemy of the Browncoat is stealing that symbol. Fox did nothing but fail that show and spit dirt on its fans. And now, the vultures smell money and come out of the woodwork. Also... is it just me, or can you not copyright a generic 3 color hat? Why couldn't people knit the same hat and just not call it a Jayne hat? Call it a shiny hat or a gorram hat or whatever?
KittiesOnAcid said this 626 days ago.
meaningless icon! Even George Lucas didn't go after vendors and fans selling obvious Indiana Jones clothing knock-offs, because those people did not actually mention any part of the franchise on the site. Fox has no right to a style that's been around for probably centuries. Thanks, Thinkgeek, for responding, and I'll be writing to Etsy now (if a crafter doesn't mention Firefly, Jayne/Cobb, Browncoat, or any other legally owned term, they have every right to sell the hat).
Laonefaye said this 626 days ago.
meaningless icon! "We just wanted you to know that ThinkGeek has nothing to do with the C&D notices. The hat is licensed by a vendor with whom we have a relationship" --- If you want to show who you're truly loyal to, then you'll sever that relationship and work to get the C&D stopped. Otherwise, you're just as guilty as a bystander as those committing the act.
HumanWIki said this 626 days ago.
meaningless icon! How can you say that you consulted on the development of the hat and then say that you had nothing to do with this ruckus? To quote Zoë, "Sir? I think you have a problem with your brain being missing." Or maybe you think ours are. What did you THINK was going to happen?
ZoeWasRight said this 626 days ago.
meaningless icon! You say you didn't mean for it to happen and I trust you guys on that, but it DID happen. The right thing for you guys to do now would be to stop carrying these hats until Fox gets their heads out of their collective ass. Donating the proceeds to charity is a nice gesture, but that's all it is.
go_go_chocobo said this 626 days ago.
meaningless icon! To my brethren and sistren in the fandom; I know it is by now well known how Fox has issued cease and desist letters to the devoted craftpeople of the Firefly fandom who have devoted their time and energy to supplying a demand that Fox had previously ignored. I have heard much hue and outcry over this and as a fan I feel saddened that Fox would finally see that the cash cow they had shot down within its first season leaving many a fan bereft had, in fact, stayed alive through the perseverance of a loyal and creative group of devotees. In their discovering that, yes- we are still here and still going, they decided to start milking that cash cow again. What I would like to propose is that we take on this situation on a playing field that they would understand and perchance acknowledge - not loyalty, devotion and creativity but that which seems to be their most important consideration - money. Now, don't take it out on Thinkgeek or other vendors on this - Thinkgeek is donating their profit made to the Cant Stop the Serenity Charity which is a darn nice thing of them to do. Instead, we should take advantage of their sudden realization of the fact that the fandom has stuck it out through thick and thin and get them to bring back the show! Now I know that it may be a pipe-dream , but perhaps it is best to strike while the iron is hot. They know we are here since they are going to the actual trouble to hunt some of us down. Let our voices be heard on this! Let Fox know that they can't take the gorram sky from me!
Crystal_star97 said this 624 days ago.
meaningless icon! Dear Ripple Junction and ThinkGeek Monkees Way to go! Talk about corporations co-opting something cool and organic. Something that was made meaningful and desirable by fans of show that was cast aside by its corporate owners. Of course we are talking about Jayne Hats. For "hip quirky companies", you REALLY messed up. I acknowledge that ThinkGeek apologized and are donating all profits to "Cant Stop the Serenity". I guess my question is: Should we now feel good about buying these corporate versions that co-opted and shut down a fan based initiative? Both of you need to intercede and help the folks on ETSY and EBAY who were BANNED from selling ANYTHING they make for the simple reason that they made "Jayne Hats" years before there was any "licensed" version the hat. It seems to me that a joint letter to Etsy, EBAY and other outlets acknowledging that these people were selling these items before Ripple junction and ThinkGeek decided to patent and license them and that any sellers who were banned should be reinstated. (yeah, I might be wrong about trademark vs copyright and who owns, patented or licenses what, but the fact remains ThinkGeek and Ripple Junction were instrumental in creating this mess) I recognize that Think Geek apologized, but the fact is, Think Geek bought over a dozen hats from the crafter vendors and then both of you were instrumental in shutting them down. Shame on you. Get it together. Both of you should : 1. Apologize to the CRAFTERS!!! They CREATED the market for these hats. 2a. Make it right with the outlets (Esty and Ebay) 2b. Help the crafters get reinstated THAT is how you distinguish yourself as a companies. Show us you ARE truly different and really make this right. Trying to distance yourself from the legal actions doesn't cut it. If not for YOU getting the ball rolling, this never would have happened in the first place. Be a mensches. Own up to it and make it right. Thank you
hello-sailor said this 615 days ago.
meaningless icon! I couldn't agree with hello-sailor more. Without the independents, ThinkGeek and Ripple Junction would have no market for this product, and quite honestly should assist the independents in whatever way possible to get their seller statuses on eBay, etsy, etc. reinstated. As for me, I'll keep wearing my handmade, one of a kind, original Jayne hat, lovingly made for me by my late mother-in-law. That, good sirs, is what really matters in all of this - the hats that were made for us Browncoats by our friends, family, or other Browncoats out of love, not some corporate mass-produced item that can never come close to what those hand-made items offer us.
Squirrelcube said this 609 days ago.

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