Josh sez, “The folks at BMC (Black Mustang Club) automotive forum wanted to put together a calendar featuring members’ cars, and print it through CafePress. Photos were submitted, the layout was set, and… CafePress notifies the site admin that pictures of Ford cars cannot be printed. Not just Ford logos, not just Mustang logos, the car -as a whole- is a Ford trademark and its image can’t be reproduced without permission. So even though Ford has a lineup of enthusiasts who want to show off their Ford cars, the company is bent on alienating them. ‘Them’ being some of the most loyal owners and future buyers that they have. Or rather, that they had, because many have decided that they will not be doing business with Ford again if this matter isn’t resolved.”
Apparently Ford actually contacted CafePress and said that any images with a Ford vehicle in them infringe on Ford’s trademark.
A few comments:
1. This really isn’t very bright. As the quote I posted notes, Ford is alienating some very good customers. (I once knew a member of a Mustang club. These people love their cars. And spend a lot of money.)
2. Members of these clubs often make major modifications to their vehicles. How big of a modification would it take to make a vehicle no longer infringe on Ford’s trademark?
3. Will makers of tv shows have to get permission from Ford every time a character jumps into a Ford vehicle?
4. I wonder when its going to occur to the makers of paint that perhaps Ford just might be infringing on their trademark.