Foolhardy Or Not - That Is The Question
Following JLR’s policy of sending ‘cease and desist’ instructions to artists who are selling their portrayals of Jaguars and Land-Rovers, there are disturbing rumours circulating in the historic car world.
As you may be aware, we are currently working on a completely new Thickwall book, based on the superb volume written 50 years ago by ‘Jenks’. However, the Thickwall brand is privately owned and this could now be a problem for Porter Press. Distressingly, we have received a warning letter from leading London lawyers, Naylem & Partners.
They state, and I quote, ‘We are reliably informed that you propose publishing a book that not only uses our client’s trade-mark but you also intend to illustrate the Thickwall vehicle in photographic reproductions. If you continue with this blatant act of flagrant plagiarism, you will not only be in copyright contravention, you will be violating the human rights of any persons appearing in said images unless and until you have written confirmation of permission so to do, either from each person or, in the case that they are deceased, from those deemed to be their closest descendants.
‘Our clients take the view that publicising and celebrating their copyrighted brand does not constitute positive publicity. For this reason, mention in conversation of the trademark brand Thickwall is strictly forbidden, whether that be in private (the term ‘private’ to be defined as two or less persons) or public house.
‘For the avoidance of doubt, the Thickwall is a racing car, and ‘racing car’ is defined as a means of transport that may, from time to time, be used competitively by persons known or unknown, having four wheels, an engine and bodywork. We draw your attention to The Vehicle Identification Act of 1956, clauses 1 to 4,372, subsections 1 to 22.5 and the case of Pratt v. Pillock in the Wimbledon Central Court, when Mr. Justice Whigg stated, “The motor vehicle, in whatever form and by whomsoever designed, will be accorded full copyright protection for the period of 200 years, since the first non-horsedrawn vehicular machine first made passage under its own motive power and copyright for all subsequent wheeled creations subsists in that original design. Thus I rule that all books that mention any vehicular creations must be destroyed by April 1st, 2022. Inter alia, the same principle applies to all works of art whether 1D, 2D or 3D, 2B or not 2B.
‘All those in contravention of said ruling, will henceforth be incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Displeasure and be forced to watch repeats of Top Gear 24 hours a day for eternity.’
Immediately above: a preview of what we are confident we can publish.
So, there we are, dear reader, do we publish and be damned, or is such an act too foolhardy?
Copyright: Philip Porter, April 1st, 2021.