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Foolhardy Or Not - That Is The Question

By Philip Porter

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. 

Business card

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.’

Open book

Open book empty

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.

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Andrew Douglas - April 2, 2021

I consulted with my own lawyers, Sue, Grabbit and Runne (with apologies to Private Eye) and their considered response, being traditionalists, was ‘Felix dies Aprilis Stulte’….with which i concur!

Andrew Marsh - April 2, 2021

Dear Mr Porter and the wonderful Porter Press,

One has to tell the story. Often when commerical interest takes over, so important information gets deleted. Porter Press deals primarily with history, and so it is important to record as many facets as possible. Only when all verisons of stories are recorded can we say the subject is ‘covered’. A single version with undisclosed editorial decisions is not definitive, but valuable in it’s own right – leaving space for more views to be published.

Hehicle manufacturers often wish to re-write history and delete painful episodes, often in light of decisions taken long after the original events.

Please publish. It would be tragic to lose the copy that has been prepared, or stories that are yet to be recorded.

Very best regards, Andrew Marsh

By the way – bets of JLR making it to 2022? Who knows…..

James Paterson - April 2, 2021

So JLR have started something! The rumour is that Jaguar Classic alone will be allowed to rebuilt – aka reborn- E types in future. Indeed it may be that current owners of E types only have leasehold from Jaguar and not the freehold they assumed !
I would publish and be damned – but only after the 1st! Cheers

Matthew Kellett - April 2, 2021

This is the best one I’ve seen all day!

James Turnbull - April 2, 2021

Great “extra “ article I cannot wait not to read your new Thickwall book, no doubt it will be quite a competitive price as you will have significantly saved on the printing ink. I trust I have got in soon enough for what may be only available today?

Made me smile


michael arthur scott - April 2, 2021

Well done – a good attempt at an April Fool!!!

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