Monday, April 9, 2012

PI Update: Is Disney Coyprighting AC Charcters?

One of our Pleasure Island sources is reporting that Disney has recently moved to trademark (register) ownership of the various characters from the Adventurers Club.  Apparently the characters such as the Colonel, Emil, Otis, Hathaway Browne, etc. were never copyrighted when the club first opened in 1989 and have been part of the public domain since then.  But now we're told Mickey's legal team is taking steps to claim ownership, something they're likely to be able to do since they created the characters.

Not sure that you can read anything into this though. Are they doing this for potential merchandise sales of their own at a reopened Adventurers Club or are they simply doing this to stop others from selling their own merchandise featuring the characters?  We don't really know!


zulemara said...

Yet another interesting development to leave us scratching our heads. I can't see how they are doing this to prevent other people from merchandising their characters. There are many fans of the club, but I can't see someone making an exorbitant amount of money off merchandise. Having said that, it could prevent people from making their own t-shirts to show their anger at the decision to close the club although that would require someone on property actually recognizing and enforcing it.

This is clearly becoming a franchise they want to protect though. For one reason or another

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...there's only really two reasons to do it now:

1) If they plan to make money off the characters OR
2) If they are worried that someone ELSE will make money off the characters.

The wierd thing is, of the two I don't know which is LESS likely. #1 I really have no expectation of them bringing these characters back in a money-making capacity. And I don't really see how someone would do #2. Maybe there was some thought of someone opening an independent AC in Orlando, and Disney got wind of it?

I've said it before - they re-open an AC show in WDW, I'm likely booking my trip as soon as the dates are announced.

Anonymous said...

3) They don't want people dressed like characters walking around downtown disney.

Anonymous said...

"3)" wouldn't have any bearing. If that is their intent, then they will have to stop letting little girls dressed like princesses and little boys dressed like Jack Sparrow in the park as well. Can't have your cake and eat it too!

Anonymous said...

Here's my thought about point 2 (others making money off the characters): the Create-a-mation website made an AC set, and there are rumors that they were trying to sell them (to the tune of $50ish/each). Anyone know if those rumors are true? If so, that could explain part of it.

Also, there have been rumors for the last year or so about the Jekyll & Hyde club trying to open up an Orlando location. The owner admits that the place was modeled after the AC, and there are several blatant rip off of the club, including a signature drink that has all the same ingredients as the Kungaloosh, and portraits on the walls that look suspiciously like club members.

Food for thought.

Anonymous said...

"Then they will have to stop letting little girls dressed like princesses and little boys dressed like Jack Sparrow in the park as well. Can't have your cake and eat it too!"

A princess is generic. Even a french maid is generic. But some of those characters are not generic and can be copyrighted.

Anonymous said...

Has nothing to do with the Create-a-mation site as they make characters for all kinds of copyrighted properties and it's MPT to stop the rare occurrence of "dress up" people dress as characters NOT generically all the time. This is for another reason

Anonymous said...

Anonymous April 9, 2012 9:15 PM:
"This is for another reason"

Do tell. . .!

Anonymous said...

For those saying "to stop people dressing up as the characters"... first of all, it wouldn't actually DO that, and second this isn't remoting an issue for Disney. How often are people dressing up as these characters and roaming aroun DTD or the parks? I still maintain they would only bother if it was one of hte two previously stated reasons.

Does anyone know, has Disney copyrighted their "Streetmosphere" characters from the Stuidos and Magic Kingdom?

bob said...

Its been said many times that one of Disney's priorities is to remodel/replace existing attractions in their parks to link in with films/tv.

Maybe wishful thinking, but maybe there is an AC film to come?? followed by the then more relevent and profitable re-opening of the club??

Anonymous said...

sorry I say if they reopen AC it would COST them more then they will EVER make!

KINGBOB said...

I know a lot of people disagree but I see the only viable way the AC could return as a profitable venture would be in some sort of dinner show format. That's not how it was designed and they'd have to change their method of operation to accomplish it. But there has to be a revenue stream to keep in open. The place would not survive on a cover charge basis alone and in the past, too many nursed a drink all night if they even purchased one.

71 said...

"Has nothing to do with the Create-a-mation site as they make characters for all kinds of copyrighted properties..."

Exactly wrong. The AdvClub characters are the ONLY characters the site has made that are not protected--someone probably realized they could be sold without necessarily breaking any laws. Soon after, another AdvClub fan started making her own customs and was even advised on the public Save the AC Facebook page to create her own etsy store.

Sorry, it makes more sense to me that this is an attempt to protect potential merch sales than any move toward re-opening.

For the record, this wouldn't stop anyone from dressing up as the characters in the park (not that that isn't already prohibited by existing rules, at least arguably). It stops people from making money off the characters. It would, however, prevent people from putting on a private show using AdvClub characters if said show charged admission--say, as part of a convention celebrating the Club at an off-site hotel.

71 said...

@ King Bob: I don't believe even a dinner show would be profitable. The humor is too cheesy, and you wouldn't be able to appreciate the decor in a cavernous dinner show venue--the strength in the club was always in its interaction. It's a cocktail party, not a dinner party. You also need a decent percentage of unsuspecting guests for a lot of the humor to work.

I don't believe a stand-alone AC works, period. It only survives as part of a PI-like nightlife complex.

KingBob said...

71, I understand what you're saying but the reality is Disney isn't reopening a multi-venue party district, at least not that we're aware of.

Everything will be 3rd party and even if a 3rd party wanted to do a multi-venue nightlife district, they couldn't afford to have one place that didn't contribute to the profits. See Wall Street. Every venue within must pay it's way.

So IMO the only hope would be in a dinner theater format. And it would take significant adjustments to their method of operation to pull that off.