'Eleanor' Mustang Tribute Build Seized by Gone in 60 Seconds Trademark Holder

Houston Kid

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I wonder if people in this thread are open to lawsuit for saying something bad about the "E" car?
No. We are not profiting off dragging that POS name Eleanor through the mud. But the law is the law. He fought the law and the law won.
 

Rick#7

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Ya know, I think I now have a name for my 71 mach 1.

Ellen Noir
This would actually be closer to the original Eleanor than the Cage movie version, same generation and body style at least. Hell, the original wasn't even a Shelby! But then again neither was Cage's Eleanor, it was a Shelby tribute itself, possibly due to the movie producers fear of legal action from Shelby if they faithfully copied the look of a real GT500. It's close enough in appearance that everyone knows what it's supposed to be, but just different enough that everyone also knows it isn't the real thing.

And to everyone who voiced their opinion of how bad a movie the Cage remake was, you obviously never saw the original. It epitomizes every stereotype of car movies; bad writing, bad acting, bad editing, bad directing, cool cars! Cage's remake may have it's flaws, but it's 100x better of a film! Besides, anything with Angelina Jolie and a hot rodded Mustang can't be all bad! LoL
 

Flare65

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Totally disagree. I liked the original Gone in 60 Seconds way better than the Nick Cage version. The remake suffered from way waaaay too much character development and not enough action. The second act of the film is just dull and boring. Like most actresses in Hollywood these days, Angelina Jolie is a bit overrated and I'm indifferent to her if she is in a movie or not. I think she barely said more than a sentence or two in the whole film. Probably one of the easiest paychecks of her acting career. The director's cut version is a little bit better, but the original movie is where is where its at.
 

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Upon further review, it seem that said youtuber was making money as a direct result of using 'E''s name in a commercial setting. Copyright violation. So there ya go.
 

Johnnybee

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I watched the build here and there. There seemed to be significant “re-do’s”, most notably the rocker panels which I saw tacked on and removed three times in just the episodes I watched. However, it’s too bad he ran afoul of the licensing shrew that Halicki’s wife appears to be. Having had a couple of classic Minis in my youth, I have a soft spot for them. You want to watch top notch fabrication, watch the guys at Bad Obsession Motorsport put the running gear from an AWD Toyota Celtics GT4 into a Mini body, without changing the exterior dimensions of the body.
 

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If he was making money then he was infringing on there copyright even though you can buy everything you need to build your own Eleanor. For me the "Eleanor" thing has been WAY over done and is long past needing to go away.
 

mnm4ever

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Most all of your comments here are variations of the theme "he was making money from the name". But there are dozens of YouTube videos making money off using the name, not to mention many other tribute and kit cars doing the same thing. And going beyond cars, there are other copyright infringements... business names, song sampling, etc. What is weird here is not that he was guilty of copyright infringement. It's that it resulted in a confiscated car. That is extreme... odd... and downright wrong.

It is not illegal to build an Elanor because it is legal to buy the parts to build one. It is not illegal to own one obviously. It is not illegal to sell one, because they are for sale all the time. It cannot be illegal to post pictures and videos of them either. It can't be illegal to talk about owning one, or buying one, or selling one, or buying/selling/installing the legally purchased parts to build one. The licensing fees to do all this would be paid for by the parts. So what exactly was illegal here? Saying in a monetized video that he was building an Elanor. That in itself is a really super weak argument to make in court, but even if the judge agreed, would the punishment be "give them your $50k+ project car outright"??

Maybe there would be a fine, but it is hard to believe that the fine would be more than the value of the car, even not completed. I doubt its difficult to prove exactly how much money is made from videos on YouTube, I am sure that info is tracked and can be proven with a single report. Why would they even want the car??? If this was for money, they would want to be awarded money. Think about it... I bet this one video and story about having his car taken has resulted in 10x the attention to this guy's channel than building the car in the first place. Something just doesn't add up here.
 

bomlodr

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Most all of your comments here are variations of the theme "he was making money from the name". But there are dozens of YouTube videos making money off using the name, not to mention many other tribute and kit cars doing the same thing. And going beyond cars, there are other copyright infringements... business names, song sampling, etc. What is weird here is not that he was guilty of copyright infringement. It's that it resulted in a confiscated car. That is extreme... odd... and downright wrong.

It is not illegal to build an Elanor because it is legal to buy the parts to build one. It is not illegal to own one obviously. It is not illegal to sell one, because they are for sale all the time. It cannot be illegal to post pictures and videos of them either. It can't be illegal to talk about owning one, or buying one, or selling one, or buying/selling/installing the legally purchased parts to build one. The licensing fees to do all this would be paid for by the parts. So what exactly was illegal here? Saying in a monetized video that he was building an Elanor. That in itself is a really super weak argument to make in court, but even if the judge agreed, would the punishment be "give them your $50k+ project car outright"??

Maybe there would be a fine, but it is hard to believe that the fine would be more than the value of the car, even not completed. I doubt its difficult to prove exactly how much money is made from videos on YouTube, I am sure that info is tracked and can be proven with a single report. Why would they even want the car??? If this was for money, they would want to be awarded money. Think about it... I bet this one video and story about having his car taken has resulted in 10x the attention to this guy's channel than building the car in the first place. Something just doesn't add up here.
Now we're on the right track! I offer up this theory: Halicki's widow and her "company" are struggling for relevance (read, income stream). The remake was nearly 20 years ago, it didn't do very well at the box office, and the companies selling the replicas are offering up the examples for over 6 figures to Nicolas Cage fans and guys with more money than brains who are commonly known as "collectors". Of that, Halicki's widow, through trademarks, receives a portion of every sale. The pool of viable 66-68 Mustangs are drying up. Imagine if there was a way to somehow retrofit 66-68 Mustang body panels to a modern Mustang or transfer the "Eleanor" likeness to a modern S550. The company would once again become relevant. The unfortunate truth is the YouTube guy was able to accomplish just that. Eleanor LLC saw an opportunity to regain relevance and citing trademark infringement, Eleanor LLC seizes the project, and reverse engineers it.

From here, it all comes down to margins and I see two options: (1) Eleanor LLC determines the margin on such a conversion is less than desirable and sends the project to the crusher. (2) Eleanor LLC determines they can make a healthy margin on converting S550s with the Eleanor likeness and within two years, we start seeing S550 Eleanors priced in the $150-$250K complete with that stupid-ass "go baby go" sticker as a $99 option to put over the starter button.

Eleanor LLC is in this for the notoriety and the money that brings, plain and simple. The Shakarian family is big in the "televangelist" community. It takes lots of money to feed that machine.....just saying.
 

mnm4ever

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Now we're on the right track! I offer up this theory: Halicki's widow and her "company" are struggling for relevance (read, income stream). The remake was nearly 20 years ago, it didn't do very well at the box office, and the companies selling the replicas are offering up the examples for over 6 figures to Nicolas Cage fans and guys with more money than brains who are commonly known as "collectors". Of that, Halicki's widow, through trademarks, receives a portion of every sale. The pool of viable 66-68 Mustangs are drying up. Imagine if there was a way to somehow retrofit 66-68 Mustang body panels to a modern Mustang or transfer the "Eleanor" likeness to a modern S550. The company would once again become relevant. The unfortunate truth is the YouTube guy was able to accomplish just that. Eleanor LLC saw an opportunity to regain relevance and citing trademark infringement, Eleanor LLC seizes the project, and reverse engineers it.

From here, it all comes down to margins and I see two options: (1) Eleanor LLC determines the margin on such a conversion is less than desirable and sends the project to the crusher. (2) Eleanor LLC determines they can make a healthy margin on converting S550s with the Eleanor likeness and within two years, we start seeing S550 Eleanors priced in the $150-$250K complete with that stupid-ass "go baby go" sticker as a $99 option to put over the starter button.

Eleanor LLC is in this for the notoriety and the money that brings, plain and simple. The Shakarian family is big in the "televangelist" community. It takes lots of money to feed that machine.....just saying.
I like your enthusiasm, but I think you are giving the ppl involved way too much credit. There is ZERO gain for the Halicki widow to want this car to follow up on either of those concepts. It is not like its a new concept to re-body a modern car with a retro body. That has been happening ever since Dynacorn started making the brand new bodies for classic cars. This YouTube guy isn't experienced in it, and if the plan is to build 6-figure retro replicas of a movie car, then you would take that to a business that already has done a few of them. Ditto with adding Eleanor influences to a modern Mustang. Its been done... actually one was right near my home in Tarpon Springs. There was a company building licensed Elanor tribute cars based on S197 Mustangs. They didn't sell well then and I doubt they would sell well now. But even if the widow wanted to do that, she has companies to use that have nothing to do with this YouTube guy. Just now I am Googling Mustang Eleanor parts and there's just dozens of them! All of these companies are making money using the Eleanor name. None of them are being sued or having their cars confiscated. This guy bought legally licensed Eleanor parts and installed them. There is no copyright violation there. The widow got her share from the company selling the parts that licensed them. And even if you ignore all of that and figure they were using this to attempt to become relevant... how would going about it this way help with that? It just makes them look like a bunch of A-holes. Certainly not a way to drum up enthusiasm. it would make MUCH more sense to just force the guy to pay them a fee and continue with the project with the full support of the Gone in 60 Seconds crew... then auction off the car and take a cut then.

I am calling BS on the entire thing here. It doesn't pass the smell test. Even if she sued him for real, then its most likely that a judge would enforce a cease and desist, possibly apply a fine, and order deletion of the content. The more I think about it, the more I say this guy is lying about the entire situation, and did this for publicity and subscribers. it definitely wouldn't be the first time a YouTuber lied in a video to increase views.
 

Marketplaza

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Talk about a scumbag. I can’t stand these ppl. Sue happy. Someone should do something about them and just use common sense
 

Buckwampum

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Interesting read. IP (intellectual property) law is a fascinating area. Having worked in corporate America running large brands, I can tell you our IP attorneys were quite vigorous in going after infringement. Each year I had to put together meticulous documentation showing how I had used the company’s trademarked brands, including website use, printed promotional materials trade publications etc. Our attorneys needed to be able to show a judge that we actively used our IP and thus had a right to keep our trademark and be compensated for infringement. Messing with someone’s IP is no joke.

So, I’m not surprised that a high-visibility Elenor trademark infringement got a harsh response. I’m assuming he lost the car when he couldn’t pay damages or legal fees, or if the plaintiff could show he intended to continue the project and thus continue to harm the IP. Also, I’m guessing the current Elenor licensees could have sued the widow who owns the IP if she didn’t sue the project car builder. It isn’t personal, it’s business.

Another classic car example: I used to be into Oldsmobiles and the holy grail part for a ‘70-‘72 442 was the factory OAI fiberglass hood. These were pretty rare even when the cars were new and by the 90’s they were very hard to find in nice condition. GM stopped making them even before I got into the hobby in 1984. When a local Olds restoration shop started reproducing the hoods in the early 2000’s, GM got feisty and demanded licensure. This was for a hood they hadn’t made in over 20 years, for a car that hadn’t been made in over 30 years, from a marque (Olds) that had been shut down forever. To the best of my knowledge there is no expiry on the IP as long as the owner uses it. That’s why there’s only one Coca Cola.....
 

S550VertCS

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I am gonna nickname my Mustang Ellenoor.
 

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