..even though I don’t want to.
There are certain topics I’m really exhausted of talking about, but they keep coming up, because they impact me, however tangentially, so I am forced to mention them… again.
Case(s) in point:
- Denver Comic Con (Fuck you, San Diego) is an event I’ve enjoyed attending the last few years (and hope ot get back to again, though I missed 2018 due to scheduling conflicts). About a month ago, I received an email stating “Conversation around a name change has been going on for several years, with the goal to create stronger brand alignment between Pop Culture Classroom’s name and its signature events…” and as such would be known going forward as Denver Pop Culture Con. One cannot help but notice that for the last “several years,” Comic Con International (CCI), owners of San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), have been embroiled in a lawsuit against upstart producers, Dan Farr Productions (DFP), and their flagship event, then known as Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCC), over the words “comic” and “con” in any combination, hyphenated, smashed together, or phonetically similar. One $20,000 judgement later, and SLCC is now known as FanX Salt Lake (FanX). Oddly coincidental timing, don’t you think?
- Rose City Comic Con (RCCC) released a hostage statement about the magnanimous gesture of CCI to allow RCCC to use the words “Comic Con” without having to pay CCI anything.
- Phoenix Comicon has fully embraced their name chance from PCC to Phoenix Fan Fusion after passing through a clunky “Phoenix Comic Fest” event.
- Oddly, New York Comic Con is unaffected by all this brou-hah-ha, having neither been sued (for a much longer period of “Trademark infringement,” lol) nor having acquiesced to CCI to somehow “license” those words through them. So weird, right?
The US Patent and Trademark Office currently has before it at least one application for revocation of CCI‘s trademark of “Comic Con,” by the way. Hopefully it will do the right thing and undo the mistake made when the trademark was originally issued (after being initially denied!)
Now, though, comes the kicker: in a feat of legal legerdemain previously unseen in a trademark case, the (San Diego-based) federal judge has determined DFP must pay CCI nearly $4 million in legal fees by October 22 of this year… on a $20,000 judgement!
And the stupid continues: DFP/FanX has had to file an emergency stay of that ruling to prevent irreversible data destruction and financial impact prior to the appeals court even hearing the case!
Anyone with an ounce of common sense in their head can see this entire affair is going to be overturned on appeal due to the legal issues outlined in the application for the emergency stay.
More importantly, from a court of public opinion aspect, the vindictive nature of the CCI‘s approach to this entire affair cannot possibly be overlooked. CCI, having run SDCC out of the fan-business and into “industry event” territory over the last decade or so, continue to demonstrate their interest is not in the “geek culture” and its representation and/or protection, but in protecting what they see as their cash-cow, their personal geek-based fiefdom in the word of conventions, legalities be damned.
Fans can see. Fans can understand. Fans, as has been evidenced time and again, remember, and can be vindictive when it comes to what they decide is theirs.
I have said before that once, my dream was to go to San Diego for Comic Con, but no more.
Why would I want to attend an event that doesn’t care about me, the fan? It makes no sense.
Just like this lawsuit doesn’t, and never has.
Now, the only hope for sanity is that the appeals court (9th Circuit) will right the egregious wrong committed here, and I won’t ever have to say anything about this whole situation again except, “Yeah, that whole period was pretty fucking stupid, wasn’t it?”
Wouldn’t that be great?