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Full Version: Toho Studios Serves Cease + Desist Letter on That Godzilla Guy - but it ends happily :D
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This is mainly for Boomstick, and is the latest chapter in the life of my friend Sean. The good news is that under fair use laws, he can keep making and selling his "Godzillification" art, because it's basically his photography of toys that he purchased and now owns. He can probably keep calling himself "That Godzilla Guy" (which he only began doing after so many people, including me, would introduce him as Sean, no one would know who he was, we'd say "you know the guy who does the Godzilla art..." and people would instantly say "OH - you're that Godzilla guy - yeah, I've seen your work!" :laugh:

What he can't do is sell merch that makes it look like it could be official merch from the movie franchise. But this simply enables him to create his own characters - assorted dinosaurs and his new "Kaiju Black" - that he should have been doing all along, and which so many people have been urging him to do.

Details here. (My editor wanted me to write this, but I have a full time job during the day, and couldn't take the afternoon off to do an interview with him.)
Wow, that's interesting. It seems like they were pretty fair about it as far as I can tell. What's your read on the situation?
Yeah, I think that's as fair as it could get. If they really wanted to be jerks, they could try to make him stop using that name as an artist... but it's not like that somehow detracts
from any potential revenue. If anything, his photoshop art of Godzilla toys just gives added buzz to their PR efforts. But if you start using their trademarked name to sell products - which
he just did for a kick, and not as part of some vast marketing effort that involved anything beyond him and a folding table and a couple of folding shelves at a convention - then in theory that competes
with their own products. So I think they ar ebeing as generous as they can, plus it impels him to start creating some more original art.

But he's mainly just happy that he's big enough now that they noticed him. :laugh: :bounce: :jester: :crazy:

...................

OOPS! ed. to add: he just posted that they are making him change his name away from "That Godzilla Guy," but are giving him several months to make the transition.

Details here.
august Wrote:Yeah, I think that's as fair as it could get. If they really wanted to be jerks, they could try to make him stop using that name as an artist... but it's not like that somehow detracts
from any potential revenue. If anything, his photoshop art of Godzilla toys just gives added buzz to their PR efforts. But if you start using their trademarked name to sell products - which
he just did for a kick, and not as part of some vast marketing effort that involved anything beyond him and a folding table and a couple of folding shelves at a convention - then in theory that competes
with their own products. So I think they ar ebeing as generous as they can, plus it impels him to start creating some more original art.

But he's mainly just happy that he's big enough now that they noticed him. :laugh: :bounce: :jester: :crazy:

...................

OOPS! ed. to add: he just posted that they are making him change his name away from "That Godzilla Guy," but are giving him several months to make the transition.

Details here.

Yeah, I agree. I wonder how they became aware of him. I think he goes to G-Fest, which often features guests that have ties to Toho (actors, etc.), but I can't believe they'd
run home and rat out one guy! :laugh:
I bet Toho gets sent copies of all the convention guides and to the sites right? Because presumably they have legit Toho merch there too, right? Plus you'd assume there much be a huge team of paralegals and
so forth working for whoever their marketing people are, specifically for this kind of thing. I bet they've noticed him, and hundreds of others, over the years, but never cared until a) he moved into non-artwork merch, and b) they began prepping for the new film.

For comparison, there was a local band called Villanova, who have been around 10-15+ years. All was well until they got a record deal, and someone at Villanova University
realized they were selling Villanova sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, etc. etc. ... which of course
the University licenses out to manufacturers for plenty of $$. So they made the band change their name. For a while they went
by "Weaving the Fate." Huh But apparently their label dropped them, so so they go by "Villa * Nova" often forgetting to add the asterisk,
and no one cares anymore. And most local papers and listings forget to add the space anyway. :poke:
august Wrote:I bet Toho gets sent copies of all the convention guides and to the sites right? Because presumably they have legit Toho merch there too, right? Plus you'd assume there much be a huge team of paralegals and
so forth working for whoever their marketing people are, specifically for this kind of thing. I bet they've noticed him, and hundreds of others, over the years, but never cared until a) he moved into non-artwork merch, and b) they began prepping for the new film.

If the timing is, as he suggests, related to the new American film, then I suspect it's a Stateside licensor that brought him to their attention.

Or, come to think of it, someone who was trying to "get back" at him for his political opinions emailed Toho out of spite. In fact, I'd bet money that's the case. That's pretty much
play number one in the internet culture wars these days. Try to hurt your political opponents by getting them fired, etc. Sad, but that's what we've come to.
And sure enough, Sean McGuinness, the artist formerly known as That Godzilla Guy, will henceforward be known as ... Sean McGuinness. :jester: :crazy: :laugh: :lol: :bounce: :thumbsup:
Quote:He's still protected through fair use and public domain when incorporating Godzilla and similar properties into his artwork, but he can't continue selling items such as coffee and soap emblazoned with such creations — he'll instead peddle such items with original creatures attached. He can no longer refer to his works as Godzillafications as he has in the past, and will instead call them Kaijuisms. And he will no longer go by That Godzilla Guy with his artwork. He'll just be Sean McGuinness.


"To make things simple, I'm not going to be That (BLANK) Guy," he tells Free Times. "My studio will be called Neo-Monster Island, to match my website address I have been using since around 2001.

"I will continue using the giant monsters of cinematic legend in my artworks. But if I have a product like coffee, soap, or even T-shirts, those will fall under my Kaiju Black line, and will feature original artistic creations that are still in the theme of giant monster mayhem."

Details here.
This is just insane! :crazy: :bounce: Apparently this was a commission for this couple's wedding! :jawdrop::hellohands:
LOL! That is a great wedding picture!
August, I had a little surreal moment last night as I was reading the 2006 Ghost Rider series. I'm flipping through the end of issue #6, and notice a picture of a little Godzilla statue in
the letters column. The name on the correspondence above the picture? Sean McGuinness! :laugh:

The letter seemed to imply that he'd written in earlier, and sure enough, I found his letter in issue #3, as well!

Ghost Rider #6 Letters Page
Ghost Rider #3 Letters Page

A Godzilla and Ghost Rider fan? This guy's got good taste, I'll say that for him! :bg:
That's our boy! :clap: :hellohands: :bounce:

Yep, he's a fan of just about all genre stuff, comics more than most I think, and of course Godzilla most of all. I recall when I went to see the Joss Whedon-directed film of Much
Ado About Nothing
, which featured mainly his cast from previous shows (Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, the guy who played Andrew on Buffy, etc. etc.) I ran into Sean and his wife.
And his great line, referring to actor Clark Greg's role as Leonato, was something like "Well I'm not sure exactly where this fits into the Marvel Extended Cinematic Universe, since it's not clear if this takes
place before or after The Avengers, but this could mean that Agent Coulson is actually still alive..." :jester: :crazy:

His latest profile pic:
Nice.

I see he's going to be at the Godzilla convention in Chicago this year. I'm not sure if I'm going to make it, but if I do I'll stop by and say hi.
So he just posted this:
Very nice! I didn't make it this year. I was actually in town Friday evening for a concert, and didn't feel like going back in Saturday.
The photoshop artist formerly known as That Godzilla Guy was in the newspaper today:
Poor man. They should more copyright pirates and other people why they should be more careful when plagiarizing work intended or not.
No, he's no poor man - I just saw him at his tent at the local Farmer's Market (which is probably now 75% artwork and crafts) about 20 minutes ago, and he's fine. He's ecstatic about the article, planning for G-Fest, and happy that the Toho thing caused him to be more creative.
More news from the artist formerly known as That Godzilla Guy:

https://www.postandcourier.com/free-time...user-share
I am glad it ended happily.
(May 25th, 2019, 02:34 PM)august Wrote: [ -> ]No, he's no poor man - I just saw him at his tent at the local Farmer's Market (which is probably now 75% artwork and crafts) about 20 minutes ago, and he's fine.  He's ecstatic about the article, planning for G-Fest, and happy that the Toho thing caused him to be more creative.

I'm going to make a real effort to get to G-Fest for at least one day this year, so I'll be sure to stop by and say hi to him!
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