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Old Hack
10-26-2012, 04:53 PM
Acclaimed writer and illustrator Debi Gliori has blogged about the online and offline bullying she encountered as a result of writing a book (http://fiddleandpins.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/the-tobermory-cat-trolls-me.html) about the Tobermory Cat--a book her publisher asked her to write.

She's been Twitter-stalked, Twitter-hacked, her Wikipedia page has been repeatedly edited, libraries where she was due to give readings have been warned about her, and a Facebook page was started (https://www.facebook.com/tobcat?fref=ts) in which it was claimed that she and her publisher had stolen the concept from an unpublished artist--who has now self-published his own book.

The FB post from 9 October seems particularly rabble-rousing to me.


Let's just take a breath here. What was this about? Yes. A cat. A cat. A cat book for children. Yeah. I know. Me too. It makes me feel something close to despair.

I thought this shows how self-righteous people can become when they don't understand copyright law or the creative process, and have an overabundance of self-entitlement too. It's a pretty nasty story too, and it seems to me that this sort of thing is becoming more and more common; or is it just that I'm noticing more of these stories as they proliferate across the internet?



Note: Ms Gliori's book is available soon, I think, and as a direct result of this nastiness I intend to order a few copies to give as Christmas presents, which seems to me an elegant way to show my support.

Terie
10-26-2012, 04:58 PM
Debi is a wonderful human being as well as a brilliant illustrator and writer. I hate to see something like this happening to anyone, but it hurts a little more when it's someone I've met and got acquainted with. (And sad to say, this isn't the first of my acquaintences and friends to have this happen.) Grrrr.

I, too, will be sure to buy a copy of the book as soon as it's available.

Susan Littlefield
10-26-2012, 06:16 PM
That's horrible.

Nobody can steal concepts or ideas.

Bookewyrme
10-26-2012, 06:52 PM
Well, the troll has done ONE good thing. Without this controversy I might never have heard of this book. It sounds amazing though, and the pictures posted look beautiful. I will definitely be trying to get a copy for my little munchkin as soon as it's available.

As for the Troll himself, he seriously sounds like he's just a bit unhinged. I mean seriously. A Facebook page? He hadn't even painted the cat or something? Not that having done a painting of the cat would have entitled him to the cat's name forever and ever either. It's not like you can copyright titles. Or ideas.
I did like what Ms. Gliori had to say to the artist about ideas, and how the more you give them out the more they come back to you 10-fold. And if you try to hold onto them and suck the life from them, they'll eat you alive.

Just. Ugh. This whole story makes me sick to my stomach.

Cyia
10-26-2012, 06:58 PM
Good grief. Cats in children's books! Of course this person feels ripped off! No one's ever done cats in children's books before!!!

Shall we make it wear a hat? Shall we make it big and fat? Shall we make the fat cat flat, or make him lie upon his mat?

(please tell me this doesn't require a sarcastic smiley)

Bookewyrme
10-26-2012, 07:06 PM
Interesting. I just checked out Gliori's wikipedia page, and it now no longer has the bit about the "controversy." Wonder what changed their (Wikipedia's) minds. /sarcasm

Ari Meermans
10-26-2012, 07:13 PM
It saddens me to see yet another victim of cyber predation. Ms.Gliori has my deepest sympathy for having to endure this viciousness, and I wish I could afford to buy dozens of her books for the local Angel Tree.

Yes, OH, there is a proliferation of cyber-bullying across the internet. It is a medium that lends itself so very well to groupthink. Bullies such as that Artist know this and, having whipped their followers into an emotional frenzy, they sit contentedly in the center of the webs they created to watch those followers go out to wreak further havoc.

Cyber bullies are among predators of the worst sort in my opinion: They are not content to prey only on the object of their attack; they cannibalize their young--their followers. They know those in the throes of groupthink are without the perspicacity to analyze and ask what information they’re lacking in order to formulate an informed opinion. They know it, and they count on it.

I wish I could pity his followers their victimhood, but I can't. They were active participants. Ms. Gliori, though, does have my sympathy and my deepest hope that she comes out the victor in this with her reputation not only intact but shining anew.

Putputt
10-26-2012, 07:28 PM
The "Artist" does sound pretty unhinged. What Debi Gliori had to go through is sick. She sounds like the sweetest person who tried to reach a common ground where everybody wins, but was foiled by a manipulative attention ho. I fail to understand why the "Artist" didn't see Ms Gliori's book as a chance to forge an alliance with an established writer/illustrator...surely her book would only make the Tobermory Cat even more famous, which would mean more page views and Likes and even more sales of his own book?

yayeahyeah
10-26-2012, 07:42 PM
Have seen a fair bit about this on Twitter today - vile behaviour, both from the 'artist' and from the rabble he's roused up in support. I feel really sorry for Debi Gliori, who I don't know but sounds like a really sweet person, for everything she's been through.

seun
10-26-2012, 07:50 PM
Some people need sympathy. Some need help. And some just need a resounding 'fuck off'.

Cyia
10-26-2012, 08:55 PM
Maybe the world needs *more* books about Tobermory cats. Whole anthologies of them by a dozen authors in different genres with their own ideas of how the cat could star. Especially those with their own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

bearilou
10-26-2012, 10:03 PM
Maybe the world needs *more* books about Tobermory cats. Whole anthologies of them by a dozen authors in different genres with their own ideas of how the cat could star. Especially those with their own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

Let me know where to sign up.

onesecondglance
10-26-2012, 10:37 PM
Just read some of that FB page. A twat surrounded by other twats. *shakes head*

Filigree
10-26-2012, 10:54 PM
So sad - the Artist could have made a mutually beneficial, strategic link that would not only help him and the Writer, but the entire municipality. Instead, he had to be litigious and foolish.

When I get a little extra money in, I'm buying two copies of this book - one for me and one for my local library.

Alexandra Little
10-26-2012, 10:56 PM
Just read some of that FB page. A twat surrounded by other twats. *shakes head*

I can't bring myself to look at it.

Filigree
10-26-2012, 11:03 PM
I looked. It's sad.

Little Ming
10-26-2012, 11:13 PM
Maybe the world needs *more* books about Tobermory cats. Whole anthologies of them by a dozen authors in different genres with their own ideas of how the cat could star. Especially those with their own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.


Let me know where to sign up.

I don't have Facebook or Twitter, but I can write a story. Can't promise it'll be good though.

shaldna
10-26-2012, 11:48 PM
What a giant bag of shite.

Poor Gliori - her books are amazing - her Pure Dead series is all kinds of fabulous.

Getting stalked and harassed like that isn't a nice experience, and personally, if I were her, I would be taking all the evidence, screenshots, print outs and names of witnesses to my solicitor.

Here's the thing that some folks need to realise - you can't claim 'ownership' of a story like that - I mean, if you could then there would only ever have been ONE book written about WW2, and ONE book written about Jesus, and ONE book written about Henry VIII, and ONE book written about..... see where I'm going with this.

If you could 'own' an idea based on actual history or events then we wouldn't have any historical novels or films.

Looking at it another way, the guy is an artist - is he painting scenes that have been painted by other artists in the past? If so, by his own logic, isn't he stealing their ideas?

RedWombat
10-26-2012, 11:49 PM
That poor woman! How vile. I hope this blows over quickly.

(And goddamnit, as an artist, you're supposed to outgrow the preciousness of ideas by the time you're out of college. Ideas are EVERYWHERE. They're not special. They're as common as mosquitoes and as easily bred.)

Rhoda Nightingale
10-26-2012, 11:52 PM
God. This is beyond the pale. Not as surprising as I'd like it to be.

Also, I keep picturing a somewhat demonic hybrid every time I read this thread title. "Cat-Troll! I can haz sock puppitz?"

victoriastrauss
10-27-2012, 02:59 AM
If the idea belongs to anyone, it belongs to Saki (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sff.net%2Fpeople%2Fdoylemacdo nald%2Fl_tober.htm&ei=xAiLUPTYKKb40gHJpoHYBQ&usg=AFQjCNH-zUxgPIBm39qjZhHXvH27oh6mXg&sig2=ArWzfyauuxwvrLegQc5Pdg).

- Victoria

Cyia
10-27-2012, 03:30 AM
How can a physical object / person / animal be "intellectual" property, anyway?

Bookewyrme
10-27-2012, 04:01 AM
Maybe the world needs *more* books about Tobermory cats. Whole anthologies of them by a dozen authors in different genres with their own ideas of how the cat could star. Especially those with their own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

My evil, vindictive side thinks this should happen. Also, I have facebook and Twitter, and would TOTALLY write a story about a Scottish cat. I dunno how good it would be, but I'd put out my very best work!

BenPanced
10-27-2012, 04:27 AM
Excuse me, but I fucking hate people.

LindaJeanne
10-27-2012, 04:51 AM
This is so very sad.

So writing a children's book about a (specific) stray cat is now considered a crime by teh interwebz? Just because someone has a Facebook page up? News flash: the world doesn't revolve around Facebook.

thothguard51
10-27-2012, 04:54 AM
The Wiki thing really bothers me...

Alexandra Little
10-27-2012, 07:04 AM
The controversy section on the Wiki is gone now, though you can read about it on the talk page. Hopefully is stays gone.

muravyets
10-27-2012, 07:22 AM
If the idea belongs to anyone, it belongs to Saki (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sff.net%2Fpeople%2Fdoylemacdo nald%2Fl_tober.htm&ei=xAiLUPTYKKb40gHJpoHYBQ&usg=AFQjCNH-zUxgPIBm39qjZhHXvH27oh6mXg&sig2=ArWzfyauuxwvrLegQc5Pdg).

- Victoria
After Saki's treatment, I don't know why anyone else would go near a Tobermory Cat story. It really seems like the last word on the subject.

But still, I endorse the Tobermory Proliferation Proposal wholeheartedly.

juniper
10-27-2012, 07:52 AM
Thanks for bring Debi's work to my attention - I'll make sure to pick up a copy of the book from the local independent bookstore.

The other guy - I wish him well, but I think he's wrong here.

TNK
10-27-2012, 09:26 AM
Maybe the world needs *more* books about Tobermory cats. Whole anthologies of them by a dozen authors in different genres with their own ideas of how the cat could star. Especially those with their own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

I don't have a twitter account, and my Facebook page is covered with dust, but I'd so write a story about a cat. :)

Polenth
10-27-2012, 12:43 PM
The controversy section on the Wiki is gone now, though you can read about it on the talk page. Hopefully is stays gone.

It probably won't stay gone, because that's not how Wikipedia works. The aim of articles about people isn't to be nice. It's to report on notable things about that person. As this has been in major newspapers, and will probably be in more as this carries on, it is notable.

However, Wikipedia has rules about impartiality and not placing undue weight on things. The section needs to be written by someone who isn't involved, and covered in a level of detail that goes with its importance compared to the rest of the page.

It's a lot easier to work with Wikipedia's rules rather than against them. The agent could have sorted it by editing the text to be impartial and repositioning it in the article, citing it as not being balanced. But all constantly deleting it will do is lead to a banning.

Terie
10-27-2012, 04:03 PM
It probably won't stay gone, because that's not how Wikipedia works. The aim of articles about people isn't to be nice. It's to report on notable things about that person. As this has been in major newspapers, and will probably be in more as this carries on, it is notable.

However, Wikipedia has rules about impartiality and not placing undue weight on things. The section needs to be written by someone who isn't involved, and covered in a level of detail that goes with its importance compared to the rest of the page.

It's a lot easier to work with Wikipedia's rules rather than against them. The agent could have sorted it by editing the text to be impartial and repositioning it in the article, citing it as not being balanced. But all constantly deleting it will do is lead to a banning.

I agree with you about following Widipedia's rules.

But I think it's worth saying that there is no actual controversy here. This is an imagined slight taken to a ridiculous level.

Torgo
10-27-2012, 04:16 PM
If the idea belongs to anyone, it belongs to Saki (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sff.net%2Fpeople%2Fdoylemacdo nald%2Fl_tober.htm&ei=xAiLUPTYKKb40gHJpoHYBQ&usg=AFQjCNH-zUxgPIBm39qjZhHXvH27oh6mXg&sig2=ArWzfyauuxwvrLegQc5Pdg).

- Victoria

Yes, I'm having a certain amount of trouble with that. Tobermory might be the BEST cat story, but it's also somewhat less than cuddly (and indeed a big ginger Tom is T's nemesis, IIRC.)

Stacia Kane
10-27-2012, 04:36 PM
Wasn't the cat--and its brethren--already known as the Tobermory Cat before that guy set up his Facebook page? I got the impression everyone in Tobermory thought of it that way.

As others have said, this is akin to saying, "I wrote a biography of Lincoln, so I own that concept, and no one else can ever write one."

BenPanced
10-27-2012, 07:07 PM
I'm guessing he thinks he has the exclusive copyright since he was the first to have a Facebook page.

LindaJeanne
10-27-2012, 07:11 PM
I'm guessing he thinks he has the exclusive copyright since he was the first to have a Facebook page.

Yup, I think that's it. At least, I think he believes he has exclusive moral rights to the cat; I don't think he believes he has legally protected copyright.

Hence my comment about Facebook not being the be-all and end-all of the universe.

He just assumes, that since he put the page up on Facebook, that any out-of-towner who heard about the cat MUST have heard about him through that Facebook page. Which is ridiculous, but typical.

Buffysquirrel
10-28-2012, 12:31 AM
A book for children about a cat.

James D. Macdonald
10-28-2012, 01:03 AM
Tobermory, by Saki (http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/l_tober.htm), has been on the Web since 1995. I know. I put him there.

Medievalist
10-28-2012, 11:10 AM
This "Artist" is being completely idiotic. If the Tobermory Cat "belongs" to anyone, it would be to Hector Munro (1870 to 1916) who wrote under the name Saki, and published the lovely story "Tobermory" about a ginger tom who talks (http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/l_tober.htm).

Saki's charming story was published as part of The Chronicles of Clovis in 1911, and written in 1908. That, and lovely whiskey put Tobermory and its ginger toms in the public eye.

But there have been others who noted the Tobermory cats. There's a 2008 Youtube video called Tobermory (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPHfj0Ika1I) inspired by Saki's talking cat. It in turn inspired a Spanish animated film artist to create a cat named Tobermory in an 88 minutes animated fantasy film released in 2007. The characters include the Tobermory cat and were drawn by Pablo Navarro, who has a number of scene by scenes pencil sketches behind the film that depict Tobermory the cat from 2009 (http://pablonavarro.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/nocturna-cat-shepherd-and-cats-studies/).

Going back farther, single malt fans may remember a limited release malt from Tobermory with a ginger cat on the label. Early still, Gaelic poems about cats—including one in the earliest known Scottish ms.—feature cats, and are especially fond of Ginger toms.

So yeah, claiming the cat as "his" is stupid, greedy, self-aggrandizing and more than somewhat daft.

Aside from everything else, you can't "copyright" an idea, especially not one so that's been previously used for over a hundred years.

So this Facebook obsessive dude looks idiotic and is making a total ass of himself with assertions of "originality."

It looks idiotic. And slightly crazed.

Me? I'm going to buy Debi Gliori's charming book The Tobermory Cat (http://www.amazon.com/The-Tobermory-Cat-Debi-Gliori/dp/1780270992/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351408115&sr=8-1&keywords=tobermory+cat).

Medievalist
10-28-2012, 11:13 AM
Yup, I think that's it. At least, I think he believes he has exclusive moral rights to the cat; I don't think he believes he has legally protected copyright.


Angus Stewart has, I assume, copyright to his book, and to any photographs he personally created or has licensed and has permissions to use.

Assuming no one asserts ownership of said cat.

You can't copyright a title, a concept or an idea.

Especially one that can easily be proven to be derivative. Like his. Not only is the cat a living cat, we have Saki (and others) to point to as source material.

At this point, the ginger cats of Tobermory are famous because of Saki.

Debi Gliori on the other hand has an original story. It is not derivative, nor does it share striking similarities with similar stories about similar cats. The Facebook page is simply an instantiation of a meme, like the Pancake Bunny (http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/pancake-bunny) or any number of Macro/LOL Cats, or cat memes in general (http://knowyourmeme.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=cat).

Debi Gliori created an original story, and hand-created, personally, originally art. Hers isn't a meme collection.

Debi Gliori has written a book The Tobermory Cat (http://www.amazon.com/The-Tobermory-Cat-Debi-Gliori/dp/1780270992/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351408115&sr=8-1&keywords=tobermory%20cat&tag=vglnk-c1189-20). With a story, and characters, and actual art that is uniquely hers.

Bogna
10-28-2012, 11:38 AM
Ugh, these people are frustrating. I just saw some of the comments on Amazon and I wanted to slam my head on my desk. Educating yourself on copy right laws are not that difficult.

MacAllister
10-28-2012, 12:12 PM
So much for my trademarked allegorical Ceiling Cat vs. Basement Cat epic poem.
http://absolutewrite.com/wordpress/var/www/html/wordpress/wp-content/uploads//2012/10/Ceiling_Cat_Mac_Wallpaper_by_lechugabola.jpeg

If only I could convince all those other people using Ceiling Cat that they can't use it anymore, cuz it's ALL MINE NOW. :(

Terie
10-28-2012, 12:19 PM
Ugh, these people are frustrating. I just saw some of the comments on Amazon and I wanted to slam my head on my desk. Educating yourself on copy right laws are not that difficult.

We can help by marking the comments 'helpful' and 'unhelpful' as appropriate, and reporting any that threaten internet bullying for abuse.

ghostlygalleon
10-28-2012, 01:13 PM
But I think it's worth saying that there is no actual controversy here. This is an imagined slight taken to a ridiculous level.

Yes, indeed. There is no controversy. Anyone who knows anything about copyright and creativity knows that you can't copyright an idea, or even a title, least of all a cat. (I can't believe I just said that!)

Although there is no controversy, there is ignorance, and that's what we can work to rectify. This ignorance is not a matter of opinion but of fact, law and life.

We do not own the things we write about. Even if the complainant technically owned the cat, anyone would still be allowed to write about it. We may write about (or paint) any topic or object or person we wish to. It is very often the case that two writers come up with the same idea and even the same names for characters - it happened when author Tim Bowler and I discovered after publication in consecutive months that we had both written a YA novel about a 14-year-old boy called Luke with synesthesia. The stories were, however, and inevitably, completely different, just as Debi Gliori's creative story is different from the book of photos of a cat with the same "name". And let's point out that that name is generic, a name that has stuck to the cats of Tobermory, a name that merely describes where the cat lives and is seen. It doesn't require enormous powers of creativity to think of calling a stray cat who lives in Tobermory the Tobermory Cat!

We own our words and our pictures, not our ideas. Anyone can have an idea - it's turning it into a piece of art that involves talent, skill and hard work.

We need to stand up and explain this to those who need to know, otherwise foolishness like this attack on Debi will keep on happening. This is why I've been tweeting and commenting in the last few days - which is how Old Hack came across the story, I think. *waves at Old Hack*

LindaJeanne
10-28-2012, 06:16 PM
I see two discussions going on (one in "The Tobermory Cat Forum", and one in "The Debi Gliori Forum"). Are there others?

muravyets
10-28-2012, 08:32 PM
Yes, I'm having a certain amount of trouble with that. Tobermory might be the BEST cat story, but it's also somewhat less than cuddly (and indeed a big ginger Tom is T's nemesis, IIRC.)
Personally, I think the lesson in the Saki story is the more important one for children to learn, cuddliness be damned. ;)

Also, yes, the ginger tom is the character who puts an end to the danger of Tobermory, so I'm not really sure how the name got attached to the ginger. Unless it's like in the Chronicles of Riddick, and "you keep what you kill," in which case maybe there's a whole 'nother avenue for specious, idiotic copyright whining for some bored troll out in Facebook-land.

Mr Flibble
10-28-2012, 10:12 PM
Is using another author's IDEAS also plagiarism? :(

I think you'd have to be really specific. So for instance, you wanted to write a space opera about this boy who finds out he has special powers - let's call it The Force - and he's called Luke, right? And Luke has to master the bad side, feel the good side or things will get very bad indeed, but they're going to get bad anyway because Chief Bad Side Dude (Dath Ladar)is actually his dad! *gasp!* And then it turns out that chick he fancies is actually his sister....

If you're just writing about a broad idea - boy with special powers must learn how to use them, in space! - you're probably okay, though it might seem a bit derivative. Using all the other stuff as well? Not so much.

In this case, all the FB guy has is a facebook page about a stray cat. The stray cat and the town are pretty much the only two common elements, not very specific at all. Book has extra elements real life does not (IIRC the new book, the cat plays the violin. Pretty sure FB cat does not) so it's pretty silly to say it's plagiarism, because the author has, clearly, used their own ideas as well as inventing a story to go with said cat (FB cat does not have a plot) - not to mention their original artwork etc. They took some inspiration (added bonus, inspiration wasn;t from FB but another source)and made it their own. Nothing wrong with that.

Medievalist
10-28-2012, 11:05 PM
Plagiarism is not at all the same as copyright violation.

Plagiarism means claiming someone else's work as yours.

We have no evidence of either plagiarism or copyright violation at all.

First of all, the concept or idea of "the Tobermory cat" is not unique or original.

It wasn't when Saki used it, and it isn't now.

The cats are a real thing. They exist. They are therefore not an idea or a concept.

Moreover, Ms. Gliori has created an original story. It is a story. It is a made-up thing, a creation. Her illustrations are also individual unique creations.

Bluntly put, the implications of theft, copyright violation or plagiarism are at best daft and ignorant. The deliberate stalking and trolling is bizarre and suggests someone has some serious boundary issues and is a little vague on the legalities of EU law regarding things like intimidation, stalking etc.

James D. Macdonald
10-29-2012, 12:10 AM
I

Is using another author's IDEAS also plagiarism?

Ideas ... are a dime a dozen and overpriced at that. It's people who have few ideas who have this ... idea ... that ideas by themselves are valuable.

I've had at least eighteen ideas in the past quarter hour. I'll give them to you for free, and, if I wind up using one myself the resulting works will be so different that there's no chance that any copyright violation, far less plagiarism, could exist.

So, no, using an idea is not and cannot be plagiarism.

leahzero
10-29-2012, 12:14 AM
TIL: there are some seriously unhinged people on the internets.

Tobermory Cat
10-29-2012, 01:54 AM
I don't claim copyright of a real cat – that would be foolish. I claim copyright on my fictional work called Tobemory Cat and a fictional celebrity cat character entirely of my making. My star is not one cat, he is a construct, I use three cats, non of which has the given name Tobermory Cat. I have self published a book, produced many thousands of postcards, paid for adverts on tourist maps and made poster. I also have a facebook page, started in Feb 2011, which, for those who dismiss facebook at a glance, it is a platform, it has its uses. Some see a cat snap page, others read something more.

Though the cat is a construct, many believed the cat is real. This did not trouble me but bothers me now. My stories, many fictional, are passed around by word of mouth – with some people having no knowledge of the source. A local book shop owner, not a facebook user, encourages a publisher to pick up both the celebrity idea and Tobermory Cat. He is Scotland's biggest independent publisher, the artist is very successful ( and rather good) – I struggle to make a living. In November 2011, the publisher is directed to the source – me. In December 2011 we meet. I have are range of plans for my work, a film, merchandise, all based around the Tobermory Cat name, the hope being to create something to fund further work. Reluctantly I agreed to meet to discuss mutually beneficial ways exploit my creative work. The publisher made me an offer which I rejected ( my picture on the back of their book and I could earn click through revenue earned from selling their book on my facebook page). I continue to post on facebook, my subject, the process of creating a celebrity cat

Their book is out, same ginger cat, same title, same car surfing antics, extracted details, the story of a cat becoming a celebrity cat – a graphic story, the prequel to my story but ending with a celebrity cat. If this book is the first of a series, they have occupied the ground. They brush me off, preferring to spend thousands on lawyers rather than supporting my work – but I try to secure the future rights or they will own the lot.

Writers here seem to be defend the idea that a publisher need not pay to use an authors work. I feel I have a right to earn a living, and for adaptions of my work. I have heard of writers being paid in such situations – but not with me. I feel I should be allowed to defend my work, robustly, decently, reasonably, without being accused of being a troll – whatever that may be. Thanks for your time, now test me, beat me up, help me if you chose. I will try to respond when I have time. Thanks

Terie
10-29-2012, 02:03 AM
I don't claim copyright of a real cat – that would be foolish. I claim copyright on my fictional work called Tobemory Cat and a fictional celebrity cat character entirely of my making. My star is not one cat, he is a construct, I use three cats, non of which has the given name Tobermory Cat. I have self published a book, produced many thousands of postcards, paid for adverts on tourist maps and made poster. I also have a facebook page, started in Feb 2011, which, for those who dismiss facebook at a glance, it is a platform, it has its uses. Some see a cat snap page, others read something more.

Though the cat is a construct, many believed the cat is real. This did not trouble me but bothers me now. My stories, many fictional, are passed around by word of mouth – with some people having no knowledge of the source. A local book shop owner, not a facebook user, encourages a publisher to pick up both the celebrity idea and Tobermory Cat. He is Scotland's biggest independent publisher, the artist is very successful ( and rather good) – I struggle to make a living. In November 2011, the publisher is directed to the source – me. In December 2011 we meet. I have are range of plans for my work, a film, merchandise, all based around the Tobermory Cat name, the hope being to create something to fund further work. Reluctantly I agreed to meet to discuss mutually beneficial ways exploit my creative work. The publisher made me an offer which I rejected ( my picture on the back of their book and I could earn click through revenue earned from selling their book on my facebook page). I continue to post on facebook, my subject, the process of creating a celebrity cat

Their book is out, same ginger cat, same title, same car surfing antics, extracted details, the story of a cat becoming a celebrity cat – a graphic story, the prequel to my story but ending with a celebrity cat. If this book is the first of a series, they have occupied the ground. They brush me off, preferring to spend thousands on lawyers rather than supporting my work – but I try to secure the future rights or they will own the lot.

Writers here seem to be defend the idea that a publisher need not pay to use an authors work. I feel I have a right to earn a living, and for adaptions of my work. I have heard of writers being paid in such situations – but not with me. I feel I should be allowed to defend my work, robustly, decently, reasonably, without being accused of being a troll – whatever that may be. Thanks for your time, now test me, beat me up, help me if you chose. I will try to respond when I have time. Thanks

Ahem. You own the idea of a ginger tom Tobermory cat as much as, oh, say, Saki does. Debi Gliori stole her idea from you as much as you stole the idea from Saki.

As in not.

You weren't the first one to go there, and now you're pitching a tantrum that you can't be the last.

Go study up on copyright infringement before you accuse innocent people of doing it.

Also?..............


If the idea belongs to anyone, it belongs to Saki (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sff.net%2Fpeople%2Fdoylemacdo nald%2Fl_tober.htm&ei=xAiLUPTYKKb40gHJpoHYBQ&usg=AFQjCNH-zUxgPIBm39qjZhHXvH27oh6mXg&sig2=ArWzfyauuxwvrLegQc5Pdg).

- Victoria


Tobermory, by Saki (http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/l_tober.htm), has been on the Web since 1995. I know. I put him there.


If the Tobermory Cat "belongs" to anyone, it would be to Hector Munro (1870 to 1916) who wrote under the name Saki, and published the lovely story "Tobermory" about a ginger Tom who talks (http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/l_tober.htm).

Alessandra Kelley
10-29-2012, 02:15 AM
Hello, Tobermory Cat, and welcome to the boards. You may wish to post on the New Members' thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=27) to introduce yourself to the community.

I'd also suggest reading the Newbie Guide (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315), which is full of good and helpful advice for navigating this community.

I found your argument a little difficult to follow, I must confess.

StormChord
10-29-2012, 02:16 AM
Oh my god, a ginger cat? Somebody go sue J. K. Rowling, as this creative genius has had Crookshanks stolen from him. -_-

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 02:17 AM
I claim copyright on my fictional work called Tobemory Cat and a fictional celebrity cat character entirely of my making.What fictional work? Where can I see this work? Are you talking about the FB page? Or something else? If it's a book then yes you have copyright on your story, not on the idea, or even the name. Unless someone has copied your story, there is no infringement.

Apart from the location, and them being ginger, are there any similarities between your 'cat' and the other one? How does this differ between your use of the cat and Saki's?

Two people can write about a cat (even the same cat) without any infringement whatsoever. It depends on the execution, and the details. You realise that, right?


Writers here seem to be defend the idea that a publisher need not pay to use an authors work Where is the evidence that anyone has used your work?

Tbh, if there was a shred of evidence of you being plagiarised/had your CP infringed, we'd all be right behind you.

Tobermory Cat
10-29-2012, 02:25 AM
Debi does not do Saki, she has made a book about a celebrity cat called the Tobermory Cat. Had she done Saki she may have taken the title "Tobermory".

escritora
10-29-2012, 02:25 AM
Their book is out, same ginger cat, same title, same car surfing antics, extracted details, the story of a cat becoming a celebrity cat – a graphic story, the prequel to my story but ending with a celebrity cat.

Your post is a bit hard to follow. Though what I understood or think I understood, is interesting. Interesting as in interesting. Not interesting as in me being condescending.

Can you elaborate on the bolded part? Are you saying it's not just the ginger cat you're objecting to, but that the book also has traces of your story, including a scene or two of the cat car surfing and other details specific to the story you wrote? Can you outline the similarities in more detail?

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 02:34 AM
Debi does not do Saki, she has made a book about a celebrity cat called the Tobermory Cat. Had she done Saki she may have taken the title "Tobermory".

No, we know she didn't do Saki - the point is, Saki was already a story about the/a Tobermory cat. So if she infringed you by writing a different story about the same cat, then you've done that to Saki. Sooo....?

Point being, it is possible for two people to write about the same cat and not infringe on each other AT ALL.

Also, titles aren't copyrighted. (they are, on occasion, trademarked. But I doubt it in this case)

Alitriona
10-29-2012, 02:44 AM
I look at this in the same way ideas have been recycled in Young Adult fiction. There have been a huge number of angel stories, many using The Books of Enoch and the fallen angels for reference. Many share the basic idea of angels who couple with humans, but no one can claim they have the right to be the only artist to use the story and no one claims copyright of someone else's book just because they use the same basic idea.

No one owns an idea, especially an idea based on something with an established history. An artist only owns their own individual work.

To be honest, I think the publisher and author in this case were very fair to even offer the artist advertisement in the back of the book. They didn't have to acknowledge him at all. Maybe this is what led to the artist's confusion about what is his work and what is the work of another person. Personally I don't know how that can be. I know the difference between my work and work I didn't do. I don't expect to be paid for work I didn't do. I expect most people don't.

Tobermory Cat
10-29-2012, 02:48 AM
No, we know she didn't do Saki - the point is, Saki was already a story about the/a Tobermory cat. So if she infringed you by writing a different story about the same cat, then you've done that to Saki. Sooo....?

Point being, it is possible for two people to write about the same cat and not infringe on each other AT ALL.

Also, titles aren't copyrighted. (they are, on occasion, trademarked. But I doubt it in this case)
Saki's did not title his book Tobermory Cat. Two writers write about the same fictional cat, an interesting idea. Mine, as I say, is a construct of 3 cats. If she writes about my celebrity construct I am being flattered.

Williebee
10-29-2012, 02:49 AM
I would offer a more recent (than, say Saki) and more public example of the point.
Sherlock Holmes (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t4pgh)
and
Elementary (http://www.cbs.com/shows/elementary/)

An idea, with similar elements, but a different end product.

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 02:56 AM
Saki's did not title his book Tobermory Cat. Two writers write about the same fictional cat, an interesting idea. Mine, as I say, is a construct of 3 cats. If she writes about my celebrity construct I am being flattered.


But she isn't writing about your construct, only her own construct (from perhaps a similar inspiration, but the details are different). This is not infringement, unless you have proof otherwise? (ie can show direct parallels between the two that are more than superficial)

Even if you did, some of the actions perpetrated in the name of this fictitious 'infringement' are...questionable. At the least.

An idea, with similar elements, but a different end product.

Yup, looks like that. Which is not a problem for anyone with any working knowledge of this.

LindaJeanne
10-29-2012, 02:58 AM
I'm confused as to why you think her storybook has anything -- anything at all -- to do with your Facebook page.

StormChord
10-29-2012, 02:58 AM
Mine, as I say, is a construct of 3 cats. If she writes about my celebrity construct I am being flattered.

Um. No. That would be plagiarism, or fanfiction. Make up your mind - is she copying you or flattering you?

RichardGarfinkle
10-29-2012, 03:05 AM
Saki's did not title his book Tobermory Cat. Two writers write about the same fictional cat, an interesting idea. Mine, as I say, is a construct of 3 cats. If she writes about my celebrity construct I am being flattered.

I'm perplexed. What evidence do you have beyond the use of the fairly obvious name "Tobermory Cat" and that the cat is ginger that this book uses your construct or character?

Momento Mori
10-29-2012, 03:11 AM
Tobermory Cat:
I claim copyright on my fictional work called Tobemory Cat and a fictional celebrity cat character entirely of my making. My star is not one cat, he is a construct, I use three cats, non of which has the given name Tobermory Cat. I have self published a book, produced many thousands of postcards, paid for adverts on tourist maps and made poster.

You can claim copyright in your fictional work, which seems to be some photographs of a ginger cat in Tobermory. Your copyright extends to the pictures and the text accompanying it.

You also own copyright in the postcards, the adverts and your poster.

Unfortunately, you do not own the idea of a cat in Tobermory as copyright does not extend to protect ideas. You therefore cannot stop someone from producing illustrations of a ginger cat in Tobermory. You also cannot stop someone from writing their own text and putting together their own, completely different story based on a ginger cat in Tobermory.

There is a lot of case law on this - most of which can be found on line. I suggest you review it carefully. Debi Gillori did not steal an idea from you because ideas are, by their legal nature, incapable of being stolen. They are part of the common good and the law recognises them as such.

You clearly don't like that. It's unfortunate but you need to build a bridge and get over it.


Tobermory Cat:
I also have a facebook page, started in Feb 2011, which, for those who dismiss facebook at a glance, it is a platform, it has its uses. Some see a cat snap page, others read something more.

Yes, the Facebook page is a platform. It's a platform for your work. Debi Gillori hasn't tried to steal it or shut it down (although Lord knows, I would have been straight onto FB if I'd been in her shoes because your little incitement activity seems to me to breach ToU - but frankly if I'd have been in her shoes I'd have been looking at slapping an injunction on you and looking at criminal remedies under the Malicious Communications Act 1998 and Protection from Harassment Act 1997 for some of the shit you've been pulling). Whatever readers read into it is up to them. The fact is you don't own copyright in the FB page either.


Tobermory Cat:
Though the cat is a construct, many believed the cat is real. This did not trouble me but bothers me now. My stories, many fictional, are passed around by word of mouth – with some people having no knowledge of the source. A local book shop owner, not a facebook user, encourages a publisher to pick up both the celebrity idea and Tobermory Cat. He is Scotland's biggest independent publisher, the artist is very successful ( and rather good) – I struggle to make a living.

We all struggle to make a living. I can understand why you'd be pissed off but that doesn't excuse what you did.


Tobermory Cat:
In November 2011, the publisher is directed to the source – me. In December 2011 we meet. I have are range of plans for my work, a film, merchandise, all based around the Tobermory Cat name, the hope being to create something to fund further work. Reluctantly I agreed to meet to discuss mutually beneficial ways exploit my creative work. The publisher made me an offer which I rejected ( my picture on the back of their book and I could earn click through revenue earned from selling their book on my facebook page). I continue to post on facebook, my subject, the process of creating a celebrity cat

Again, I can understand why you'd be pissed off but that doesn't excuse what you did. You went after the artist, not the publisher. You behaved with vindictive spite against someone who you felt had what you deserved. That wasn't Debi's fault. By your own words, she wasn't responsible for these slights against you. Yet you decided to direct all this shit at her. That's not the action of a man, let alone an artist.


Tobermory Cat:
Their book is out, same ginger cat, same title, same car surfing antics, extracted details, the story of a cat becoming a celebrity cat – a graphic story, the prequel to my story but ending with a celebrity cat. If this book is the first of a series, they have occupied the ground. They brush me off, preferring to spend thousands on lawyers rather than supporting my work – but I try to secure the future rights or they will own the lot.

If you can show that their book directly copies your book, then you have a possible course of action, but I doubt it. We're talking generics here and broad ideas. The law has never wanted to protect that.

You can't seek to protect future rights because there are no future rights unless and until work is corrected. You may be able to trade mark the Tobermory Cat but again, the previous use by Saki and the fact that it's arguably part of popular culture would seem to me to be solid grounds for rejecting registration of the term (although you may have luck with a device mark).

However, the fact that you're resorting to incitement of an internet hate mob rather than go and discuss your legal actions shows the type of person you really are. And I pity you for that. Because with that attitude all you'll ever be is a struggling artist and leader of internet trolls. That's a pretty miserable place to be.


Tobermory Cat:
Writers here seem to be defend the idea that a publisher need not pay to use an authors work.

Writers here defend a real artist who is being unfairly targeted by a silly little boy upset that someone burst his balloon dreams.


Tobermory Cat:
I feel I have a right to earn a living, and for adaptions of my work. I have heard of writers being paid in such situations – but not with me. I feel I should be allowed to defend my work, robustly, decently, reasonably, without being accused of being a troll – whatever that may be.

In all that self pity sluicing around your head, I still fail to see why you felt it was okay to set an internet hate mob on a fellow artist. I could understand if you went after the publisher (albeit that I'd still believe you're wrong) but you didn't do that, did you? You went after her. That's what I have a problem with.


Tobermory Cat:
Thanks for your time, now test me, beat me up, help me if you chose. I will try to respond when I have time. Thanks

Get off your cross, dear. Jesus needs the wood.

MM

buz
10-29-2012, 03:12 AM
My stories, many fictional, are passed around by word of mouth – with some people having no knowledge of the source.I'm pretty sure you can't claim copyright on "I said some stuff and people repeated it."

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 03:12 AM
What I don't get (well one of the things) is why, if the FB page owner feels they have a case, they haven't gone to a lawyer rather than stalk an author who may or may not have done something wrong.

Most lawyers (you want one in IP in this case) will give you a consult for free, to tell you if you have a case. If they say, actually, no. Well you have your answer, even if you don;t like it. If you have a case, fine. But taking it into your own hands and stalking an author?

Iffy.

Very iffy ( at this stage a lawyer may turn you down because you've screwed over the case)

Let's give a little context here sahll we?

I can write about a boy going to wizard school.

I can call him Harry if I want (may be inadvisable, but nothing to stop me)

I can have an owl bring him a letter.

Maybe his real family are not so nice to him.

These are all generic descriptions of a story. But if I add a lightning scar, and a dark lord, and two mates called Ron and Hermione...

General ideas ARE NOT COPYRIGHTABLE. They are ten a damn penny.

Details are where it gets tricky.

Tobermory Cat
10-29-2012, 03:15 AM
My construct is a celebrity cat. I think that is its USP when linked to the name. The cat was not a celebrity prior to my work but now is a celebrity due to me.The cat did nothing – that is why I call it famous for being famous. Its hard to nail. James Bond is a secret agent. You can suggest all manner of different adventures created by different hands, but its the title, James Bond – secret agent that the makers of that work value. Had someone produced a James Bond – window cleaner I dont think the owners of that property would object.

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 03:18 AM
And Ms Gliori's cat is a a different celebrity cat. That happens to be named after where it lives

Again, no CP on titles, or names. I can show you three different books with the same titles. I could name you a couple of different books where the protags have the same or similar names. It's not an issue. If you rally think it is, consult a lawyer rather than attempt intimidation.

Tobermory Cat
10-29-2012, 03:24 AM
Debi Gliori is a different hand true, but the construct, the celebrity cat is the same. James bond - window clearner is not the case. There are half a million cats in Scotland, many towns, my work existed prior to her work, they offer to put my picture on their book, how strange. That is the value it seems.

RichardGarfinkle
10-29-2012, 03:25 AM
My construct is a celebrity cat. I think that is its USP when linked to the name. The cat was not a celebrity prior to my work but now is a celebrity due to me.The cat did nothing – that is why I call it famous for being famous. Its hard to nail. James Bond is a secret agent. You can suggest all manner of different adventures created by different hands, but its the title, James Bond – secret agent that the makers of that work value. Had someone produced a James Bond – window cleaner I dont think the owners of that property would object.

I believe what you are talking about falls under trademark law, not copyright. Here's the wikipedia for UK trademark law.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_trade_mark_law

Did you register Tobermory Cat as a trademark? Because from what I gather, unlike copyright, trademark isn't automatic.

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 03:29 AM
Debi Gliori is a different hand true, but the construct, the celebrity cat is the same. James bond - window clearner is not the case. There are half a million cats in Scotland, many towns, my work existed prior to her work, they offer to put my picture on their book, how strange. That is the value it seems.


You haven't been reading have you? Perhaps you should try it. It might help.

PS Has anyone else fallen in love with Momento Mori just a little bit more? Obviously not the cat - bit the cat should read, and understand, if they can.

Tobermory Cat
10-29-2012, 03:29 AM
I actually like Debi's work, I could see benifits from working with them - but not for them. I have suggested ways to work with them, they pay a small percentage to our village Hall, true, I get nothing but as a maker of things, I expect some reward. 2.5% gross from all sales does not sound excessive.

Smish
10-29-2012, 03:32 AM
But what makes you entitled to anything from the publisher? You still haven't identified any legitimate legal claim.

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 03:33 AM
They have no obligation to work with you - and they offered you free advertising anyway and you turned it down!

Why expect a reward for something you had no hand in? Did you write the book? Did you draw the pictures? Is this your IP? Nope.

So they owe you nothing, and they offered you something anyway and you turned it down.

Tobermory Cat
10-29-2012, 03:35 AM
I believe what you are talking about falls under trademark law, not copyright. Here's the wikipedia for UK trademark law.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_trade_mark_law

Did you register Tobermory Cat as a trademark? Because from what I gather, unlike copyright, trademark isn't automatic.

As my work extends beyond a series of books, I did apply. They now challenge my trade mark, I offer a licence - payment going to the village hall. Seemed like a good solution - seeing both works are about a ginger celebrity cat living in Tobermory it could fit.

LindaJeanne
10-29-2012, 03:37 AM
As my work extends beyond a series of books, I did apply. They now challenge my trade mark, I offer a licence - payment going to the village hall. Seemed like a good solution - seeing both works are about a ginger celebrity cat living in Tobermory it could fit.

When did you apply, and was the trademark granted?

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 03:39 AM
As my work extends beyond a series of books, I did apply. They now challenge my trade mark, I offer a licence - payment going to the village hall. Seemed like a good solution - seeing both works are about a ginger celebrity cat living in Tobermory it could fit.

So, this work, where can I find it? (I've looked on amazon, etc and I can't find it. Is it just FB? I've asked this before but you haven't answered) I mean, most books aren't trademarked ( I think LOTR Harry Potter and the big stuff is, not anything else) I wonder why you would? So no one can talk about ginger cats in Scotland unless you say so? The cat has no owner, I don't see why any work about him needs to have one.

Also, what terms are you trademarking, or hoping to?

waylander
10-29-2012, 03:40 AM
Which bit of copyright law did you fail to understand? YOU DON'T HAVE A CASE.
Get over it.

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 03:42 AM
Which bit of copyright law did you fail to understand? YOU DON'T HAVE A CASE.
Get over it.


I was trying to be diplomatic, but that pretty much sums it up....

Polenth
10-29-2012, 03:47 AM
As my work extends beyond a series of books, I did apply. They now challenge my trade mark, I offer a licence - payment going to the village hall. Seemed like a good solution - seeing both works are about a ginger celebrity cat living in Tobermory it could fit.

Applying for it isn't the same as getting it. The trademark people will look at all previous uses of ginger cats related to Tobermory. Which if you read this thread in detail, you'll see started before you were born, so you couldn't have been present at the time.

If somehow they slipped up on that and gave you the trademark, it does need to be challenged.

Buffysquirrel
10-29-2012, 03:47 AM
Btw folks, the ginger cat in my avatar is totally MY cat, mmkay? No looking at him without my permission!

Polenth
10-29-2012, 03:49 AM
Btw folks, the ginger cat in my avatar is totally MY cat, mmkay? No looking at him without my permission!

You can keep him. I'm trademarking tabby cats with white bellies.

Tobermory Cat
10-29-2012, 03:55 AM
When did you apply, and was the trademark granted?

March. I had, on many occasions, suggested they take another name, the reason being my work is all based around the name. I think I should be able to protect my work. This may suggests I am some big player, I ride a moped, I live from painting pictures, I make films that earn no money but I make films. ( the BBC suggest I gift them my footage, suggesting it would be good for me. I suggest that if they work for nothing I will work for nothing. It seems reasonable to me, Artists need support.) I am getting rather sick of serving others and not being paid - so I try this Tobermory Cat. Same thing happens!

Cyia
10-29-2012, 03:56 AM
Maybe off topic, and INAL, but:


I mean, most books aren't trademarked ( I think LOTR Harry Potter and the big stuff is, not anything else)


Not sure about UK law, but in the US, only series titles can be trademarked.

Twilight: a novel -- fair game

The Twilight Saga -- trademarked

LindaJeanne
10-29-2012, 04:07 AM
March.
So, this was after the vendetta against Debi began? (I apologize if I have the timeline incorrect. Please correct me if I do).

Was the trademark granted?


I am getting rather sick of serving others and not being paid - so I try this Tobermory Cat. Same thing happens!

I still don't understand why you think she copied your work? Or what her work has to do with yours?

buz
10-29-2012, 04:07 AM
March. I had, on many occasions, suggested they take another name, the reason being my work is all based around the name. I think I should be able to protect my work. [...]I am getting rather sick of serving others and not being paid - so I try this Tobermory Cat. Same thing happens!

Your work seems to consist of paintings and postcards and photographs, none of which were used in the book. So:


But what makes you entitled to anything from the publisher? You still haven't identified any legitimate legal claim.

waylander
10-29-2012, 04:19 AM
March. I had, on many occasions, suggested they take another name, the reason being my work is all based around the name. I think I should be able to protect my work. This may suggests I am some big player, I ride a moped, I live from painting pictures, I make films that earn no money but I make films. ( the BBC suggest I gift them my footage, suggesting it would be good for me. I suggest that if they work for nothing I will work for nothing. It seems reasonable to me, Artists need support.) I am getting rather sick of serving others and not being paid - so I try this Tobermory Cat. Same thing happens!

You may think this, but copyright law does not support your case.
If the trademark was refused, trademark law does not support you either.
You need to sharpen your understanding of both if you wish to make money out of your creative endeavours.

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 04:28 AM
Thanks for your time, now test me, beat me up, help me if you chose. I will try to respond when I have time. Thanks

No one is infringing your intellectual property.

No one is stopping you from making a living.

No one is stopping you from selling your content.

You, on the other hand, are attempting to assert control over intellectual property that you did not create, that you could not create, and that you do not own.

Moreover, you have engaged in trolling, web-stalking and organized harassment of Deb Gilori.

James D. Macdonald
10-29-2012, 04:31 AM
Writers here seem to be defend the idea that a publisher need not pay to use an authors work.

I'm certain that the publisher paid the author/illustrator for her work.

I'm sorry that you couldn't find a publisher to pay you for yours.

RichardGarfinkle
10-29-2012, 04:34 AM
Here's the relevant section of the UK copyright statutes. Infringement is defined here. Note that since you don't have a trademark this is likely the appropriate statute. Can you point out what section of this law applies to your situation as you see it?
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/part/I/chapter/II

Bogna
10-29-2012, 04:47 AM
Saki's did not title his book Tobermory Cat. Two writers write about the same fictional cat, an interesting idea. Mine, as I say, is a construct of 3 cats. If she writes about my celebrity construct I am being flattered.

I'm sorry, but I do not understand what you are saying here. It makes no sense. Your book and Debi's book have nothing to do with each other. The only common factor is a ginger cat with the name Tobermory.

Put this crap to rest.

MacAllister
10-29-2012, 04:50 AM
It's not even THAT tenuous. The cat was a well-known stray, a familiar fixture in the town of Tobermory.

While I could certainly be mistaken, my understanding of trademarks in the case of pre-existing sorts of things (like the well-known and century-long Tobermory stray ginger cat meme) suggests that, while I may be able to register a trademark for a specific symbol I'm using -- like a logo for something like a chain called "Domino's Pizza" -- that just prevents other people from calling their pizza shops the same thing or using my logo -- it doesn't prevent anyone else from using "Domino" or "Pizza" or even making and packaging a rectangular "Domino" pizza with strategically-located toppings to suggest the dots on a domino.

Susan Littlefield
10-29-2012, 05:04 AM
Btw folks, the ginger cat in my avatar is totally MY cat, mmkay? No looking at him without my permission!

Buftys,

Um.... that's my cat. An exact replica, in fact. You are in big trouble unless you give me a percentage of his purrs.

Buffysquirrel
10-29-2012, 05:06 AM
Buftys,

Um.... that's my cat. An exact replica, in fact. You are in big trouble unless you give me a percentage of his purrs.

You want a share in his ambushes, too? XD

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 05:08 AM
It's not even THAT tenuous. The cat was a well-known stray, a familiar fixture in the town of Tobermory.

Moreover, if you examine the pictures, they are not the same cat, that is, they do not meet the character test by which, for instance, Donald Duck is very distinct from other ducks, like Daffy or Peking Duck.

For trademark purposes ginger cats whether in Tobermory or elsewhere need to be differentiated from other ginger cats.

The characterization of the Tobermory Cat in Mr. Stewart's presentation appears to be several actual cats, engaging in typical feline behavior.

It's not like Saki, Medieval poetry, Lewis Carroll and many others have not already celebrated many famous ginger cats (http://www.gingercatpage.com/famous.htm).

Susan Littlefield
10-29-2012, 05:09 AM
You want a share in his ambushes, too? XD

Your kitty has ambushes? My kitty likes to open and close cabinet doors loudly just for the fun of it.

Stacia Kane
10-29-2012, 05:33 AM
Is anyone else finding that with every post, "Tobermory Cat" is making it more and more clear that he hasn't got even the vaguest hint of a claim?

By his own statements: his "cat" is not just one cat, but three; the cat and the idea have been around forever; the book idea came from someone who had no idea he'd even created a fan page on Facebook, much less who'd taken the idea directly from any of his work; his cat story and Gliori's cat story differ greatly; his Facebook page isn't even two years old; he was aware of the concept of the "Tobermory Cat" before creating the Facebook page, so claiming he came up with the concept is just silly.

Did I miss anything?

Buffysquirrel
10-29-2012, 05:36 AM
Your kitty has ambushes? My kitty likes to open and close cabinet doors loudly just for the fun of it.

He hides behind the curtains covering the front door and leaps out at you as you walk past. Mind you, it took him months to learn that he needed to *hide* for it to work. It's hard of course for a cat to know whether his tail's sticking out....

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 05:38 AM
Oh, The Famous Grouse has a ginger cat too (http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2012/09/new-distillery-cat-joins-the-famous-grouse-family-but-he-needs-a-name-scotch-whisky-news/).

Susan Littlefield
10-29-2012, 05:46 AM
Oh, The Famous Grouse has a ginger cat too (http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2012/09/new-distillery-cat-joins-the-famous-grouse-family-but-he-needs-a-name-scotch-whisky-news/).

That's Oliver when he was a kitty, except not so much white.

Cute kitten!

Susan Littlefield
10-29-2012, 05:47 AM
He hides behind the curtains covering the front door and leaps out at you as you walk past. Mind you, it took him months to learn that he needed to *hide* for it to work. It's hard of course for a cat to know whether his tail's sticking out....

My cats have a whole obstacle course in the house. They have a kitty condo, then connected squares and tubs made out of crunch material, and of course the corners around the recliner chairs. As if Buddy can not see Oliver when he "hides" ready to pounce. :D

We've veered this conversation way off course by talking about the.....

Absolute Write Cats.

benbradley
10-29-2012, 05:49 AM
I haz tradmark on prrrs. All your catz are belongz to me.

thothguard51
10-29-2012, 05:50 AM
I actually like Debi's work, I could see benifits from working with them - but not for them. I have suggested ways to work with them, they pay a small percentage to our village Hall, true, I get nothing but as a maker of things, I expect some reward. 2.5% gross from all sales does not sound excessive.

The publisher asked you several times what you wanted. He was trying to work with you when the truth is, he did not have to even approach you. I call that professional courtesy which is more than you have shown...

And when you met Debi, you did not exactly tell her you liked her work, but now you claim you do. That's called back peddling out of the dung pie you stepped in...

Look, you obviously are a talented artist and somewhat creative. You have your own version of the Tobermory Cats and their stories. Find a publisher and pitch your ideas to them. There is nothing to stop you...

Susan Littlefield
10-29-2012, 05:52 AM
I haz tradmark on prrrs. All your catz are belongz to me.

Oh Ben. What shall I do with all those prrrs now?

Polenth
10-29-2012, 05:58 AM
Is anyone else finding that with every post, "Tobermory Cat" is making it more and more clear that he hasn't got even the vaguest hint of a claim?

For me, that's the point of replying to him. He's a lost cause, as if he was going to listen to anyone, it would have happened months ago. But some of the people he encouraged to attack the author will also be reading this, and they're not lost causes. By posting here and replying to people, he's confirmed that he's read the thread. So he knows the older references to the cat exist and predate his birth.

He can chose to ignore that all he likes, but it's the other people I hope read it and take note of it. They've been manipulated into becoming a mob, by having some of the facts concealed from them. Most importantly, that this local legend has been around for a long time and was not created by the Facebook page owner.

RedWombat
10-29-2012, 06:08 AM
*sigh*

Sweetheart, have you not realized by now that sometimes people just plain have the same idea? And then one of them publishes it and you, having been going around thinking "Hey, what a neat idea I have!" run across it and go "...well, damn. Guess I shoulda moved quicker."

And heck, you're an artist--haven't you ever done a painting and somebody else says "Hey, that looks just like X!" and you go and look at X and...well, crap. Great minds think alike. There is nothing new under the sun, and the sun's starting looking pretty derivative. (I'm still occasionally apologizing to Mormons for apparently doing a painting very similar to a classic piece showing Joseph Smith visited by angels, even though there's no way a non-Mormon would have tripped over it, and furthermore mine involves a squirrel and a flying pear. And they're all so NICE about it. I wouldn't feel the need to apologize, if they weren't so nice...)

Point is, that's just life. Whipping up internet mobs to go yell at people? I expect that from teenagers--hell, "STOP COPYING MEEE!!1" is practically a rallying cry--but adults are expected to handle things with a good bit more delicacy.

Bookewyrme
10-29-2012, 06:10 AM
Is anyone else finding that with every post, "Tobermory Cat" is making it more and more clear that he hasn't got even the vaguest hint of a claim?

I found his posts extremely difficult to read (he seemed to be writing in rather poor English?) so I may be wrong. But he seems to be saying his only objection is that Gliori used the title "The Tobermory Cat" for her story? And that all his work has going for it is the title (which seems a weird thing to claim) so by using the same title she's infringing on his rights?

Which is a bit...silly, as others have pointed out that you can not, in fact, copyright a title. Particularly a title that has been used before!

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 06:17 AM
Oh, The Famous Grouse has a ginger cat too (http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2012/09/new-distillery-cat-joins-the-famous-grouse-family-but-he-needs-a-name-scotch-whisky-news/).

In fact even my mom had a ginger tom.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z291/digital_medievalist/leo_01.jpg

Cyia
10-29-2012, 06:22 AM
In fact even my mom had a ginger tom.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z291/digital_medievalist/leo_01.jpg


Looks like my cousin's cat "Sassy."

DreamWeaver
10-29-2012, 06:25 AM
In fact even my mom had a ginger tom.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z291/digital_medievalist/leo_01.jpgGreat internal rhyme! In fact, that sounds like a great line for the first verse of "The Ballad of the Tobermory Cat Troll". Or possibly the first line of the chorus: :D

In fact even my mom had a ginger tom,
And a ginger cat can be short or long,
But the title role for most internet pull
Belongs to the Tobermory Ginger Cat Troll.

Susan Littlefield
10-29-2012, 06:29 AM
I wonder what Dewey Readmore Books would think about this? I'm sure he would say you can't trademark a real cat, and you certainly can't copyright any ideas regarding this lovely cat.

Unless Tobermory Cat had one human owner, he belonged to the people of Tobermory. Same with Dewey, he belonged to a library in a town.

To the poster Tobermory Cat: your art and literary works of the Tobermory cat are yours, but you do not have any ownership of this cat, or even the idea of using the cat in any story. How could you? It's not even your cat.

Anybody else can write about this cat, draw pictures, paint portraits, and even take photos and have them published.

It seems to me you are trying to ruin another writer's reputation because you truly believe you own the idea of the Tobermory Cat. That's what is saddest of all.

Susan Littlefield
10-29-2012, 06:32 AM
In fact even my mom had a ginger tom.

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z291/digital_medievalist/leo_01.jpg

Oliver is a ginger colored cat too.

Your mom's cat is so beautiful!

Calla Lily
10-29-2012, 06:33 AM
Our ginger tom back when he was a wee beastie:

http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv117/WriterLily/bth_IMG_0188.jpg

buz
10-29-2012, 06:34 AM
Cat pictures on the internet without funny misspelled captions???

*mind blown*

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 06:39 AM
Our ginger tom back when he was a wee beastie:

http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv117/WriterLily/bth_IMG_0188.jpg

Now that's just adorable.

James D. Macdonald
10-29-2012, 06:44 AM
I have a dozen questions for Tobermory Cat:

1) Did you, or persons encouraged by you, post on Facebook that Ms. Gliori is a thief, or words to that effect?

2) Did you, or persons encouraged by you, post messages to libraries where Ms. Gliori was scheduled to appear, on the subject of copyright and theft of intellectual property?

3) Did you, or someone encouraged by you, Tweet to the Edinburgh Book Festival on the subject of copyright or theft of intellectual property?

4) Did you, or someone encouraged by you, post defamatory material on Amazon discussion pages of Ms. Gliori's books?

5) Did you, or someone encouraged by you, attempt to destroy Ms. Gliori's livelihood?

6) Did you, or someone encouraged by you, threaten violence against Ms. Gliori?

7) Did you, or persons encouraged by you, call Ms. Gliori's publisher on the phone to make threatening and/or obscene suggestions?

8) Did you, or persons encouraged by you, edit the Wikipedia page concerning Ms. Gliori?

9) What is your understanding of the term "cyberstalking"?

10) What is your understanding of the term "trolling" as it relates to the Internet?

11) What is your understanding of the term "cyberbullying"?

12) What is your understanding of the term "extortion"?

Bogna
10-29-2012, 06:53 AM
http://i47.tinypic.com/2ev9pp0.jpg

Mines not a ginger tom, but I can always fix that with photoshop.

Susan Littlefield
10-29-2012, 07:00 AM
http://i47.tinypic.com/2ev9pp0.jpg

Mines not a ginger tom, but I can always fix that with photoshop.

Gorgeous.

amergina
10-29-2012, 07:02 AM
I have a dilute ginger tom. (And a chocolate tom):

http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/amergina/388106/287259/287259_original.png

(The towel in the back is trademarked, BTW.)

blueobsidian
10-29-2012, 07:03 AM
Great internal rhyme! In fact, that sounds like a great line for the first verse of "The Ballad of the Tobermory Cat Troll". Or possibly the first line of the chorus: :D

In fact even my mom had a ginger tom,
And a ginger cat can be short or long,
But the title role for most internet pull
Belongs to the Tobermory Ginger Cat Troll.

Great, now I'm going to be up all night composing verses, since I seem to have gotten some rhymes stuck in my head:

Only in his mind was it one of a kind
Although the facts were quite clear.
Even my mom has a ginger tom,
But the internet troll would not hear.

calieber
10-29-2012, 07:07 AM
I guess every Harry Potter has to have its Legend of Rah.

Incidentally, if I win NaNo this year with Robin Hood, I expect the checks from the estate of Howard Pyle to start arriving in time for Christmas. Also Sir Walter Scott.

Bicyclefish
10-29-2012, 07:12 AM
When did you apply, and was the trademark granted?


March.


So, this was after the vendetta against Debi began? (I apologize if I have the timeline incorrect. Please correct me if I do).

Was the trademark granted?
I found the trademark information: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-find-number?detailsrequested=C&trademark=2615277

Note the TC conflict started long before. Though I'm sure the worst posts were deleted from the Facebook page, it's mentioned in December 16, 2011 (https://www.facebook.com/tobcat/posts/343162935699178):


The Edinburgh publishers who we call Gog McWong and Co Inc ( because it sounds like an Edinburgh rip off of the very talented TV makeover designer Goc Wan) claim they are the creators of the Tobermory Cat character. We try to be positive. We are flattered that they like our creation. We note they have had an illustrator following Tobermory Cat on facebook for months. They intend to merchandise what we consider to be our creation by producing a kids book based on our Tobermory Cat. For commercial reasons T.C. Management really doesn't want to go anywhere near Balamory – we preferring to work amongst the more playful adult demographic and don't want our creation dragging off to play school. They think otherwise. Forgive the lack of posts but Gog McWong and Co Inc are killing the fun.

jjdebenedictis
10-29-2012, 07:16 AM
Acrimony dissolves into cat photos and silly poetry?

My faith in humanity is restored. :)

MacAllister
10-29-2012, 07:18 AM
I have a dozen questions for Tobermory Cat:

1) Did you, or persons encouraged by you, post on Facebook that Ms. Gliori is a thief, or words to that effect?

2) Did you, or persons encouraged by you, post messages to libraries where Ms. Gliori was scheduled to appear, on the subject of copyright and theft of intellectual property?

3) Did you, or someone encouraged by you, Tweet to the Edinburgh Book Festival on the subject of copyright or theft of intellectual property?

4) Did you, or someone encouraged by you, post defamatory material on Amazon discussion pages of Ms. Gliori's books?

5) Did you, or someone encouraged by you, attempt to destroy Ms. Gliori's livelihood?

6) Did you, or someone encouraged by you, threaten violence against Ms. Gliori?

7) Did you, or persons encouraged by you, call Ms. Gliori's publisher on the phone to make threatening and/or obscene suggestions?

8) Did you, or persons encouraged by you, edit the Wikipedia page concerning Ms. Gliori?

9) What is your understanding of the term "cyberstalking"?

10) What is your understanding of the term "trolling" as it relates to the Internet?

11) What is your understanding of the term "cyberbullying"?

12) What is your understanding of the term "extortion"?

Signal boost.

Cyia
10-29-2012, 07:19 AM
Now someone needs to do a book about the Cal Tech dorm cats.

Bogna
10-29-2012, 07:34 AM
I found the trademark information: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-find-number?detailsrequested=C&trademark=2615277

Note the TC conflict started long before. Though I'm sure the worst posts were deleted from the Facebook page, it's mentioned in December 16, 2011 (https://www.facebook.com/tobcat/posts/343162935699178):

I knew that this had been going on for a while, but not that long. You'd think that Mr. Troll would have figured out by now that he's wrong.

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 07:51 AM
The U.S. application is far more recent (http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4005:6hdgg1.2.1).

I suspect that they're not going to be able to adequately cope with the corpora part of the application.

And then there's the issue of prior art.

Ketzel
10-29-2012, 08:11 AM
One of Mr. Stewart's supporters wrote to the owner of a blog that promotes tourism in the area to ask for assistance in publicizing the "robbery" of his work and rallying public support for him. The blog owner has posted the request, and the response from the publisher, a crisply written and perfectly cogent rebuttal of the claims:

http://www.isle-of-mull.net/tobermory-cat-the-claws-are-out/

Polenth
10-29-2012, 08:43 AM
One of Mr. Stewart's supporters wrote to the owner of a blog that promotes tourism in the area to ask for assistance in publicizing the "robbery" of his work and rallying public support for him. The blog owner has posted the request, and the response from the publisher, a crisply written and perfectly cogent rebuttal of the claims:

http://www.isle-of-mull.net/tobermory-cat-the-claws-are-out/

Something not highlighted in the publisher's reply (as he may not know what we know) is the trademark issue. It isn't the publisher who is trying to register the cat as a trademark. The publisher's book won't stop anyone doing anything with the cat. People can make postcards, sell their own paintings of the cat or write their own story where the cat becomes a ninja zombie detective. The current situation is the cat is in the public domain, so any individual can produce something.

It's Angus Stewart (the artist) who is trying to register a trademark. If he succeeds, it will stop anyone else from producing Tobermory cat products, including the other residents of Tobermory. Anyone who wants to would have to get permission from him.

As the supporters appear to be under the impression it's the book that'll stop others producing things, not the trademark, it's an important thing to get crystal clear. It's Angus Stewart who is trying to restrict other people's use of the cat, not the book publisher.

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 08:50 AM
I knew that this had been going on for a while, but not that long. You'd think that Mr. Troll would have figured out by now that he's wrong.

I don't think Mr. Stewart cares; bullies and trolls rarely do.

They want what they want, and aren't really interested in legalities or right and wrong.

And he's so very very wrong.

James D. Macdonald
10-29-2012, 10:20 AM
In both the UK and USA trademark applications he's asking specifically for a trademark covering children's books. Which makes the point of seeking this trademark rather transparent.

Terie
10-29-2012, 12:50 PM
When did you apply, and was the trademark granted?


March.


I found the trademark information: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-find-number?detailsrequested=C&trademark=2615277

Tobermory Cat, your answer contains an important omission: You might have applied for the trademark in March 2012, but it hasn't granted yet, and according to a search on 'Tobermory' and 'cat' on this page at the Intellectual Property Office (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tm/t-find/t-find-text/tmtsearch-default.aspx), the status is 'Process Delayed'. The search results also show that you made a second application in September 2012, one whose status is still 'New Application'.

This means you do not currently own a trademark on 'Tobermory Cat'. If you did, the status would be 'Registered'. (Do a search on, say, 'coca' and 'cola' to see what that looks like.)



Momento Mori, can you comment on how a trademark grant applies to pre-existing uses? I highly doubt that this trademark will be granted, but I'm curious to know, if by some chance it is, how would that affect Gliori's book, since it was already well into production by the time Angus Stewart made his first application?

Also, are there laws prohibiting the claim of a trademark before it has been granted, do you know?

Torgo
10-29-2012, 01:46 PM
Thing is, the Tobermory Cat guy can of course protect his work under existing copyright law, should anyone infringe on it. But that hasn't happened. And he could protect the trademark 'The Tobermory Cat' if it had ever been registered as a mark in publishing - and prevent anyone else from writing a book with that title - but that hasn't happened.

There's no legal or moral right here.

It would all be very silly if it weren't so hurtful to Debi Gliori et al. I also find it rather sad that it seems to be framed quite often by the Cat Guy as rich powerful Debi grinding the face of struggling local artist into the dust, and though I don't know Debi personally, I know picture book publishing; everyone's a struggling local artist to some extent.

bearilou
10-29-2012, 04:20 PM
One of Mr. Stewart's supporters wrote to the owner of a blog that promotes tourism in the area to ask for assistance in publicizing the "robbery" of his work and rallying public support for him. The blog owner has posted the request, and the response from the publisher, a crisply written and perfectly cogent rebuttal of the claims:

http://www.isle-of-mull.net/tobermory-cat-the-claws-are-out/


I deeply regret his lack of understanding of laws of copyright, his inability to explain what it is he is claiming to protect.

That, in a nutshell, is the issue.

I've read this thread beginning to end. I've read the links. I've seen the discussion. I've watched the disgustingly poor behavior of a grown adult.

I still can't figure out what his complaint actually is.

jaksen
10-29-2012, 04:30 PM
I also had a ginger tabby cat (I called him an orange tiger cat). Alas, he ran away. His name was Winnie as he was the same color as the famous children's book character.

I can provide photographs as proof.

Old Hack
10-29-2012, 05:00 PM
Nicola Morgan has blogged about this in her usual calm and clear way (http://www.nicolamorgan.com/heartsong-blog/copyright-words-and-images-not-ideas-titles-or-cats/).

I hope that the person registered here as Tobermory Cat reads her post and learns from it.

Terie
10-29-2012, 05:33 PM
Nicola Morgan has blogged about this in her usual calm and clear way (http://www.nicolamorgan.com/heartsong-blog/copyright-words-and-images-not-ideas-titles-or-cats/).

I hope that the person registered here as Tobermory Cat reads her post and learns from it.

Great post, Nicola.

From Tobermory Cat's post there, it appears that Mr Stewart believes that he personally is solely responsible for the cat's celebrity, that if he hadn't started up his Facebook page, no one in the world would ever have heard of the critter. Which is just plain wrong -- and wouldn't matter even if it were true.

It's very clear that Tobermory's cats have a long history of celebrity, Mr Stewart notwithstanding.

leahzero
10-29-2012, 05:41 PM
Seems pretty clear from this post


I actually like Debi's work, I could see benifits from working with them - but not for them. I have suggested ways to work with them, they pay a small percentage to our village Hall, true, I get nothing but as a maker of things, I expect some reward. 2.5% gross from all sales does not sound excessive.

what this is all about.

Wisteria Vine
10-29-2012, 05:43 PM
Yeah, this guy's just never gonna get it. He's just not.

He thinks he's the victim, he's got his internet fans who know nothing about the law to back him up, and he's going to make the author's life miserable in any way he can.

He sounds like a real gem.

Mr Flibble
10-29-2012, 05:48 PM
Um

Did anyone else notice that one of (this (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/internet-star-tobermory-cat-dies.19009318)article says 'the') Tobermory cats died? Mind, it also says that Mr Artist made it famous....


And that it had an owner - not said artist either....

I also wonder if he's up for suing the Royal Opera house (http://www.roh.org.uk/news/twitter-opera-acts-6-and-7)?

jeffo20
10-29-2012, 06:42 PM
One of the sad things about all this is he actually stands to benefit from the success of Debi Gliori's Tobermory Cat. A successful book from Ms. Gliori will bring further attention to Tobermory Cats in general, which would bring attention to 'his' Tobermory Cat, with his coffee mugs and postcards, etc. He should have take the deal they offered him way back when.

Ketzel
10-29-2012, 07:03 PM
I've read this thread beginning to end. I've read the links. I've seen the discussion. I've watched the disgustingly poor behavior of a grown adult.

I still can't figure out what his complaint actually is.
Oh, I think I can. He's angry because the publisher didn't approach him. He's angry because he believes nobody would have any interest in the Cat if it weren't for him promoting it, so once it did catch the attention of a publisher with money and power, he should have been the one they approached, not some "totally unrelated" artist.

Delusional, ignorant of the law and not nearly as talented as Ms. Gliori, but I think this is the source of his ugly behavior - flat out hurt pride, envy and resentment of a more successful artist. Which also explains why he's directed most of his ire at her, rather than the publisher, at least in his initial campaign.

Bookewyrme
10-29-2012, 07:14 PM
Momento Mori, can you comment on how a trademark grant applies to pre-existing uses? I highly doubt that this trademark will be granted, but I'm curious to know, if by some chance it is, how would that affect Gliori's book, since it was already well into production by the time Angus Stewart made his first application?

Also, are there laws prohibiting the claim of a trademark before it has been granted, do you know?
I started thinking of this last night and wondered the same thing. Even if by some chance the Trademark is granted, how would that effect Debi's book if it was already published?

Filigree
10-29-2012, 07:15 PM
A hallmark of current reality: when your basic competence is called into question, do not work to improve your skills. Sue the evil person whose achievements made you look bad.

Meh. I'm thinking I may buy three of Debi's books: one for me, one for the public library, and one for a local charter school I love.

Terie
10-29-2012, 07:17 PM
Over on Nicola's blog, he's still asserting that he has the trademark, despite clear evidence from the IPO site to the contrary, and wants to 'settle' with the publisher. It's really kind of sad. Or it would be if, as Torgo mentioned already, he hadn't taken to cyber-bullying and wreaking havoc on a perfectly innocent party.

Sheryl Nantus
10-29-2012, 07:39 PM
I suspect he figures if he screams loud enough and long enough he'll get paid to go away.

I hope he doesn't get a dime.

I would love to see a lawsuit against him for harassment at this point.

James D. Macdonald
10-29-2012, 07:40 PM
Thus we see that Envy is a deadly sin.

Torgo
10-29-2012, 07:46 PM
A 2.5% PP royalty when you haven't written or illustrated the book certainly is excessive. An author or illustrator on a picture book could expect to share 10% PR.

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 08:00 PM
Over on Nicola's blog, he's still asserting that he has the trademark, despite clear evidence from the IPO site to the contrary, and wants to 'settle' with the publisher. It's really kind of sad. Or it would be if, as Torgo mentioned already, he hadn't taken to cyber-bullying and wreaking havoc on a perfectly innocent party.

He not only doesn't have the trademark, it's about fifteen minutes work to ascertain that there have been numerous references to Tobermory cats even before Saki, and that they typically refer to large semi-feral ginger toms.

There were even cookies made in the shape of a ginger cat and sold in a decorated tin on Tobermory as Tobermory Cat Shortbread.

I am told by a friend that "the Tobermory cat" problem in the context of numerous fertile semi-feral cats has been addressed at council meetings in Tobermory.

In other words, Mr. Stewart doesn't meet the basic requirement of unique or a priori.

Moreover, Ms. Gliori has an actual character, and a story. And art work that she created.

I note that Mr. Stewart's photographs do not all appear to be of the same cat, taken with the same camera, or in some instances based on the metatdata in the image, on the island of Mull.

His viciousness and attempt to restrain trade, his web-stalking and trolling, and what looks to me like blatant attempts at extortion speak volumes about his character.

He is engaging in deliberate acts of malice.

Tobermory Cat
10-29-2012, 08:04 PM
Signal boost.
This is like the question," when did you stop beating your wife". By asking the question you give substance to it. Never. I ask questions and seek answers. Please be reasonable.

evilrooster
10-29-2012, 08:06 PM
A 2.5% PP royalty when you haven't written or illustrated the book certainly is excessive. An author or illustrator on a picture book could expect to share 10% PR.

To be fair, he has said he wants the money to go to the improvement of the community in Mull. But I'm not sure how that intention squares with this comment:


I feel I have a right to earn a living, and for adaptions of my work. I have heard of writers being paid in such situations – but not with me.

And I do have a problem with his use of decently and reasonably here:


I feel I should be allowed to defend my work, robustly, decently, reasonably, without being accused of being a troll – whatever that may be.
What notion of decency and reason encompasses whispering campaigns, weird passive-aggressive tweets to libraries Gliori was visiting, and the unleashing of the Facebook minions (or, if that was unintentional, silence in the face of their misbehavior)?

Torgo
10-29-2012, 08:09 PM
This is like the question," when did you stop beating your wife". By asking the question you give substance to it. Never. I ask questions and seek answers. Please be reasonable.

No, it really isn't "have you stopped beating your wife." When someone asks, "did you encourage people to troll this person" you can easily and unambiguously answer "no". The unfair form of that question would of course be "have you stopped trolling her." Not the same thing at all.

In fact, every single one of James' questions can be answered without the least bit ambiguity. He 'asks questions and seeks answers', and you're the person who is looking unreasonable here, I'm afraid.

Did you post on Facebook that Debi Gliori is a thief, or words to that effect? If the answer's "no", then you can just say that, you know.

RedWombat
10-29-2012, 08:32 PM
This is like the question," when did you stop beating your wife". By asking the question you give substance to it. Never. I ask questions and seek answers. Please be reasonable.

Here's a question that I would like an answer to, that hopefully you will find reasonable enough to address:

Do you believe that it is possible for someone to learn about the Tobermory Cat--the actual cat that hangs out in Tobermory--without you or your work being the source?

CQuinlan
10-29-2012, 08:34 PM
Hi, :)

Does anyone know where I can get at least eighteen ideas for free?

The last delivery of at least eighteen ideas for free didn't make it. :(

In going with the theme:

1. Ginger cats from space.
2. A ginger tom with a fetish for jogger's toes.
3. The romance between a ginger tom from Scotland and a queen from England during the time of William Wallace.
4. A ginger tom trying to outsmart a catch-and-release neuter program.
5. A ginger tom trying to sue a human for using his image without permission...
6. A ginger tom who turns gray and the inner turmoil he feels.
7. A ginger tom trying to travel the world but constantly being returned to a Scottish town within 24 hours.
8. The rivalry between two brothers trying to claim the title of the Tobermory Cat.
9. The uprising of the ginger toms (Alfred Hitchcock's Birds style).
10. Purrride and Purrrrejudice.
11. The town is over-run as on December 12th all the former ginger toms rise from their graves.
12. A group of mice and rats join together to get revenge on a ginger tom.
13. The conspiracy. There is only one cat, who occasionally fakes his own death so people don't realize that he is immortal.
14. The story of a ginger tom sent to Scotland as a spy (Number 5 in http://www.cracked.com/article_17112_7-insane-military-attempts-to-weaponize-animals.html) but grows to love the town.
15. An unlikely love story between two ginger toms struggling with growing up gay in rural Scotland.
16. The ginger tom gets fed up with everything and goes to New York to become a singer.
17. The ginger tom finds a love of classical music and torments everyone by trying to sing along.
18. Cats with guns.

Sheryl Nantus
10-29-2012, 08:35 PM
Please be reasonable.


Let me give you some advice for free.

The people on this forum are not idiots. They are not going to be taken in by hyperbole and frothing-at-the-mouth statements and twisting of facts. They have worked in the publishing industry for longer that you've probably been alive and know more than you will ever know about copyright and publishing and how things work.

Save your cute one-liners for your FB groupies. It's not going to work here.

Wisteria Vine
10-29-2012, 08:35 PM
You forgot Ginger Cats on a Plane.

Ketzel
10-29-2012, 08:36 PM
I'd like, if I may, to clarify one technical point of the law, which has an effect on this situation. It's this: There is a fundamental difference in purpose between copyright/patent protection and trademark protection.

Copyright/patent protection gives the rights to exploit a work to the person who had the creativity and ability to actually create the work.The public purpose behind the law is to encourage creativity by ensuring that the creator gets all the benefit of his/her creative effort (at least for a defined time period) This protection is especially important in situations where the work itself could be easily reproduced and sold by others with no connection to its creation, or where the creator of the work bore large expenses in developing the work and should be allowed to recoup those expenses. Otherwise, the creator bears the all the expense of developing the work, only to have competitors rush in to produce the finished product minus the development costs, and can therefore undercut the pricing of the original creator.
So, the public purpose behind the copyright/patent laws is accomplished by protecting the creative expression.

But trademark law has a very different purpose. The purpose of trademark law is to protect the buying public, not the rights of the creator of the work the trademark is attached to. A trademark is valuable to a business, of course. It's the embodiment of its reputation and good will in the marketplace. But as far as the law is concerned, the public purpose behind the protection is based on the way the public views the mark.

If the buying public can look at a trademark and understand correctly who is actually selling the item, the purpose of the law has been accomplished. It's not intended to protect the profits of the trademark holder, although it has that effect, which is why businesses register and protect their trademarks. It's intended to protect the consumer in the marketplace from spending money on knock-offs and counterfeits when they meant to buy the genuine article.

So, if I open a shop in my town and start selling Tobermory Cat gourmet sandwiches, even if Mr. Stewart has succeeded in registering the mark "Tobermory Cat" in the US, I have not infringed his trademark. And that is because there is no possibility he will be able to persuade a court that the buying public has been confused by the name into believing that Mr. Stewart is involved in selling the food and (even more important to the claim) that the public was persuaded to buy the food because of the erroneous belief.

Even in the unlikely event that Mr. Stewart obtains the trademark of Tobermory Cats in connection with children's books, that DOES NOT prevent Ms. Gliori from using the term as a title for the books and DOES NOT prevent her from using the concept as the basis for her books. As long as the public is not being confused and misled into buying Ms. Gliori's children's book when it really intended to buy Mr. Stewart's, there is no trademark infringement. And I believe Mr. Stewart hasn't even written a children's book at this point, right?

{Usual disclaimer - my opinion only, not intended as legal advice to any person}

Stacia Kane
10-29-2012, 08:45 PM
This is like the question," when did you stop beating your wife".

No, it isn't, and it's been explained to you why it isn't, though I honestly cannot see why such an explanation would be necessary to a thinking adult.



By asking the question you give substance to it. Never. I ask questions and seek answers. Please be reasonable.

We have also asked questions. We are also seeking answers. There is nothing unreasonable in our doing so. There is something a tad unreasonable in your joining our discussion of your own volition and then refusing to answer the questions put to you.

Furthermore, I would like to know what your definition of "reasonable" is, since none of us have apparently called libraries or engaged in smear campaigns on Facebook and Twitter against a woman who's done nothing wrong. If such behavior counts as "reasonable," then I fail to see how our discussion here--which is in fact reasonable in the extreme--would bother you at all.

The concept of the cat existed before your Facebook page. The cat was (the cats were, actually, since the concept has existed for years) famous before your Facebook page. You do not own the cat. You do not own the idea of the Tobermory cat. The idea itself is not--as you have basically admitted here, and as other people from Tobermory/Mull have stated more than once--your original creative work.

You do not have a case. No one has stolen anything from you. You can throw all the tantrums you want and shout "thief!" until the end of time, but the fact remains that no one has stolen anything from you. The fact also remains that had you responded to the publisher's attempt to be kind to you and give you some publicity in exchange for absolutely nothing, you'd be making money now, instead of beating a dead horse and making yourself look ridiculous and unpleasant.

Buffysquirrel
10-29-2012, 08:51 PM
In going with the theme:

7. A ginger tom trying to travel the world but constantly being returned to a Scottish town within 24 hours.

I want this one! Which of course doesn't prevent anyone else using it. :)

Look at him. Doesn't he look like he wants to travel? Altho he's not a tom any more, poor boy.

James D. Macdonald
10-29-2012, 09:04 PM
This is like the question," when did you stop beating your wife". By asking the question you give substance to it. Never. I ask questions and seek answers. Please be reasonable.

No. Answer the questions. They're all simple and reasonable, and most of them have simple yes/no answers. The questions on the order of "what is your understanding of the term [X]" will be a bit longer, but are still simple and reasonable.

Take them one at a time, Mr. Stewart: 1) Did you, or persons encouraged by you, post on Facebook that Ms. Gliori is a thief, or words to that effect? Yes or no are the possible answers. Which is it?

As to your questions to which you are seeking answers, there seem to be two: Have you been wronged, and what are you owed? You seem to think that the answers are Yes, and 2.5% of gross income. The real answers are No, and Nothing.

As to the hypothetical that you apparently asked over on Nicola's blog: Suppose you were to write and illustrate a book called The Mousehole Cat. Could you legally and ethically do so, given that there is already at least one book by that title (and a film based on that book)?

The answer is yes, you could.

Could you use the characters Tom Bawcock, a fisherman, Mowzer, his cat, and the story that Tom and Mowzer went out to sea in a storm and hauled in enough fish to save the town of Mousehole from starvation?

Yes, you could, because those are all historical people, and the outline of the story is a historical event (which is celebrated in Mousehole, Cornwall, every year with a parade, a festival, and a display of lights).

Anyone could write such a book. If two or three or a dozen different writers did, they would have two or three or a dozen unique, non-infringing works.

If two or three or a dozen writers chose to write books called The Tobermory Cat, there were would be two or three or a dozen unique, non-infringing works.

You don't have a case.

And you don't have an excuse for the campaign you've been waging against Ms. Gliori.

Come to your senses, man! Call off the dogs! Think what you're doing to your soul.

bearilou
10-29-2012, 09:06 PM
Yanno, every time I encounter such overwhelming sense of entitlement and delusion as to the facts of the matter, I think to myself 'wow, I'm sure this can't be beat'.

And then it is.

James D. Macdonald
10-29-2012, 09:27 PM
Well, shoot, Draco. Mine are free, for you or anyone. Even Mr. Stewart.

Bicyclefish
10-29-2012, 09:38 PM
I realized today the Tobermory Cat fellow didn't plan to create a children's book until after this dispute began. He is well within his right to do so. However, it strikes me as an example of the pot calling the kettle black.


December 16, 2011 (https://www.facebook.com/tobcat/posts/343162935699178) - For commercial reasons T.C. Management really doesn't want to go anywhere near Balamory – we preferring to work amongst the more playful adult demographic and don't want our creation dragging off to play school.

March 24, 2012 (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=418380194844118&set=a.206012466080893.66741.206004942748312&type=1) - our Tobermory Cat card collection was launched today. Next we intend to produce a children's book based on the ginger tom cat character and stories we have created. Fun fun fun.

CQuinlan
10-29-2012, 09:52 PM
Now Draco, sweetheart, you can any of them. As can anyone else.


Also....ginger cats on a plane....well damn if that's not the best one too. :)

Torgo
10-29-2012, 10:04 PM
As to the hypothetical that you apparently asked over on Nicole's blog: Suppose you were to write and illustrate a book called The Mousehole Cat. Could you legally and ethically do so, given that there is already at least one book by that title (and a film based on that book)?

The answer is yes, you could.

Yes. This occurred to me, as well. There might be a complication if anyone has registered the trademark THE MOUSEHOLE CAT, of course, because then you might have to pick a different title, so - oh, hang on. It's easy to look that up. Click, click. Nobody has, not Antonia Barber, not Nicola Bayley, nobody. And of course as we know it's based on an old Cornish legend; nobody owns that story; knock yourself out, anyone who fancies a slice of that star-gazy pie!

I'm off to sue JK Rowling for writing Harry Potter before I could be bothered to get round to it.

ghostlygalleon
10-29-2012, 10:17 PM
Tobermory Cat said "I feel I have a right to earn a living, and for adaptions of my work. I have heard of writers being paid in such situations – but not with me."

As I've dealt with other aspects of this story on my blog today and as others here have done so here, let me just tackle this short quote and its several errors, in my view.

1. I don't believe anyone has a right to earn a living. I'm a substantially published writer but I don't manage to earn a living from it. I'd like to. But I don't. I would need to write particular sort of books if I were to earn a living.

2. Debi Gliori's book is not an adaptation of your work, for reasons already given.

3. And I doubt you have heard of writers being paid in "such situations". You have heard of writers being paid for the use of extracts from their books, as has happened to me, but this is not what is happening here, as no one has used extracts from your book (which, I understand, wasn't written or published when Debi wrote hers.)

Please, please trust us here. People on this forum do know what they are talking about and have lots of experience. Trying to help!

James D. Macdonald
10-29-2012, 10:22 PM
Given the notoriety of his bad behavior good luck to him in finding a legitimate publisher for his children's book.

The POD presses have notoriously bad color reproduction of interior art, and incredibly high prices, leading to very low sales.

Which leaves self-publishing by hiring an offset printer, which has high initial costs, real difficulties with distribution, sales, and marketing, and a strong probability of losing a substantial amount of money.

Bottom line: This guy has screwed the pooch, and done it by his own efforts.

Old Hack
10-29-2012, 10:22 PM
I'm off to sue JK Rowling for writing Harry Potter before I could be bothered to get round to it.

Best line of the thread.

Ketzel
10-29-2012, 10:25 PM
There might be a complication if anyone has registered the trademark THE MOUSEHOLE CAT, of course, because then you might have to pick a different title, so -

Sigh.
Ketzel goes back to composing boring and unreadable posts.

:-)

Torgo
10-29-2012, 10:30 PM
Sigh.
Ketzel goes back to composing boring and unreadable posts.

:-)

I am not a lawyer, no! It would need to be deceptive somehow, right?

zola_the_gorgon
10-29-2012, 10:34 PM
Tobermory Cat's book is available here,

http://www.tobermorycat.co.uk/

It would appear to be a collection of photographs and FB posts, entirely different to Ms. Gliori's.

There is also this statement of intent:


Tobermory Cat was created as an evolving interactive artwork on facebook. The artwork is about the creation of celebrity cats. When the cat has becoming famous for being famous, we intend to exploit the cats celebrity by creating playful celebrity merchandise and merchandising, product placement and endorsements etc. We are engaged in creating the worlds first famous for being famous cat. There is no other reason for this cats fame except our work.

TC - I would dispute the final sentence, (emphasis is mine) for all the reasons (including Saki) already cited above. Your saying so does not make it so.

You did not create the cat. You did not create the legend of a Tobermory cat. You can not have copyright on the idea of a famous ginger cat living in Tobermory. You do not appear to have any trademark. You did not write or illustrate Ms. Gliori's book. How are you entitled to any of the proceeds?

I can't fathom what your claim is here. It seems to boil down to the fact that you wanted to make some money out of a marketing campaign based on an FB page, and you haven't been successful yet. How has this got anything to do with anybody else's book?

In previous posts, you have referenced "car surfing" as an example of how your ideas have been duplicated. Are you referring to pictures of the cat sitting on the car? If so, I'm afraid I may have some more bad news for you.

Wisteria Vine
10-29-2012, 10:44 PM
Tobermory Cat was created as an evolving interactive artwork on facebook. The artwork is about the creation of celebrity cats. When the cat has becoming famous for being famous, we intend to exploit the cats celebrity by creating playful celebrity merchandise and merchandising, product placement and endorsements etc. We are engaged in creating the worlds first famous for being famous cat. There is no other reason for this cats fame except our work.


What did those poor apostrophes ever do to you?

thebookshopowner
10-29-2012, 10:48 PM
Hi, I'm Duncan. I'm posting here because I'm the book seller mentioned earlier in this Tobermory Cat thread.
I have known Gus, who created the Tobermory Cat face book page for many years. He is a well known local artist. I consider the publisher, Hugh, a good friend. He is a wonderful supporter of books on the Islands of Scotland. I have met, spoken and emailed Debi. She is a very lovely and gentle person.
I do not visit the Tobermory Cat facebook page and never have. I made this decision as soon as I realised there was a conflict. I then could not be accused of stealing any work or ideas.
This may sound laughable but I am going to talk about the real cat. Gus has a facebook page created from three cats. One of these cats is a 'ballsy' cat. The cat came to attention in the town a few years ago. For example; we clean the beach with big machines. The moment the work was finished the cat came to lie in middle of the beach. A crowd gathered to point and laugh at this. I took photos of this almost a year before the facebook page. Anecdotes are shared around the town. They were digging the road. The cat got up in the seat beside the driver as the digging was going on. I was there. I saw this. This is very crowd gathering behavior. The cat would visit my shop. As we are a book shop we would shoo it away! A few days ago Debi’s Tobermory Cat books arrived. I got a phone call from a member of staff to come to the shop. After nine months away cat had returned and was sleeping in one of the empty book boxes. Again I took photos. Look I’m not daft enough to think there is any thing spooky about this but it is a fun cat. Since the very early days the publisher and I have been chatting about this behavior. Wherever the cat is it draws a cluster of tourists taking photos. This was meant to be a fun project to help draw people to Tobermory in very tough times. The whole plot of Debi’s story is getting tourists to return to Tobermory. We didn’t steal any of the celebrity idea. Our interest predates the facebook page. The cat is a local celebrity. The face book page, when it arrived, increased and broadened the appeal of the cat.
When the idea of the book came up it was I who suggested that Debi and Hugh meet Gus. I had seen Gus taking many photos of the cat. I met with Gus to set this up. He told me about his facebook page. I then suggested to Hugh and Debi that Gus could have a mention in the book to direct all readers to his site to see photos of the real cat, buy postcards and so on. He would be the point of contact for the real cat. To me the opportunities for Gus appeared endless. I thought it was a perfect fit. And that was my mistake.
The treatment of Debi is inexcusable. I have no words.
I very much regret that we were unable to all work together in this very distressing affair.

LindaJeanne
10-29-2012, 10:56 PM
Thank you for posting, Duncan.

This must be very upsetting for you, with your this-will-be-fun-and-good-for-all intentions colliding with such an unexpected response.

I'd love to meet that cat, though :).

shadowwalker
10-29-2012, 11:12 PM
Be interesting to see how others in Tobermory view this mess. After all, it's really their cat... ;)

Medievalist
10-29-2012, 11:22 PM
I am not a lawyer, no! It would need to be deceptive somehow, right?

Trademarking is niche driven. So you'd have difficulty trademarking in the UK, and the EU Tobermory Cat cookies, that is, all instantiations of cookies called Tobermory Cat Cookies.

You'd have to associate the TM with specific design attributes. For instance, with a logo, or a character, the application has to make it very clear that these particular logos or character aspects are unique and create an original and individual and recognizable entity and that trademarking the unique aspects would prevent the public from being confused or deceived.

And then there's all the prior use stuff.

Moreover, the murky history of Mr. Stewart's use and claims and editing and retconning puts him in a very poor light—as does online harassment.

It is harder in some ways to TM in the UK and EU because of the requirements. It's not something one does frivolously, ever.

IANAL

Nor am I actually a ginger tom, all appearances to the contrary.

benbradley
10-29-2012, 11:39 PM
Hi, :)

Does anyone know where I can get at least eighteen ideas for free?

The last delivery of at least eighteen ideas for free didn't make it. :(
Did you get eighteen broken eggs? Wait, that gives me an idea...

...
I'm off to sue JK Rowling for writing Harry Potter before I could be bothered to get round to it.
Don't let this happen to you! Get one while you can (https://www.google.com/search?q=round+tuit&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=lgb&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=j9mOUJWGAoa88ATT6YEg&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1680&bih=922&sei=ltmOUPm2K5Os8ASU5IH4DQ)!

Old Hack
10-29-2012, 11:46 PM
When the idea of the book came up it was I who suggested that Debi and Hugh meet Gus. I had seen Gus taking many photos of the cat. I met with Gus to set this up. He told me about his facebook page. I then suggested to Hugh and Debi that Gus could have a mention in the book to direct all readers to his site to see photos of the real cat, buy postcards and so on. He would be the point of contact for the real cat. To me the opportunities for Gus appeared endless. I thought it was a perfect fit. And that was my mistake.
The treatment of Debi is inexcusable. I have no words.
I very much regret that we were unable to all work together in this very distressing affair.

That was a noble thought you had, Duncan. I'm sorry that it's gone so very wrong; and I hope that Angus will soon come to his senses and try to undo the damage that he has caused.

I wish you, Debi and Hugh the very best of luck with The Tobermory Cat.

Terie
10-29-2012, 11:51 PM
Now that I'm home, where I can get screen captures and load them to my webspace, here's proof that Mr Stewart does not have a UK trademark registration on 'Tobermory Cat':

http://www.teriegarrison.com/photos2012/TC_IPO1.gif

See that part outlined in red? Here's what it would look like if the trademark were registered:

http://www.teriegarrison.com/photos2012/TC_IPO2.gif

Okay, so that's the UK. Here are the equivalent screen caps for the US. Notice once again that there is no indicator that a US trademark has been registered.

http://www.teriegarrison.com/photos2012/TC_USTPO1.gif

And Coca-Cola's:

http://www.teriegarrison.com/photos2012/TC_USTPO2.gif

So, Mr Stewart, at the very least, you might want to stop making untrue statements about this.

Sheryl Nantus
10-30-2012, 12:16 AM
I love the fact he keeps referring to himself in the third person.

We are not amused.

:D

Susan Littlefield
10-30-2012, 12:20 AM
Thank you, Duncan, for posting. :)

thothguard51
10-30-2012, 12:52 AM
To Duncan,

I applaud you for seeing a possible interest in the Tobermory Cats as something to help bring the Tourist back to the Scottish Isles.

I wish Mr Stewart could have seen the same vision.

I wish your bookstore much success...

zola_the_gorgon
10-30-2012, 12:56 AM
I'd like to mention that I copied and pasted the quote as is from the Tobermory Cat website, and the merciless elimination of apostrophes was not my doing.

Williebee
10-30-2012, 01:32 AM
Duncan,

Welcome to Absolute Write. Thank you for the thoughtful post. We all know the adage -- "No good deed goes unpunished." :)

I hope that no further grief comes to you for your kindness.

zola_the_gorgon
10-30-2012, 01:37 AM
Duncan - I agree that your idea of a collaboration was kind, thoughtful and clever. It does seem like a good arrangement all round.

I think Mr. Stewart is not seeing the opportunity here. If the Tobermory Cat becomes even more famous and popular through Ms. Gliori's book, it can only increase traffic to his Facebook page, and sales of his postcards etc.

If Mr. Stewart does want to make money based around the idea of the TC, I believe he might need to rethink his plan. If I understand correctly, he intends to make the cat famous through Facebook and then somehow transform that into licensed marketing.

I can't see how that would work. Just as he can't prevent anybody from writing about the cat, he can't prevent anybody from taking pictures of it either. So unless he's willing to sell his images very cheaply, what's to stop a company sending someone out to take their own pics of the cat with their sign in the background? Mr. Stewart might take a dim view of it, but I'm pretty sure anybody can also draw their own version of the cat, write "approved by the Tobermory Cat" on their website, and so on.

My point is that Mr. Stewart has no legal entitlement to the name "Tobermory Cat". I understand that Mr. Stewart is a talented artist and a film maker. It's a shame to see somebody so creative wasting his time and energy trying to hang on to something that doesn't belong to him. If he's still inspired by the cat's spirit and boldness, it seems that he has many ways he could express that that could be more profitable.

thebookshopowner
10-30-2012, 01:39 AM
https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=d243fca486&view=att&th=13aae751ffbefb21&attid=0.1&disp=safe&realattid=f_h8w3yppb0&zw

thebookshopowner
10-30-2012, 01:39 AM
Thanks for welcoming me to your forum. The detailed comments coupled with a mischievous sense of fun have informed and lightened this Hebridean saga. To lighten the mood further above is the epicenter of the controversy.

RedWombat
10-30-2012, 01:51 AM
Mr. Stewart might take a dim view of it, but I'm pretty sure anybody can also draw their own version of the cat, write "approved by the Tobermory Cat" on their website, and so on.


I'd offer, but I hate drawing cat heads. There's something about their cheekbones that messes with me every time.

Seriously, though, I could draw the cat--possibly with a bag over his head, to save grief--and call it "The Tobermory Cat" and start a Facebook page dedicated to the One True Real Actual Tobermory Cat, Accept No Substitutes, Everyone Else Is A Stinkin' Liar Wot Lies, AND then write a book proposal based on his adventures and that will still all be legal and kosher and above the board and I won't owe anybody any share of the fabulous wealth that will undoubtedly rain down on me from heaven for doing so.

And when somebody else creates the FB page for the Revealed Truth Of The Tobermory Felines, which has the potential to be the next Celestine Prophecy, I would have no legal recourse to yell at THEM.

But y'all know that already, and now I'm just grumbling, because...yeesh.

Filigree
10-30-2012, 01:53 AM
Duncan, my heart goes out to you, and all the good people of Tobermory. I'm sure they just want the recession to ease. The celebrity Cats are one way to bring tourist income.

I hope Gus comes to his senses soon, but his pride may never let him back down. Facebook is a risky platform for monetizing anything - a few folks have managed to make money, but most users earn little if anything. He stands to gain much more in an alliance, but his window for doing so is shrinking rapidly. If he'd been working with Debi and her publisher from the start, they could be attending events together, getting more-positive media attention, and presenting a united image for the town. What's better than one artist promoting a town's unique character? Two artists - or more! Sales from one tend to feed sales of the others. I know, because I was in trade shows for years.

Sadly, it comes down to too many artists whose egos outstrip their sanity and understanding of common sense business strategies.

Williebee
10-30-2012, 02:03 AM
Thanks for welcoming me to your forum. The detailed comments coupled with a mischievous sense of fun have informed and lightened this Hebridean saga. To lighten the mood further above is the epicenter of the controversy.

"Hebridean saga?"

:). Wow, are you in the right place.

Mr Flibble
10-30-2012, 02:12 AM
Duncan I really hope this all works out in the end and things can get back to normal. You seem to have acted in a thoroughly generous manner and been rewarded with...er...unnecessary drama.

Also, I want to read a Hebridean saga :D

James D. Macdonald
10-30-2012, 02:49 AM
Hello, Duncan. Welcome. (As it happens my younger brother is named Duncan.)

AW is a big site, with lots of things for people who love books and writing. Please look around and join us.

I'm so sorry that all this unnecessary heartache came to you and your friends.

DreamWeaver
10-30-2012, 02:58 AM
And Duncan...we *love* bookshop owners! :heart:

Friendly Frog
10-30-2012, 03:05 AM
I was wondering what the people of Tobermory were thinking about this all up until Duncan posted. It's horrible enough to read about what Ms Gliori had to go through. Seriously, that frightening level of stalking and bullying over a facebook page? Horrendous!

But isn't Mr Stewart happily trying to do what he accuses others of doing? I'm not an expert (so please correct me if wrong) but if his vindictive trademarking goes through, isn't every resident from Tobermory banned from ever writing about their own experiences with the Tobermory Cat or even make drawings of it? Or will the Tobermory cat will live on as The Cat Who Mustn't Be Named?

That said, it must be typical of cats to be at the basis of so much drama, and never know or care. Life would be so much easier if everybody was a cat. (But the first one in my patch of catnip will regret it! Mine!) ;)

Mr Flibble
10-30-2012, 03:09 AM
I was wondering what the people of Tobermory were thinking about this all up until Duncan posted. It's horrible enough to read about what Ms Gliori had to go through. Seriously, that frightening level of stalking and bullying over a facebook page? Horrendous!

But isn't Mr Stewart happily trying to do what he accuses others of doing? I'm not an expert (so please correct me if wrong) but if his vindictive trademarking goes through, isn't every resident from Tobermory banned from ever writing about their own experiences with the Tobermory Cat or even make drawings of it? Or will the Tobermory cat will live on as The Cat Who Mustn't Be Named?



You could always call him The Cat They Call Tobermory (they used that in the WWE to get around CP/TM names) :D

Torgo
10-30-2012, 03:10 AM
But isn't Mr Stewart happily trying to do what he accuses others of doing? I'm not an expert (so please correct me if wrong) but if his vindictive trademarking goes through, isn't every resident from Tobermory banned from ever writing about their own experiences with the Tobermory Cat or even make drawings of it? Or will the Tobermory cat will live on as The Cat Who Mustn't Be Named?

Apparently not. See Ketzel's post earlier.

Haggis
10-30-2012, 03:11 AM
"Hebridean saga?"

:). Wow, are you in the right place.

*plops in Proclaimers CD for background music*

Friendly Frog
10-30-2012, 03:20 AM
Apparently not. See Ketzel's post earlier.
Oh darn, I missed that. Thanks for pointing it out. I stand corrected.

Torgo
10-30-2012, 03:30 AM
Oh darn, I missed that. Thanks for pointing it out. I stand corrected.

I've been taught to have a superstitious terror of trademarks; I stand corrected too.

James D. Macdonald
10-30-2012, 03:45 AM
Mr. Stewart, it seems you didn't like my last set of questions. Very well, here's another. Just two this time:

1) Are you a church-going man?

2) What do the words "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" mean to you?

Cyia
10-30-2012, 04:22 AM
Seriously, though, I could draw the cat--possibly with a bag over his head, to save grief--and call it "The Tobermory Cat" and start a Facebook page dedicated to the One True Real Actual Tobermory Cat, Accept No Substitutes, Everyone Else Is A Stinkin' Liar Wot Lies, AND then write a book proposal based on his adventures and that will still all be legal and kosher and above the board and I won't owe anybody any share of the fabulous wealth that will undoubtedly rain down on me from heaven for doing so.

I haz taken your shiny idea and made it mine! Also, I made it a limerick. Kitteh limericks ftw!

In Tobermory there lived a cat.
Who wore a bag instead of a hat.
He'll not tell you his name,
For he doesn't seek fame.
And he doesn't have time for a chat.

:D

Bookewyrme
10-30-2012, 04:31 AM
Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
Hijinks ensue.
I think the phrase "Hijinks ensue" is one of the most potentially amusing phrases I know. For some reason, I always picture something similar to the Benny Hill chase scenes with music.

I also think the next Absolute Write Anthology (assuming there is a next one) should be entirely cat-themed stories. I have no logical reason for this, but we do seem to have a lot of cat-lovers, and thanks to CQuinlan we also have a plethora of ideas. I feel sure hijinks would indeed ensue. :D

As to this "controversy" I can't help wondering how much the other residents of Tobermory have heard about it, and what sort of information they've been getting. This Artist-troll's actions could potentially HARM the tourism trade for the town, (where tourism is concerned, there very much is such a thing as bad publicity). I suspect he hasn't thought of that though.

Also, someone mentioned a report of the cat's death. Could Mr. Duncan perhaps clear that up for us? Was it the "ballsy" cat that caught his imagination who died, or another cat, or none at all?
I'm really just being nosy at this point, I guess. :tongue

Williebee
10-30-2012, 05:02 AM
http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo156/williebee61/hijinxandsue-1.png

muravyets
10-30-2012, 05:30 AM
Hi, I'm Duncan. I'm posting here because I'm the book seller mentioned earlier in this Tobermory Cat thread.
I have known Gus, who created the Tobermory Cat face book page for many years. He is a well known local artist. I consider the publisher, Hugh, a good friend. He is a wonderful supporter of books on the Islands of Scotland. I have met, spoken and emailed Debi. She is a very lovely and gentle person.
I do not visit the Tobermory Cat facebook page and never have. I made this decision as soon as I realised there was a conflict. I then could not be accused of stealing any work or ideas.
This may sound laughable but I am going to talk about the real cat. Gus has a facebook page created from three cats. One of these cats is a 'ballsy' cat. The cat came to attention in the town a few years ago. For example; we clean the beach with big machines. The moment the work was finished the cat came to lie in middle of the beach. A crowd gathered to point and laugh at this. I took photos of this almost a year before the facebook page. Anecdotes are shared around the town. They were digging the road. The cat got up in the seat beside the driver as the digging was going on. I was there. I saw this. This is very crowd gathering behavior. The cat would visit my shop. As we are a book shop we would shoo it away! A few days ago Debi’s Tobermory Cat books arrived. I got a phone call from a member of staff to come to the shop. After nine months away cat had returned and was sleeping in one of the empty book boxes. Again I took photos. Look I’m not daft enough to think there is any thing spooky about this but it is a fun cat. Since the very early days the publisher and I have been chatting about this behavior. Wherever the cat is it draws a cluster of tourists taking photos. This was meant to be a fun project to help draw people to Tobermory in very tough times. The whole plot of Debi’s story is getting tourists to return to Tobermory. We didn’t steal any of the celebrity idea. Our interest predates the facebook page. The cat is a local celebrity. The face book page, when it arrived, increased and broadened the appeal of the cat.
When the idea of the book came up it was I who suggested that Debi and Hugh meet Gus. I had seen Gus taking many photos of the cat. I met with Gus to set this up. He told me about his facebook page. I then suggested to Hugh and Debi that Gus could have a mention in the book to direct all readers to his site to see photos of the real cat, buy postcards and so on. He would be the point of contact for the real cat. To me the opportunities for Gus appeared endless. I thought it was a perfect fit. And that was my mistake.
The treatment of Debi is inexcusable. I have no words.
I very much regret that we were unable to all work together in this very distressing affair.
I've been sitting back, reading this thread and just shaking my head at the stubbornness of Mr. Stewart.

However, your story of how it all got started makes me pretty sad and even angry (or, rather, irritated) over the whole silly mess, because your idea was/is a wonderful one! It's exactly the kind of collaborative, cooperative, integrated project I enjoy doing. It's such a pity it ran into the unsuspected brick wall of one person's ego and selfishness.

Please don't be discouraged by one friend's bad reaction to a good idea. The town has a great mascot in the iconic ginger tom, and I believe just about anyone in Scotland with any creative talent would - or should - be eager to join in for both their and the town's benefit.

Tobermory Cats are fun, and I hope the fun and happiness they generate will someday teach Mr. Stewart the error of his ways, as everyone else dives into the party he keeps trying to put a stop to.

Hey, there could be a whole 'nother children's book lurking in such an outcome.

Bookewyrme
10-30-2012, 05:37 AM
Hey, there could be a whole 'nother children's book lurking in such an outcome.
Or a short story. Or a 10-minute Youtube video. Or a short comic. Or a play. Or perhaps even an entire novel.

The possibilities are endless! ^_^

RedWombat
10-30-2012, 05:54 AM
I haz taken your shiny idea and made it mine! Also, I made it a limerick. Kitteh limericks ftw!

In Tobermory there lived a cat.
Who wore a bag instead of a hat.
He'll not tell you his name,
For he doesn't seek fame.
And he doesn't have time for a chat.

:D

I see your limerick and raise you a bad haiku!

Tobermory cat
Such hijinks, sound and fury--
for such little gain.

BenPanced
10-30-2012, 06:00 AM
Um

Did anyone else notice that one of (this (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/internet-star-tobermory-cat-dies.19009318)article says 'the') Tobermory cats died? Mind, it also says that Mr Artist made it famous....


And that it had an owner - not said artist either....

I also wonder if he's up for suing the Royal Opera house (http://www.roh.org.uk/news/twitter-opera-acts-6-and-7)?
I wonder if anybody's called him on that BS.

Cyia
10-30-2012, 06:08 AM
I see your limerick and raise you a bad haiku!

Tobermory cat
Such hijinks, sound and fury--
for such little gain.


Tread carefully, my friend, lest this turn into a full scale poetry slam.

;)

Williebee
10-30-2012, 06:28 AM
"Tobermory Cat taught the Honey Badger not to care!"

(just something to divert the poetry slam.)

RedWombat
10-30-2012, 06:30 AM
Tread carefully, my friend, lest this turn into a full scale poetry slam.

;)


This is just a note to say
I have painted
the cat
that was in
Tobermory

and which
you were probably
saving
for Facebook

Forgive me
he was delightful
uncopyrightable
and already sold.

Cyia
10-30-2012, 06:47 AM
This is so not going to end well...

( :D )

benbradley
10-30-2012, 07:11 AM
Sonnet?

The town of Tobermory had a cat

only 13 more lines to go!

Susan Littlefield
10-30-2012, 07:14 AM
Sonnet?

The town of Tobermory had a cat

only 13 more lines to go!

eieio.

With a meow meow here, a meow meow there
The town of Tobermory had a cat,
eieio!

(Okay, maybe a little off) :D

Draco
10-30-2012, 07:16 AM
.

Stacia Kane
10-30-2012, 07:32 AM
Again, everything I have written is all my opinion and I may be wrong on some or all that I have written. I apologize for any and all errors.

Respectfully,

Draco (as in Dragon, not the kid from you know...) :)


I appreciate that it's your opinion, but factually, you are incorrect on pretty much every point. Sorry. But you are, and all of the other posts in this thread explain very clearly why you are incorrect.

Susan Littlefield
10-30-2012, 09:47 AM
It's not too late, I think, to work with the publisher and author.

Oh goodness, I disagree. I think this guy has burned plenty of bridges, especially with the publisher and author.

Terie
10-30-2012, 10:44 AM
Hi,

If I may be of a little help, I will organize your points for you--bear in mind that I may be wrong and that my opinions in this entire post are my own and that I mean no offense to anyone.

It seems to me that he actually gave an answer to all the questions when he said this part from the quote above:


And he states what his actions were here--also from the original quote:


Unfortunately, this has lead to an alleged internet-bullying campaign against the author of the forth coming book.

What, in my opinion, has the members of this forum upset is that it seems to me that they think you allegedly intended for some sort of internet response to be undertaken by your Facebook followers.

With regards to this controversy I would have taken your side in this matter had the internet response against the author of the book not been so allegedly rude.

I respectfully disagree with the notion that the use of broad general ideas constitutes plagiarism, not that you stated it was plagiarism, this is just my opinion on the use of broad general ideas.

But I can understand your position in this matter.

Your Facebook page is impressive, you managed to get hundreds of people to follow a relatively un-newsworthy cat. The very fact that you manged to get a lady from Germany to write to a tourism blog trying to garner you support is impressive--I mean it's a cat from Tobermory that sleeps on top of cars and she is a lady from Germany interested in it. Just think about German culture for a second, in my opinion German culture is off the hook--meaning it is super-interesting, and you managed to get one of them to be interested in your cat from Tobermory. Wowsers.

Your point that the publisher could have called the book any other name and that you suggested that they do so, is one that would have won me over to your side. I mean, according to Gliori's blog the publisher said "...he even has his own Facebook page" when the publisher was pitching the idea to Gliori. Wow, that suggests to me they had your Facebook page in mind and possibly also your title of "Tobermory Cat", that would have been enough to make me take your side.

But, the alleged internet-bullying campaign, just repels me, and I cannot in good conscience support anyone who allegedly initiates such an action--even if it was allegedly started by just asking some questions.

It's not too late, I think, to work with the publisher and author. I mean your Facebook followers are certainly a potential market and even if writers and writing industry professionals are on their side--it doesn't mean that the average reader is going to be on their side.

In all sincerity, I hope that a decent and acceptable resolution will come from all of this.

Again, everything I have written is all my opinion and I may be wrong on some or all that I have written. I apologize for any and all errors.

Respectfully,

Draco (as in Dragon, not the kid from you know...)

(bolding mine)

Dude, your post history (much of which you've deleted) on the subject of plagiarism shows that you have exceedingly little knowledge of the topic.

In a thread on the subject in the Basic Writing Forum, you wondered whether using someone else's words was all right as long as the 'intent and feel' were different. You've deleted that post, but some of the pertinent bits of it are in post 26 here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254760&highlight=plagiarism&page=2). And yet here, you're suggesting that ideas can be plagiarised. So you are essentially speculating that someone can use my actual words without my permission, but can't use an idea I've had. Do you see how little sense that makes?

You then started a poll thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=256730) on what constituted plagiarism, a thread to which you replied only once and subsequently deleted your reply.

Here's the bottom line for you: If you want to discuss plagiarism, study up on the topic before continuing to express wrong opinions on the subject. Here are some links to get started:

International Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/trtdocs_wo001.html)

US Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov/)

UK Intellectual Property Office (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/copy.htm)

I would also suggest that you work on your reading comprehension. Not only has the idea that the name 'Tobermory Cat' can be either copyrighted or trademarked been thoroughly debunked in this thread, it's also clear from Debi Gliori's post on her blog that the idea for the picture book titled The Tobermory Cat was under discussion by her publisher and her before they found out about the Facebook page.

Draco
10-30-2012, 10:52 AM
(bolding mine)

Dude, your post history (much of which you've deleted) on the subject of plagiarism shows that you have exceedingly little knowledge of the topic.

In a thread on the subject in the Basic Writing Forum, you wondered whether using someone else's words was all right as long as the 'intent and feel' were different. You've deleted that post, but some of the pertinent bits of it are in post 26 here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254760&highlight=plagiarism&page=2). And yet here, you're suggesting that ideas can be plagiarised. So you are essentially speculating that someone can use my actual words without my permission, but can't use an idea I've had. Do you see how little sense that makes?

You then started a poll thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=256730) on what constituted plagiarism, a thread to which you replied only once and subsequently deleted your reply.

Here's the bottom line for you: If you want to discuss plagiarism, study up on the topic before continuing to express wrong opinions on the subject. Here are some links to get started:

International Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/trtdocs_wo001.html)

US Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov/)

UK Intellectual Property Office (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/copy.htm)

I would also suggest that you work on your reading comprehension. Not only has the idea that the name 'Tobermory Cat' can be either copyrighted or trademarked been thoroughly debunked in this thread, it's also clear from Debi Gliori's post on her blog that the idea for the picture book titled The Tobermory Cat was under discussion by her publisher and her before they found out about the Facebook page.


I meant no offense to anyone, I regret posting on this thread.

I only sought to change my view on plagiarism to be more in accord with James D. Macdonald.

Ideas ... are a dime a dozen and overpriced at that. It's people who have few ideas who have this ... idea ... that ideas by themselves are valuable.

I've had at least eighteen ideas in the past quarter hour. I'll give them to you for free, and, if I wind up using one myself the resulting works will be so different that there's no chance that any copyright violation, far less plagiarism, could exist.

So, no, using an idea is not and cannot be plagiarism.

You have stated that you are friends with Debi Gliori, calling me "Dude" and criticizing me for deleting my posts indicates to me (just my opinion) that my post irritated you somewhat. Please, this is a forum and I am not trying to get into a squabble with anyone. If you want to be "right" then you can be "right". I need to learn to write so I can make a living, I'm not here to fight.

Again, I did not mean to offend anyone.

BenPanced
10-30-2012, 11:40 AM
I meant no offense to anyone, I regret posting on this thread.

I only sought to change my view on plagiarism to be more in accord with James D. Macdonald.


You have stated that you are friends with Debi Gliori, calling me "Dude" and criticizing me for deleting my posts indicates to me (just my opinion) that my post irritated you somewhat. Please, this is a forum and I am not trying to get into a squabble with anyone. If you want to be "right" then you can be "right". I need to learn to write so I can make a living, I'm not here to fight.

Again, I did not mean to offend anyone.
This isn't about somebody wanting to be right for the sake of being right and arguing to prove his voice is loudest. This is about (continuously?) broadcasting incorrect information about plagiarism in a writing forum and having that information corrected in a polite yet firm as possible manner.

And deleting your posts is just bad form around here. You want to be taken seriously as a writer? Forum posts are your words. You put them up. You need to own them. Unless it's something truly heinous or you've accidentally posted something in the wrong area, keep them up. Being criticized for deleting posts does irritate people around here but it's not for the ideas in the posts; a lot of members don't use the quote feature so when you delete posts, people are just standing around talking to themselves and nobody knows what's going on.

If you don't understand something, it doesn't hurt to come right out and say you don't understand something. We've dozens of experts in myriad fields who are more than willing to share that knowledge. All you need to do is ask. But when you demonstrate that lack of knowledge and hide behind "well, it's just my opinion that...", yeah, you're gonna get called on the carpet but good. Do it enough and play the butt-hurt victim whenever you get called out and, yeah, you're gonna piss people off.

Draco
10-30-2012, 11:44 AM
(bolding mine)

Here's the bottom line for you: If you want to discuss plagiarism, study up on the topic before continuing to express wrong opinions on the subject. Here are some links to get started:

International Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/trtdocs_wo001.html)

US Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov/)

UK Intellectual Property Office (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/copy.htm)



I offered you a peace offering by saying that I would delete my post if you would delete yours. But you did not respond.
So lets discuss shall we?


People have a right to their OPINIONS.

People also have a right to CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

There are several posters who say that IDEAS can't be stolen:


That's horrible.

Nobody can steal concepts or ideas.



...
Here's the thing that some folks need to realise - you can't claim 'ownership' of a story like that - I mean, if you could then there would only ever have been ONE book written about WW2, and ONE book written about Jesus, and ONE book written about Henry VIII, and ONE book written about..... see where I'm going with this.

If you could 'own' an idea based on actual history or events then we wouldn't have any historical novels or films.

Looking at it another way, the guy is an artist - is he painting scenes that have been painted by other artists in the past? If so, by his own logic, isn't he stealing their ideas?

Yes, indeed. There is no controversy. Anyone who knows anything about copyright and creativity knows that you can't copyright an idea, or even a title, least of all a cat. (I can't believe I just said that!)

Although there is no controversy, there is ignorance, and that's what we can work to rectify. This ignorance is not a matter of opinion but of fact, law and life.

We do not own the things we write about. Even if the complainant technically owned the cat, anyone would still be allowed to write about it. We may write about (or paint) any topic or object or person we wish to. It is very often the case that two writers come up with the same idea and even the same names for characters - it happened when author Tim Bowler and I discovered after publication in consecutive months that we had both written a YA novel about a 14-year-old boy called Luke with synesthesia. The stories were, however, and inevitably, completely different, just as Debi Gliori's creative story is different from the book of photos of a cat with the same "name". And let's point out that that name is generic, a name that has stuck to the cats of Tobermory, a name that merely describes where the cat lives and is seen. It doesn't require enormous powers of creativity to think of calling a stray cat who lives in Tobermory the Tobermory Cat!

We own our words and our pictures, not our ideas. Anyone can have an idea - it's turning it into a piece of art that involves talent, skill and hard work.

We need to stand up and explain this to those who need to know, otherwise foolishness like this attack on Debi will keep on happening. This is why I've been tweeting and commenting in the last few days - which is how Old Hack came across the story, I think. *waves at Old Hack*

I think you'd have to be really specific. So for instance, you wanted to write a space opera about this boy who finds out he has special powers - let's call it The Force - and he's called Luke, right? And Luke has to master the bad side, feel the good side or things will get very bad indeed, but they're going to get bad anyway because Chief Bad Side Dude (Dath Ladar)is actually his dad! *gasp!* And then it turns out that chick he fancies is actually his sister....

If you're just writing about a broad idea - boy with special powers must learn how to use them, in space! - you're probably okay, though it might seem a bit derivative. Using all the other stuff as well? Not so much.

In this case, all the FB guy has is a facebook page about a stray cat. The stray cat and the town are pretty much the only two common elements, not very specific at all. Book has extra elements real life does not (IIRC the new book, the cat plays the violin. Pretty sure FB cat does not) so it's pretty silly to say it's plagiarism, because the author has, clearly, used their own ideas as well as inventing a story to go with said cat (FB cat does not have a plot) - not to mention their original artwork etc. They took some inspiration (added bonus, inspiration wasn;t from FB but another source)and made it their own. Nothing wrong with that.

Ideas ... are a dime a dozen and overpriced at that. It's people who have few ideas who have this ... idea ... that ideas by themselves are valuable.

I've had at least eighteen ideas in the past quarter hour. I'll give them to you for free, and, if I wind up using one myself the resulting works will be so different that there's no chance that any copyright violation, far less plagiarism, could exist.

So, no, using an idea is not and cannot be plagiarism.

Terie
10-30-2012, 11:59 AM
I offered you a peace offering by saying that I would delete my post if you would delete yours. But you did not respond.

Well, gosh. It's a pity that my need to go to work inconvenienced you.

If you didn't have a well-established history of deleting your posts, I would probably have done as you asked. However, since you DO have that history, and since you have some sense of entitlement that people must reply to you immediately, their own lives and schedules notwithstanding, I shall decline.

Oh, and if you'd left this private, I would have done so, too. It is you who took it public.

Besides, Stacia's reply to you also needs context.

As BenPanced remarked upstream, it's important to own your words.

As to this:


There are several posters who say that IDEAS can't be stolen:

That's correct, they can't be stolen. Neither can titles. Nor the names of local legends, mascots, and so on. Yet you suggested that Debi Gliori shouldn't have used the title The Tobermory Cat because Mr Stewart has a Facebook page titled 'The Tobermory Cat'. And that last bit is where you were wrong.

Medievalist
10-30-2012, 12:01 PM
You have stated that you are friends with Debi Gliori, calling me "Dude" and criticizing me for deleting my posts indicates to me (just my opinion) that my post irritated you somewhat. Please, this is a forum and I am not trying to get into a squabble with anyone. If you want to be "right" then you can be "right". I need to learn to write so I can make a living, I'm not here to fight.

Again, I did not mean to offend anyone.

Draco?

You need to post less and read a lot more. You're mistaking your audience.

Hugely.

Draco
10-30-2012, 12:05 PM
You weren't the first one to go there, and now you're pitching a tantrum that you can't be the last.

Go study up on copyright infringement before you accuse innocent people of doing it.

Also?..............

Yes ofcourse , soothe him over by saying he is pitching a tantrum...this will surely smooth things over.

Belittling someone is not sensible to me.

But ofcourse you must know more about being sensible than I do.

Draco
10-30-2012, 12:10 PM
Why go to Mister Stewart in the first place?

They had no legal reason to, but they went ANYWAY.

Publishing costs money, offering to give Mister Stewart advertising on the back of the book was a way of placating him--what for? Regardless of the magnitude of the FAME, Mister Stewart has created MORE FAME for any and all Tobermory Cats.

The legal ground is with them.

The moral ground is with Mister Stewart, except for any alleged bullying.

I NEVER claimed that the legal ground was with Mister Stewart.

AW Admin
10-30-2012, 12:13 PM
Yes ofcourse , soothe him over by saying he is pitching a tantrum...this will surely smooth things over.

Belittling someone is not sensible to me.

But ofcourse you must know more about being sensible than I do.

Dude?

You're screwing up.

Badly.

Stop while you're ahead.

Old Hack
10-30-2012, 12:16 PM
Originally Posted by Terie
(bolding mine)

Dude, your post history (much of which you've deleted) on the subject of plagiarism shows that you have exceedingly little knowledge of the topic.

In a thread on the subject in the Basic Writing Forum, you wondered whether using someone else's words was all right as long as the 'intent and feel' were different. You've deleted that post, but some of the pertinent bits of it are in post 26 here. And yet here, you're suggesting that ideas can be plagiarised. So you are essentially speculating that someone can use my actual words without my permission, but can't use an idea I've had. Do you see how little sense that makes?

You then started a poll thread on what constituted plagiarism, a thread to which you replied only once and subsequently deleted your reply.

Here's the bottom line for you: If you want to discuss plagiarism, study up on the topic before continuing to express wrong opinions on the subject. Here are some links to get started:

International Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

US Copyright Office

UK Intellectual Property Office

I would also suggest that you work on your reading comprehension. Not only has the idea that the name 'Tobermory Cat' can be either copyrighted or trademarked been thoroughly debunked in this thread, it's also clear from Debi Gliori's post on her blog that the idea for the picture book titled The Tobermory Cat was under discussion by her publisher and her before they found out about the Facebook page.

I meant no offense to anyone, I regret posting on this thread.

I only sought to change my view on plagiarism to be more in accord with James D. Macdonald.


Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
Ideas ... are a dime a dozen and overpriced at that. It's people who have few ideas who have this ... idea ... that ideas by themselves are valuable.

I've had at least eighteen ideas in the past quarter hour. I'll give them to you for free, and, if I wind up using one myself the resulting works will be so different that there's no chance that any copyright violation, far less plagiarism, could exist.

So, no, using an idea is not and cannot be plagiarism.

You have stated that you are friends with Debi Gliori, calling me "Dude" and criticizing me for deleting my posts indicates to me (just my opinion) that my post irritated you somewhat. Please, this is a forum and I am not trying to get into a squabble with anyone. If you want to be "right" then you can be "right". I need to learn to write so I can make a living, I'm not here to fight.

Again, I did not mean to offend anyone.




Originally Posted by Terie
(bolding mine)

Here's the bottom line for you: If you want to discuss plagiarism, study up on the topic before continuing to express wrong opinions on the subject. Here are some links to get started:

International Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

US Copyright Office

UK Intellectual Property Office


I offered you a peace offering by saying that I would delete my post if you would delete yours. But you did not respond.
So lets discuss shall we?


People have a right to their OPINIONS.

People also have a right to CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

There are several posters who say that IDEAS can't be stolen:


Originally Posted by Susan Littlefield
That's horrible.

Nobody can steal concepts or ideas.


Originally Posted by shaldna

...
Here's the thing that some folks need to realise - you can't claim 'ownership' of a story like that - I mean, if you could then there would only ever have been ONE book written about WW2, and ONE book written about Jesus, and ONE book written about Henry VIII, and ONE book written about..... see where I'm going with this.

If you could 'own' an idea based on actual history or events then we wouldn't have any historical novels or films.

Looking at it another way, the guy is an artist - is he painting scenes that have been painted by other artists in the past? If so, by his own logic, isn't he stealing their ideas?


Originally Posted by ghostlygalleon
Yes, indeed. There is no controversy. Anyone who knows anything about copyright and creativity knows that you can't copyright an idea, or even a title, least of all a cat. (I can't believe I just said that!)

Although there is no controversy, there is ignorance, and that's what we can work to rectify. This ignorance is not a matter of opinion but of fact, law and life.

We do not own the things we write about. Even if the complainant technically owned the cat, anyone would still be allowed to write about it. We may write about (or paint) any topic or object or person we wish to. It is very often the case that two writers come up with the same idea and even the same names for characters - it happened when author Tim Bowler and I discovered after publication in consecutive months that we had both written a YA novel about a 14-year-old boy called Luke with synesthesia. The stories were, however, and inevitably, completely different, just as Debi Gliori's creative story is different from the book of photos of a cat with the same "name". And let's point out that that name is generic, a name that has stuck to the cats of Tobermory, a name that merely describes where the cat lives and is seen. It doesn't require enormous powers of creativity to think of calling a stray cat who lives in Tobermory the Tobermory Cat!

We own our words and our pictures, not our ideas. Anyone can have an idea - it's turning it into a piece of art that involves talent, skill and hard work.

We need to stand up and explain this to those who need to know, otherwise foolishness like this attack on Debi will keep on happening. This is why I've been tweeting and commenting in the last few days - which is how Old Hack came across the story, I think. *waves at Old Hack*


Originally Posted by Mr Flibble
I think you'd have to be really specific. So for instance, you wanted to write a space opera about this boy who finds out he has special powers - let's call it The Force - and he's called Luke, right? And Luke has to master the bad side, feel the good side or things will get very bad indeed, but they're going to get bad anyway because Chief Bad Side Dude (Dath Ladar)is actually his dad! *gasp!* And then it turns out that chick he fancies is actually his sister....

If you're just writing about a broad idea - boy with special powers must learn how to use them, in space! - you're probably okay, though it might seem a bit derivative. Using all the other stuff as well? Not so much.

In this case, all the FB guy has is a facebook page about a stray cat. The stray cat and the town are pretty much the only two common elements, not very specific at all. Book has extra elements real life does not (IIRC the new book, the cat plays the violin. Pretty sure FB cat does not) so it's pretty silly to say it's plagiarism, because the author has, clearly, used their own ideas as well as inventing a story to go with said cat (FB cat does not have a plot) - not to mention their original artwork etc. They took some inspiration (added bonus, inspiration wasn;t from FB but another source)and made it their own. Nothing wrong with that.


Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
Ideas ... are a dime a dozen and overpriced at that. It's people who have few ideas who have this ... idea ... that ideas by themselves are valuable.

I've had at least eighteen ideas in the past quarter hour. I'll give them to you for free, and, if I wind up using one myself the resulting works will be so different that there's no chance that any copyright violation, far less plagiarism, could exist.

So, no, using an idea is not and cannot be plagiarism.




Originally Posted by Terie
You weren't the first one to go there, and now you're pitching a tantrum that you can't be the last.

Go study up on copyright infringement before you accuse innocent people of doing it.

Also?..............

Yes ofcourse , soothe him over by saying he is pitching a tantrum...this will surely smooth things over.

Belittling someone is not sensible to me.

But ofcourse you must know more about being sensible than I do.

Draco, you need to read this thread more closely; and please stop deleting your comments. It's dishonest of you.

MacAllister
10-30-2012, 12:27 PM
Yes ofcourse , soothe him over by saying he is pitching a tantrum...this will surely smooth things over.

Belittling someone is not sensible to me.

But ofcourse you must know more about being sensible than I do.
Oh for heaven's sake. Why on earth would you think for a single second anyone here is interested in soothing Angus Whatshisname's delicate little feelers?

I certainly don't give a crap about how he feels, one way or another. He's set out to behave like a complete douchenozzle about all this, and succeeded. He's set out to try to create an environment that would chew holes in other people's stomachs, and drive them off the internet.

I HOPE the repercussions of that behavior make him uncomfortable. He deserves to be uncomfortable. I hope the long-term effects of his actions create pond-ripples that keep him up nights for years.. He's bought and paid for that.


Why go to Mister Stewart in the first place?

They had no legal reason to, but they went ANYWAY.

Publishing costs money, offering to give Mister Stewart advertising on the back of the book was a way of placating him--what for?

The legal ground is with them.

The moral ground is with Mister Stewart, except for any alleged bullying.

I NEVER claimed that the legal ground was with Mister Stewart.

They're advertising a number of local businesses and establishments. They offered the same consideration to him, but he declined -- I suspect because he thought he could extort more.

Draco
10-30-2012, 12:44 PM
At the risk of further alienating myself I will state that I and a pro-life Catholic. I don't wish harm on anyone.

If the alleged bullying is true, then a serious mistake was made and I believe that everyone will answer to God for their mistakes.

I don't know anything about Mister Stewart, he may be troubled in more ways than one.

I have known what it was like to so cold and hungry that the cold and hunger drives you to near madness.

In my time serving in the US military I have known fear and the limits a man goes to in order to resolve that fear.

And I wonder if all the advertising was offered for free? Did they make the same offer to other establishments that they gave to Mister Stewart?


Perhaps Mister Stewart feels that someday, a new line of competing Tobermory Cat postcards and souvenirs will be introduced by the publisher which will directly compete with his own sales. Mister Stewart stated that he struggles to make a living.

I pray for Mister Stewart if he is indeed troubled.

And I pray for Miss Gliori as well.

Payback and revenge is not considered by any Christian to lead to anything good.

mccardey
10-30-2012, 12:52 PM
Honestly, Draco - I'll bet Mr Stewart would feel a whole lot happier if this thread just died down and he could get on with his painting...

Old Hack
10-30-2012, 12:54 PM
At the risk of further alienating myself I will state that I and a pro-life Catholic. I don't wish harm on anyone.

If the alleged bullying is true, then a serious mistake was made and I believe that everyone will answer to God for their mistakes.

I don't know anything about Mister Stewart, he may be troubled in more ways than one.

I have known what it was like to so cold and hungry that the cold and hunger drives you to near madness.

In my time serving in the US military I have known fear and the limits a man goes to in order to resolve that fear.

And I wonder if all the advertising was offered for free? Did they make the same offer to other establishments that they gave to Mister Stewart?


Perhaps Mister Stewart feels that someday, a new line of competing Tobermory Cat postcards and souvenirs will be introduced by the publisher which will directly compete with his own sales. Mister Stewart stated that he struggles to make a living.

I pray for Mister Stewart if he is indeed troubled.

And I pray for Miss Gliori as well.

Payback and revenge is not considered by any Christian to lead to anything good.

Draco, your religious beliefs have nothing whatever to do with this thread.

You've been advised to read the thread more closely: you still haven't done that, have you?

Stop posting in this thread RIGHT NOW. Go back and read it again. Make sure you've understood every nuance of it, and then think about how that all fits together. Read up on the law, as it effects this issue--some useful links have been posted, so you have some help there.

Don't even consider posting in this thread again until you've done all of that.

This isn't a friendly warning, it's a modly instruction.



ETA: And now, everyone, let's get back on-topic. Thank you.

Old Hack
10-30-2012, 01:00 PM
I've just seen this comment on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tobcat/posts/544801712201965), which demonstrates perfectly how unpleasant this episode has become.

The person who made the original comment has commented on the TC Facebook page, and has obviously taken Angus's opinion to heart. It's a shame for her, as she's now very poorly informed.

ETA: the Facebook discussion linked to above has now been deleted. Some people don't like being called out, it seems.

Draco
10-30-2012, 01:06 PM
Draco, your religious beliefs have nothing whatever to do with this thread.

You've been advised to read the thread more closely: you still haven't done that, have you?

Stop posting in this thread RIGHT NOW. Go back and read it again. Make sure you've understood every nuance of it, and then think about how that all fits together. Read up on the law, as it effects this issue--some useful links have been posted, so you have some help there.

Don't even consider posting in this thread again until you've done all of that.

This isn't a friendly warning, it's a modly instruction.



ETA: And now, everyone, let's get back on-topic. Thank you.

I've read this thread from start to finish, I know that the legal ground lies with the publisher.

But I stated my opinion that the moral ground lies with Mister Stewart.

Others have stated their opinions so I stated my opinion.

If you want me to stop stating my opiniuon then I will do so, but I can't be intimidated I've seen too much in my lifetime--that being said I will comply with moderator instructions. If that is not enough then ban me.

Old Hack
10-30-2012, 01:17 PM
I've read this thread from start to finish, I know that the legal ground lies with the publisher.

But I stated my opinion that the moral ground lies with Mister Stewart.

Others have stated their opinions so I stated my opinion.

If you want me to stop stating my opiniuon then I will do so, but I can't be intimidated I've seen too much in my lifetime--that being said I will comply with moderator instructions. If that is not enough then ban me.

My bold.

But you didn't, Draco, did you? I wrote this:


Stop posting in this thread RIGHT NOW. Go back and read it again. Make sure you've understood every nuance of it, and then think about how that all fits together. Read up on the law, as it effects this issue--some useful links have been posted, so you have some help there.

Don't even consider posting in this thread again until you've done all of that.

This isn't a friendly warning, it's a modly instruction.

You haven't had time to do what I asked you to do. You clearly ignored a specific instruction from a moderator. So what I'm going to do now is give you a three-day time-out which will, I hope, give you enough time to do what I've asked you to do, without the distraction that the ability to comment here seems to offer you.

If when your ban expires you return to this thread and make any more similiarly ill-informed comments I will consider making your stay away from AW longer, or even permanent. I hope that's clear.

aliceshortcake
10-30-2012, 01:28 PM
15 (http://15). An unlikely love story between two ginger toms struggling with growing up gay in rural Scotland.

I would buy this book. The world needs more feline m/m.

As for the Cat Troll, I hope any books he writes will be more comprehensible than his posts in this thread.

Polenth
10-30-2012, 02:10 PM
I've just seen this comment on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tobcat/posts/544801712201965), which demonstrates perfectly how unpleasant this episode has become.

The person who made the original comment has commented on the TC Facebook page, and has obviously taken Angus's opinion to heart. It's a shame for her, as she's now very poorly informed.

That comment notes the book was on a half price offer (as being a negative thing meaning it must not be selling). For those who aren't regulars of the Waterstone's picture book section, they frequently run half price or buy some get one free offers. It usually includes new releases and a few seasonal/topical books. If the store has room, they may pull the books out and arrange them on a special table.

So it doesn't say anything either way. Simply that the book is a new release getting the usual sort of promotion.

Terie
10-30-2012, 02:18 PM
That comment notes the book was on a half price offer.

I wish it had been on half-price sale when I bought it over the weekend. Ah well, at least I'm sure that Debi will get her full royalty. :D

(Also? All yer crochet catz are belong to me.)

buz
10-30-2012, 03:28 PM
I've read this thread from start to finish, I know that the legal ground lies with the publisher.

But I stated my opinion that the moral ground lies with Mister Stewart.

I know that you're in time-out and I don't know if you'll return. But I wonder if others who stumble across this thread will have a similar opinion to yours. And I find the idea that people would condone the actions of a guy trying to extort money from someone else's work--a work that he had no hand in creating--kind of worrisome.

Let's review:

There is (was?) a cat in Tobermory. Several, actually, but one in particular who was known for his ballsy cat antics about town. The post from the bookshop owner in this thread makes it clear that the cat was known by the town for doing amusing things, and observed doing them by many--that his "celebrity," if it can be called that, came as a direct result of his own amusing cat actions. The bookshop owner contacted a publisher who contacted an author who wrote a book about a fiddle-playing cat in Tobermory who has slightly more than fuck-all to do with that or any actual Tobermory cat. The author invented the story herself, using the real cat and the real town as her inspiration.

There happened to be an artist in the town who took some photographs of cats in Tobermory and created a Facebook page for "the" Tobermory cat. It is unclear which cat, or if it matters. The bookshop owner thought that the book and the Facebook page could sort of dovetail with each other and create more publicity for one another, and in turn more publicity for the town itself, thus boosting tourism. This is the only reason the artist was approached.

The artist refused. Even though he could have benefited from the publicity, even though the town could have benefited, he insisted that the idea for the book was his. That no one could possibly have come up with a story about a Tobermory cat without stealing it from his Facebook page, even though there were multiple Tobermory cats in existence, even though one of them was known in town by everybody else for doing amusing things, even though somebody had already written a book about a Tobermory cat some time ago, even though books about cats are as commonplace as cat poop.

He then threw a tantrum all over the internet, inciting others to bully the author, to hack into her accounts, to tarnish her reputation, to attempt to extort money that did not belong to him.

He did not create the idea of the cat. He did not own the cat. He did not come up with the story. He did not illustrate the book. He did not come up with the idea, the title, the cat, the plot, the character, the drawings, or the paper that the book is printed on. I haven't seen anything that refutes these facts. All evidence I've seen, even the vague and barely-readable claims of Stewart himself, confirms that Stewart had nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of the book.

To me, it's like saying that Seth Grahame-Smith, the guy who wrote Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, owes a cut of his profits to every other person still living (or the estates of the dead) who has aided in the popularization of the name of Abraham Lincoln. And maybe even everyone who has aided in the popularization of vampires.

His claim comes from greed, envy, pride, and spite. His attempt to force money out of the publisher for someone else's work would be, ironically, thievery, if it were successful. I think he thinks he's in the right; I think he truly believes he came up with the "idea" of a Tobermory cat, but that doesn't make it so.

It's not morally okay. It's not legally okay. It's just not okay.

(If I got anything wrong, somebody correct me.)

waylander
10-30-2012, 03:54 PM
But I stated my opinion that the moral ground lies with Mister Stewart.



If it ever did (which I do not accept) he has forfeited it by his subsequent behaviour.

zola_the_gorgon
10-30-2012, 04:14 PM
You know what, everybody? Draco's convincing not-at-all-sock-puppety arguments have changed my mind. Mr. Stewart is totally morally right. I'm going to follow his carefully thought through and upright example.

I've got a blog about a guerrilla garden in my home town. I'll adopt the underpants gnomes' business plan that Mr. Stewart is using. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAts)

1. Make a Facebook page about guerrilla garden in home town.
2 ?
3. Profit!

I will be publicising both guerrilla gardening and my home town, so I should be able to demand money from anybody who blogs, FBs, writes or otherwise explores either of those subjects, and do it with a clear conscience. Right?

Excellent. I should have the volcano lair I've always wanted in a matter of weeks.

shaldna
10-30-2012, 04:37 PM
A quick google search and a look through Mr Stewart's website shows several cats wearing, get this, collars! STRAY cats don't usually have collars, do they? Which suggests that the cats are owned by SOMEONE.

But Stewart's logic, should he not be paying their owners a percentage of his profits because he's making money by publishing pics of their animals?

Just mentioning this to illustrate how ridiculous it all is. Stewart has no claim, he knows it, we know it, the publisher knows it, hell, as soon as someone looks at his application they will know it too.

Quite aside from that, I suspect it will be quite hard to gain trademark approval for such a common set of words - I mean, Tobermory is a real place, and it has lots of cats, any one of those cats could be referred to, in various circumstances, as 'The Tobermory Cat'. Still, he really shouldn't be telling people he has trademark on it when he doesn't.

Also, when I laughed that he thought he should get a percentage I spat my tea at the screen. He has done no work, written no book, just harassed and bullied a writer in public, made an ass of himself, told a lot of lies and yet he expects to be rewarded for it? Rewarded, in fact, by the very person who's life he is making hell right now. We have names for people like that where I come from.

Friendly Frog
10-30-2012, 05:01 PM
Just gotta say I love this place. In just one thread, you get insight into yet another cyberbullying event, learn of an interesting children's book you might want to buy and at the same time of an artist you probably want to avoid, learn a thing or two about trademarking and get to see a flash poetry battle. This place is awesome. :Hug2:

aliceshortcake
10-30-2012, 06:03 PM
Mr Stewart needs to brush the cat hairs off his big boy pants, put them on and stay off the internet for a while. He seems to be one of those people who feel compelled to make utter fools of themselves in as public a manner as possible.

Terie
10-30-2012, 06:04 PM
Just gotta say I love this place. In just one thread, you get insight into yet another cyberbullying event, learn of an interesting children's book you might want to buy and at the same time of an artist you probably want to avoid, learn a thing or two about trademarking and get to see a flash poetry battle. This place is awesome. :Hug2:

Dude. You forgot to list the cat pictures. How can you POSSIBLY (under any circumstances, but most especially in this one) forget the cat pictures????? :D

LeslieB
10-30-2012, 06:22 PM
Also, when I laughed that he thought he should get a percentage I spat my tea at the screen. He has done no work, written no book, just harassed and bullied a writer in public, made an ass of himself, told a lot of lies and yet he expects to be rewarded for it? Rewarded, in fact, by the very person who's life he is making hell right now. We have names for people like that where I come from.

Near as I can tell from his rather, ah, difficult to understand posts, I think he is convinced that the book is about his Facebook version of the cat. I guess the idea that someone could take an idea and come up with a completely different concept from his is too much for him to handle.

writeontime
10-30-2012, 06:46 PM
Just gotta say I love this place. In just one thread, you get insight into yet another cyberbullying event, learn of an interesting children's book you might want to buy and at the same time of an artist you probably want to avoid, learn a thing or two about trademarking and get to see a flash poetry battle. This place is awesome. :Hug2:

I totally agree, Friendly Frog. This place is amazing - I read the thread from start to finish and learned things about trademarks, copyright, cyberbullying, cat-related limericks, how Saki's story has taken on a life of its own in contemporary Tobermory. I didn't even know about the existence of this children's book until I read this thread today.

Oh, and before I forget, as Terie has pointed out, the cat pictures. They were adorable! :D

Stacia Kane
10-30-2012, 07:12 PM
I know that you're in time-out and I don't know if you'll return. But I wonder if others who stumble across this thread will have a similar opinion to yours. And I find the idea that people would condone the actions of a guy trying to extort money from someone else's work--a work that he had no hand in creating--kind of worrisome.

Let's review:

There is (was?) a cat in Tobermory. Several, actually, but one in particular who was known for his ballsy cat antics about town. The post from the bookshop owner in this thread makes it clear that the cat was known by the town for doing amusing things, and observed doing them by many--that his "celebrity," if it can be called that, came as a direct result of his own amusing cat actions. The bookshop owner contacted a publisher who contacted an author who wrote a book about a fiddle-playing cat in Tobermory who has slightly more than fuck-all to do with that or any actual Tobermory cat. The author invented the story herself, using the real cat and the real town as her inspiration.

There happened to be an artist in the town who took some photographs of cats in Tobermory and created a Facebook page for "the" Tobermory cat. It is unclear which cat, or if it matters. The bookshop owner thought that the book and the Facebook page could sort of dovetail with each other and create more publicity for one another, and in turn more publicity for the town itself, thus boosting tourism. This is the only reason the artist was approached.

The artist refused. Even though he could have benefited from the publicity, even though the town could have benefited, he insisted that the idea for the book was his. That no one could possibly have come up with a story about a Tobermory cat without stealing it from his Facebook page, even though there were multiple Tobermory cats in existence, even though one of them was known in town by everybody else for doing amusing things, even though somebody had already written a book about a Tobermory cat some time ago, even though books about cats are as commonplace as cat poop.

He then threw a tantrum all over the internet, inciting others to bully the author, to hack into her accounts, to tarnish her reputation, to attempt to extort money that did not belong to him.

He did not create the idea of the cat. He did not own the cat. He did not come up with the story. He did not illustrate the book. He did not come up with the idea, the title, the cat, the plot, the character, the drawings, or the paper that the book is printed on. I haven't seen anything that refutes these facts. All evidence I've seen, even the vague and barely-readable claims of Stewart himself, confirms that Stewart had nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of the book.

To me, it's like saying that Seth Grahame-Smith, the guy who wrote Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, owes a cut of his profits to every other person still living (or the estates of the dead) who has aided in the popularization of the name of Abraham Lincoln. And maybe even everyone who has aided in the popularization of vampires.

His claim comes from greed, envy, pride, and spite. His attempt to force money out of the publisher for someone else's work would be, ironically, thievery, if it were successful. I think he thinks he's in the right; I think he truly believes he came up with the "idea" of a Tobermory cat, but that doesn't make it so.

It's not morally okay. It's not legally okay. It's just not okay.

(If I got anything wrong, somebody correct me.)


QFT. As I, and several others, have said in this thread, as people from Tobermory have confirmed, and as Mr. Stewart has himself basically admitted, he didn't invent the idea of the "Tobermory Cat." He decided to make a Facebook page to exploit an already-existing thing in the hopes of making a little cash.

He has ZERO moral right in this. He invented nothing. He certainly didn't invent the concept of posting cat pictures on the internet. He didn't even invent the idea of posting cat pictures on the internet which follow a certain theme, or which center on the adventures of a particular cat. (And yes, he has admitted as well that they are not all the same cat, and yes, some of those cats may belong to someone.) Heck, Cleveland Amory's books about his cat Polar Bear already covered the idea of a "celebrity cat," and that's just one off the top of my head.

In fact, I'm sure someone in Key West could start taking pictures of Hemingway cats, and make a Facebook page for "The Hemingway Cat" complete with jokes about hunting, writing, and drinking, written in a very concise style, but that wouldn't mean they own the concept of the Hemingway cat. Hemingway cats exist. They are a thing. They are famous, at least in South Florida. Just because you start a Facebook page about them doesn't mean you own them. Just because you have a Facebook page about something doesn't mean that the only way anyone could possibly have heard about that thing is through your Facebook page--please. (In fact, look! Someone created a website about them (http://hemingwaycats.net/home/), and someone else has written a book about them, (http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Hemingway_s_Cats.html?id=6Q3v4rTGWpYC&redir_esc=y) and because they are all reasonable adults who understand the laws governing copyright, trademark, and creative property, and because they all know it's perfectly fine to have more than one website, book, picture, or story about one subject, none of them are harassing each other and throwing internet snit-fits.)

Having X number of "Likes" on Facebook means absolutely nothing, either. Neither does working people who don't understand the issues properly into such a frenzy that they begin trolling or sending emails or whatever else. Lots of people believe whatever they're told on the internet; that doesn't mean what they've been told is true. People like cat pictures. People spend hours looking at cat pictures (people will spend hours looking at any pictures, for that matter). That doesn't make them experts in how those particular cat pictures came to exist, and it doesn't mean no one could have heard of the cat in those pictures outside of Facebook. Especially when the number of Facebook followers is pretty low, all things considered.

mccardey
10-30-2012, 07:14 PM
Oh, and before I forget, as Terie has pointed out, the cat pictures. They were adorable! :D



*cough*

<

Haggis
10-30-2012, 07:17 PM
Do Scottish cats still say, "O hai?"

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o15/Damnhaggis/Ginger-pet-cat-001.jpg