Day 5, Entry #9 with Jamie Cicatiello discussing the Daniel Moore controversy with the University of Alabama.
Adrian makes a good point. You have to pay to see the game somehow so it’s not really free to the public. But in the case of branding and copyright is that once it’s out in public, it’s hard to protect your brand because it’s now public. That’s why companies “launch” there product. When you think of Alabama Football, you may immediately think of crimson and white uniforms; that is branded in our collective conscious. Therefore the University cannot copyright the uniforms or jerseys. That is why you can buy what looks like an Alabama Football jersey and put your name on the back (it’s also a classy way to support your team J But because the script A is copyrighted and branded by the University, they have to defend that brand at every turn. Because now and for years to come, when you think of Alabama, you’ll see the script A.
When I was growing, up we had a captial A with the elephant stepping through it. That is how UA was branded then and they had to defend that. So even though you are paying to watch the game, once it becomes public, I really don’t think they can copyright the entire event. I hope I’m making sense. Too bad we don’t have a lawyer who could jump in and verify or not verify what I’m saying.
The University is making money on endorsements, football time, selling of everything that has players and footballs on it and so on. I don’t think that Moore is taking away from their profit. And at the end of the day, many people are profiting illegally from ripping off images of Alabama Football. I just don’t see it taking enough money out of the program to make a difference. I don’t see Moore’s paintings as a threat to the University in any way. And I would think if he was, he would work with them to settle things. But asking for 80% of his sales is ridonkulous!
Once a player signs to play with UA, anything he does is now the property of UA. It’s the same as if you were to write a paper and it gets published or whatever. The student may get a scholarship, but UA gets the money and the accolades and what not that comes with the accomplishment of what the student has done. Unfortunately papers aren’t played out on TV with millions watching so no one can paint a recreation of what someone wrote.
I’m sticking with the notion that once something like a football game becomes that public, it’s then public knowledge and it’s extremely hard for UA to copyright it or brand it. I stick to that argument because I’m pretty sure Moore won on the grounds of freedom of speech, so I’m not sure what legal right UA has to sue him.