Death of jetZILLA Predicted

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larry cottrill
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Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by larry cottrill » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:51 pm

You just knew it would happen ...

A couple of weeks ago, I received via Express Mail a letter from a little law firm with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco, Washington DC AND Brussels, explaining to me that Toho Co., Ltd, the creators of Godzilla, had just gotten wind of my jetZILLA trademark and http://www.jetzilla.com website. Their legal representative voiced concerns over the possibility that my site might “mislead and confuse” the public into thinking that we might be owned by them, and asked me to “immediately remove the above-referenced imagery and phrase from your website and agree not to (1) use any other ‘lizard-like’ or ‘reptile-like’ monster imagery or references in connection with any advertising, marketing or promotional materials for your business or on your website; and (2) use or register the JETZILLA mark or domain name, or any other ‘zilla’ formative mark or domain name, with any lizard-like, reptile-like, or monster-imagery or references or with any character depicted in a manner similar to the way in which Toho has depicted the GODZILLA character in its films (i.e. as a colossal character; in a city-scape with the character crushing or stomping on the city, buildings, cars, people, etc.; in any other setting where the character destroys cities, villages, or mountains; where the character breathes atomic fire; or where the character emerges from the ocean, water, etc.).”

Gee, there must be SOMETHING she left out …

Anyway, here is my characteristically lengthy response. The letter to Toho Co. Ltd mentioned here is much more serious and respectful.

I know the law firm has received this reply. So, I am waiting to see what we shall see.

_____________

Cottrill Cyclodyne Corporation
11905 NE 110th Ave
Mingo, Iowa, USA 50168-9500

27 October 2008


J--- J-----, ------------- LLP
Re: jetzilla.com


Ms J-----,

By now you will have received my signature in acknowledgment of receiving your admirably concise letter of the 8th instant, and I trust I will be receiving your signature in response to your receiving this letter very shortly, and so on. By “and so on” I mean that as I am not availed of counsel, this process will undoubtedly need to be repeated ad infinitum until there is sufficient amicability to go around. (Without legal advice, my Latin repertoire is severely limited, with “ad infinitum” occupying the most prominent position; I will try to use “ex nihilo” if I can find a good spot to work it in.) I did not receive the e-mail version of your letter; that is not totally without precedent, unfortunately.

This embarrassing lack of legal resources is due to the fact that the entire cash reserves of Cottrill Cyclodyne Corporation presently amount to fifty or sixty dollars (US), an amount completely typical of the level of capitalization to which we are accustomed. While I am normally comfortable with this, it does mean that I am forced to defend myself. Abraham Lincoln famously said, “Any man who defends himself has an ass for a lawyer and a fool for a client.”; so, here we are – but having seen my photo, you must realize that neither of us was born yesterday. No, ma’am, not yesterday nor the day before; and so I feel no aversion in trying to state my case in reply to the demands of a multi-billion yen entertainment giant.

As an aside, it is interesting that your client, Toho Co., Ltd. (“Toho”) has apparently not tried to induce you to use the words “infringement” and “dilution”, two perfectly wonderful legal terms that surely must be the very gristle and bone of trademark litigation – now at first, I suspected this to be a clever ruse to make me think that you were just an apprentice; however, I had to quickly dismiss this idea in consideration of the clear intent, complete sentence structure, totally correct grammar and usage and complete absence of mis-spellings in your finely crafted letter. (Around here, when we receive a document of such high quality, we usually reply, “Oh, you must have been home schooled!”). At any rate, I now feel sure that the omission of these inflammatory terms must be intentional, and I sincerely thank you for it. (And, you get extra credit for refusing to invoke the hideous construction “comprised of” – currently the English-speaking world’s single most popular usage error.)

If you received my 22 Oct 2008 email, you have already seen my proposed communication to Toho Co., Ltd., (attached) including my proposed remedy for their concerns (which also appears below). It is my hope that this offer will be amicably received, and that the case in point can be settled once and for all, in lieu of becoming the Jarndyce and Jarndyce of amateur jet propulsion. My proposed action is very simple and direct; however, I realize that real lawyers want detail. So, here it is.

Of course, I (hereinafter occasionally referenced as “we”) find it quite reasonable that your client does not want the public “misled or confused”. I strongly believe, however, that their estimation of my power to mislead and confuse is more than slightly exaggerated. By now, Toho must have a worldwide audience of, let’s say, a hundred million people over the years who have paid them billions of yen, millions of dollars, &c., &c. for the privilege of enjoying their films. Of course, my (hereinafter occasionally referenced as “our”) company is also world famous – to around three or four hundred people, not one of whom has ever paid a thin US dime (and they are getting mighty thin!) for any of the engine designs and other information I have provided. Does Toho have evidence that they are spending time and resources taking calls about homebuilt jet engines? I would guess that this is probably similar to the number of calls and emails I receive asking when the next GODZILLA feature will release. You’d be amazed at the low volume of such inquiries that come flooding in on a typical working day!

Of course you should point out that, if the situation were reversed and I were selling millions of miniature jet engines and discovered that a foreign company was giving away three or four hundred copies of monster movies, world-wide, using a parody of my name, I too would feel trampled upon, and heavily. Here I would be, the GODZILLA of the marketplace, getting kicked in the toe by some pesky Bambi character.

It seems fairly clear to me (hereinafter occasionally referenced as “us”) that one measure of the supposed massive level of public confusion might be taken from the fact that this is the first and only time Toho has brought a complaint to our attention in the last five years. That seems an awfully long time for the PR machine and legal staff of a giant entertainment company to put up with widespread confusion in the marketplace. I am left with the impression that this is an issue that has suddenly sprung up without preamble. (I’ll bet it’s that one call that finally came through from a high school student somewhere, trying to tune up his intake so he could get his engine to run for shop class.)

As a Christian businessman (if you take “businessman” in a fairly liberal sense, as meaning someone who mostly gives away free stuff), I cannot lie to you about the derivation of the name jetZILLA. So, purely for your information, I will relate the basic history. (Be warned, it will be difficult to make this admirably concise.) Anyway, it would obviously be ludicrous to claim that the name sprang forth ex nihilo (there - ha!) with nothing in mind that had ever gone before. No, I have to confess: In my youth, the original GODZILLA film had always been one of my favorite Late Late Show staples. But, that’s not what hit me directly when I needed a name for the online pulsejet magazine I wanted to produce.

At that time (early 2003), I happened to remember back a few years (lots of years, actually) to the massively powerful audio amplifier designed by James Bongiorno in 1974 that he called Ampzilla, which appeared as his response to Southwest Technical Products’ infamous auto-incendiary Tigersaurus amp. Also tucked away somewhere in my memory there was, of course, the VERY famous two-minute short animated film by Marv Newland, Bambi Meets Godzilla, a perfectly obvious parody of TWO major films (at the end it amusingly states, “We gratefully acknowledge the city of Tokyo for their help in obtaining Godzilla for this film”). At the time, I personally just considered GODZILLA a great old classic 1950s “big critter” movie; naturally, I mean the American version with Raymond Burr plugged in at the last minute to help explain the plot (which once again illustrates the things that a very fine actor can be induced to do if times are lean enough). An enjoyable old Japanese anti-nuclear morality play, crowned with the not unconventional device of the self-sacrifice of the protagonist to save the world (well, the millions of people living in Tokyo, anyway).

At any rate, it was the Ampzilla name example that actually led me to the name jetZILLA for my online newsletter, which was supposed to appear monthly but was so heavy on information content that it became impossible to produce more than once every few months – and eventually, not at all, since it produced zero income every time down the chute. My site statistics show that the few issues of archived newsletter are still accessed many times every month by beginners seeking advice on how to do homebuilt pulsejets – a fact sure to be seen by your client as an ongoing and egregious threat to their continuing commercial success in the entertainment marketplace.

But perhaps my real mistake, from the viewpoint of Toho, came after I had finally gotten some of my own less primitive engine designs to actually work. By this time, the online magazine was really on the back burner, due to the lack of time I could devote to it (since I have to maintain my day job to put food on the table and to allow me to capitalize my vast corporate empire). But, I decided that the jetZILLA name was so powerful (after all, I had almost 300 subscribers spanning the globe!) that I would try to expand it into a full-fledged product brand for ready-to-fly manufactured engines, and possibly engine kits, accessories and even model aircraft plans or kits (hey, we all have to have a dream.) It was at this point that we unfortunately decided to use a hand-drawn parody of the original GODZILLA character as I remembered it, with the hot “atomic beam” from his mouth replaced by a tiny flying aircraft trailing jet exhaust. (This graphic depiction will be referenced herein as the “jetZILLA mascot figure”.) It appears that the only use of the jetZILLA mascot figure at the head of the online magazine was in March 2005, which ended up being the last issue to date. The subhead “online magazine of amateur jet propulsion” was carried over from the earlier issues and used with it, but we didn’t consider that to be a memorable slogan, so the “TM” subscript was attached only to the jetZILLA mascot figure itself.

At some later point, the slogan “Monster fun from bantam jets!” came to mind, but I am compelled to emphasize that this had no conscious or substantive connection with the original GODZILLA character; it is entirely generic (in “monster” terms) and would have been suggested by any imaginable monster motif that might have been chosen. Thus, we claim this slogan to be entirely original with us at that time, and even felt it sufficiently compelling to earn its very own little “TM” tacked on at the end (as you have already seen); this will be referenced herein as the “market specific brand slogan”. Thus, the complete branding entity referenced herein as the entire “jetZILLA brand logo” is seen to consist of the jetZILLA mascot figure as a recognizable individual mark and the market specific brand slogan as a unique and individual mark unto itself. This perception of the structural design of the jetZILLA brand logo is our original, final and irrevocable view of our branding concept, as it now stands.

Your client’s objections to my slogan strike me as astonishingly far-reaching. On what grounds can they claim to have control of any intellectual property represented by “Monster fun from bantam jets”? They surely don’t believe they own “monster” – there were monsters long before GODZILLA, such as the Frankenstein Monster of the early 1800s and even the Loch Ness Monster of the 1930s (though that turned out to be a rubber pool toy). And what about “fun” – does your client believe that they provide all the fun to be had, in the form of movie tickets or video games? Surely there must be the possibility of more fun in the world than that! Obviously, “from” is traditional and self-evidently non-proprietary, so we can move on. “Bantam” seems to me to particularly describe a kind of chicken; a really good screenwriter might be able to monsterize a chicken, I suppose, but it seems to me that (at least to an American audience) such a character would never fly. You can fly “jets” of course, and I’d guess that in the course of some GODZILLA film, military jet aircraft were scrambled to thwart him – if so, it was obviously a fool’s errand doomed to failure. But again, there were “gas jets” lighting up the 1890s, and there was “jet black”, which is what you get on your hands by turning up your “gas jet” so you can see where you’ve gotten “jet black” onto your white blouse the last time you turned down your “gas jet”, and so on – suggesting how easily we can fall into circular reasoning where “jets” are concerned. Surely you can see that any claim of confusion emanating from the use of these words can’t seriously be substantiated.

But, there is an even greater stretch than this – a stretch practically beyond the elastic limit! You demand that we agree not to use ‘any other “lizard-like” or “reptile-like” monster imagery or references’. Well, we are not easily taken in – I immediately recognized this as nothing more than the famous “Straw Lizard argument”, as presented in every classic textbook on elementary logic. Be assured that we are interested in advancing the State of the Art of amateur jet propulsion, not expanding our menagerie of reptile monsters. Even so, how can your client possibly hold forth that they have proprietary command of every reptile or lizard now or heretofore existing? You are talking about thousands of reptile species, very few of which closely resemble the GODZILLA character – and they want to grab them ALL by the tail? If we must cease to use jetZILLA, why shouldn’t we then be allowed to trek to the American Southwest for their native “monster” and call my engines GilaJets? Or journey to the Sunda Strait for the great giant monitor lizard, and offer KomodoJets? Is your client’s reach so vast and their grasp so firm that they can lay claim to them all? That would seem absurd even to an avowed Platonist, and I am staunchly Aristotelian and therefore able to clearly distinguish one scaly creature from another based on empirical observation. I cannot take seriously the idea that Toho’s customer base can’t tell GODZILLA from a chameleon! (while they painfully sort out whether they’d rather buy a jet engine than a movie ticket).

But anyway, what can be taken seriously is, you state that my site was brought to your attention after being discovered by your client. What was your very first thought the first time you saw it? I’ll bet it wasn’t, “Wow – a place where they talk about jet engines!” No, it was probably more like, “Gee, that IS an awful lot like GODZILLA.” In fact, I believe almost anyone who stumbles upon my site for the first time will think something like, “Ha! That’s like GODZILLA!”, and a few might even shamefully sink to the despicable level of, “Ha! They’re making fun of GODZILLA!” But here’s the underlying reality: There is nothing about the site, or the jetZILLA brand logo itself, that in any way deprecates your client’s primary fictional character or in any manner detracts from their commercialization of it! In fact, I can immediately prove that your client should be thanking me for adding value to their ongoing marketing campaigns, to wit:

Marketing professionals say that advertising a new product, on average, needs about seven exposures to the campaign for a customer to be induced to buy. The first time they see or hear an ad, the product may or may not be completely new to them, but after that, the repetitions are simply reinforcing the idea of desiring the product for some reason. In other words, the campaign comprises an introduction followed by a series of persuasive reminders (which can be perfectly uniform or quite varied; whatever the advertiser deems most effective). Is someone viewing my site a potential customer of your client’s product? There is absolutely no reason to think otherwise. If a new GODZILLA feature film or other product has just been released, will my customer already be exposed to their ad campaign? The answer is, of course – jet hobbyists (or even just curious Web surfers) still occasionally watch television and read newspapers and magazines. So, what happens when they get to my site? The first thing they see is a graphic that reminds them: “Hey, that’s right – I just heard (saw, read) there’s a new Godzilla picture (or game or whatever)!” The psychological reinforcement value of this exposure should be obvious.

So now, you tell me: Why would your client want to stifle a vivid reminder to the buying public that they’ve just released the latest version of their product? WHY? If you think you have a good answer, it really ought to explain why universally recognized brands like Pepsi and GM pay big money to have even their already ubiquitously familiar products embedded in feature films for exposures of just a few seconds at a time. The fact is, most of the value of advertising is just reminding the marketplace that you’re out there! And that’s what my site does for your client, at zero cost to them, many times every single day. Of course, the admitted weakness of this argument is that my total “customer base” is only a tiny fraction of the real or potential customers of your client, but it certainly has to be considered a viable part of it.

Ergo, I believe I have shown your client’s claim of widespread public misledness and confusion to be absurd on its face (I have at times been told I have an absurd face, and that really hurts, let me tell you!) and that, in fact, the jetZILLA brand logo, and especially its parody depiction of your client’s best known fictional character, is a force for positive good in terms of your client’s ongoing commercial interests.

However, this still leaves us with one problem. As your client’s legal representative, they are paying you to (a) forthrightly voice their claims and demands, which you have admirably done; and, if possible, to (b) reach down into this mess and extract what I think would be legally termed a “remedy” (or at the very least, some kind of proposal for a possible remedy that might conceivably work if everyone is amicably disposed). Well, a remedy is what you need, and a remedy you shall have:

As a complete and total remedy to the express concerns of your client, we propose the following notice, for prominent display on our main site page and also on the jetZILLA Online Magazine Archives page, to be known as the “notice of distinct and separate interest”:
_________________

READ THIS NOTICE

The name jetZILLA and the jetZILLA brand are not owned by, and have no business relationship to, Toho Co., Ltd., creators of the internationally known GODZILLA feature films and the GODZILLA fictional character.

The jetZILLA name, the jetZILLA brand and the contents of this site are not intended to mock, ridicule or disparage in any way Toho Co., Ltd., their GODZILLA brand, their GODZILLA fictional character, or any of their fine entertainment products, including their GODZILLA feature films and various related goods and services.

_________________

These changes could easily be implemented within the next 30 days, and possibly much sooner. I have also detailed on the attached letter to your client what we propose to do and not do with our brand throughout its future useful life. I sincerely hope that your client will view this in its entirety as a sensible remedy to their concerns about possible confusion in the marketplace.

Sincerely,

Larry Cottrill
Director of Product Development
Cottrill Cyclodyne Corporation
Mingo, Iowa USA

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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by Mike Everman » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:20 pm

larry cottrill wrote: Of course, I (hereinafter occasionally referenced as “we”)
It seems fairly clear to me (hereinafter occasionally referenced as “us”)
Har, har!
Alas, I could not make it through the whole thing. Perhaps she (hereinafter referred to as "they" may get 2/3 into your letter and jump out a window; case closed! ;-)
Mike
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by larry cottrill » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:57 pm

Well, Mike, my theory is just the opposite:

There is little humor in the everyday work of law offices. My idea is that a humorous letter, if it's humorous enough while still accomplishing a serious purpose (my remedy proposal) will be welcomed as a breath of fresh air. Of course, for this to work, it has to be good. I would guess that most amateur lawyer letters are funny only because of total ineptitude. I doubt that they've ever seen a response where someone actually takes trying to be funny seriously. In my opinion, the best thing that could happen to this letter is that it gets copied and passed around the office. (Oh, the arrogance of a showman! ;-) Note also that she would have had a copy of my letter to her client in hand, and I did give her a small clue as to what to expect, in that my only available weapons were "enough knowledge to be occasionally dangerous and enough humor to be occasionally amusing."

Tracking my reply letter, they received it on Tuesday. If my proposal was totally unacceptable on its face, I'd probably know by now, and there would already be a strong reiteration of their client's demands. I can only conclude that what I proposed was at least worth thinking about. Of course, that doesn't mean it will turn out to be acceptable. You have to understand, too, that what I gave her to present to their client had an entirely different and much more deferential tone (partly because of perceived cultural differences), as well as providing much more detail about how "we" intend to use "our" brand:
__________

Gentlemen,

First, my most respectful greetings to you all. Let me congratulate you for your long success, and express my sincere appreciation for your many decades of providing exciting entertainment, in films and various other forms, that the whole family can enjoy.

Ms J--- J-----, of your legal representative, -------- ---- LLP, has explained to me in detail your concerns about jetzilla.com and my jetZILLA product brand, which includes the graphic image, name and slogan you have already seen. I have asked her to present this letter to you. We have advised her that we freely acknowledge that our graphic image and brand name are derived as “parodies” (that is, rough imitations) of your popular fictional character and his name, GODZILLA (originally, GOJIRA, a combination of the words “gorilla” and “whale” in your beautiful language). As I’m sure you already know, a “parody” is not necessarily something intended for harm or ridicule – it is often, in fact, a humorous or even flattering imitation of some memorable person or character. On the other hand, we regard our slogan, “Monster fun from bantam jets!” as uniquely devised, and not derived in any way from your brand or products. She has been given a detailed history of the creation of our brand.

From what Ms J----- communicated to me, your most serious concerns seem to be about possible confusion in the marketplace, especially the possibility of the public erroneously believing that we are affiliated with your company. I fully agree that it is legitimate and reasonable for you to have such concerns; however, I believe that your fears of such confusion are actually unfounded, and I will try to explain why I think this. In fact, I will try to show how our “parody” brand actually helps your own marketing efforts, in a small but positive way.

Though our market audience is tiny compared to yours, branding our business is crucial. We have already become very well known among pulsejet hobbyists world-wide. These are people who hand-build, test and use their own (usually very small) pulsejet engines. What we want to do in the future is begin manufacturing small valveless pulsejet engines and market them to modelers who want to propel devices such as model aircraft, speedboats and the like. (Note: If you wish to see and hear such a product in action, just go back to the www.jetzilla.com main site page you have already seen, and click on the two YouTube video screens embedded there. You will need a computer with a high speed Internet connection to view them.)

In terms of intended target markets, it seems to me that we are not in conflict; that is, I believe that we are not competing with you directly, and I also believe that our brand is not actually “diluting” your brand effectiveness as you market films and home entertainment products. Note that our brand name and image are clearly parodies; we did not attempt to exactly duplicate the appearance of the GODZILLA name or design. Nor is our brand inherently derogatory of your company or of any of your fine products. Of course, I can be wrong concerning public perceptions; please inform me through Ms J----- if you disagree with my appraisal. In any case, please let me assure you that there has certainly never been any intent on our part to degrade in any way the power of your GODZILLA brand identity in your traditional markets.

Our products are engine designs and drawings (from which hobbyists can build their own engines), online information about valveless pulsejets and the pulsejet hobby, printed materials related to pulsejet theory and construction, and short non-fiction videos promoting the hobby and illustrating pulsejet construction, testing, and the like. We view the jetZILLA brand as a purely “static” entity; that is, we have no interest in animating the figure, nor enhancing it or expanding on it as any kind of entertainment vehicle in itself. It is intended to be nothing more than a static brand image for our products and services. Here is a synopsis of what we plan to do with this brand, and what we are ready to assure you we positively will not do:

What we want to do (or continue to do) with the jetZILLA brand, logo and mascot character:
- Use and maintain the jetZILLA.com Web site and related site pages with the brand logo as it now appears
- Reserve the right to use newly devised slogans within the brand logo, so long as these relate meaningfully to our own products and do not copy or have reference to verbiage taken from GODZILLA products or related advertising or promotion
- Use the logo as our brand identity on our own online resources such as Web pages
- Use the logo as our brand identity on original printed materials, or original online materials offered to be printed by consumers
- Use the logo, as a static (non-animated) image as our brand identity on original non-fiction films or videos related to our own designs and products and the pulsejet hobby in general, limited to a short duration preceding the opening titles and credits (if any) and preceding, during or following the closing credits (if any)

What we promise we WILL NOT do with the jetZILLA brand, logo and mascot character:
- Apply a new slogan that copies or closely imitates advertising verbiage from GODZILLA products, or that copies or closely imitates spoken dialog taken from GODZILLA film productions
- Develop the character as an animated figure in a film, video presentation or game of any kind
- Develop the character in the form of a physical toy or “action figure”
- Expand the character to full body form in any representation whatever
- Change the “jet exhaust stream” part of the logo in any way to closely resemble the characteristic “atomic fire” projected by the GODZILLA character
- Relate the character to a background landscape, seascape or cityscape in order to resemble scenes in GODZILLA entertainment products
- Apply a “growl” or other characteristic “animal voice” to the character
- Apply music resembling or extracted from GODZILLA entertainment products

Earlier, I made the bold statement that I believe our “parody” brand name and image actually help Toho Co., Ltd in your promotional efforts. Let me explain why I think this:

I’m sure you are aware that when you begin to advertise a new product offering, very few people will stop what they are doing and immediately rush out to buy the product. In fact, marketers say that, for most customers, it takes several exposures to even the highest quality advertising to get people to take action and make the purchase. Most advertising is simply reminding potential customers of your brand and your new product. In fact, for well established products, all you are achieving is reminding the public that your brand is in the marketplace. So, any technique that reminds people of your brand (in any positive way) eventually adds to your purchasing customer base, increasing your success.

And this is what our brand does. Every time a person comes to our site or sees our brand in any form, they naturally think of the highly memorable GODZILLA name and fictional character. There is no way they can avoid this, because of the power of your well-established character and brand! Even if a few viewers think (erroneously) that we are only trying to make fun of your character, they are still unavoidably reminded of the original GODZILLA. Now, if such a person has recently been exposed to your own advertising of a new or existing product, they are very likely to recall that advertising, as well! In this way, the jetZILLA brand psychologically reinforces the effect of your own ongoing advertising, while costing you nothing in return. And, as I have said, there is nothing about our site or brand that would give viewers any negative feelings about your company or products, so you always win.

As a Christian businessman, I would be bringing a terrible shame upon myself if I tried to deceive you by claiming that this effect is of very large importance; obviously, our customer base is incredibly small compared to the millions of customers you’re reaching every day. My only point is that it is a small but positive factor, from your standpoint. You have millions of customers who will never care about homebuilt jet engines; but I don’t have a single customer that would never care about seeing an exciting family film or perhaps buying a well-designed video game! And every one of them is reminded of the original GODZILLA every time they open up my Web site or look at one of our jet engine drawings.

Returning to your concern about public confusion: Obviously, I have no way of proving that absolutely no confusion about ownership or affiliation ever occurs. So, I offer the following remedy to this possibility. If you insist on our providing such a remedy, and agree with the wording, we will prominently display the following notice on our main Web pages:
__________

READ THIS NOTICE

The name jetZILLA and the jetZILLA brand are not owned by, and have no business affiliation with, Toho Co., Ltd., creators of the internationally known GODZILLA feature films and the GODZILLA fictional character.

The jetZILLA name, the jetZILLA brand and the contents of this site are not intended to mock, ridicule or disparage in any way Toho Co., Ltd., their GODZILLA brand, their GODZILLA fictional character, or any of their fine entertainment products, including their GODZILLA feature films and various related goods and services.

__________

Note that I am not offering to place this on every Web page where our brand might appear (which would be excessively difficult and time-consuming to accomplish), but rather on every “main access” page where users enter our site, such as the home page you have seen and the jetZILLA online magazine archives page.

Please communicate through Ms J----- your reaction to my proposal. Thank you for your patience in bearing with me through this rather long letter.

Respectfully yours,

Larry Cottrill
Director of Product Development
Cottrill Cyclodyne Corporation

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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by Mike Everman » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:09 pm

Agreed, just funnin' with you about the length.
I can't wait to see the response!
I might have gone this route. Or just responded: "OK, I'll change it to Jetasaurus Rex" ha
Mike
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by metiz » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:16 pm

Wow. The resources it's going to take to fully comprehend and understand your behemoth reply will probably fastly exeed all (if any) income they have and will lost/loose to your clearly copyright infringing site! :D
Quantify the world.

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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by larry cottrill » Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:40 pm

If you can't buffet them severely about the head and shoulders, at least leave them laughing.

L Cottrill

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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by hinote » Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:33 pm

larry cottrill wrote:You just knew it would happen ...
Larry:

Are you being unfairly singled out?

There's all kinds of similar mods on the original name. Among these are:

BRIDEZILLA

HOGZILLA

AMPZILLA

--to name just a few; some are commercially applied and some not. I would contend that the original usage has become so ingrained in our language that it transcends individual ownership.
Bill H.
Acoustic Propulsion Concepts

".......some day soon we'll be flying airplanes powered by pulsejets."

Rossco
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by Rossco » Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:10 am

Har Har!
(with beer in hand Mike)

(bowing smiley, if there is one)

I agree with Matiz, how could they possibly justify the expence or time to even disect your responce for such an absurd claim?
Death of Jetzilla, I hardly think so.
At the very least, you could stretch it out for Jetzilla's full life with a few reasonably lengthy letters, spaced between theirs, if it was to continue.

With respect,
Rossco
Big, fast, broke, fix it, bigger, better, faster...
[url=callto://aussierossco]Image[/url]

Ghrey
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by Ghrey » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:28 am

Having read every word ( some how ) I am left with a few questions.

1) What were they smoking?
2) Are they as silly as another ( name withheld due the terms of the final remedy ) entertainment giant that went after 1 money loosing product that we were selling.
3) My eyes are bleeding, is that normal?
4) hereinafter occasionally referenced as Four.
5) Re: 1) above; Will they share?


.:.


.
In the process of moving, from the glorified phone booth we had to the house we have.

No real time to work on jets, more space, no time.

Life still complicated.

larry cottrill
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by larry cottrill » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:21 pm

hinote wrote:Are you being unfairly singled out? There's all kinds of similar mods on the original name.
No, I think they probably challenge every offender. I'm betting that how it ends up depends a lot on what kind of fight you're willing to put up, and that my blend of logic and humor is as good a fight as any. Legally, every one of these has to be seen as an individual case. Did you ever wonder: Why did Mozilla turn into Firefox? Whether they do anything about it depends, I suspect, on what they think the impact on their marketing will be. That's why I emphasized the completely separate market emphasis of our products.

In general, any company has the right to protect its brands as much as it can. On the other hand, resources have to be spent on protecting against real menaces, not imaginary ones.
Ghrey wrote:Having read every word ( some how ) I am left with a few questions.
1) What were they smoking?.
No, it's not that, it's plain old CorporateThink. Have you ever seen the Marx Brothers movie, The Big Store? There's a beautiful example of exactly this kind of thinking, in a fairly long standup comedy scene using a Flit gun. If you've ever seen it, you know that the usual suspects, Groucho and Chico, pass the Flit gun (a two-hands operated insecticide sprayer, for all of you less than 50 ys old) back and forth while they crack jokes relating to it. The notable thing about the Flit gun in this scene is that it has an extremely irritating black "animation" that looks like a chocolate shredded wheat amoeba superimposed over the place where the name Flit originally appeared. Here's why:

The Flit company was very careful about their advertising (believe it or not, Dr Seuss drew many ads for them long before he was doing his great children's books!). Some very high up executive caught wind of the Marx's Flit scene in this movie, and was naturally mightily offended that his brand was being made fun of. So they offered to sue the heck out of the producers, and a settlement was reached wherein it was agreed that the Flit label would be removed from the scene. So, some poor beggar back at the studio was conscripted to spend hour after tedious hour going over the original monochrome negative of that scene with a single-edge razor blade, scratching out the much offended label, frame by frame. (Remember, computer imaging for filmmaking was over half a century in the future.) Then the altered negative was used to print hundreds of new prints -- the scratched-out area on each frame naturally burned in as full black in that process. Finally, the new prints were sent out to all the theatres then showing the film as replacement reels (or else, the theatres were ordered to splice in the scene in the existing reels, I obviously can't remember which way it was done). Thus, the Flit company masterfully obliterated a chance for their brand label to be seen, in a memorable way, by untold millions of people. Pretty smart move, huh?

Today, people are still watching and laughing at the Marx Brothers. The Flit company is long gone.

Before I could finish my lengthy reply to Toho and their representative, I received the following highly amusing email:
__________

Dear jetzilla:
We are Shanghai Chooke Network Information Technology Co., Ltd, which is the domain name register center in China.I have something need to confirm with you.
We have received a formal application ,one company named "Monkitek Holding Co., Ltd" applies for your domain names in Asia/China like http://www.jetzilla.cn http://www.jetzilla.com.cn and the Internet keyword(jetzilla) on the internet Oct. 22, 2008. We need to know the opinion of your company because the domain names and keyword may relate to the copyright of brand name on internet .
we would like to get the affirmation of your company,please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.

Kind Regards,
Pat ...

Tel: ...
Fax: ...
Email:... .com.cn
Shanghai Chooke Network Information Technology Co., Ltd
website:www.chooke.com.cn
__________

So what do you think? Should I bring the mighty iron claw of jetZILLA crashing down on their heads (with my kind regards, of course)? Ha.

(Just another of the many interesting challenges of modern corporate life ;-)

L Cottrill

pezman
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by pezman » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:25 am

Hi Larry,

Here's a possible alternative to quibbling with the Zilla Gods -- you could exercise your constitutionally protected right to parody Godzilla. In fact, you can put a picture of a lizard on every page and a jet coming of every orifice the lizard has to offer (might require some research), and a few additional rockets, jets and lizards in flight. You can even profit from this effort -- as long as it's a parody. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_v ... Rose_Music. It might be fun to punish them for their idiocy -- instead of closing the door, they end up opening the floodgates.

As extra punishment, you could give the chinese guys your blessing on the domain name. Lol -- we live in wonderful times.

Something about Luther Campbell winning a unanimous decision from the Supreme Court never fails brings smile to my face. The song that was the subject of the case was wholly w/o merit, but the case was a landmark.

Ghrey
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by Ghrey » Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:53 am

It was not why that I was asking. It was their total lack of calibration.

They aimed a 970mm Cannon at a gnat.

The Marx Brothers, were / are a big deal, with an audience of many millions.

No offense intended to you sir, but, in your case, ..... not ..... so ..... much.

That was the gist of the Smoking comment.

True ( Another company { see above } ) of even greater size, went after us, over a product that, was 1) not profitable, 2) not patentable or copy writable 3) only test marketed in a quantity of less than 12. We decided that fighting about a product which was a failure was folly, and told them so. Documents re; the remedy ensued. done.

They used a 2540mm cannon on a dust mite. Funny part is; in court we ( the mite ) could have easily prevailed. But we would have bankrupted our selves many times over doing so. Winning the right to produce a failed product at that cost was not, we felt, in our best interests.

Cheers
In the process of moving, from the glorified phone booth we had to the house we have.

No real time to work on jets, more space, no time.

Life still complicated.

larry cottrill
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by larry cottrill » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:00 pm

pezman wrote:You can even profit from this effort -- as long as it's a parody. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_v ... Rose_Music. It might be fun to punish them for their idiocy -- instead of closing the door, they end up opening the floodgates.
What I loved about the Wiki article was this: 'noting that artists "ask for criticism, but only want praise." ' Ha -- that's me, all right. Maybe all of us. Anyway, I thought that was a hilarious observation.

But I just had to la-haff.
I saw the photogra-haff.

L Cottrill

larry cottrill
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by larry cottrill » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:33 pm

Ghrey wrote:It was not why that I was asking. It was their total lack of calibration.
They aimed a 970mm Cannon at a gnat.
Well, yes, I know that's largely what you were getting at. But that's a part of CorporateThink, too. They don't care about the size of the perceived menace, what they care about is opening the door. The unwritten but doctrinally held rule is, "If you let one talking dog on the train, you have to let all talking dogs on the train." You can't allow a gnat because you might be letting a vulture get its foot in the door. It's easier to set up and enforce a hard and fast rule than it is to pick and choose whom you're going to tolerate camping at the gate.

When businesses become really large, there is huge inertia to everything they do. It is impossible to stay "light on your feet" when hundreds of employees and multiplied thousands of stockholders depend on the corporation for their survival. While changes can be made, they tend to be late reactions to changes in conditions; there is no real flexibility but rather a formulaic mode to solving every problem. Any other approach makes everybody uncomfortable. This is especially true with regard to intellectual property, which is, of course, an extremely highly valued asset and which is firmly encrusted with legal safeguards of every sort, with long-standing precedents dictating how things have to be done.

In my case, the simple solution would be to offer that if they promise not to sell jet engine stuff, I'll promise not to sell fantasy entertainment stuff. That's basically what I've said in my letter to Toho. More specifically, I've promised not to let the jetZILLA mascot "come to life" in some way. Unfortunately, the law itself does not allow such a simple statement to have any legal standing, because the inertial mass is seen as insufficient to stand the test of time.

L Cottrill

Ghrey
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Re: Death of jetZILLA Predicted

Post by Ghrey » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:12 am

I do not see why your suggestion should not work.

President; Apple Computer V.S. Apple Records

Your Idea worked for them. Until the I-Pod....

You are not in a convergent technology with monster movies how ever so . . .
In the process of moving, from the glorified phone booth we had to the house we have.

No real time to work on jets, more space, no time.

Life still complicated.

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