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Old 01-25-2013, 01:54 PM   #16
tjkraz

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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoHo View Post
How much do they pay for the image used on the Disneyworld.com website?
Whatever they pay to put the theater on their website is peanuts compared to the potential royalties involved if there's some sort of guest photo rider in the agreement.

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I mean come on your jumping through a lot of hoops here.
Take a step back and really think about this for a moment.

SOME contract certainly exists between the parties. The did not simply co-opt the design and name without paying SOMETHING to SOMEONE. Disney even refers to it as "Grauman's Chinese Theater" on their own website.

Given the existence of some agreement, frankly it's irresponsible to state matter-of-factly what's in that agreement without first-hand knowledge.

As I said, there are many examples of older contracts which did not take newer technologies into account. Classic television shows like WKRP in Cincinnati and Miami Vice have only seen release on DVD and digital in dramatically altered form because music licensing agreements didn't take that tech into account. Vintage material from the 80s rock band Def Leppard is not yet available on iTunes or other digital platforms because the band would not receive any compensation per its original agreement, and the record label isn't willing to change that agreement.

Similar agreements held up the digital film releases for years over disputes between studios and producers. Typically those agreements are overcome when all of the parties realize the dollars which stand to be made.

Remember the agreement Disney had with MGM? Remember how the MGM name and lion logo was digitally removed from all of Disney's marketing materials? Disney was prohibited from using the MGM logo in such promo materials. That's one example of a sticky contract term--and it's no urban legend.

Consider some of the terms of the agreement between Marvel and Universal Florida over use of their characters. That has been discussed all too often on these forums given the Disney connection. And if you've participated in those discussions, you probably know that Marvel (now Disney) has a lot of say in how the characters are used, which characters are used, the materials in which they are presented, etc.

All of the Disney parks have a central icon--a "weenie" as Walt liked to call it. Despite the existence of the Earful Tower, the Chinese Theater was played-up as the central icon for many years. Is it really so inconceivable that the licensing agreement contains specific terms surrounding the usage of that icon--and that Disney would eventually take steps to minimize its long-term payouts under that agreement?

I'm not claiming that I know what's in those agreements any better than others. But what I am saying is that there are many possibilities which would easily justify Disney wanting to eliminate Grauman's Chinese Theater as a central park icon.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horace Horsecollar View Post
The reason so many people believe so many urban legends is they tend to "make perfect sense," at least on the surface.
Unless I'm missing something here, all we're talking about is one man's "perfect sense" against another's "perfect sense". Not sure why one carries any more weight than the other.

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The burden of proof should be to prove that there IS such an agreement with the owners of the Chinese Theater.
If anything, all I'm doing is presenting alternatives which contradict the unsupported "urban legend" claim.

Matter-of-factly stating that it's an "urban legend" should bear the burden of proof.

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Originally Posted by raidermatt View Post
Conversely though, is there any proof that the agreement is the reason? As far as I know, there is not, but I could be wrong.
See above.

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In the absence though, I have a hard time getting firmly behind either possibility. Though I will say that I would think Disney could find a way to resolve the contract dispute short of having to build a BAH and stick it in front of the theater.
That's assuming Disney has a desire to resolve the situation AND that both parties can come to a new agreement.

Disney is certainly paying the Grauman's people SOMETHING given the name and image use on Disney.com. Re-negotiating the contract opens the door for both parties to change terms.

Again, the Def Leppard example. It's been discussed but no resolution reached.

Disney may very well have broached the subject, only to be rebuffed. And the easiest solution became to just block the darn thing and eliminate a chunk of compensation.

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Keep in mind, however, that this occurred around the same time they put a giant 2000 on Spaceship Earth. That was bad enough, but then instead of just taking it down in 2001, they chose to put a giant Epcot sign up there.

So, the idea that they thought the BAH (that is the proper name, btw), was a better icon is not far-fetched at all. Even less so when you consider the synergistic implications.
I never said that the icon angle was far-fectched. It may be one of several factors which contributed to the hat's construction. At the same time, both the Earful Tower and Chinese Theater served as park icon a wide range of merchandise and promotional materials. It was not a gaping need at DHS.

I really don't see how anyone disallow the possibility of other contributing factors without first-hand knowledge.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
I really don't see how anyone disallow the possibility of other contributing factors without first-hand knowledge.
I didn't disallow anything. In fact, I said I have a hard time getting firmly behind either possibility. If you are indeed not actually leaning toward the contract side, we are on the same page.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:35 AM   #19
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The rumor I heard is slightly different. The issue wasn't with guests taking pictures but with professional photographers (Disney) taking pictures with guests. Was Disney even using digital cameras and photpass when the hat was put up? I've been in building and places which had a sign stating professional photographers have to get a permit before shooting.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre was sold to Paramount and Warner Bros as part of the bankruptcy of Mann's. I've heard the bankruptcy court decided the agreement didn't include permission for professional photography, the agreement was up for renewal and finally Disney wouldn't agree to whatever terms Paramount and Warner Bros wanted.

JMO but given the "decoration" of Spaceship Earth at around the same time the most likely explanation may be Disney thought the hat was an improvement. This was done when Disney was pushing pin sales and pin trading.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewisc View Post
The rumor I heard is slightly different. The issue wasn't with guests taking pictures but with professional photographers (Disney) taking pictures with guests. Was Disney even using digital cameras and photpass when the hat was put up? I've been in building and places which had a sign stating professional photographers have to get a permit before shooting.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre was sold to Paramount and Warner Bros as part of the bankruptcy of Mann's. I've heard the bankruptcy court decided the agreement didn't include permission for professional photography, the agreement was up for renewal and finally Disney wouldn't agree to whatever terms Paramount and Warner Bros wanted.

JMO but given the "decoration" of Spaceship Earth at around the same time the most likely explanation may be Disney thought the hat was an improvement. This was done when Disney was pushing pin sales and pin trading.
these are sound points...

while the bankruptcy and sale of Mann's undoubtedly caused headaches due to licensing/promotional material for the mouse...i'm sure they will employ the same tactic they always due with their third party licenses - strong arm them and if that doesn't work - wait and delay.

but i think the hat was built because they honestly thought people would be in love with. Eisner was crazy like that in his later years. He lost his mind somewhere between 1998-2000 (i can't prove it yet...but there are doctors out there somewhere that have it written down in an old chart)...and he really went for corny stuff like this. think of all the T-shirts that puppy would sell?

It was just another notch in the headboard on a string of bad ideas and poorly constructed rides/parks.

The "2000" on Spaceship was a neat, simplistic idea that made sense when they came up with it. And remember that that event at WDW was the most successful - pound for pound - period in their history. I worked there then - it was great. Very crowded...but the crowd excitement level was off the charts. fun times.

so they used what "worked" then - the icon and the "15 month celebration" and then drove them into the ground quickly. hence the hat and the "100 years of magic"...plus all the stupid marketing gags they've tried since. my favorite being the "Happiest Celebration on Earth"...which roughly translates into every other known language/dialect on earth as NOTHING!!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:49 PM   #21
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Actually the rumor should be easy to prove. Ask a Disney photographer to take a picture of you with the theater behind you. Specifically ask for that shot. If the rumor is true the photographers would have been told not to take such a picture.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewisc
Actually the rumor should be easy to prove. Ask a Disney photographer to take a picture of you with the theater behind you. Specifically ask for that shot. If the rumor is true the photographers would have been told not to take such a picture.
I reject that one...

Disney "photographers" are plucked off the street like people who clean the benches at typhoon.

The have little training in photography...let alone corporate tort law in regards to IP and copyright infringement.

They'll take the pictures and think nothing or it...but that isn't enough evidence to make a judgement:
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:31 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockedoutlogic View Post
I reject that one...

Disney "photographers" are plucked off the street like people who clean the benches at typhoon.

The have little training in photography...let alone corporate tort law in regards to IP and copyright infringement.

They'll take the pictures and think nothing or it...but that isn't enough evidence to make a judgement:
One would think if it was against licensing agreement, then the photo pass people would be well versed NOT to take photos they are not allowed to take. It isn't a matter of them being versed in corporate tort laws, as much as having a written list of rules to follow on the job.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaNonamus

One would think if it was against licensing agreement, then the photo pass people would be well versed NOT to take photos they are not allowed to take. It isn't a matter of them being versed in corporate tort laws, as much as having a written list of rules to follow on the job.
Actually...it wouldn't matter if they took them...

It would be on the photopass kiosks/website to not sell them for fee.
That probably is the copyright infringement safeguard.

It's not whether
You take them-- it's if you print/sell them for profit.

Just like Walgreens won't print Disney pictures anymore.

I can go take pictures of the theater behind the hat right now if I want...but I can't sell them outside the gates

Mainly because I would have to run away from the retired mall cop "security"
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:51 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by lockedoutlogic View Post
I reject that one...

Disney "photographers" are plucked off the street like people who clean the benches at typhoon.

The have little training in photography...let alone corporate tort law in regards to IP and copyright infringement.

They'll take the pictures and think nothing or it...but that isn't enough evidence to make a judgement:
Second thought, it doesn't prove it, but not for the reason you gave. Poster gave the reason. If this was a legal issue the Disney photographers would be specifically instructed not to take such a picture.

Doesn't prove it because something could have changed since the hat went up.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:27 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Lewisc View Post
The rumor I heard is slightly different. The issue wasn't with guests taking pictures but with professional photographers (Disney) taking pictures with guests.
Interestingly that jives with another piece of info I came across over the years. Back in 2002 I contacted Disney Event Photography to schedule a photo session during a family trip. The only prohibited location on all of Walt Disney World property was (then) MGM Studios. We could have scheduled the session at any resort hotel or the other 3 theme parks, but not MGM/DHS. Only explanation given was vague "licensing reasons."

Quote:
Originally Posted by raidermatt View Post
If you are indeed not actually leaning toward the contract side, we are on the same page.
Actually I do lean toward contracts being the primary reason the hat was erected.

Disney has spent millions over the years to build, maintain and light the thing. I'm guessing we agree that there's very little Disney does which isn't financially motivated. And I find it hard to believe that the hat somehow generates more revenue than either Earful Tower or Chinese Theater would as a park icon for DHS. Heck, the Tower is even getting some play as a park icon these days:



The Epcot wand came down 6 years ago but Disney has stood firm on the hat despite similar fan rejection / outcry. I think the reasons for its existence go deeper than simple aesthetics.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:06 PM   #27
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For what it's worth, Photopass started in late 2004. But I can't remember how long before that they were taking/selling photos in front of the theater/hat using the old system.

Quote:
I'm guessing we agree that there's very little Disney does which isn't financially motivated. And I find it hard to believe that the hat somehow generates more revenue than either Earful Tower or Chinese Theater would as a park icon for DHS. Heck, the Tower is even getting some play as a park icon these days:

The Epcot wand came down 6 years ago but Disney has stood firm on the hat despite similar fan rejection / outcry. I think the reasons for its existence go deeper than simple aesthetics.
But see, I don't think the outcry is similar at all. Among the Disney populace at large, there's a lot more support for the BAH than there was for the Epcot sign. Many see it as an individual entity only and don't know or care about the signifigance of the theatre behind it.

I agree on the financial motivation of course, but in the grand scheme the BAH is cheap. It gave them a symbol for MGM for 100 Years of Magic in the absence of anything substantial. When viewed that way, it was a bargain. On top of that, it was a synergistic move. It promotes Fantasmic and Fantasia instead of Grauman's.

Again, I'm not dismissing the possibility of a contract issue, that could very well be at least part of it. But I don't see it as any more likely either.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:50 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Lewisc View Post
Grauman's Chinese Theatre was sold to Paramount and Warner Bros as part of the bankruptcy of Mann's. I've heard the bankruptcy court decided the agreement didn't include permission for professional photography, the agreement was up for renewal and finally Disney wouldn't agree to whatever terms Paramount and Warner Bros wanted.

JMO but given the "decoration" of Spaceship Earth at around the same time the most likely explanation may be Disney thought the hat was an improvement. This was done when Disney was pushing pin sales and pin trading.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre was sold in May of 2011 to Chinese Theatres, LLC.

I have no idea on the legal front but miss the 'Grauman' anchoring the Hollywood Boulevard recreation.

Get rid of the hat!
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:12 AM   #29
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I've been keeping up with this thread but I have one question mildly off topic that I don't understand ... Why does everyone dislike the hat? I like it! It's an iconic peice...
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:51 AM   #30
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I dislike the hat as an icon of HS. I would rather see the Chinese Theater. that makes it more "Hollywood".

I think in certain situations its a good icon for something else, animation studio or something.

But I would rather see the Earful Tower as the icon as show on the other post. That is much nicer!
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