That.Hat.

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by bigdisz, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. RES1536

    RES1536 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    I don't know if anyone has mentioned his, but the Chinese theater just changed ownership and is now known as "TCL Chinese Theater". Maybe this new company is having issues with the replica.

    I never liked the hat. It seems so out of place and it blocks the true focal point of the street. I feel like thy should get rid of the hat and bring the Earful Tower as the parks image.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. tjkraz

    tjkraz <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    13,288
    It's not just the building itself. It is my understanding that artwork on a structure is subject to standard copyright protections which predate the 1990 architecture provisions.

    Look at the enormous mural above the entrance doors and the smaller artwork to the left and right of that. It all matches the original theater in Hollywood. I'm not convinced that the entire structure could have been duplicated to such exacting detail without some permission / licensing on Disney's part.

    The issue isn't so much restrictions on photography--it's restrictions which may have accompanied Disney's licensing of building elements and the "Grauman's Chinese Theater" name.

    Again I'll bring up the MGM logo issue. Disney licensed it for use within the park (archway above animation courtyard), on park maps, on t-shirts and other merchandise...but they were prohibited from displaying the MGM logo in certain marketing materials. The annual VHS / DVD mail-away promo videos always had the logo digitally removed and the park was referred to as "Disney Studios."

    Not an exact parallel by any means but it does illustrate that these agreements contain restrictions which often seem nonsensical.

    Exactly the reason why I have so much trouble believing that the hat is simply there because some marketing suit claims it will move more merchandise than the Earful Tower or Chinese Theater.
     
  4. raidermatt

    raidermatt Beware of the dark side. Anger...fear...aggressio

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2000
    Messages:
    6,459
    I only consider it weak because of the location. If the BAH were somewhere down by Fantasmic, I'd be fine with it. Not right on Sunset, but maybe further down by the theater, or even out front somewhere (without blocking other important sightlines of course).
     
  5. YoHo

    YoHo If you have any poo to fling, now is the time.

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1999
    Messages:
    3,447
    There is no indication that the Chinese theater or any part of it is copyrighted. Copyrights and trademarks are public record.
    But again, Disney clearly obtained the rights either via contract or just simply because the law allowed them to. And taking photographs of famous architecture is considered fair use. It's Disney's building, not TCL's or WB/Paramount's or Mann's. For the contract to restrict photopass, it would have to be a vary complexly worded contract that at the time of construction, Disney probably wouldn't have even been required to enter into.


    You have a whole lot more faith in the intelligence of Disney in the late 90s early 2000s than pretty much anyone. I have more trouble believing there was anyone smart enough to realize Earful or the Theater were better logos. Certainly they weren't smart enough to do anything useful with the park from an attractions point of view. Why believe they "Got" the logo issue?
     
  6. ToddS

    ToddS Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1999
    Messages:
    107
    I'm with raidermatt. The hat is not terrible, but the location is.
     
  7. ToddS

    ToddS Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1999
    Messages:
    107
    This is what I was saying at the beginning. The issue was not with the taking of pictures by guests or by anyone; it was the selling of the image. As I understood it, the owners of the real theater were entitled to a cut. This would explain the website photo as well -- since access to the website is free, no royalty needed to be paid on that image.
     
  8. hydrotony

    hydrotony DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    748
    The origin of The Hat and why it was built was discussed in Episode 18 of "The Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish with Jim Hill" podcast available on iTunes for free. Jim Hill and Len Testa discuss The Hat in the first 8 minutes of the podcast and there is absolutely no mention of trademark, copy-write or other legal issues concerning its placement or reason why it is where it is. Making money was the reason.
     
  9. Mouse14

    Mouse14 Wish I was at the Lodge

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    336
    Just spoke with a photo pass photographer and she said that there are portions of the Chinese theater they are not allow to take pictures of. Just like on rock n roller coaster they can't take a picture of the "Hanes" logo. And on tower of terror they have to take a picture of the entire thing
     
  10. YoHo

    YoHo If you have any poo to fling, now is the time.

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1999
    Messages:
    3,447
    Did she say which portions?

    And is she allowed to take a picture "of the entire thing?"
     
  11. Mouse14

    Mouse14 Wish I was at the Lodge

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    336
    I asked her which portions and she said she is fairly new and has not yet been trained on the Chinese theater. she has only been trained on ToT and Rocken Roller. She pointed towards where photopass members who have been trained on in could give me more info, but i couldn not find them. But she did say that she cannot take pictures of the whole thing. And it does have to do with copyright laws. But the same rules go for the other rides....
     
  12. Budshark

    Budshark Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    222
    The law trumps urban legend:

    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html

    Since the theater cannot be protected by Copyright law, it would be a huge stretch to imagine a situation that Disney wrote into a contract that new owners could block their use. In FACT, even assuming there is a contract would be a stretch considering the physical design of the building can be replicated over and over and used for whatever means desired WITHOUT asking for permission. Why would Disney decide to enter into a contract for something that wouldn't require a contract?
     
  13. YoHo

    YoHo If you have any poo to fling, now is the time.

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1999
    Messages:
    3,447
    All of this was covered in the thread already. I posted it. The building could be trademarked and certain artwork on the building could be copyrighted.
     
  14. ToddS

    ToddS Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1999
    Messages:
    107
    And by the way, as a long-time lurker on this board, I just want to say: Landbaron, Horace Horsecollar, YoHo, Raidermatt... it is sooooooo fantastic to be reading posts from you guys again. Like old times. I had almost forgotten how thought-provoking the discussions here used to be!
     
  15. cmash95

    cmash95 a princess at heart

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Messages:
    718
    the only reason that the hat hasn't come down is the cost of taking it down. I have talked to people who were responible for the hat's placement in the first place and they have all said that first eisne and now skaggs doesn't want to spend the money nor take down the area including the movie ride, in order to take down the hat. They would also have to find a new pin spot as well. There is no copywrite or any other issue with the owners of the chinese theater since the theater was built with the opening of the park and it's considered a national landmark. It was built before the present ownership and the terms of it's use were part of the purchase. I have heard this rumor so many times in the past few years I can't tell you how many but yes it's definitely an uban legend.
     
  16. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    Joined:
    May 23, 2000
    Messages:
    18,289
    They didn't have to remove the Great Movie Ride in order to install the hat. Why would they have to remove the ride in order to remove the hat? One night take a chain saw and cut the hat into pieces. The only reason they'd have to tear down the movie ride is if the rumors regarding the photo restrictions are true.

    I no longer believe the rumor. The hat is consistent with what Disney thinks (or at least) thought was good themeing. Look at the value resorts. EPCOT Spaceship Earth.

    A company can get a trademark on a building. Allows them to use it as a logo. Creates potential issues with commercial photography. It's plausible that potential issues with Disney photography was a factor. Were there even that many Disney photographers taking guest pictures in the 90s?
     
  17. mbrou24

    mbrou24 Theme Park Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    217
    You still wouldn't have to get rid of the ride itself. Just the exterior theming of the building.
     
  18. Budshark

    Budshark Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    222
    The problem I have with this whole thread is that it is a typical urban legend...

    Lets really step back and look at this. For this to be true...

    Disney got "permission" to build a replica of the Chinese Theatre on the park, as a prominent fixture, but somehow forgot to get contractual rights to fully use this central fixture.

    But... that was ok for 12 years. Nobody seemed to mind.

    Then... the hat was installed blocking the theatre. Now, the hat was either a part of a celebration, or an elaborate scheme to block the theatre that just happened to coincide with the 100 years.

    After the hat was installed, NOW, somebody associated with the Chinese Theatre took offense with the use of the now blocked theatre and decided that it was a trademark violation. Disney is now stuck with a giant hat and a global icon that use to be the center piece of a park that they decided to leave as is, but forbid photopass workers from taking pictures. Please disregard the photos used by Disney for park promotion. Those don't count.

    Or of course, we could believe that Disney likes a giant Disney image being the center of the park vs. a replica of a building in another state, owned by someone else, able to be used by other people, making iconic images of their park not all that unique.

    But.. of course, its more logical to believe that in 2001, an amazing sequence of events occurred to fulfill this theory.... and it was all started because somebody spent a couple billion on a theme park but forgot to properly secure rights. And rather than change the facade, they kept using the facade and name in marketing materials but had to block it from specific (but not all) angles in photographs. And it has remained this way for over 10 years now.

    Not trying to act like a jerk... just saying that when you step back its a bit of a stretch.

    Besides... the new owners of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre are trying to revamp it and license the use and likeness of it throughout the world. In other words, Disney has a willing partner if they so intended.

    My guess, they have a solid contract but someone in Disney decided it'd be a bad idea to have the central piece of a park be an image of something under the control of someone else that can be licensed and sold elsewhere. I highly doubt if it is trademarked (easy search on USPTO website by the way), that Disney got away with building it, marketing it, and showing it for 10 years and all they had to do to fix it was stick a hat in front of it... I'm sure they have all the rights they need and have chosen to not use it for another reason...
     
  19. cmash95

    cmash95 a princess at heart

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Messages:
    718
    i think you misunderstood me. I didn't mean that they would take out the ride, just that the entire area would be dark and unavailable until the hat was taken down. so that would mean one attraction down as well as a huge area of traffice having to be rerouted for several months. Unlike other disney parkes where there is a slow period, WDW doesn't have a "down" time anymore.
     
  20. CanadianGuy

    CanadianGuy <font color=green><br><br><font color=blue>Me and Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    15,511
    This.

    Just because I have the rights to do 'whatever' doesn't mean that you as the rights owner can't make my life difficult in living up to the solid contract that we have.

    And regardless.. wasn't this thread about the hat being removed? WAYYY.. back in post # 1. Given how the thread has turned out, I forgot! LOL

    Forget contracts from 1989, Does anyone have any credible evidence on that removal?
     
  21. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    Joined:
    May 23, 2000
    Messages:
    18,289
    Several months? Prep work, such as removing the stage and disconnecting any electric could be done without a major disruption. Isn't the hat basically a big piece of fiberglass? Would it even take a week to cut it to pieces and remove it. The replica Eiffel tower was literally removed overnight for some kind of maintenance.

    Budshark Many urban legends exist because they sound like they might be true, maybe even sound like they should be true. Occasionally an urban legend is at least partially true.

    2000 the theatre was sold to a partnership of Paramount and Warner Brothers. It's plausible Disney didn't have permission to use the replica for professional photos. It's also plausible Disney didn't want to continue to use the theatre as a backdrop if competing studios were going to use it as a logo. A building can be registered as a trademark.

    I'll agree this is probably urban legend. Some of us want it to be true. The alternative, Disney thought the hat would be an improvement, is very hard to accept.

    Canadian Guy--some rumors are started when people review construction permits. I haven't seen any posts regarding permits for the demolition of the hat. Leads me to think reports on the removal are at least premature.
     

Share This Page