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Lennon Doll
December 16, 2005 10:42 PM   Subscribe

Plastic Ono Man
posted by thedailygrowl (27 comments total)

 
How tasteful and elegant!
posted by gramschmidt at 11:04 PM on December 16, 2005


Lennon Blue
posted by caddis at 11:04 PM on December 16, 2005


"A picture of the figurine, patterned after the former peace activist, appears on the association's Web site next to a bloody figurine and a picture from slasher flick "The Devil's Rejects," a movie about serial killers."

Wow. Just, wow. Apparently, product placement is key.
posted by purephase at 11:28 PM on December 16, 2005


Ono!
posted by panoptican at 12:51 AM on December 17, 2005


quite the bulge
posted by wumpus at 1:15 AM on December 17, 2005


I'll get him and a Jimi Hendrix figure and make them make out.
posted by kosher_jenny at 1:39 AM on December 17, 2005


'Scuse me while I kiss this guy...
posted by pracowity at 4:36 AM on December 17, 2005


John would have loved this. He had a wonderfully self-deprecating sense of humor.

/obligatory

Seriously, some things are so distasteful even Yoko should be able to say no. Does she draw any lines, or can we look forward in the near future to a Lennon-themed Mobil SpeedPass Card we can wave at the pump in order to automatically debit our accounts with the amount of purchase, and therefore better use the 3.5 seconds otherwise wasted inserting the card into the slot, to Change The World (tm)?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:57 AM on December 17, 2005


Weren't there Beatles dolls back when they were a bubblegum pop band?

I thought that the Beatles were the first entertainers to explore the "every sort of merchandising possible" angle. Didn't they also have a cartoon at one point?
posted by Afroblanco at 7:38 AM on December 17, 2005


they did have a saturday morning cartoon show, with the beatles' voices done by americans, because the tv producers thought kiddies would have trouble understanding british accents.
this is definitely not the first time John Lennon has been made into an action figure. the thing is, now he's dead, which changes things in the minds of some people.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 7:50 AM on December 17, 2005


back when they were a bubblegum pop band?

The Beatles were never a bubblegum pop band. From the very first verse of "Please, Please Me," they were among the most sophisticated rock musicians and songwriters of their time. The cartoon show, as well as the merchandising, was carried out by America's usual music-business Mafia suspects, who ripped off Brain Epstein and the Beatles big-time (of course that was the way it went and still goes, in pop music). That Yoko Ono should show herself to have no more taste than a cheap New Jersey mobster in exploiting her late husband's memory, should be no surprise. Even Paul McCartney is afraid to mess with her.
posted by Faze at 8:33 AM on December 17, 2005


Before we make with more Yoko-bashing, the article just says she "coiuld not be reached for commen"t. We can't yet be sure if she gave any sort of formal approval for this. I'm not sure whether anyone needs to give any sort of approval, legally.

It's nothing new. Can't help but wonder how James Dean's and Marilyn Monroe's relatives have viewed this sort of thing in the past.
posted by Miko at 9:09 AM on December 17, 2005


>Weren't there Beatles dolls back when they were a bubblegum pop band?

Yep, and recently there were dolls made by Todd McFarlane's company, but this is different. This is an excuse for Ono-bashing for the "keeping it real" crowd.

You'd think "John with Glove and Love Base" would be a lot more tastleless, stupid, and silly.
posted by skallas at 9:24 AM on December 17, 2005


The Beatles were never a bubblegum pop band. From the very first verse of "Please, Please Me," they were among the most sophisticated rock musicians and songwriters of their time.

I guess. You might also say "they were among the most sophisticated bubblegum pop band of their time."
posted by danb at 9:49 AM on December 17, 2005


I thought Yoko Ono owns the rights to John Lennon's image. I remember seeing in some film credits somewhere (maybe in the Anthology?) something to the effect of "images of John Lennon used with permission from Yoko Ono". Surely she'd need to sign off on this, no?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:55 AM on December 17, 2005


"Before we make with more Yoko-bashing"

Aww, just a little more?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:34 AM on December 17, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.com
"I'm bigger than Jesus"
posted by dhartung at 12:55 PM on December 17, 2005


I thought Yoko Ono owns the rights to John Lennon's image.

Well, I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think it's even possible to own the rights to anyone's image in the general sense. The notice you saw may refer to photos and films which are the personal property of Yoko, or perhaps images which she created -- so in that case, she would be giving permission for their use. But John Lennon is/was a public figure. I'm pretty sure it's not possible for people to control the use of any image when used in a journalistic/documentary manner. The only issue would arise when the image gives the appearance of endorsing something, as in a product ad. I'm not sure where this falls. But I do know that once you get famous, you give up the idea that no one can print/use pictures of you without permission.
posted by Miko at 2:05 PM on December 17, 2005


Miko, you're way behind case law. Privacy and publicity rights. New York is one state with protections greater than common-law.

There is no way they could sell a doll of Lennon without licensing from his estate (of which Ono is executor).
posted by dhartung at 4:07 PM on December 17, 2005


dhartung, can you explain? How is it concievable that the simple likeness of a public figure can be owned and controlled? When the Daily News prints a pic of John for "Today in History", are they expected to get clearance from Yoko? Because a demand for clearance would not be defensible, as I understand it.
posted by Miko at 5:10 PM on December 17, 2005


[More]

I read your links, and nowhere does it explicitly state that this use would be illegal, even in New York. The second link does say this:


The New York Court of Appeals ruled in 1982, in Arrington v New York Times, that unauthorised publication of photograph of a non-celebrity did not violate privacy or publicity rights, commenting that publication is

the price every person must be prepared to pay for a society in which information and opinion flow freely.


I'm still unclear, since JL is a celebrity. Anyway, so far what you've shown is that some legislation protects some likenesses of some people in some states, but there's nothing specific enough to explain what the deal would be in this situation. Yoko may have signed off on this, but I'm reserving judgement until there's some evidence that she did.
posted by Miko at 5:17 PM on December 17, 2005


It's likely that Bob Gruen owns the rights to the image that this doll is based on. Maybe he's the one that gave the license to NECA.
posted by Tenuki at 6:08 PM on December 17, 2005


Peace, out.
posted by kozad at 8:25 PM on December 17, 2005


You're seriously arguing that making a doll of someone and selling it is the same thing as running their picture in the newspaper? I'm baffled that you see an equivalence.

There's an ongoing case involving Arnold Schwarzenegger and a bobble-head doll in his likeness that was settled by some parties and thus won't be precedential, but should worry anyone trying this. Here's the C&D.

There was a precedent set by the Winter brothers' lawsuit against DC Comics for appropriating their likeness; that suit was dismissed, and that was upheld by the state Supreme Court. In that case, the parody defense seemed to be key. Similarly, the guy making the Arnie dolls now wants to turn to satirical portrayals. Most recently in this area, a college football mascot has sued a video game maker. And a few years ago, the Franklin Mint prevailed when the estate of Princess Diana sued over these.
posted by dhartung at 8:37 PM on December 17, 2005


You're seriously arguing that making a doll of someone and selling it is the same thing as running their picture in the newspaper?

Nope, I'm not arguing that (though you kind of seem to wish I was). I'm just asking you, or anyone, to explain how it is different in the eyes of the law. Again, I'm not a lawyer, as I said above, but I still don't see any express prohibitions in what you have provided. It looks to be a contested and unsettled area.
posted by Miko at 9:21 PM on December 17, 2005


It's because, while a doll can be used for voodoo practices, a photograph steals your very soul. There's a difference.

I also have some wondering to wonder. What about a painting? Can you put a painting of John Lennon in a museum without paying Yoko? Can you put a sculpture of John Lennon in a museum without paying Yoko? Can you run a photo of that sculpture of John in the paper without paying Yoko? Can you sell a sculpture of John without paying Yoko? How about a painted plastic sculpture? How about a painted plastic sculpture with bendable legs, batteries not included?
posted by pracowity at 11:31 PM on December 17, 2005


...yes all those, and also does it make a difference if your intent is to educate, or to make a profit?
posted by Miko at 5:32 AM on December 18, 2005


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