ANGRY BIRDS ATTACK HAND-MADE SELLERS
Rovio Entertainment, the creator of the Angry Bird game, went after the online sellers community this past week demanding the removal of items that violate their copy right laws. In an e-mail notice from Paula Tuononen (firstname.lastname@example.org), Legal Counsel for Rovio Entertainment Ltd., stated the rights of Rovio Entertainment include “the right to restrict the use of copyrighted works and/or trademarks, or a confusingly similar works or trademarks, in association with confusingly similar products or services.”
No one can dispute the fact that Rovio is well within their right to enforce these copyright laws and that the unauthorized use of any licensed image is in fact piracy. What does come in to question is the total lack of willingness of large corporations to work with the small business owner in granting commercial usage licenses for images of this sort. Ms. Tuononen, when contacted regarding the availability of small commercial usage licensing responded “ Rovio Entertainment is incapable of providing wholesale products, except in very large quantities (i.e. 10 000s of products).” She went on to state that Rovio Entertainment “gives licenses only to large companies with the ability to make a large initial payment.”, thus excluding the small business owner.
There is an increased interest in the retail community, globally, to buy hand-made. This is evidenced by the numerous online sites that allow retailers to list their wares to a global marketplace. The hand-made market place continues to see a steady increase in their revenues, month after month. More and more people are turning to hand-crafted wares rather than the mass produced junk that these large corporations cater to in their chase for more money. It makes one wonder if this decision was based on their reported 2012 IPO on a product that many are calling a “one trick pony.”
The hand-made market place is being overlooked as a viable means of promoting licensed items. These sellers should not be seen as detractors to corporations such as Rovio Entertainment, but as valuable resources for creating interest in their image line. Can these companies, publicly or privately held, not see the benefit of the free marketing that generates interest in their products by small business artisans? As quoted in an article by Trevor Dalley “There are many small businesses that design crafts that could never be purchased in a store. These crafts show human pride and quality that could never be mass produced.”