Fantasy vs Counterfeit

Discussion in 'Disney Pin Discussion' started by Sunoo, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Sunoo

    Sunoo Member

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    I recently bought a pin that was advertised as a fantasy pin, but then I recently discovered that it's actually a clone of a real pin (PinPics link), however the "fantasy" version is larger.

    When I learned this, I reached out to the seller and he responded with this: "The size of the pin is different then this one. the pins is a fantasy pin and not a counterfeit. You are welcome to return this awesome pin if you just don't want it anymore. Once returned the refund will be for the price of the pin only for a total refund of $7.50 as the pin is as described. Thank you"

    My question is, where is the line between a counterfeit pin and a fantasy pin? Do you think the seller is in the right here?
     
  2. pretty Omi

    pretty Omi Resident Smol Wolf

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    Wow.
    I know some collectors don't like fantasy pins period, and consider them all to be as awful as counterfeit/fakes since they are unauthorized, but for those of us who do collect fantasy pins, this practice IS extremely frowned upon, and considered as conterfeiting.
    Fantasy pins are typically supposed to be one of these things: pins of characters who don't get many, if any at all, official pins made (think sequel movie characters like Kovu, Kiara, but also some of the under loved films like Atlantis or Treasure Planet are great examples); or a pin you'd personally love to see made (sometimes these are similar to a pin series that maybe got discontinued before they got to your favorite movie), or ; something drawn in a particular artist's own original style (a fanart pin more or less).
    Most fantasy pin sellers, and collectors will shun or look down on a seller who simply re-creates an official pin themselves, just because they can't obtain the official one, poor sportsmanship if you will. Heck they don't even like it if you create a similar styled pin! (There was a war on who owned getting to make Disney characters as mermaid *eyeroll*).
    I'm not sure what I'd do in your situation. The refund may not be entirely worth it, but depending on where the seller was selling, I wonder if you could contact the site's admins and explain the situation to get a 100% refund, but also wonder if it's worth posting a PSA on another group, to warn people of a seller who's selling counterfeit pins.
     
  3. dancecats

    dancecats Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    This is a really good question and very difficult to answer. The difference is a slippery slope that can be difficult to define, and has been as long as I have been part of the pin community. This is the way I was taught to understand it, way back when:

    A fantasy pin is one that often is juuuust this side of legal, but does not violate trademark or copyright. It often is suggestive or indicative of a theme or character, coming right up to the line, but not crossing it. And of course, any pin that doesn't come close to approaching Disney's trademarks (like our old DPF logo pins or the even-older Dizpins logo pins) would be considered fantasy pins. Does that make sense?

    A counterfeit pin, by contrast, is one that doesn't care about trademark or copyright. It exists because its creator wants it to exist. It blatantly infringes upon both and without waxing eloquent, has caused massive chaos and headaches for both Disney and the pin community as a whole in the past. In contrast to the fantasy pin, which is legal because it respects trademark and copyright, the counterfeit pin most definitely is not legal. Are you with me?

    So to answer your question (I had to remove the link to the auction because they are not allowed): I think you can answer your own question now, don't you?
     
  4. pretty Omi

    pretty Omi Resident Smol Wolf

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    I very much remember when this was the definition of a fantasy pin, then took a break from pins and came back to find that "fantasy pin" is used to refer to any pin that isn't an official Disney pin, but long gone is the attempt to even hide it being a Disney character...
     
  5. hopemax

    hopemax DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    Yeah, in the early days of pin trading there were three categories:

    Fantasy
    Counterfeit
    Bootleg

    Fantasy were pins that didn't infringe on Disney's copyrights, the counterfeits were trying to recreate designs and pass them off as the real thing. Bootleg was the term used for a lot of things people call "Fantasy" now.

    IMO if you are taking Disney's intellectual property and profiting from it (and for me that is more than just money. Disney has the right to create or NOT create something with their characters. I think the "Disney didn't make it, so I'm going to" is too much entitlement. I'm sorry your movie / character isn't popular, but it still belongs to them. Same category as if you have a ladder outside your house and you never use it, it doesn't give your neighbor the right to take it.) There is room for the Andy Warhol / DeviantArt type stuff, but I think most of us can tell the difference between someone stretching their artistic muscles and just trying to copy Disney.

    Taking straight copies of Disney's art..existing pins, designs used on other types of merchandise, especially the foreign designs that have been ripped off...no, no, no. But there is so much "I just gotta have it." And I've been really surprised that Disney allows it.
     
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  6. echan50

    echan50 Well-Known Member

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    This is a great topic! I love reading everyone's experience on this matter and getting educated on the history.
     
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  7. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    Counterfeit is one which purports to be authentic, but is not. Does the back have any of the markings that would make you think it was an authentic Disney pin? (C) Disney Made in China, that sort of thing?
     
  8. Romancing_Train

    Romancing_Train EVERYPONY calm the buck down!

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    Can I just say that the people who typically work really hard on thier fantasy pins dont condone that at all. In most pin circles remaking a pin is a huge no no. And before anyone jumps on me for that saying all fantasy pin stuff is theft fine, I dont care. (Not directed at anyone who has already posted)
     
  9. TheMickeyMouseRules

    TheMickeyMouseRules Cat Expert Mouse Authority and Paperfolder

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    I guess @hopemax summed up my view on this pretty well. Probably Disney allows because it would be too much trouble to fight all of the small producers of fantasy pins/art/etc.

    What about parody law. For example... Spaceballs is a parody of Star Wars. I don't believe Mel Brooks had to license his parody and pay something to Lucas Films LTD, but we could all see the similarities. Is there is some sort of parody law that might apply for 'some' pins which could be considered a parody of Disney intellectual property? So a parody might actually be legal... but most fantasy pins are not parodies.
     
  10. Sunoo

    Sunoo Member

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    I have no problem with fantasy pins, or having them in my collection, but it really doesn't seem like this fits any description of a fantasy pin. The only difference from the real pin is the size.

    And to answer starry_solo's question, it does not try to pass itself off as a Disney product. There are no fake stamps on the back, and the auction listed it as a fantasy pin. However, if I had known there was an official pin that this was cloning, I wouldn't have purchased it.

    Oh, and sorry about the eBay link, I didn't mean to break the rules, I just couldn't work out how to post an image.
     
  11. hopemax

    hopemax DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    That's why I said there is room for the Andy Warhol and DeviantArt stuff. Many of the pins there isn't a vision, or artistic statement or parody or satire or any of the usual reasons an artist incorporates the work of someone else into their new creation.

    It's just, "Disney didn't do X and I really want one, so I'm going to make one. And I'm not going to make one just for myself and my nearest and dearest friends, but I'll sell it for whatever and to whoever I can."
     
  12. TheMickeyMouseRules

    TheMickeyMouseRules Cat Expert Mouse Authority and Paperfolder

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    Just want to state... not jumping on anyone... :) I don't have an oar in this race. I'm am just trying to ruminate thoughtfully on this topic. I find fantasy pins curious (since I typically fall into the goody goody two shoes category of people.) Those fantasy producers have some balls to risk taking on Disney... so good for them. They are just violating the law. All of us do this sometime... how about going 65 in a 55 speed zone (I am usually pushing this one to 69... I love to go fast)? :) Removing my inner justice queen (Disney doesn't need me to defend them from theft) from these thoughts, since we all are free to decide for ourselves where we are going to push societal limits/laws.
     
  13. Romancing_Train

    Romancing_Train EVERYPONY calm the buck down!

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    Its iffy. Some people say its 3p or 50% change, some places say no mickey mouse at all.

    In some things it gets trickier. Like alice in wonderland is that thing I cant think of that anyone can use, what it is called escapes me. However using the way Disney made that character look is not. BUT EVEN FURTHER Disneys design of alice herself is not 100% unique either from other existing works, so trying to fight any alice pins would be a nightmare.

    Now I know people dont like them, but pornographic images and pins fall way closer to the parody law than normal fantasy pins do because you have to change A TON. So twitty Anna, Jessica and Rapunzel is better than say rapunzel in a pretty dress.

    It's really hard to say what the rules are. Disney has stolen art from fan artists before and ended up owing the artist money. Why? Because the artist never made a cent on it, so therefore it's different then making say a fantasy.

    The parody laws also protect more if the common man. Like say I draw simba, 100% not stolen. Then you steal my design and profit from it because all you did was make him blue. I can sue you in small claims court because it encroaches on any profit I mightve made, fan art or not. however after our court case, Disney could step in and also sue either you, for making money off my art, or both of us for making money (if I was selling product)
     
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  14. Romancing_Train

    Romancing_Train EVERYPONY calm the buck down!

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    No it's cool! I didnt want @hopemax to think I was attacking her either!
     
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  15. hopemax

    hopemax DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    For the purpose of discussion, I guess I want to know more about what makes you (or any artist) different from Disney (as a producer of art)? If someone takes YOUR art and copies it, you would be really upset, I would think. And your fans would be really upset. It's hard to get your name out there enough to make a name, and even harder to make a business of it. Or like TornadoTitan has a distinctive style. But if I went out and started making my own TornadoTitan or Romancing Train style stuff, people wouldn't give up collecting your stuff for my stuff, even if mine was better (no worries here, you should see my sketches we did for the pin event). I'd be ripped for encroaching on what you had worked so hard to build, and I'd get black-balled. But with Disney's IP, there are always all sorts of justifications and toleration, and some people have given up on Disney almost entirely and going with the fan-produced stuff.
     
  16. Romancing_Train

    Romancing_Train EVERYPONY calm the buck down!

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    Like for discussion and stuff (I'm glad you arent just yelling at me ,w,)

    I think it does come down to a level of respect in a way? Making somthing because you love it and hope to share it? Like are you doing it like manking fantasy pins or canary ONLY? And solely for profit? Or did you make a fanart for somthing on the side of what you already do and decide to sell some of it with everything else you do?

    I think it comes down to the integrity of the product, and if it's going to hurt the original maker of the property. My baseball card sized marker art if simba isnt going to hurt disney, and another fan might love it. Am I passing it off as an original Disney piece? No.

    I dont know if I'm making any sense.

    Like I dont know if you know but Red Bubble (a site for selling your art work on various things like t shirts), recently worked out a massive deal with Disney and other large companies to allow all fan art to be approved and sold. I honestly forgot where I was going with this (I just had surgery, I'm not all here lol)

    Also forgive my typos, my phonexwas obliterated the other day and my autocorrect hates me
     
  17. pretty Omi

    pretty Omi Resident Smol Wolf

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    Some, probably not many, but some do operate like this. I think originally more creators did start like this, but they let the $$ and “popularity” go to their head, but I am in some groups where a creator only makes a few of them, and they do go to those of us who love them most, and we don’t pay more than what it costs to fund and have them shipped to us.
     
  18. Sunoo

    Sunoo Member

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    I just got in touch with eBay, they said that regardless of what the seller claims, I will be receiving a full refund once I return the item. So it's out in the mail. I'll have to start keeping an eye out for the real deal.
     
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  19. pretty Omi

    pretty Omi Resident Smol Wolf

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    This is an interesting thing I too have noticed.
    In some cases it’s as bad as the whole WDI Profile craze. Pins made by certain fantasy creators have become a status symbol in of themselves, and their pins sell for over hundreds of dollars easily. I hate this side of it.
    On the flip side, I know one trader who’s switched to almost entirely fantasy, because she lives in the Midwest without access to Disney parks and doesn’t feel like she can compete with or afford the reseller prices in the pin groups at large, but she can afford a $10-15 pin on Etsy.
    I definitely like some fantasy pins, but not others. A lot of it goes back to the attitude of the creator/seller. You can usually tell who does it for status and $$, and who does it for passion, and love of their work.
     
  20. chubs191

    chubs191 Beautiful Tomorrow Admirer

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    An interesting thing about Spaceballs, was that Brooks actually conferred with Lucas to make sure he wouldn't sue when the movie came out. It basically came down to "I won't sue as long as you don't produce merchandise." And thus the merchandise scene was born.

    If it's anything like the "fantasy" designer heroes and villains Ariel and Ursula pin, where the only thing that was different was the scales, I would totally contact eBay and site counterfeiting as the reason for return. That's the definition of counterfeiting is making merchandise with the intent to pass it off as the original.
     
  21. dancecats

    dancecats Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    I'm certainly not a lawyer or anything approaching a legal expert, but I believe that parody and satire generally is protected under the first amendment as forms of free speech. I'm not sure if that changes when profit from intellectual property enters the equation, but I have a feeling (I could be wrong) that the first amendment would supersede that. The problem is that, as stated above, the hypothetical fantasy pin would clearly have to be a parody or satire ... and many of them most definitely are not.

    In the instance of the pin that generated this question: the link to the pin in question was removed because it went directly to eBay. I will just say this: if I didn't know which pin was the 'fantasy' and which was the legit, I probably couldn't tell just by looking at the pictures of the two pins. Yes, they're that similar (at least, in the pictures provided).
     
  22. shooting4ownhand

    shooting4ownhand Well-Known Member

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    Fantasy pins actually do break copyright law. Fantasy creators are using Disney properties without their permission and making money off of them. Once you make money off of your fanart, it crosses the line of being legal into illegal. However, Disney doesn't really go after the creators of fantasy pins or fanart because its not worth it. They make their own products so they make money off of fanart that way. Look at bows, originally they were made by a handful of fans and Disney started making them. One fan made minnie ears with changeable bows and within the year, Disney came out with the same product. You can buy Disney bows, some which looks almost exactly like the fan made ones, at places like hottopic and boxlunch as well as the disney parks. Some of the fantasy pin trader delight pins turned into real pins made by Disney. Instead of suing creators, Disney just steals their ideas. The creators cannot complain since they do not have a legal leg to stand on.
     
  23. Sunoo

    Sunoo Member

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    In case anyone is curious, I just managed to get a full refund on the pin.
     
  24. dancecats

    dancecats Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    That's wonderful, I'm so glad it worked out for you. Thanks for the update.
     
  25. Kiragigi

    Kiragigi Active Member

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    I don’t really have an opinion on whether one collects fantasy pins or not but I always do an eye roll when in the Facebook/IG groups the fantasy pin creators are all throwing shade at each other and accusing one another of stealing their art. I just once want to comment: the root of your product is stealing someone else’s art! Create whatever pins you want but get off your high horse about people stealing your ideas... you have no moral high ground to walk on.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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