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  • EEVblog #59 – Back to the Future Flux Capacitor T-Shirt Tanty

    Posted on February 6th, 2010 EEVblog 41 comments

    Dave goes nuts over NBC Universal Pictures pulling his Flux Capacitor T-Shirt designs from Zazzle.

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    41 responses to “EEVblog #59 – Back to the Future Flux Capacitor T-Shirt Tanty” RSS icon

    • Yeah, sadly I have a number of clients that are lawyers. I like them, they pay promptly and they don’t bat an eye when I quote my rates.

      But I won’t be sad on the day they’re all lined up against the wall.

    • If I’m understanding right, Zazzle is based in the US, and I’m guessing that that was a DMCA takedown request from NBC Universal?

      DMCA takedowns require the host to take down the infringing content immediately to maintain safe harbor protections, but on the flip side, a DMCA takedown can be reversed, and the host must put the content back up upon your request if you say that it’s your own content.

      (Granted, this opens you up to a real, full-blown lawsuit, and if you’re judged guilty of infringement, IIRC, it also opens you up to a perjury case.)

      IANAL, however.

    • That’s totally shocking!!!

      Back to the Future is one of my favourite movies too. In fact, I love the whole trilogy (although the third one was waning just a tad).

      Hope you get the T-Shirts back online!

      Brian

    • Bugger, I had actually just sat down to buy that.

    • I think it’s the fact that it’s called a Flux Capacitor T-Shirt (or mousepad or whatever). Flux Capacitor would be a trademark of theirs. If you rename the T-Shirt, you’ll be fine as it doesn’t actually say “Flux Capacitor” on it at all.

      • Hey, remember the old name for Capacitor

        CONDENSER

        The “Flux Condenser” – only true geeks would understand that!

    • Those bloody laywers at NBC! One should put them, along with the telephone cleaners and maybe some stupid marketing guys, into a large spaceship, heading for a distant planet.

      Btw. in the german translation of the movie, they made a slight mistake and called the flux capacitor “Flux Kompensator”. If it turns out to be a naming issue, you could try to call your T-shirt “The Flux Compensator Shirt”, so maybe the laywers are not going to find it anymore ;-).

      Dave, keep up your great work! I totally love your video blog!

      Greatings from Germany!

    • Dave,

      You should talk to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org). They are dealing with that kind of BS all the time. I know there is organization with same name in Australia, but it is not the same.

      I am not a lawyer, but using the name ‘Flux Capacitor’ should not be copyright infringement and DMCA should not apply. DMCA is only for protecting copyright not a trade marks.

      Of course the Universal will say something different.

      All those copyright cases reminds me the East-European communists. They have been given privileges and they become accustom and they start acting like it their God given rights and abuse them. Exactly the same thing is happening in US. Congress is corrupted it is passing more and more ridiculous laws like DMCA. So I can predict US is going in the same direction like USSR. I only hope that people wake up and make real change before is too late.

      Best regards and continue the good work,
      SAL-e

      ps. More and more I think those guys are right:
      againstmonopoly.org

    • jajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajjajajajajajjajajajajaj…

      :)

    • Welcome to the future Dave, the future of law firms anyway.
      These law firms have a zillion kids googling the net searching for everything that looks like something in their products.
      Tons of CD letters are sent by the minute from these firms, their mission is not to sue averyone but to scare them so the content is removed.
      Figth Back !
      Ben.

    • You’re basically fighting against a computer script

      google “flux capacitor” + “sales” (etc)
      for all hits send dmca takedown

      the dmca is a double edged sword.

    • really great video :)

    • what do you call 20 lawyers at the bottom of a river?

      A start (b’dum tish)

      Old ones are the best.

    • Good on you Dave, I liked the episode. I had just been on Zazzle the other day looking for that shirt, guess I now know why it was not there. Good to see you have a good laugh over it all.

      John
      Halifax, Canada

    • Rerelease the t-shit as the “Flux Inductor” t-shirt. ;-)

      Anders
      Lund, Sweden

    • Speaking of capacitors. You’ve had a very interesting video entry about capacitors, but did not mention those “supercapacitors” that are somewhere in the middle between the capacitors and rechargeable batteries. Have you had an experience dealing with them? What are their advantages/disadvantages?

    • Marty McFly: [Reading the newspaper from 2015] “Within two hours of his arrest, Martin McFly Jr. was tried, convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in the state penetentary.”? Within two hours?

      Doc: The justice system works swiftly in the future now that they’ve abolished all lawyers.

      … Maybe some day.

    • Try the “Flux Gate”.

      Its an existing device.
      Should be no problem.

      Or else try the inverse. A Charge Inductor?

    • Ha, someone on youtube made a flux capacitor and trying to sell them for $500

    • I misread the post title. I thought Dave had decided the flux capacitor was tantalum-based.

      Also, ARGH! 4 or 5 of us at work were planning to get this lovely shirt. Now we’ll need a time machine to obtain them. :(

    • Hey, the above comments are correct. Go to another company, dont mention specifically back to the future and dont mention ‘flux’ or ‘capacitor’ in the name and you will be good. These guys are just trying to be greedy!

    • Dave,

      You want to get someone in Iran to produce the t shirts for you.

      They won’t give a toss about american lawyers!

      :-)

      On the other hand I think I got one of the last
      ones, don’t produce any more and they’ll be
      worth a fortune when you’re King of Australia.

      Nial.

    • I can see a series of T-shirts now… (and I didn’t even go near a toilet!)

      Flux resistors!
      Flux inductors!
      Flux memristors!

      :)

      …and don’t forget the fluxless ROHS capacitor shirt!

      Mario.

    • Welcome to the real… (from The Matrix)

      Once you stick your face out of the basket you can be a target.
      Your store simply does not want to fight because it does not worth for them.. They have plenty of other designs to sell…
      Universal has an entire legal department surfing the net looking for this kind of thing…
      If they copyrighted the NAME Flux Capacitor in the country that your store is hosted and a drawing that resembles yours… you are F….
      It does not need to be an exact match…
      So it is means WAR ! (From Bugs Bunny).. If you want to get serious about selling stuff you better get your own shark.. or layer (the official name).
      And do a copyright check prior to start selling anything…
      Or simply host your store in China. No copyright there.. The issue there is that if your design sells a lot.. They will make their own pirate copies and sell 10x cheaper then you :-)
      Global economy mate !

      I

    • I bet its the people from war video blog.

      There is a reference to a “flux capacitor” even in Malcolm in the middle (season 5 episode 1 – 5 mins in) “considering the 12 million I saved them with my idea for outsourcing flux capacitors.” I don’t see that episode being taken down…. (or any reason why it should be)

    • Meh, NBC/Universal is circling the drain anyway. Bring ‘em back when the dust settles.

    • Ah, the evil that is lawyers!

      The idea of copyrights and patents as a way to let smaller companies develop and build on new ideas seems completely lost nowadays. But its really refreshing to see someone give all the big companies misusing these concepts them the finger and tell them to f**k of! ;)

      The patent system is really breaking down, sort of with all these purely patent trolling companies appering that dont even produce products!

      Well, enough ranting about that =) Really nice blog though!

    • Gee, you got a takedown notice for just t-shirt of it, while here this auto parts is selling the real thing!

      http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/EMB0/121G.oap?keyword=121g

      Too bad they don’t offer online ordering…

    • hilarious :)

      i love it when you get your aussie freakouts…keep ‘em coming !

    • The sad part of everything related to lawysrs is that to screw a lawyer you always need another lawyer, so there are no chances to see them going extinct unless some very selective disease is discovered.

      Douglas Adams spotted it wonderfully in HHGTTG: we should build two giant spaceships, fill the first one with politicians, middlemen, lawyers, accountants and bureaucrats because they’re the cream of our society and send it to colonise another distant planet, leaving the second ship for the rest of us.
      Then we simply forget to send the second spaceship.

      BTW, if this is just a naming issue, how about renaming the device Flux Supercapacitor?

    • you think thats bad… what do ya make of these…
      http://www.snorgtees.com/savetheclocktower-p-504.html

      Cheers

    • Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
      as though you relied on the video to make your point. You

      definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting

      videos to your blog when you could be giving us something
      informative to read?

    • F*ckin’ remarkable things here. I’m very glad to see your
      post. Thanks a lot

      and i am looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly
      drop me a mail?

    • I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
      Did you design this website yourself or did you

      hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and

      would like to find out where u got this from. kudos

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