Stuff it Kirby!!

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by gouvernail, Oct 29, 2011.

?

Are you one of the 122 or the 1017?

Poll closed Jan 27, 2012.
  1. I voted NO

    71.4%
  2. I voted for the rule change

    28.6%
  1. Mrs. P

    Mrs. P Member

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    Old Dude, I have another possibility on why there has been no follow up legal action. It might be totally incorrect information, but I thought I read somewhere on this forum that the financial health of LPE was in question. If they didn't pay because they couldn't pay, then suing them would be throwing good money after bad with little promise of any return. And to further speculate based on possibly incorrect assumptions, if their financial health is in question, then the rule change might not have the desired affect. Perhaps the delay is because things have become further complicated.

    And the longer we speculate, we could soon have Tillerman accepting a volunteer position at the ILCA as the official blogger.
     
  2. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    Absolutely agree its possible but I doubt it. Here is why:

    If I had legimate rights to sell and the person I had sold to was not paying (had breached) and was in such poor shape that they could likely not recover, I would sue for breach immediately so I could reobtain my legitimate rights and grant another party those rights to the territory.

    That Kirby now and GS before, have not and do not sue LPE for breach - especially when LPE is weak - just means those legitimate rights in that territory - if they (the rights) actually exist - are getting less and less valuable each day as the brand (Laser) suffers.

    The situation you describe leads me to a very different conclusion from what you suggest... namely that the rights are not legimate and/or have no value... or else why would they do nothing and let them gets less valuable with each passing day.

    In the mixed up and distorted opinion of an,

    Old Dude
     
  3. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    One reason it would be worthwhile going after LPE even if they have no money would be to force a foreclosure and thus allow an administrator to sell the copyright "Laser" and for a new builder to be established - one who would pay as per the contractually agreements. Or to force LPE to be sold. Thaat might mean losing past revenues but at least it would start them again from a new company.

    Might even help the class. I read the post about SB3 managing to extract themselves but Lasers seem to not be similarly motivated (or maybe that option is not available). Has anybody tried buying any spared from LPE recently. I have urgently needed two things (unable to trail/sail without them) and it has been a nightmare.

    Ian
     
  4. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    I'm confused, Deimos. What makes you think LPE owns any "copyright" related to the Laser?
     
  5. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    I think the relevant term is "trademark".
     
  6. Mrs. P

    Mrs. P Member

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    torried you are correct - the "LASER" name is a trademark and the builders hold the trademarks in the various markets.

    However, Bruce Kirby has a copyright on the Laser Construction Manual.

    Type of Work: Text
    Registration Number / Date: TXu001362085 / 2007-06-21
    Title: Laser construction manual.
    Copyright Claimant: Bruce Kirby, Inc.
    Date of Creation: 2005
    Authorship on Application: Bruce Kirby, 1929-.
    Copyright Note: Cataloged from appl. only.

    Names: Kirby, Bruce, 1929-
    Bruce Kirby, Inc.


    The ILCA has stated that they "control" the Laser Construction Manual but there is no record at the Copyright Office of Bruce Kirby having ever assigned his rights to the ILCA. I'm not sure if the ILCA understands that "control of" does not equate to "ownership". Simply having a Word document that they can make changes to doesn't mean that Bruce Kirby doesn't own it. A copyright (and it's derivative works) expires 70 years after the death of the author.

    I can see now that I'm going to have to take my favorite IP attorney out to lunch and pick his brain. There are just so many unanswered questions and from the statements I've seen the ILCA make that are "according to their attorney" ... there seems to be a breakdown in communication and understanding between their attorney to them and what they convey to us.
     
  7. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    Yes, that is correct, but...

    Is having a copyright on a Laser construction manual a bit like having a copyright on a vanilla cake recipe and trying to tell everyone that they can't make vanilla cake?

    I am just a confused...

    Old Dude
     
  8. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    This is reminiscent of the old PC-compatible computers. I believe there was a narrow legal interpretation which allowed the market to develop. A competitor could look at IBM's product and make their own that did the same thing. They couldn't use IBM proprietary information to design it, but they could make their own design which delivered the same functionality.

    In the case of the Laser, someone could sell a boat that nominally looks like a Laser and sails like one. They obvious couldn't use the Laser Construction Manual. They could, however, buy a Laser hull, measure and cut it up, and create their own construction manual. The key to have one person create a specification from the product you wish to copy, and then have a DIFFERENT person come up with a way to build a product to that spec. Like I said, a very narrow interpretation.

    Regardless, the person with the most money to blow on lawyers usually wins in the end.
     
  9. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Sorry. Brain not in gear. Yes, I did mean trademark. Same point, just I used the wrong word.

    Although personally I don't see an issue with ILCA Lasers and <xyz>s are all valid boats and ILCA issues no more sail numbers to PSE and <select new company> is permitted to build <xyz>s in current PSE markets. It is the boat that is important, not the name (but please don't use "Weekender"). At least then we might be able to start addressing the same issues it seems SB3 had (with the same company) - at least from my personal experience.

    Ian
     
  10. Mrs. P

    Mrs. P Member

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    Is it PSE or LPE?

    I must admit, it was the actual contemplation of re-naming of the Laser that really got me to thinking about this whole mess and motivated me to find out why I needed to be thinking about the whole mess to begin with. My re-rewite (http://www.impropercourse.com/2012/05/kirby-sailboat-take-two.html).

    My thoughts about a name were to call the new Laser the "Raider" and use the circle R trademark symbol in place of the red starburst because, after all, it is beginning to look like this whole thing is over a trademark and corporate raider issue. But, there is already a boat named the "Raider" so I thought the next best thing is a "Traider" which combines traitor, raider, trademark, and the trading of the Laser name on the boat. Although somewhat descriptive, that's not exactly a cool name.
     
  11. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Someone has already suggested a most excellent boat name, the Mushroom, because we are in the dark.
     
  12. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    PSE is now LPE, the name changed a couple of years ago.

    With regards to LPE. I recently had the misfortune to snap my boom. My insurance company (who are great) directed me to another UK company and not LPE directly to obtain a new boom. This new boom has a manufacture date of 03/2012 so new parts are making it in to the UK market. As to where they are coming from could be anyones guess.....

    As a foot note this new boom came fitted with the Harken blocks and not the old Holt blocks (for which I am eternally grateful for, I was not looking forward to having to drill a new boom to put my blocks on it).
     
  13. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    The ILCA office has several full time and part time staff, Jeff is one of these.

    Old Dude, none of the parties involved including the ILCA have ever stated if legal action between GS/Kirby and LP has ever occurred, you are simply assuming that none has occurred and that may be incorrect.
     
  14. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    That is correct, but...

    I believe such actions are public domain in the likely venues and there are tools for searching for same. No such legal action was located in a search. And the parties have not indicated legal action is proceeding.

    We can not know any of this for certain. All I am doing is trying to find the most simple and obvious explanation that fits what we know.

    Old Dude
     
  15. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    Why should anything about this be "simple and obvious?"

    I'm working on the assumption that the truth will turn out to be even more complicated, devious, tangled and surprising than we can possibly imagine.
     
  16. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I imagine it would depend on what country any action might have brought in. I would assume that when Kirby sold his <whatever he had> to GS that payments were still being made normally - otherwise I doubt they would have been worth much. So with a NZ? company seeking payments from a UK? company, might be difficult to determine what courts would be used. And might depend if the contracts had a "... under <country> law ..." included, etc. A lot of variables, even assuming that somebody took action.

    Ian
     
  17. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    I would expect as a builder, Global Sailing would have a good idea what Kirby's rights are worth. Also, I would assume Kirby would have disclosed any delinquency in payments from LP before selling the rights. If Global Sailing didn't know about that, they certainly didn't follow due diligence.

    I am thinking Global Sailing didn't buy the rights hoping to make money directly from licensing fees. They may have bought them at a discount as part of a calculated risk. There is some evidence they were looking to enter the North American market, probably expecting LP to go belly up. Purchasing the design rights may have been a hedge against another company trying to step in and start building Lasers.
     
  18. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate

    Old Dude
     
  19. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    Sapiens nihil affirmat quod non probat.
     
  20. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    Sapere aude!
     

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