I can’t say that I have much interest in copies of the hero movie from the 2000 movie Gone within 60 seconds, a 1967 custom Mustang fastback named “Eleanor”, because it’s been done a billion times and frankly, it’s simply not that interesting a car. However, what is interesting about the specific car is that it is a copyrighted and trademark design, and the owner of these copyrights and trademarks will, it seems, take your car if you dare to build one. At least that’s what happened to a well known car building YouTuber.
The YouTube channel in question is the most popular B is for Build, and the project was to take one 2015 Mustang GT, remove the body and replace it with a 1967 Mustang fastback body. Not a bad resto-mod project, and one that would be really hard to do properly, so you can see why the idea was chosen.
B is for Build decided to make the car a copy of the Eleanor Mustang from (let’s face it, pretty crap) 2000 Nic Cage vehicle about vehicles, Gone in 60 seconds, because that car has some sort of cult following and when it comes to YouTube videos, it makes sense to do things that attract viewers.
Now it’s not like there’s a shortage of Eleanor copies out there; Hell, people have even turned dirty eco boxes into them. Carroll Shelby even built some, but a lot of questionable things happened thereand back in 2004, Eleanor copyright owner Denice Halicki sued Shelby and forced the company to stop production.
It is not unreasonable. A company like Shelby that built Eleanor copies and sells them for up to $ 150,000 shall to pay some kind of license fees to the owners of the car’s copyright, I think. It is very clearly a commercial company and it uses the car’s cachet and appearance to sell cars.
B is for Build situation which I’m less sure of. Sure, it still makes money, although far less than Shelby could potentially have done, but a one-time YouTube channel build strikes me as unnecessarily aggressive, especially when the penalty is for taking the car, which seems to have happened here.
Of course, copyright owners must defend their properties, and on Halicki’s own website, their enforcement of this is said very clearly and proudly:
“Denice Shakarian Halicki runs his companies, franchisees and brands with faith and strength to believe.
She is a producer and gasoline behind the 2000 office hit, “Gone in 60 Seconds”, with Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi and Robert Duvall and of course the character of Eleanor star car.
Denice and Eleanor WAS a Ninth Circuit in 2008, with a published opinion by Judge Miner … which sets a new copyright protection for the car character’s appearance / image as they appear in their films, TV and series against infringement. That helped Batmobile’s appearance / image be protected by copyright against counterfeit violators in its 2015 Ninth Circuit Ruling WIN, with a published opinion of Judge Sandra S. Ikuta … quoting from Batman TV Series 1966: As Batman So Stupid told Robin, “In our orderly society, protection of private property is crucial.”
I mean, they even wrote both times of “winning” in all caps, so you know they mean the.
Although I have heard it suggested that Disney has a certain ownership of the copyright, because it was a Disney movie. It wasn’t just one Disney movie; it was a Disney movie that lost $ 212 million, too.
Man, it looks dated.
The strange thing is how many other movie cars that probably have similar protections seem to be built as copies on a regular basis: Volkswagen Beetles were transformed into Herbies, for example, are common and also a Disney feature.
Bullitt Mustangs are built with some regularity, as well Back to the Future DeLoreans, or even Blues Brothers Moping police cars, and yet they don’t seem to be policed as aggressively as Eleanors, which is undoubtedly much less iconic than the other cars.
I have contacted Disney for comments and will be updated if I hear back.
Meanwhile, you just take this as another reason not to bother to hack a nice fastback Mustang to an Eleanor.