Thursday, October 12, 2006

O' Canada - #$@%!


A rant about my country.

House of Cool has a show that has Royal Canadian Mounted Police in it. As it turns out, the RCMP or Mounties own the rights to their image. We observed this right, so we sent them a script and designs for them to review. In classic Canadian style our request was denied but very politely.

As this denial sunk in I became very angry. The idea that a Canadian company could not use an iconic symbol of Canada but any number of productions outside Canada use the Mounties with impunity is unfair and completely ridiculous. It would be like the Americans clamping down on Uncle Sam or the Statue of Liberty to other Americans. What's next? The Canadian government should limit the use of the maple leaf because it appears on the flag. They might as well copyright the colour red while they're at it.

13 comments:

Jerry Robbins said...

Hmm - do you need permission to do a parody? What about Dudley Dooright? He was a Mounty, wasn't he? So they can stop a Canadian company, but if it was in America they are powerless to stop the image? That doesn't sound right. Maybe draw him without the Sam Brown belt - that way he's out of uniform :)

Shawn said...

I don't know. It seems to me that a lawsuit brought against you, (a Canadian company owner} by the RCMP, (a woldwide Canadian icon) could pay for itself in publicity. Of course, thats easy for me to say, they won't be showing up at my house on Horseback.

Man of the House said...

Jerry. You don't need permission to do a parody but you do if the characters are recuring.

In the late '90s the RCMP gave the exclusive rights to Disney for five years. They did this to learn the process of rights and image management.

I'm not against the RCMP monitoring their image for malicious deflamations of their character but limiting the use by tax payers is too much for me.

Cal said...

What if you spell it "mowntees" and in the show people don't laugh at them? That way they won't resemble any real life version of Canada's elite fighting force.

I just thought of a funny idea. In the show, they should go undercover at some point but not be able to take off their giant hats. They have to try and disguise them as sombraros. Mowntee mariachis.

I wondered the same thing as Shawn, surely that'd be worth big ol' Globe and Mail article if they tried to raid the House of Cool. Besides, as artists, we're brawny and strong and could withstand an assault on the House. Fortify!

Cal

Mr. W said...

That would be some good to bring up to the Globe and Mail... May we will... Shawn and Calio... thanks for the idea... it could be worth challenging.

Cliff Mitchell said...

I have seen RCMP characters in Canadian productions before, they are an icon symbol of our culture. Plus, since when has Canada not had a sence of humor? I mean look at the uniform, they are begging for charicatures!

Man of the House said...

It's not that Mounties are not in Canadian productions. They appear often. It's just that they RCMP has the right to limit the use by Canadians. It's the principle that gets my goat.

TotalD said...

Yes, Disney at one time owned the rights to the images of the RCMP. You are Canadians and in court that would be the most watched trial ever :) Do it ! It would shame the government into stopping this stupidity. Oh, I own the rights to images of the FBI , I'm willing to trade. The outfits are cooler now.

pascal said...

oh no!
That sounds pretty stupid.
It would be like the french forbidden french comics to portray gendarmes.
a whole pilar of french comedy would be gone!

what if the whole show took place in an unamed country that look suspiciously close to canada, and the costumes of the "Mowntees" were awkwardly similar, but yet different from the ones the fierce and brave RCMP happen to wear?

I dunno... just an idea

deb said...

the copyright thing is similar to the vancouver olypmic committee (vanoc) forcing "olympia pizza", who's been in business for over 20 years, and others like them to change their name. they get a lot of air time on the news and support from all of us(the businesses, not vanoc).

and what about that due south show? how did they get permission???

Lee said...

The RCMP worked with us in 1999-2000 on an animated series concept with their characters. Although not aggressively they do have people in their Ottawa facility who are persuing animated series ideas, using some of their own proprietary material and a couple that they have partnered on. I have heard rumour that there is a Canadian animation studio presently working with the RCMP on an animated concept for a Canadian broadcaster.

Mr. W said...

All these comments have been highly have been great... Seems like the CDN gov't is pretty stingy on allowing people to express national views... Just another hurdle we have to jump... Ahh, what another dragon to slay. =)

Bicos de pés said...

Amazing so many films of animation and real image with those characters.