Forum and Costume Controls

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Policy Handbook

 
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rab96 (Becca)
Blue Ridge Base CO
Blue Ridge Base CO


Joined: 07 Nov 2016
Posts: 421
Location: Greenville, SC
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:09 am    Post subject: Policy Handbook Reply with quote

Policy Handbook


LFL Policy on Costuming Profiting


Legion members,

Over the past few months, Council has had to deal with several cases of where our members were using their costumes for profit making endeavors. While this goes against the Charter, we wanted to receive an official word from LFL on their stance on the issue to clear-up any gray areas.

Below is a correspondence between Mary Franklin of LFL and myself. Mary's comments are in bold.

Specials thanks to Kathy Skirmont (Kay_Dee) for the well-written letter and her persistence on the topic Smile
- - - - - -

From: Mary Franklin
To: Jason Rutledge
Subject: RE: Question on Copyright Usage

Hello, Jason. Thank you for asking.

First of all, how you treat the membership is totally up to the Legion. It's up to you to enforce as you see fit. I can tell you how Lucasfilm would see these actions, however. Please see my answers below....


Mary Franklin
Sr. Events Lead
Lucasfilm

From: Jason Rutledge
To: Mary Franklin
Subject: Question on Copyright Usage

Hello Mary,

The leadership in the Rebel Legion has had some additional discussion surrounding our rule which prohibits members from using their costumes for profit-making endeavors. We understand that as a club/organization we must not engage in activities on a professional level which take advantage of the Star Wars IP (Such as being a professional character for hire outside of LFL authorized projects/referrals). However, we are unclear how far we must go as a club/organization in policing the personal activities of our club members, and some of the following activities have recently come into question as either hypothetical, or real situations. If you could please advise us and let us know if our club leaders should be concerning themselves with the following issues in order to maintain our relationship with Lucasfilm, we would appreciate it.

1) Members selling artistic photographs of themselves in Star Wars costumes they have made - no Rebel Legion Logo or Star Wars logos used. (Some offer to give a portion or 100% of the proceeds to charity, some do not donate to charity and use the proceeds to recoup a portion of their costume materials costs.) Would this be considered a small scale unprofessional personal activity (artistic expression)? Or is this a significant IP infringement that we should have a zero tolerance for as a club?

MARY: Any time anyone is making money with our intellectual property, even if they are not using our logo, it is an infringement of the copyright. The characters are our property too. However, if someone wants to do a charity drive with our IP, they can apply to us for a letter of agreement, that would say how many they will sell over what time frame and what cost, and what charity they will benefit. So that is fine, but they have to get an agreement with us first. However, just selling pictures of our characters without a license would not be permitted buy us.

2) Selling t-shirts, tote bags, artwork, etc outside of Club/Legion runs which may have an image of the member in costume on the product.

MARY: Not appropriate. It's still our intellectual property. Any of the characters and symbols from Star Wars are.


3) Renting out a costume - Some of us feel this is not an issue if the individual is not doing so as a large scale professional business venture, and it is not so different than a person selling a costume they no longer have need for.

MARY: While I get your point, it's still going into business with Star Wars (our property). Where would you draw the line? Renting it out once? Twice? Three times? When does it become a business with our IP. So no, not appropriate.

4) Reality TV shows - word seems to be spreading through the convention circuits about various reality show pilots in the works focusing on "Cosplayers." If a club member were to be featured in such a reality show wearing their legion approved Star Wars costume as they portray themselves, would it be a significant infringement on LFL IP for the individual to be paid as a featured "Cosplayer" in the reality show? Is it necessary for our club to address this sort of activity with our members if it comes to our attention, and enforce a zero tolerance policy if one chooses to be paid as a featured contestant in such a reality show in one of their Star Wars costumes? Or is a reality show closer to a costume contest with no reason for our club leaders to interfere in the member's personal activity?

MARY: The onus would not be on the costumers for this one, but on the show. They should have approached us first. If any costumers get asked to be on a show about Star Wars fans, please let us know, as we would love to talk to the producers about it first.

Thank you so much for your time and any insight or clarification you can give on these matters.

MARY: Thank YOU for asking!~

- Kathy Skirmont
Rebel Legion Endor Base XO
&
Jason H. Rutledge
Rebel Legion Commanding Officer

LFL Retail Events Policy

Commanders,

I have been asked to post up our rules for conducting retail troops by LFL. Honestly, except for special approved events and time we do not do them. Approved times include movie and toy releases, LFL promotion or request, Star Wars Reads Day, May Fourth, etc. Also we can ask permission to do select events through LFL but these should be charity focused and not used as a retail endorsement or promotion.

We should be adhering to these, regardless of what other groups and costumers are doing in various areas.

Here is a good set of guidelines:

LFL does allow us "windows" to work with retailers during the year for merchandise releases, promotions like Star Wars Reads, and etc.

Unless there is "window" on the moratorium here are the rules:

1.) We cannot do retail events for promotion of the retailer, unless requested to do so by LFL.

2.) We cannot do charity collections at retail venues, unless approved by LFL. They normally do not approve these kind of events, but there are always exceptions to every rule.

3.) LFL is typically ok with comic shops since they tend to be non-franchise and community-level. There's also a natural connection to Star Wars. This should be fine as long as the appearance isn't advertised.

4.) When in doubt do not do retail events...unless you get it cleared by Base and Legion Command.

--Bill
_________________
Legion Commanding Officer


Lucasfilm Preferences for Costumed Appearances and Fan-Produced Merchandise

General appearance preferences:

We prefer that when our characters are presented in public, they remain ‘in character’ as much as possible, although there is room for a bit of latitude, when tasteful (examples are stormtroopers hugging children or offering a friendly wave – these are fine). We of course cannot demand the costume fan groups adhere to these guidelines, since most of these appearances are voluntary, but we do want to make it clear what our preferences are all the same.

Character appearances you typically don’t need LFL permission for:

• Local non-profit activities in non-commercial settings, such as community-level sporting events, charity walks, not-for-profit May the 4th events, libraries, K-12 schools, etc.
• Pop culture-type conventions, like comic cons, are typically ok.
• It’s typically ok to say a club will be at an event, but please avoid language like “Meet Star Wars Characters at So-and-So Event”).
*It should be clear the characters are represented by club members and not provided by LFL/Disney.

Character appearances you should seek permission for:

Basically, any event that includes a ticketed entry or has a commercial component (the exception being pop culture conventions and official theatrical Star Wars releases). If paid entry is required by an event organization or venue host, permission should be requested to appear at that event or venue. These include museums, concerts*, fairs, zoos**, etc. Also, any large-scale unofficial event that would likely garner media coverage – at the very least, we’d like to be aware of these appearances. If permission is given to participate, the appearance cannot be advertised.
*Note about concerts – currently, we are only approving appearances for the official “Star Wars In Concert” series, for which we will send open invites to the regional clubs that appear on our roster if the symphony is open to having a character appearance. Also, appearances in some international markets are currently not being approved for security reasons.

**Please check with us before accepting an invitation to appear at a zoo – while we have generally been reining in these types of appearances, we do make exceptions.**

Appearances we typically do not approve:

• Appearances within a commercial setting (retail stores, shopping malls, etc.), unless it is during a retail moratorium lift**
• Corporate events (even if private) and commercial trade shows
• Restaurants, bars, banks, tattoo parlors, paintball courses, laser tag courses, and similar
• Amusement parks, water parks, LEGOLAND (as of 2019), etc.
• Major/minor league sporting events that are not officially supported by LFL (if it’s officially supported by LFL, your club will receive an open invitation from us)
• Non pop culture conventions and unsanctioned cons -- while pop culture conventions are typically ok, there are some unsanctioned, overtly-branded Star Wars conventions that we do not wish to support. If there is a question regarding an event like this, we’d appreciate a heads-up
• Filmed commercials, programs, promotions, videogames, etc. that are not licensed or approved by LFL (if it’s licensed or approved, you will receive an invitation from LFL)
• Birthdays and weddings – we generally prefer the costume groups refrain from doing appearances at birthdays and weddings (friends and family exempt, of course!), but if appearances do occur, any donated proceeds must go to charity and the appearance cannot be organized by a character casting agency (who work strictly for profit).


**During a moratorium lift, which we alert the club leads to in the weeks/months prior, it is our preference that any commercial venues that host a character appearance have some kind of association with Star Wars, such as a toy store, department store that carries SW merch, etc. It just doesn’t make sense to stage a character appearance at a nail salon, for example.**

Fan-produced Merchandise

Any merchandise, including t-shirts, patches, challenge coins, glasses, prints, etc., that features a logo, word(s), or property that is owned by Disney/Lucasfilm needs to pass through Lucasfilm Business Affairs for review. Requests should be made through a club’s designated representative.
For most requests, we require that fan-produced items not be sold publicly (specifically on public websites), and offered exclusively to club members through private channels and at cost. Items to be sold above-cost for charity can be requested, but we usually require these items to be sold in the same fashion as non-charity items (via private channels), and/or at a single on-location event, such as a convention. We do not allow fan-produced merchandise to be sold for profit. Each club should decide the best format to limit the amount of fan-produced merchandise.

If in doubt about appearances or merchandise, please don’t hesitate to contact Lucasfilm Fan Relations



LFL Prop and Weapons Policy

1.) Prop Weapons - We all know our prop weapons are just for pretend and sometimes forget that others in the general public do not realize this. The more real world the prop blaster or weapon looks the more it can cause alarm. Rebel ERT prop blasters are modified M-16s and AR-15s and thus can look more realistic to general public and even law enforcement than even E-11s which are based the WWII era Sterlings.

If prop weapons are allowed at the venue and is sanctioned by Base Command and the EC, be cognizant of possible reaction you can illicit from the general public.

These are not Rebel Legion rules, but things for you and your Base to consider and have a talking point to start a discussion. Each Base should have policy that is tailored to their region. Obviously, areas that have experienced real life acts of violence may have a lower toleration than other areas. Also local, state/provincial, and national laws should be known and enforced. These always supersedes Rebel Legion or local Base policy.

Points to Consider and Responsible Use of Prop Weapons:

A.) Do not point prop blasters and weapons at people even if they make the request. Be polite though.

B.) Do not act threatening with the prop weapons at events.

C.) Be very careful passing off prop weapons to event participants. Once it leaves your hand you loose control of it. Even lightsabers make an effective club that could accidentally hurt the public or other members of the costume groups.

Also, never hand a minor any prop weapon without parental consent.

D.) In this day and age, I would avoid any execution poses due to inappropriate image that it makes to the public and as representatives of LFL IP. Remember we are the heroes. Smile


E.) Always comply with requests from law enforcement. Never move fast or in a threatening way with a weapon. Comply with the requests in a calm and slow non threatening manner. Remember in the right situation even removing a bucket quickly could be perceived as a threatening motion.

2.) EC and Venue - Always communicate well with the venue and have set expectations that are worked out in advance. The venue communicating to the local law enforcement agencies that an event is going in the area can help.

Be aware a single character can be more threatening in appearance than even a large group costumed characters. Helmeted characters should have someone either with them that has an open face or checking on them in close proximity.

3.) Always use common sense. If you have to think too hard about it you should probably not do it. Its better to err on the side of caution and get opinions from other members and command. If deemed appropriate it can be done at other events and it can fully be thought out.

At the end of the day the safety of our membership at events are our top priority. We also want the freedom to set rules and policies to make the most of the experience we provide to the kids and fans. Thinking and acting responsible in costume will help insure this for the Rebel Legion and the rest of our Community.

May the Force be with you, always!!

--Bill
_________________
Legion Commanding Officer
Dantooine Base
_________________
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The Rebel Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred volunteer Rebel costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™ All rights reserved. Used under authorization.


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