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NFT: Trademark/Property Lawyer to Answer Somewhat Simple Question

jamison884 : 9/20/2020 9:46 pm
Before you read anything, my question is basically, how screwed over was this guy? Did he lose out on physical materials or was he compensated in some way as to what they took? Are he and his two employees compensated for the time worked on the project at a negotiated fair value for their work per hour if they have time worked logged?

So, a short answer would be something like:

He was most likely compensated for x, y, and z - and screwed over on anything else.

Thanks for anyone who is willing to provide their expertise, it's greatly appreciated.

Quick Intro
So, there's this YT channel I watch, called "B is for Build" and it's a pretty popular YT channel where they modify and build cars with Harbor Freight tools and a little garage, no lift. He even made the bold move of creating his own paint both and via tons of hard work, he can paint a car as absolutely street level "passable," just not new-car dealer quality.

Background Info if You're Interested
He began in his driveway with zero performance, and over the past 5 years or so, quit his stable job to go all in and he now employs two other guys and he has quite the stable of some cool cars that just have bad titles basically. For example. he took a Lambo Huracan which is only offered with automatic gearboxes, restored it from a flood title, completely tore it down, re-did wiring, interior, and did some cool custom work to make it the first documented 6-gear manual trans Huracan, and also added dual turbos that leak really awesome in the back of the mid-engine Lambo 5.2L V10.

He's had two cars displayed at SEMA so far and I'm sure he'll have another next SEMA. So, basically, he has a garage full of customized cool cars modified externally, internally, and via drive train that don't have super car prices due to the method of buying junk title cars as his base, but hey, they're his toys and all have a story, and as his channel grows, I imagine so do the value of all those cars.

Oh yeah, and he took his hobby/thing that he loves to do, took a huge risk, made the jump, and it has paid off quite well based on some other purchases he made unrelated to cars and the fact he can pay two full time fabricators and his own salary.

The Case
1. B is for Build went out and purchased a totaled modern Mustang GT (if I recall, light frame damage which they rebuilt and/or reinforced), tore off the body panels, and started putting on a late 60's Ford body on it and said it was an "Eleanor" tribute car (the one and only HUGE MISTAKE).

2. All of a sudden during the build, every video (20-30) on that car at the mid-build process disappeared off of YT.

3. The channel updates to tell us the producer's bitch of a widow (from the remade Gone in 60 Seconds with Nic Cage in it) sent him a cease and desist letter AND confiscated his entire build as it stood.

4. Losses include:

- The junked modern Mustang, the junked old Mustang that was donating its body to the new mustang.

- A total of approximately 1,000+ work hours between a crew of three as a rough guess, plus likely an additional 100 hours of filming/editing/YT administration work.

- Raw materials such as steel and aluminum, misc. car parts old and new, new tools purchased to complete some of the complicated work.

- Then there's the loss of YT revenue on all videos removed, loss of future YT earnings for future videos, loss of sponsorship/breach of sponsorship contracts (some videos were sponsored by a product or web site, and such products were given time slots in each of the ~30 deleted videos).

- Other stuff I'm not thinking of, perhaps use of his property and equipment to film.? I'm sure you're much more aware than me on what was taken, lost, and anything concerning behind the scene costs based on your experience).

- Finally, if it wasn't clear, they took his half-finished non-driving project car from him.

5. The producer's widow who had full rights to the copyright of "Eleanor" as it related to the car and who knows what other types of product. The YT owner basically said it was either not worth the fight or they had him cornered and they would ultimately lose).
Seems the producer must have had a court order  
BillT : 9/21/2020 9:40 am : link
Anyone can be sent a cease and desist letter but confiscation of property requires a court order that he would have had a chance to defend himself against It in court. If he had titled his videos with the Eleanor name that’s potentially a problem and that could have gotten YouTube to pull the videos. They don’t want a fight. The actual car though is puzzling.
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