I contacted the FS recently to get a Fiero Calendar for 2020. I was told that Pontiac told the FS that this would no longer be allowed. I thought Pontiac no longer existed? Why would it matter if someone made a calendar from Fiero owners' photos? It's not like the FS is making millions of dollars off of a calendar. Too bad. I always enjoyed seeing other people's Fiero's. Anybody else offer a Fiero calendar?
GM offers a couple different kinds of licenses. Prior to last year, we had a soft goods license for apparel & novelty items and a hard goods license for parts that are used on the car. As you might expect, we sell a lot more parts than apparel and novelty items. A couple of years ago, our soft goods license came up for renewal and GM decided not to renew it because we weren't selling enough of those items. Not long after that, you may have noticed that many of those items, including calendars, were removed from our web site. Since then, we have found other companies with licenses who have offered to make some new soft goods for us. Thankfully, we still have the volume to support a hard goods license. Hopefully that won't change.
With regard to calendars specifically, Pontiac may be gone, but GM still owns most of the Fiero copyrights, trademarks, etc... We are certainly not legal experts, but one of our sister companies learned the hard way many years ago that calendars can anger intellectual property owners. Could we legally defend ourselves and win? Perhaps, but given the cost of legal fees relative to calendar profits, we do not wish to find out.
It's worth mentioning that we've had success offering Fiero club merchandise to our customers. It would be very easy for GM to attack a for-profit business for trademark violations, but it seems unlikely that GM would risk the negative publicity associated with shutting down non-profit clubs. It is our hope that clubs like NIFE and others will continue to innovate new apparel and novelty items to help the Fiero community grow. By using our distribution capabilities as a resource, we get revenue to develop new parts, clubs get more exposure and revenue to support their efforts, and Fiero owners get the products they want.....everybody wins. If a club were to produce a calendar, we would be willing to explore the possibility of helping them with distribution.
I work for a company with a large web presence. The ownership and use of names has really tightened up in the last decade. It is not just GM.
When presenting parts we have to use care in how we use names like Honda etc.
Companies also keep names and images registered to protect the use of them even if they have been out of production for decades. We even have had to protect our name and image from a Chinese rip offs. It is a constant battle.
May look at it as you are getting free publicity but when the item falls appart or fails who’s name is on it? Not theirs.
The execution of these license has not always been smooth. Ford lawyers went after the Mustang magazines till Ford corporate came in and got involved.
The real trouble is that these license cost a lot of money due to lawyers. This makes it difficult to approve low cost items or low volume like pointed out by TFS.
It is sad due to people abusing the system these rules are in play. The. Hi see have played a major role and they generally get away free on it because their government will not in force any of the laws and till recently few in our government would challenge them.
The flow of low quality items can really hurt a name and companies no longer are willing to risk it. I just wish they could clean up the legal side to make it cheaper and easier for the legit companies.
Thank you, TFS, (and others) for the explanations. It is just a sad state, when people are supporting a product (Pontiac Fiero) even though it is out of production. I just can't imagine how a calendar or T-shirts with "Fiero" on them can be detrimental to GM. If anything, it highlights what a mistake it was to drop production of a car that people continue to support, 30 years later.
I lost track of who makes these in addition to the Fiero Store but I believe one of the Fiero Clubs has a calendar. I want to say "Christine" on here sells them or "2.5" offered them a couple years ago.
[This message has been edited by IMSA GT (edited 02-12-2020).]