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FireflyOpen Letter to Browncoats written by the folk at Serenity Stuff
Thursday 26 October 2006, by Webmaster
An Open Letter to Browncoats
Lot of panicking going on right now, and rightfully so. After years of the careful and unspoken “we won’t notice fan-made stuff as long as it doesn’t compete with our own merchandise, should we ever get around to making any” attitude from FOX and Universal, a conflict has arisen and a heavy hand is making itself known. No longer will fans get away with their own Serenity logo T-shirts or barely-Photoshopped crewmember designs. It’s not worth the hassle and Universal is well within their rights to block such things, even though in the real world I suspect this will end up costing them a lot in good will and fan backlash.
So, they can take our ship and take our crew and leave us to buy whatever licensed items are left over. But, and this is an important but, they can’t take the ‘verse from us.
I see it as a challenge. Can we move on and create artwork and graphic designs that represent what Serenity means to us without actually referencing the movie or its characters? I think we can.
Let’s make our own crews, our own worlds. The juxtaposition of the old west and space is not copyrighted. Nor are courtesans in futuristic settings, beat up spaceships, pretty captains, crazy telepaths, cliche-breaking funny drama, or even the Papyrus font (well, not the free version, anyway). Don’t make a poster of Mal. Make a poster he’d hang up, instead. Show us the glory and freedom of flying through the black but use your own ship design. Can’t use Blue Sun? Fine. Invent their competitor.
Such designs will not sell as easily as Serenity stuff does, obviously. No built-in advertising, no already-known symbols and catch-phrases. They won’t help promote the show or the movie as well. And for many of us, such creations simply won’t be as satisfying because we fell in love with this ship, with these people.
But I don’t want this recent legal action to mean I’ll never see any more 11th Hour artwork ever again. Running this site I’ve gotten to see the work of many insanely talented people, and I want more. Let’s go find it.
And you know what? I bet it’ll be cooler, funnier, and better than whatever Universal finally produces.