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@Notch 6 posted:

I'd like to see one person say, "I bought a model train with XYZ railroad on it and because of that train I decided to use railroad XYZ to ship my product."  I highly doubt that's going to happen. Yes PR is important but no way making model trains has increased business to that railroad.

I think that reasoning is wrong on multiple levels.  A case in point would be my 2343 AA that if memory serves appeared under my Christmas Tree in 1953.  I assure you that I developed a love of the Santa Fe Railroad that has really never gone away.  While I am not sure they have ever made a nickel off me, if there had been a way to pay them back for the enjoyment that train gave to me, in a heartbeat I would have.

I think that reasoning is wrong on multiple levels.  A case in point would be my 2343 AA that if memory serves appeared under my Christmas Tree in 1953.  I assure you that I developed a love of the Santa Fe Railroad that has really never gone away.  While I am not sure they have ever made a nickel off me, if there had been a way to pay them back for the enjoyment that train gave to me, in a heartbeat I would have.

...and you could just as easily find someone else that has had the same childhood experience as you but not be inclined to pay Santa Fe anything.  And even if everyone shared your desire and commitment to repay Santa Fe (now BNSF) for the enjoyment you got from a toy/model with Santa Fe markings, there is not a legal way they could accept any monetary compensation for the enjoyment gleaned from it, unless the repayment is in the form to perhaps become a prominent shareholder. 

When the world was run by adults, those adults and the culture that created them pretty much knew how threatening a little boxcar was to their corporations, and they also knew that other people knew the difference between that 12" model and the 40' real thing - and who made and ran them and was responsible for them. Avaricious pettiness had not become a religion as yet. They also grasped a bit of easy, if minor, free advertising.

I miss grownups, in general.

...and you could just as easily find someone else that has had the same childhood experience as you but not be inclined to pay Santa Fe anything.  And even if everyone shared your desire and commitment to repay Santa Fe (now BNSF) for the enjoyment you got from a toy/model with Santa Fe markings, there is not a legal way they could accept any monetary compensation for the enjoyment gleaned from it, unless the repayment is in the form to perhaps become a prominent shareholder. 

and your point would be what?  That I should be responsible for someone else's experience? My point is that early experiences influence later in life behavior.  Try this one.  At fourteen I purchased a 1933 Ford three window coupe for $75.00 and drove it home.  Within a year it was channeled and had a DeSoto hemi under where there used to be a hood.  Also used to have fenders.  Later in life I purchased a lot of Fords starting with a 65 Mustang.  Still have the 33 coupe.

----------A Salty and Cynical Point of View Warning------

Current IP laws aside, I do think any non-negative publicity is good publicity.  I think railroads these days do have a PR problem.  From massively delaying passenger trains, old stations being abandoned to ruin despite protected heritage status, blocking rural intersections for the better part of an hour, issues with safety records (see any place with a hazardous goods spill), to abandoning branchlines like its going out of style (and the towns that relied on it)..... its no wonder some folks actively campaign against the rails.

There should be a certain level of "reasonableness" when it comes to artistic license.  Wish it was more of a "make or lose it" scenario, or just much more streamlined to get a license (as brand integrity can be an issue):

  • Random sellers making Union Pacific hats?   Possible issue, but something UP should be doing if not already,
  • Making complicated models with long dead railway names?   Hard to see an issue unless UP is salty they didn't use the UP roadname? Hard to harm brand integrity there...
  • Complicated models celebrating modern railways?  Hard to replicate, and too much of a nuisance for the likes of UP to produce instead.

The front lines of every railroads PR used to be passenger trains to show off the efficiency and usefulness to the general public, but those days are long gone.  At this point, a railway screaming "brand Integrity!!!" might prompt some dispirited folks to answer "what integrity?", unless its a heritage railway of course....

------------------------  End of a salty point-of-view  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the lighter side is a random amusing British article from a few years ago touching on 'railroading popularity':

https://www.theguardian.com/co...ins-rail-electricity

and your point would be what?  That I should be responsible for someone else's experience? My point is that early experiences influence later in life behavior.  Try this one.  At fourteen I purchased a 1933 Ford three window coupe for $75.00 and drove it home.  Within a year it was channeled and had a DeSoto hemi under where there used to be a hood.  Also used to have fenders.  Later in life I purchased a lot of Fords starting with a 65 Mustang.  Still have the 33 coupe.

I think my point is self-evident.  You would be just part of a tiny fraction of a percent of anyone that would be willing to pay Santa Fe/BNSF anything for whatever enjoyment you've gleaned from your postwar trains.  The direct benefactor from that monetary investment was Lionel, not Santa Fe.  At any rate, if you say you would repay the railroad for the enjoyment you got out of it, then make good on it and start buying up some stock.  Warren Buffet would be happy if you did. 

And your analogy with automobiles is apples and oranges, because you're dealing directly with the company's core products that they sell, not a model or toy train that's a representation of an actual railroad who originated the aesthetics and trademarks.

Last edited by John Korling

rplst8:. I should have clearly stated that the HO modeler had a custom run of logoed reefers made for himself, and apparently was selling them in train shows, not suspecting the brand was not in public domain.  That brewery, and another nearby, in the public domain, were both killed by Prohibition.  I heard of these instances in  a train show, so it is hearsay, but from a dealer who was selling custom run HO reefers.  One of the G scale reefers was on the Bay when l did a search at that time, several years ago.

@rplst8 posted:
During the Atlas beer reefer boom, and this would apply to any product in similar circumstances, an HO modeler had made a quantity of reefers with a large city's "long defunct" brewery beer brand/logo on it. He got raided by the Feds because a megabrewery had bought and owned all the rights to that brewery and brand.

That is totally nuts!  Was he selling the models he made on the open market?

@colorado hirailer posted:

A smalltown brewery, with once wide sales, but now defunct, which never owned logoed reefers, in that same state, had imaginary G scale reefers produced by someone who claimed to own the rights.  An attempt begun to make HO reefers with that logo, by someone else, unaware, as in the first instance, that the rights were owned, was curtailed.

The issue here is a tad stickier since a prototype never existed, but wow - what an overreach.

Why do storys like that never have details? Two unusually similar storys that happened in the same unknown state but no city or town named, no defunct brewery name ( 2 of them ) , no mega brewery name, no date, an unidentified HO modeler in both instances who both coincidentally tried to make reefers ,an unidentified someone that supposedly "owned" the rights, nothing to help verify or vet or allow any of us to look it up. Feds just don't raid a business out of the blue like that. There would have been lawyers involved, a cease and desist order issued, an injunction of some sort, at the very least a visit from the copyright owners lawyers. Oh, and they both happened in the same state. My BS meter is pinging in "urban myth" territory here, the story everyones heard, everybody knows about but no one has any real details on it to share, not even a newspaper article to back it up.  Did this really happen? Maybe, but my lawyer friends ( 2 public defenders, a federal prosecutor, a state prosecutor and a private lawyer) say very doubtful, doesn't pass the smell test.

It's like those IRS tax relief commercials, " I hadn't paid taxes in over 8 years and just found out "out of the blue" I owe the government $100,000 in back taxes" , really in eight years we're to believe you never filled out a tax form and sent it in, nobody ever said anything to you, no letter or visit from the IRS or the "harassing phone calls" that they claim they will stop if you take advantage of their service, nothing? Same non-existent chain of believabilty.



Jerry

Why do storys like that never have details? Two unusually similar storys that happened in the same unknown state but no city or town named, no defunct brewery name ( 2 of them ) , no mega brewery name, no date, an unidentified HO modeler in both instances who both coincidentally tried to make reefers ,an unidentified someone that supposedly "owned" the rights, nothing to help verify or vet or allow any of us to look it up.

Not that it's any less unbelievable, but I thought it was just one story and colorado hirailer was just adding more details.

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