Copyright?


With uncertainty about my job and quite a lot of holiday left, I took advantage of a quiet weekend at work and spent two days in Edwinstowe in Nottinghamshire. I stayed at the lovely Forest Lodge and visited Mansfield and of course, my favourite place........ Sherwood Forest! I have plenty of pictures and information that I will share with you all, but firstly I want to show you an alarming discovery I made while in the gift shop.

On my first day in the forest it was quite cloudy, so I took the opportunity to have some dinner in the Forest Table. This is a lovely little restaurant with its walls decorated with a copy of nearly every ‘Robin Hood’ film poster you can think of. So I tucked into my baguette alongside, (yes you guessed it!) a full size copy of Putzu’s poster for the 1972 release of Disney’s Story of Robin Hood. Not a bad start!

It was starting to brighten up by now,  so I thought I would take a walk to the exhibition and have a look in the shop. There were a couple of books I eagerly bought, but not a lot else, just the usual toys and sweets. But just as I turned around to come out, something caught my eye. It was a clock decorated with characters from Disney’s Story of Robin Hood! I couldn’t believe it! Below were cups, plates and jugs with the same illustrations used in the book of the film, from 1952. But after closer inspection I noticed something very concerning-they did not carry any Disney copyright logo. In fact there is no indication that the images belong to a Disney motion picture. Now as you all know I care very deeply about this particular movie and its lasting legacy, so rather stunned, I hurriedly took note of the company that make these particular items and left the shop.


The Story of Robin Hood (the items actually just say Robin Hood) clocks, jugs, cups etc were also for sale in a gift shop in Edwinstowe, which is where I was able to take these pictures. Now I’m no expert on these matters, but IS this is an infringement of copyright as they are actually using illustrations from a book or am I over reacting-what do you all think?

12 comments:

Albie said...

I am also no expert but I believe copyright lapses after 50 years or so. Hence books, music, etc becomes public domain, this happened to Cliff Richard a couple of years ago. He won his case as it would have meant he could not get paid royalties for his older songs and material.

Was also in Edwinstowe last night taking some visitors from Pakistan around the area. If anyone is in the area this weekend it is the Robin Hood Festival. Kids both young and old will love it.....

Clement of the Glen said...

Hi Albie,

Yes I left on the Monday morning as it was about to start. It was great to see all the youngsters in their Robin Hood hats and bows and arrows.

Next year I want to go back and see the Festival again.

Albie, I think my biggest surprise was that there was no recognition of the fact that the items were from a Disney production.

Anonymous said...

I suppose that if they are not subject to copyright, then the manufacturer would not need to say where the images came from.

If they are subject to copyright then Trading Standards will be soon on the case, they are pretty hot on fakes/infringements in nottinghamshire.

Neil said...

Firstly I hope you enjoyed your visit to Sherwood. I do think it is very flattering to the film that these are the images used on these items. Disney usually safeguards such products and I would be surprised like you if they were free of copyright. Nevertheless they do look to be very nice items for us collectors. Everything about them seems to have been taken from the film images. Maybe it is me and the films influence but much as I like Sherwood Forest I do feel that Burnham Beeches fits the part better from a film perspective although I expect to be shot down in flames for such a statement which is just a personal one.

Albie said...

You are quite right Neil. As far as I am aware only 1 robin Hood film/tv show has ever been shot on location in Sherwood Forest itself. I am not sure which film this was but the actors stayed in the Robin Hood Hotel in Newark and it was sometime in the 1950's. Hence, places like Burnham Beeches will fit the bill providing they have the correct trees (Prince of Thieves had some scens done in pine woods which didn't exist in Sherwood in medieval times). The trees in the Visitors Centre area are mainly oak and silver birch. There is also a dense foliage of fern, it seems especially thick this year. It would be difficult to film due to this I reckin.

To be honest I am glad they never film in Sherwood. If they did, I would spend the whole film looking for places I recognise rather than watching the plot.....

Clement of the Glen said...

Thank you all for your informative comments.

Both Sherwood and Burnham Beeches have qualities that I adore. I intend to visit them both again as soon as I can.

Albie, I am intrigued to know which Robin Hood movie was filmed in Sherwood. Some web sites wrongly claim that Disney’s Story of Robin Hood was filmed there. I wonder if this might have occurred because Disney and his production staff toured all round Nottinghamshire, including Sherwood Forest on a fact finding mission in the early 1950’s. Perhaps they stayed at the Robin Hood Hotel in Newark?

I agree Neil, Disney safeguards copyright on all their films and I feel this company might need to be looking over their shoulders!

But for all those fans of the film that are out there and would like to own a plate, clock, mug etc. (get ‘em while there hot!) the company is Pyramid Pottery, Staffordshire, England.

Albie said...

I can't remember which film it was. The info was in an article written by the Newark Advertiser, the local weekly paper. It mentioned that some actors stayed at the hotel during filming that was taking place in Sherwood. Some of the actors were from the US I believe. Something in my mind says the date was 1955/56, I wonder if it could haqve been 'Robin Hood's Greatest Adventures' which had Donald Pleasance (born in Nottingham by the way) as Prince john....?

The article was regarding the closure of the hotel some 10 years ago. They are about to demolish it to make way for a new development by Asda/Walmart which includes a new health centre. Pity, some parts of the hotel are around 400 years old.

Clement of the Glen said...

Albie,

Donald Pleasance played Prince John in three episodes of TV’s classic Adventures of Robin Hood from 1956-1958. The site of many of the heath land and woodland scenes from The Adventures of Robin Hood were filmed at Wisley Common in Surrey according to my good friends at the Adventures of Robin hood Appreciation Society. Other locations included Foxwarren Park near Cobham, Pencoed Castle, Monmouthshire, Bodiam Castle, Sussex and Allington Castle in Kent.

The only link with Newark or Sherwood I could find was Newark Mill, which was used in the episodes ‘The Haunted Mill and ‘The Road in the Air’, but Newark Mill is in Surrey.

‘A Challenge for Robin Hood’ was made in 1967 with Richard Greene in the leading role but no Donald Pleasance.

The only other ‘full length movie’ of the TV series was a DVD of some episodes rather crudely crammed together and digitally colorized.

Let’s hope we can get to the bottom of this one!

Neil said...

It sounds like Men of Sherwood Forest made in 1954 with Don Taylor as Robin Hood. Don Taylor was an American and very talented who went on to be an actor, writer, Producer and Director of films. It does not give Sherwood as a location on the Movie Data Base site but nor does it give Bodiam Castle which is definitely in the film. For anyone who wants a really good castle location that would grace any Robin Hood film then I suggest a visit to Bodiam Castle in Sussex for a real castle surrounded by a moat. You can almost hear the arrows whistling past it is so good

Clement of the Glen said...

Bodiam's near my neck of the woods and I have visited it quite a few times. Mike's off to see it in September and told me this afternoon that the castle was also used in 'Robin of Sherwood.'

Albie said...

I have been to Bodiam too - my brother lives in Worthing which is not far from there.

Wish I could remember the name of the film......

Ladytink_534 said...

Considering that these characters look too much like the Walt Disney version to be mistaken for anything else, yes I believe it's copyright infringement. Disney is one of the few companies who are very strict about not letting their things get into the public domain.