I am just about fed up with all the bitching about the UPs 4% logo
fee. Good gosh people, if you cannot afford another 40 cents for a
$10 car or $4 on a $100 locomotive you need to change something.
Drive something less than a SUV which ain't cheap. That would be a
good start. If you cannot alter you inflated US living standard then
I suggest one of two options. Model an east coast road which won't be
affected by the UPs decision or get a new hobby. I bet most of you
had excessive hikes in health care premiums for next year. If you
bitched about that as much as you bitch about this UP thing you might
get your pathetic government to do something about it.
You just don't get, do you?
The model railroad hobby is composed of people, real live people who like
trains, and some of them actually buy stock in railroads they like. When a
railroad ticks off a group of stock holders who just may be in the model
railroad business, and gets bad publicity in the process, the stock price
falls, which in turn ticks off other stock holders because the management was
greedy and wanted to make a few bucks from small businesses which were actually
doing them a favor by providing free advertising.
But the real test is: Will the increased revenue from the model railorad
industry meet or exceed the losses caused by the bad publicity?
Chessie did the same dumb thing about twenty years ago and made the front page
of the Wall Street Journal for their troubles.
Joe Luber of Pro Custom Hobbies was interviewed by the WSJ and gave Chessie a
muched deserved zinger.
Alas, Joe is gone. I hope someone will take up the banner....................
The whole UP thing does get on ones nerves. It was mentioned that Chessie
did a similar thing. Well, am I a bad person because I model Chessie? It's
obvious that didn't last too long or isn't too much of an issue. What the UP
is doing is a stupid move IMHO. I've heard so many arguments on the subject.
Have you seen the prices in the UP gift shop website??? $27 for a chunk of
wood, and I don't care who makes it. That's just crazy.
Kinda glad I model the Chessie, B&O and CSX. Maybe I should get a discount
since all of my family worked for the B&O, lol. And then I need a discount
for working on Conrail for any acquired equipment to CSX, lol.
I have noticed that on a couple of O gauge forums I frequent that this
same subject of UP and the 4% has also been discussed. I also notice
that on both forums the percentage of those who support or at least
understand UP decision runs about 60% of those expressing their views
on the subject. I find that most interesting because as a whole, the
O gauge trains are more expensive therefore UP action would cost them
more. I can only summize that those posting here are in the smaller
scales of HO and N and less likely to be able to support their
IIRC, CSX now wants a flat fee every three years, and it's like $100.
And that covers all products produced by that company. UP wants a
percentage of each model sold and they want to be able to disapprove any
product (but only after they get a production model). This can kill a
manufacturer. For example, say some company wants to make Big Boys. First,
they have to make the entire product run (mock-ups and betas are not good
enough for UP) and then get permission. If UP ever said no, the company in
question would take a huge financial hit.
CSX has not demanded the right of refusal...
Paul A. Cutler III
Weather Or No Go New Haven
It's not "summize" it's surmise. You're correct that O-gaige is more expensive.
It's also bought more so by collectors and is in fact a minority scale compared
to HO or N scale. I dropped the overpriced Lionel / MTH lines from my shop.
However you miss the point. The point was why the UP has after many decades
decided to try to collect on what is essentially a small market. They are doing
exactly what Chessie tried to do. Based on the number of model railroad
manufacturers that might be modeling the Union Pacific (how about 40 or 50?)
how much does it cost to administer this program? Likely considerably less than
it'll try to take in. This program smells like an attempt to make money and not
control "logos". It's a bit difficult to understand needing to control a logo
that's been in use by modelers for a long time. There is not a reason in the
world that they cannot simply ask for approval of a product. There are how many
new Union Pacific items brought to market in a given year?
What could be done, if you have the power, is if you or your current
employer ships with UP, find another source and tell UP why you're
making the switch. Tell them that this charge on their logo is full of
crap and this is a way to protest.
Apparently nobody's told the UP stockholders they're supposed to be
pissed off. The chart at
shows that the stock price has been on a steady climb for the past 2
months and the performance since March has been mostly positive. It
looks like the trademark issue that started early in the year has had a
positive effect on UP stock, not negative.
Yup, that's it... let your hobby affect your ability to put food on your table.
Anyone stupid enough to actually pull such a stunt would probably deserve the
employment termination they'll get as a result.
"Hey, boss... guess what? I just switched our shipping over to trucks because
UP is costing me a few extra dollars for some toy trains with their trademark
licensing. Of course, our shipping expenses are now going up half a million
dollars a year, but I had to make a statement to UP. What do you think?
Get a grip, people.
Who knows maybe shipping is cheaper another way. I don't know about
you but I check around every year with my various insurance to see if
I can get a better deal. Maybe this UP crap will spark interest to see
if they can have thing ship cheaper another way.
If someone's employment involves making shipping decisions, it's likely they're
making choices for their company based on what's best for the corporation as a
whole. The notion that a person in such a position should ignore what's good
business, and simply pull the plug on transporting products with UP account a
rather miniscule (in the grand scheme of things) trademark licensing fee, is
just plain idiotic and overemotional...
I can only imagine what outsiders must think, seeing a bunch of grown men carry
on and propose such out of touch, knee-jerk reactions to products one step
And these are guys who will readily spend $800 for an engine (0-ga) at that!
The proposed internet tax will be a FAR bigger deal than licensing fees and yet
I've not heard a peep about that.
Kent in SD
Here's the relevant part of Article 6 of the CSX " Trademark License
6.1 Licensor shall have the power to control the manner of use of the Marks
in all respects, including but not limited to its use in connection with the
Merchandise and on associated advertising on web-sites and printed matter.
To this end, as required by Licensor, Licensee shall submit to Licensor
representative specimens of any uses Licensee proposes to make of the Marks,
as contemplated by Section 1.1 above, for approval prior to the time any
such use shall commence.
Both the UP and CSX have adopted license agreements that call for relatively
low licensing fees -- which are even waived in some cases. But anyone who
thinks that they'll stay that way is dreaming.