Union Pacific not a scrooge

I have read with interest the posting about the greedy Union Pacific. I can't agree with this general attitude. I know most of you are worried about a slight increase in the cost of model railroad equipment. I buy it myself. I guess I am not greedy because the UP puts the dollars in my pocket to do just that. UP is just a corporation trying to make sure its image and logo are used appropriately. The situations depends upon which side of the fence you are looking from


Reply to
Loading thread data ...

Unfortunately that's not exactly correct. They think they can actually make a lot of money this way. The problem is most model RR manufactures are small garage outfits not equivalent big corporations. Their profits are very small anyway. The UP bookkeeping alone would cost them (in a percentage of their profit) a huge amount. UP has other ways to protect it's image and the areas they are worried about (example, bad words on a tee shirt) they can't stop anyway!

Reply to
Jon Miller

Hi Jerry

I would agree with you that the additional cost is not gonna be a backbreaker when purchasing equipment. I guess what bugs me is that for almost 100 years, the model railroading industry did not have to pay anything for the use of their logo, and we used the logos and names with model railroading pride. I don't know of any misuse or derogatory ways in which the UP logos were used by modelers. Also, if I felt UP really needed this extra income stream, then maybe I would be more sympathetic. But I don't think they do. Anyway, our opinions won't matter much to UP so I guess we're all stuck with it, or we can purchase non UP equipment.

Happy Holidays Chris

Reply to

If UP is only doing this for money, then why is the licensing fee waived for companies not reaching a minimum threshold of income? Surely, if UP was only after the dollars, the licensing fee would still apply to even the smallest of companies, based only on the fact they bring in a portion of their revenue from UP products.

In addition, UP is also enforcing its trademark protection rights with preserved historic UP equipment. If the car or locomotive is a display piece or is owned by a non-profit organization (such as a museum), UP is granting trademark usage permission gratis. The only cases where I've heard of them denying rights to use UP trademarks on preserved equipment, is when the piece has been sold to new owners, and is being used in revenue service by them as part of a profit-based operation (i.e., a shortline buys a UP steam engine second hand, and uses it in revenue tourist service).

Compared to other outfits, a few of which have gone so far as to tell non-profit museums that they cannot use their registered trademarks on preserved equipment under any circumstances, UP's trademark usage policy is pretty reasonable when one investigates the issue further...

Reply to
Sean S

cv wrote: (edited to the point)

And that, being a stock holder, is the only reason I am not backing UP on this one. If they were going to do this, they should have been doing it all along. Not popping up way "after the fact" and changing everything.

This being my first and last post on the issue, as entirely too much band width has already been spent on it.

Reply to

Are you kidding? A LOT of money?

The UP is planning to spend $2,000,000,000 on capital improvments alone, and somehow you're telling us that the railroad thinks the can make a lot of money this way?

Reply to
Mark Mathu

Cost of enforcement outweighs monies extorted. I'm sure they didn't just pull a number out of the air (or somebody's...never mind).

Jay CNS&M North Shore Line - "First and fastest"

Reply to

Oh, look! Another UP stooge come here to show us the error of our ways.

Reply to
Mark Newton

This seems to be the fallback position for all of the pro-UP posters in this thread.

What no-one has adequately or convincingly explained is how building a model of UP equipment that features their artwork and livery is inappropriate? In what way does it harm UP?

Reply to
Mark Newton

What you need to explain is why you think something needs to be harmful to UP in order to justify them licensing it.

Reply to
Mark Mathu

"Mark Newton" <

Quite the opposite, it advertises the UP. For free at that.

-- Happy Holidays Roger T.

formatting link
of the Great Eastern Railway

Reply to
Roger T.

It doesn't. UP is legally entitled to pursue the licensing scheme, but that is beside the point. It is the out of the blue requirement of licensing after 150 years AND the nerve to charge for it AND applying it to fallen flags that UP has done their best to obliterate any traces of that sticks in my craw.

Personally, I couldn't care less about having any rolling stock with the UP herald on it. The licensing scheme is just another management blunder of an arrogant, accident prone railroad that, despite the steam program is confused about how to promote their heritage. I put it right up there with the New Coke.



Reply to

If UP was simply "trying to make sure its image and logo are used appropriately", then why are they a). asking for a cut of the profits rather than a simple straight fee (like CSX does), b). trying to apply this to RR co.'s that have been out of business for years, some for over a century (heck, they even tried to grab onto a RR that they didn't even have), and c). demanding to see a production sample rather than a mock-up or "beta" version before giving premission (and if they ever said no, said company would be royally screwed).

No, this is about money and control. The UP wants both, and they will come at our expense, either in cash or in fewer or poorer models made. Just imagine if UP and all UP predecessors went exclusive to IHC... Would that be better for the hobby?

Paul A. Cutler III - so glad I model an Eastern road...

************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
Reply to
Pac Man

And Paul A. Cutler III thinks that he's unaffected because:

You're missing the larger implications of these licensing schemes.

Until just over a year ago, there wasn't a single railroad in the country that held a registered trademark for the use of its name or logos on model trains. As of this moment, there are a grand total of two "real" railroads who've trademarked the use of their names and logos for use on model railroad equipment -- Amtrak and the Union Pacific. Those trademarks, of course, also represent the actual names of functioning railroads operated by the owner of the trademark.

What the UP has done -- for the first time ever -- is to apply for trademark protection of fallen-flag names that no longer exist.as functioning railroads. By its own count, the UP has some 1800 such predecessor railroads, and they want to charge a fee for the use of any of those names on model railroad equipment or decals.

As of now, however, the UP has applied to register fewer than a dozen such trademarks, and none of those applications has yet been granted.

But here's the bad news: It has occurred to other railroads that if the UP can do it, so can they. The CSX, for example, wants you to apply for a license if you're going to produce models of -- or decals for -- the C&O, B&O, SAL, SCL, Chessie, ACL and L&N.

And here's more bad news: It has occurred to other people that if the UP and CSX can do it, so can they! If you don't have to actually run the railroad whose marks you seek to register, and you don't have to actually produce or sell the models or decals that you claim to use your trademarks for . . . well, then ANYONE CAN DO IT.

And "anyone" has already started down that road. You'd be surprised to find out who's applied for trademark registration of the CB&Q, ACL, B&M, M-K-T, Southern, CNJ, Alaska RR, C&O, Reading, IC, the Pennsy and others.

If these applications are successful, the owners can charge whatever they want for a license to use those names, or they can grant an exclusive license to just one manufacturer . . . or they can prohibit the use of the names altogether.

My own feeling is that it's a bad idea to put the manufacturers of railroad models and decals at the mercy of whoever grabs these old trademarks first . . . your mileage may differ.

JR Hill

Reply to
Jim Hill

It ain't the coke logo so it's gotta cost more money to manage than they take in... UNLESS THE GOAL IS TO SUE. Sounds like the inmates (lawyers in this case) are running the asylum. SUE SUE SUE.

Reply to
Tom Line

Good post. Everyone is rolling over in the good old French tradition. Mathu is French no doubt.

Stand by, your modeling costs just went up 5-50 percent depending on which corporate goon is bucking for a raise. Oh I can't wait for jury duty !!!!

Reply to

No, Mark, I don't think that at all.

My point was this: various posters have stated that UP needs a licensing program to prevent inappropriate (their term) use of their artwork.

So how is manufacturing a model of a UP loco or car that features that artwork inappropriate? No-one has satifactorily answered that simple question...

I must confess to being utterly mystified by UP's action throughout this entire affair. I can't see the revenue generated by the licensing scheme even coming close to paying for the cost of administering it. And I can't see how it is beneficial to the company to alienate so many people who were previously on side.

Reply to
Mark Newton

Exactly - modelers are going to be at the mercy of corporations who are only interested in what they can squeeze out of intellectual property rights. Just as with patenting the human genome, business people are only interested in their own short term results. When they can't make a profit on a product they ride on this kind of nonesense. We need to find out who the railfans in Congress are and tack a rider on the next appropriations bill that excludes railroad models and toys from copyright.

In the meantime, I'm happy personalizing my railroad equipment - that may be a lot more fun and adds another dimension to the hobby experience. UP can blow it out their nether port!

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.