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Boycott Browning? Are we CRAZY?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Guntalk, Jul 13, 2003.

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  1. Guntalk

    Guntalk Member

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    Oh my!

    Now I see that a bunch of gun folks want to boycott Browning because that company had the nerve to ask a web site to not post trademarked logos which belong to Browning, and to not post links to the Browning web site.

    Seems as though this would be a sensible business perogative of Brownings, right?

    But NOOOO! We see traitors everywhere! Now, Browning must be anti-gun. No matter that they are one of the largest gun makers in the world, right? We won't allow common sense to divert us from our nutty drive to help Sarah Brady destroy gun companies.

    Somehow, this whole thing reminds me of the spoof where the guy holds a gun to his own head.

    Once again, some of "our" folks would rather fight than win, and it appears that they prefer attacking gun companies and gun owner organizations rather than actually doing something productive for gun rights.

    By the way, I have shot with, hunted with, camped with, shared meals and drinks with, and am friends with a number of key people at Browning.

    Anyone who thinks this company is "anti-gun" needs a serious dose of reality treatment.
     
  2. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    And where does one see this?:rolleyes: I recall no discussion of boycotting GIAT because of trademark issues.:uhoh:

    The only boycott discussions I recall in the betrayal of us by Smith & Wesson and that scumbag Bill Ruger. However, I may be behind.
     
  3. dav

    dav Member

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    El Tejon,
    As a talk show radio host, I'm sure he hears from lots of wackos that don't bother with knowing anything.
    Meaning, we don't see them here, or they would know better. :D
    This is the first I've heard of anything like this, too.
     
  4. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    dav, meaning it's Errornet red meat silliness meant to raise controversy when there is none.:scrutiny:
     
  5. Guntalk

    Guntalk Member

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  6. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Is that an affiliate of THR?:rolleyes:

    I say again I have never seen such a discussion raised here at THR, until now.:scrutiny:
     
  7. Keith

    Keith Member

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    Tom,

    Isn't Browning a big advertiser for Guns & Ammo magazine and your radio/TV shows?

    I don't know if a boycott against Browning is appropriate or not, but a protest against one by someone with financial ties to them (you), sure makes me wonder...


    Keith
     
  8. Guntalk

    Guntalk Member

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    I don't know if Browning is an advertiser of G&A. Probably so. Must gun companies are.

    Browning is a sponsor of my radio show. So is Ruger, Benelli, Kimber, Springfield, S&W, Henry Repeating Arms, Leupold, and a bunch of others.

    I was hunting and shooting with the Browning folks for 20 years before there was a Gun Talk radio show, and I would have said the same thing then.

    What's wrong with some gun folks who just LOVE to attack gun companies? Self-destructive tendencies, for sure.

    And, we won't even talk about the innuendo that I have no integrity. Not very subtle.
     
  9. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Well, it depends. If we "attack" Ruger then it is not an attack at all, but self-defense as Bill Ruger was the biggest proponent of anti-civil rights legislation since Southern Senators fighting Reconstruction.

    Agree with Keith. Very odd that something that was mentioned once on a low traffic board now becomes an issue and now we see that the person raising it has a financial interest in "defending" this company. Hmmm, sure makes you wonder.:scrutiny:
     
  10. Keith

    Keith Member

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    >>>>I was hunting and shooting with the Browning folks for 20 years before there was a Gun Talk radio show, and I would have said the same thing then<<<<<

    Odd, Browning never calls me up to go on hunting and shooting expeditions with them... Could it be because we don't have any financial ties?

    Gun companies give you money (and other percs) to say nice things about their products and to buy advertising space in your medium. That's fine, as far as it goes - Capitalism is good!

    However, such an arrangement is not very different than being a paid lobbiest for the industry. When I hear a lobbiest speak out, I have to weigh their opinions much more so than I would a disinterested party. It shouldn't surprise you that people would question your motives.

    Keith
     
  11. AZTOY

    AZTOY Member

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    THE FULL STORY
    JUST SOME UPSET PEOPLE STARTING BS


    Browning Demands GUNED To Remove All Links!

    GUNED was in the process of finding supporters for advertisement, and made a banner for Browning firearms. We called Browning on 7-10-03 and received a welcomed call from Brady Smith and had a very friendly, cordial 15 to 20 minute conversation while Brady looked at our website.

    Here is the email we received the very next day 7-11-03:

    Gentlemen,
    You recently contacted Browning and requested our permission to link to our internet site through your site at www.guned.com. That request was denied by our webmaster, Brady Smith. Browning seldom grants requests for permission to link to our internet site. While we appreciate your request for permission, we would ask that you appreciate our denial of such request and remove all references to Browning on your internet site. In addition, you are not an authorized user of Browning's registered trademarks which appear on your site. Please confirm the removal by reply to this email within 10 days.


    Jeannine C. Dameworth, CLA
    Paralegal
    BROWNING
    One Browning Place
    Morgan, UT 84050
    (801) 876-2711 x445
    (801) 876-3331 Fax

    Here is my return email:

    Ms, Dameworth
    Mr. Smith
    Mr. Nelson
    Browning Company

    I understand the protection of your "mark" and have removed any and all links to "Browning" from our website. My family and I have been supporters of your products for many years, and have always helped to promote you in any way we could. My Grandfather used the BAR in WWI, my Father used your 50cal BMG's in WWII as a waist gunner on B-17's in the England theater, and my other family members used the 50cal in Vietnam as well. We are also members of the same church that Mr. John Browning himself belonged to. I will be posting our emails on the GUNED front page where we were giving you free advertising. We will show all our Members and readers, and for that matter, the whole firearm community in news reports and everywhere else we can distribute this information, your intentions.

    We are surely disappointed in your arrogance to the very organizations that try to preserve your business and buy your products, but I guess with your military contracts, you really do not need the private sector anyway.

    Mike W. Smith
    President
    GUNEDâ„¢
    C.A.G.E. Citizens Against Government Erosion
    Elected Committee Precinct Officer 175
    Former Candidate for State Congress

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    New reply emailed from Dameworth the Paralegal at Browning 7-11-03:
    Mr. Smith,
    I am sorry you have chosen to be offended by my email requesting that you remove your link to Browning. Browning takes great pride in its name, products and trademarks. We rarely license the use of our name and trademarks and very rarely grant requests for links on websites. While we appreciate your support of Browning and we appreciate you removing the link to Browning, I would personally appreciate it if you would immediately remove my name and phone number from your website and also the names of Mr. Smith and Mr. Nelson.

    Jeannine C. Dameworth

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    Here is the contact information I have:
    Brady Smith - Webmaster - 800-333-3288 ex.245
    Jeannine C. Dameworth - 800-333-3288 ex.445
    Do not know Larry Nelson's info.
    The Vice President's name is Travis Hall, no contact info
    General email link- webmaster@browning.com

    I will not reply to this last email, and below are the comments as they come in...

    Angel Shamaya
    Director of Keep And Bear Arms

    Some anti-gun company about a year and a half ago demanded that we remove a link to their site and our analysis of their stupidity. They said we have no right to "link to our website or 'wrongly' describe" them and what they stand for. I told them to eat my shorts, but in unfriendlier terms -- and invited them to initiate a lawsuit, so we could prove, in a court of law and in the court of public opinion, just how stupid they truly are. Link to whomever you please. Nobody can stop you from doing that -- unless they want to legislatively bring on a new law. Browning's webmaster is clearly a dork. Why any entity would refuse free marketing is a mystery. But if it's got something to do with the fact that Browning doesn't want to be associated with the right to keep and bear arms, then every last decision-maker at Browning can kiss my ???.
    --------------------

    Scott - GUNED Sentry of Florida
    Owner of Firearmnews.com

    Shows you what happens when lawyers get involved. Really, linking is a universal element on the internet, and they wouldn't have a foot to stand on if they wanted to take you to court. You don't have to get "permission" to link to someone else's site, particularly if you're just linking to their main page. The only case where folks who sued won is when Ticketmaster sued Microsoft for what they call "deep linking" in which they were linking to a place deep down in the Ticketmaster site. Ticketmaster couldn't have said that if they'd just been linking to the main page.
    --------------------

    Wil - Owner of Geekswithguns.com
    What the hell is their frickin’ problem? Mind if I parphrase it a bit (for space) and link to your page with the full letter?
    --------------------

    George - Owner of Madogre.com
    I just read the email exchange that you had with Browning’s lawyers. I’ve been a long time fan and advocate of Browning guns, and I am deeply disappointed. I am also a descendant of John Moses Browning (I have the genealogy to prove it too) and I am very sure that JMB would be more than disappointed, but even angry. Not just with the actions of those representing his company, but in the whole direction his company has taken over the last 10 years. The first amendment protects the freedom of speech, and as such protects a web authors use of a bit of code called hyperlinking to other pages on the internet. Such links are protected as has been proven in the courts time and time again. Because all your doing is basically stating an address of another location, you are not using that company’s property or trademark and as such Browning’s jackass lawyer has no right to ask you to remove such “linksâ€. I am sure knows it, but is just using his position as a big bad scary lawyer as pressure. That request could have very well come from the web master fellow who you made your initial request with. He does however have the right to ask you to remove trademarked company logos, such as the “Browning Buckmark†logo. But looking at your site, I didn’t see any “Buckmarksâ€. I would suggest asking for specifics of what he wants removed. There are 3 guns I have planned on purchasing in the near future. All three of them were Brownings. The Buckmark .22 pistol based carbine, a .22 pistol, and a Hi Power. Well, Charles Daly is making a fine HP now. I’ll just have to get one of those instead. As for the .22 pistol, it’s a toss up between Taurus’ new .22 or a SIG Trailside. Beretta is rolling out a .22 Carbine based on the NEOS pistol and it looks nifty. My point being there are many other fish in the sea that are just as good as Brownings or better. You would think Browning would appreciate any positive remarks about products they could get. If I had as much competition as Browning did, I know I would. But then again, I didn’t go to Law School so I don’t have a giant corn cob up my ???. I do however know that Browning guns have gone downhill a good deal. They are more interested in pocket knives, boots, and pants then they are about the guns these days. You are probably better of without any references to Browning anyways. I’m not buying any.
    George Hill
    Vernal Utah
    --------------------

    NFHale
    Dear Browning:
    Regarding your arrogant treatment of a man giving you free advertising - you just lost me as a customer forever. I'd planned on purchasing two new Browning Buckmark rifles this year for Christmas as presents. Well, you can forget about it. I'll buy a set of cheap, used Ruger 10/22s instead. I like the Buckmarks better, but I'll pass on that and buy somebody else's product instead, JUST because of your lousy attitude. Evidently, you need to look back at Smith and Wesson a couple of years ago. At a time when our Second Amendment right is under vicious attack like never before, you above all people should be HELPING. Instead, you take a cheap, legalese slap at a brother-in-arms. You've lost me as a customer, and lots of others too.
    Sincerely,


    http://guned.com/pages/browning.htm
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2003
  12. Sylvilagus Aquaticus

    Sylvilagus Aquaticus Member

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    I have owned Browning products (and non-Browning High Powers) for years. I think this may just be an anomaly from a knee-jerk reaction from the legal counsel and the websites in question regarding soverignty of a trademark and Browning's attorneys may just wish to hold control of a registered trademark/service mark/logo that is rightfully theirs. Maybe if the counsel took a little time to investigate the use of each request to use it the story could be different. I don't begrudge Browning the use and control of their honored trademarks. I even spent 5 bucks to get a decal of the Buckmark logo to put on my truck (not applied yet). I own and wear a baseball cap with their logo on it. I think they're certainly justified to examine every use or symbol of their good name and how it is used.

    It will not prevent me from buying another fine Browning product.

    Browning has every right to determine how their identifying marks are used. I say if you want to link to their site, do it in plain HTML linkage. If Browning, via their attorneys, does not want the free advertising, make their marketing folks aware of it. Maybe the marketing folks have a different take on free advertising than the lawyers.

    BTW, good show today, Tom. I'm listening over the net.

    Regards,
    Rabbit.
     
  13. HBK

    HBK member

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    I fully support this boycott. Any of you that happen to own a Browning Sweet 16 shotgun, you should get rid of it post haste. Contact me through PM and I will attempt to help you with this matter.
     
  14. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Lighten up.

    This is NOT an RKBA issue.

    This is a copyright infringement issue.

    Browning asked, and nicely, to please remove "our copyrighted logos" from a web site. The webmaster also clearly states the Browning rarely endorses ANY other product or service.

    So what?

    This is not some back handed attempt at "avoiding cross marketing" and doing away with the second amendment. Browning has their own team of marketing experts the the guys at that web site aren't on it.

    You want to see legal action? Put a Disney logo on your site.
     
  15. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Dr., well, this is analogous--bunch of self-promoting Mickey Mouse!:D
     
  16. Shooter 2.5

    Shooter 2.5 Member

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    How ironic.

    I'm already boycotting keepandbeararms.com
     
  17. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    There are few things more important to a corporation (or company for that matter) than its trademark. It is especially important to those companies with long, illustrious histories.

    No doubt the legal department got first whack at the request and being a bunch of lawyers paid by Browning, they did what all lawyers do: intimidate, marginalize, and cut off all future business discussions unless differently directed. Trademark policy is carefully worked out among top level management, legal, and the marketing shop. Rarely is it made up on the fly.

    I will also bet someone in the sales or marketing shop got wind of the exchange and softened the response. A reason why is often just as important as the firm "no."
     
  18. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    In a past life...

    I worked for John Deere Co. We had several in-depth meetings that covered copyright infringement.

    In one case in particular, a dealer had the JD logo painted on the outside wall of his building. Paid a LOT of money to get it done. Unfortunately, the "artist" did a poor job. He received a letter notifying him to remove the logo (and in no uncertain terms).

    This is the important point....If a company knowingly lets someone use and/or mis-use a logo, they lose copyright protection. For a major company (Browning, JD, Disney, etc.) who has instant name recognition associated with that logo, the loss could be devastating. There was a rather long list of companies that had originally owned a name, let it go into common useage, and then lost marketing rights.

    Browning's stance seems rather simple...they want control over their name and logo rather than letting it get out of hand, as good as someone else's intentions are. Knowing what I know, if I were them, I'd do the same thing. I'd suspect that 99+ percent of the members of this board recognize the Browning logo immediately.

    And, I see no reason to be rude or hostile to Mr Gresham. I suspect that if you had the opportunity to spend time with executives of various firearms related companies, you'd do the same. It's interesting that you are incensed that Browing "snubs" you, yet you turn around and do the exact same thing to someone else.

    All that your diatribes and foul grammar do is to prove your ignorance of the subject.
     
  19. blades67

    blades67 Member

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    Much ado about nothing.:rolleyes:
     
  20. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    Sounds like they're just protecting their intellectual property.

    Nothing wrong or illegal about that. Like Dr. Rob said, go ahead and put a Disney logo somewhere on your website and see what happens.

    Speaking of attacking gun companies, I'd be be very interested in hearing what Mr. Gresham has to say about the validity of the S&W boycott. I may not have been looking hard enough, but I didn't see an article by him on the subject in his editorial "home" at G&A.
     
  21. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    There's a lot of dumb to go around here.

    Guned.com is being silly to react with this drama-queen hissy fit. All Browning did was ask them not to link. This is not a big deal.


    Browning is being silly too. They "rarely license use of their marks"?
    Am I the only one who remembers the long-running contest Browning held for at least a couple of years in which customers across the country were encouraged to take pictures of their creative placement of Browning's "Buckmark" logo? There was a motorcycle racer who painted it on his helmet, a new father who put one on a baby cap and put that on his newborn daughter, and the dork who had it tattooed across his left arm.

    Now they don't want a web site to use it? That's probably their prerogative, but it sure is silly.
     
  22. AZTOY

    AZTOY Member

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  23. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    Uh oh...

    Looks like Oleg broke Stormfront's brain!

    Their discussion board is closed. :D
     
  24. rebbryan

    rebbryan Member

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    guess everyone's gonna find somethin to complain about, this is absolute stupidity and is a corporation issue, not a gun rights issue, they didn't want you to post their image so get over it and stop acting like a 2 year old.

    "WAAAAHHH, John won't share!! BOOHOOHOO! I'm not your friend anymore!"
     
  25. Parker Dean

    Parker Dean Member

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    My suspicious side says this has been noticed by the 'grabbers and they are happy to use it. Like suggesting boycotts over nothing.
     
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