keith-hardy-PP8Escz15d8-unsplashIf there is a theme to be found in this week's blogs, it's that sometimes less is more when it comes to enforcing your copyright. Disney going after what is a rounding error for them from an elementary school is an extreme example, to be sure, but there are other instances of companies taking a hardline approach that, rather than preserving the brand and its value, do some damage in tangible or intangible ways. It is, after all, the case that sometimes free publicity is worth the cost of what you might perceive to be a bit of infringement.

If you haven't heard about the latest film adaptation of "Dune", you're probably not alone. There's been precious little said about the movie outside of film trade publications or fan sites; you might not even know what "Dune" is, or that there was a previous film version in 1984. (If you have a chance, though, do treat yourself to a delightfully strange time and watch the movie.) And though this latest iteration doesn't hit theaters until December, it would certainly be to the movie's benefit to build wider attention and interest beyond sci-fi nerds with a copy of the Frank Herbert novel that is now being adapted yet again.

Which is why the story of copyright takedowns of the new film's logo seems like a potential case of misplaced zeal. As initially reported by BoingBoing, the new logo was unveiled at an event in France with the film's director, Denis Villeneuve, and promptly made the rounds on social media to excitement, if some confusion as to what "Dunc" is. Then the image started disappearing from Twitter posts and other social media, as it became clear that someone was filing copyright claims against pictures of the logo. The question of who, exactly, made the claims is a matter of conjecture that BoingBoing attempts to untangle, with questions of why left open to debate; did the studio think that they could quash the logo out of existence until a full campaign could be launched, knowing full well that everything lives forever on the internet?

It's seemingly a moot point now — as noted in TechDirt, the image can be found with a Google search, and based upon the coverage to this point, the studio looks the worse for the effort to suppress the logo, whether or not they led said effort. Such things will probably ultimately be forgotten, given how long there is left in the film's life cycle, but it's a reminder of the unforced errors and bad press that can come from trying to stop fans and advocates from promoting your brand — in a case where they would likely be protected by fair use, no less. More broadly, it's social media copyright tools and copyright in general being wielded as a weapon, hoping that users won't push back.

Join for Free Business Risk Assessment