Lucasfilm seized my Master Replica props

kleine Stefan

New Member
MR can't impose anything. I am surprised that customs went through with it........MR bought a license from LF to produce and sell product. I dunno the specific details of their license agreement but most of the time a manufacturer can only sell directly to certain countries (those listed in the license agreement). Now if you have a store (in a country that is not covered in the license agreement) and you want to sell MR product you would need to contact and importer. If MR would sell the product directly it would be a violation of the license agreement. This practise is called parallel import.

But as a private person you are free to buy whatever product from the any country you like. You are not bound to any restriction(except forged products, endangered species, Cuban cigars..etc ) .

What has happened and violates every free trade legislation. And I am baffled that customs went through with is as you are a private person...

Stefan
 

exoray

Master Member
Originally posted by kleine Stefan@Apr 15 2006, 09:03 AM
But as a private person you are free to buy whatever product from the any country you like. You are not bound to any restriction(except forged products, endangered species, Cuban cigars..etc ) .
What? You are bound by many import restrictions, depending on your country...

What has happened and violates every free trade legislation[/quote

Free trade is on a country to country basis depending on treaties signed and again it never covers everything...

The EU has obviously changed the face of the member states but it still only applies to EU member states...

I'm not going to take sides on this issue because I don't know anything about it...

But, I will state that there are import channels and correct ways to import things even for the average every day person... Generally customs skips over the little guy and focuses on the bigger guys, but sometimes the little guy does get looked at and sometimes things happen...

And in the end if it's a customs issue then it's a customs issue and the only people that will have any say in it is customs...

There should be some paperwork you are able to file to try and claim your items if they get seized...
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
Originally posted by exoray+Apr 16 2006, 12:10 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(exoray @ Apr 16 2006, 12:10 AM)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-kleine Stefan
@Apr 15 2006, 09:03 AM
But as a private person you are free to buy whatever product from the any country you like. You are not bound to any restriction(except forged products, endangered species, Cuban cigars..etc ) .
What? You are bound by many import restrictions, depending on your country...
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Surely so. For instance, it is apparently illegal to import anything related to Nazis into Germany: so no import on caps, helmets, uniforms or anything other historically linked to that time. Or so I've heard.

But merchandizing (speaking from Danish laws) is not bound by any restrictions such as needing the licenced importer of that item's permission to import it yourself, if you are a private individual. Guns and weapons of course require a permission from the police to own such items.

Laws vary from place to place, but this is still redicolous, especially with the EU copyright and import laws. Unless Germany VETO'ed that law, they'd have to abide by it like everyone else - and this whole thing is definitely a direct violation of said EU laws. Guess I should do some checking up to see what is actually written in that law to be completely sure.

Ketzer, hope you get it worked out so that you'll get your items. :)
 

TMP

Sr Member
This violates the Free Marked.
Let me post an example... This means ...
If one person in Germany buy a Car from outside Germany or USA then they can not import it??? This mean that all items in the future can not be resold because it has to be bought from the dealer in Germany.. That sounds INCREDIBLE.

The Custom have clearly violated their athority.
As long as there is no sanctions against a country this is not allowed. This is in fact a BIG political issue if this is the case.

I am sure this is a case you can try in a court of law. My advice is to contact an laweyer and try the case. I whould in fact have alawyer send a letter to the department of international trade in your country.
 

TMP

Sr Member
This makes it much harder for me to even consider buying a Master Replica item from a seller on ebay in fear of the consecuenses.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
Originally posted by TMP@Apr 16 2006, 01:34 PM
I am sure this is a case you can try in a court of law. My advice is to contact an laweyer and try the case. I whould in fact have alawyer send a letter to the department of international trade in your country.
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Taking it to court takes time and costs money - MUCH more than the items + shipment cost. That is why not many people do it, even if it is wrong, what the customs did. Our legal system is designed for large scale cases and not these types of small cases that will end up costing you a lot, not just financially, but also emotionally, since it is very stressfull to battle a huge corporation or State body.

It's sad that it has to be that way. And what the German Customs did IS illegal.

Really hope that there is something that can be done, that won't become a financial or emotional burden to Ketzer (more than it already has).

Good luck with the further battle.
 

Ketzer.com

Sr Member
Just got an email from Lucasfilm's attounery this afternoon. (ended up in my junkmail folder :) )

The mini sabers are officially seized, I cannot get them back, and they will be destroyed.

No more licensed replicas for me. Only bootleg from now on.

Tim
 

RKW

Sr Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ketzer.com @ Apr 25 2006, 10:36 PM) [snapback]1232977[/snapback]</div>
Just got an email from Lucasfilm's attounery this afternoon. (ended up in my junkmail folder :) )

The mini sabers are officially seized, I cannot get them back, and they will be destroyed.

No more licensed replicas for me. Only bootleg from now on.

Tim
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So what was LFL's reasoning for the seizure?
 

Ketzer.com

Sr Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(RKW @ Apr 25 2006, 09:57 PM) [snapback]1232994[/snapback]</div>
So what was LFL's reasoning for the seizure?
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They did not give a reason in their email.

According to one of the letters I got from customs, it appearently is illegal to get Master Replicas items from anybody other that Master Replicas directly.

Tim
 

RKW

Sr Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ketzer.com @ Apr 25 2006, 11:09 PM) [snapback]1233004[/snapback]</div>
According to one of the letters I got from customs, it appearently is illegal to get Master Replicas items from anybody other that Master Replicas directly.

Tim
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Well I think it's pretty important that MR gives an official stance on this considering the number of dealers selling MR goods. Any word from Amy?
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I can still hardly believe this. (I'm even feeling a little anger for you.) If Germany is like many of it's neighbors, there will at the very least be an appeals system in place for you to challenge this decision. As has been suggested before, this would likely fall under EU regulattions and would probably affect ALL shopping by private-citizens across the pond. Customs would be bathing in "unlicenced" piles of region 1, 3 and 4 DVDs. It would also mean you can't import a car yourself if it isn't "oficially" sold in your country (which you can as far as I know).

Personally, I wouldn't take this without a fight. There are lots of things you can do that will not cost you money- you probably have some sort of "consumer affairs" representative. Ask both Customs and LFLs lawyers to point specifically to which part of the law book they are basing this on, and read up on it to see if it really is that cut and dry. Or call your local newspapers (what the hell, why not the tabloids.)

I can see the headlines "Customs confiscated my Star Wars toys".

Don't give in to customs... that leads to the Dark Side.
 
It would be interesting to understand the process they went through before customs decided to seize and destroy. I cant believe that German customs have the time or resource to check every package and see if its a copyright-infringing item (which in this case it wasnt anyway) and then contact the copyright holder for approval.

It far more likely that this was general pre-emptive action from LFL in Germany to stop unlicensed replicas which ironically only succeeded in stopping a licensed producer ship a legitimate item to a genuine buyer.

I also think you should try and push this. Crass stupidity like this should be exposed so everyone can have a laugh

Cheers

Jez
 

OdiWan72

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Agreed.

Tim...try to get an official statement from either the customs, LFL or MR.
Being a german collector myself, it is a weird situation not being able to order MR items from official dealers across the pond anymore :angry

Markus
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
This really makes me sad and also infuriates me. If this is how LFL wants it to be in the future then I can't see why we should bother with any licenced items. Hope this gets fixed and that you get your items or replacements.
 

Spiker

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Personally i am totaly frightened at the moment, having the MR Y-Wing on Pre-Order at Fireside...
If they seize this i will for sure seize someones butt.
That would be a really big loss.
We need a concrete answer for this problem from either LFL and MR.

As far as i understand LFL don't want any German customer to order LFL-products in the USA but to order everything here at local "official" dealers.

Let me tell you that we don't have any official LFL-Dealers here in Germany. We have regular merchandise Dealers who have LFL products in their range of products. These dealers get their stuff from wholesalers and these don't have any contracts with LFL...
So strictly speaking nobody may import any LFL goods here in Germany (from LFLs point of view).
For example Gentle Giant: They have stated on their website "For sale in USA, Canada or Puerto Rico ONLY". So if German customs get one of these and send it to LFL Germany be sure that it will be seized.
LFL is the problem not the customs.

The wholesalers get their stuff because it comes palletised in containers, no nitpicky custom inspections here.

These guys are going for the small people, the fans... Super-SAD George .

But this time they went too far in my opinion. They took money from MR for the license. Now they seize the product without any plausible cause. So they took money but keep the product ? A product from another company (MR) ? I call this theft and Tim should go for his money and sue them or at least have the situation cleared here at LFL Germany.

Imagine the following:
I buy a Corvette in the USA from a regular Corvette dealer. The car gets stopped here at german customs then brought to Corvette Germany for verification and than Corvette Germany just deceides to seize the car because you did not buy it here in Germany ??? That is not possible, nowhere in Europe or any western country. We have laws here in Europe that protect customers. You can buy anything you want, anywhere you want unless its illegal, LFL products are no exception here.
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Spiker @ Apr 26 2006, 10:47 AM) [snapback]1233311[/snapback]</div>
You can buy anything you want, anywhere you want unless its illegal, LFL products are no exception here.
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That is my belief as well. If I remember correctly (and I may have stated this before) Sony tried to go after retailers in the UK that were importing PSPs but they lost. Movie companies tried to stop the sale of region 1 DVDs in Europe without success. As a private individual, you can buy much whatever you want. I really can't imagine that Germany would have a significantly different stance on this issue than other EU countries. There might have been precedence if it were a pirated bootleg item (like when certain companies in Asia copy mobile phones) but the items were legit and imported for personal use.

There are probably ways of investigating this without having to hire a lawyer. Consumer representatives, newspapers... and I am fairly certain there are EU offices you can call and ask about what the rules really are. Sure, it may not be much money this time... but the principal of the thing is important to all you guys in Germany. I really hope this turns out in your favor.
 

rad1701

Sr Member
What a mess. Sorry for your troubles man. Just goes to show you that the legalities of things like this are really messed up. At least in the USA I was always under the assumption if you buy an item it is yours to do with as you please. If you want to sell it again on eBay or a garage sale, that's your right. I just don't get this.
 
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