Friday, December 26, 2014

markdriscoll.org terms of use and marshill.com terms of use, has MH formally granted MD permission to just use all their visual design stuff already? a question in light of the 2011 cease and desist letter over trademark and images


http://markdriscoll.org/terms-of-use
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The terms of use are fascinating, particularly since Mark Driscoll's new site just uses the entire mass of content from Mars Hill minus the explicit Mars Hill trademark lump sum and all the content that Wenatchee The Hatchet has noted was purged from the Mars Hill website earlier this year.

One can only surmise that Mars Hill Church as a corporation has produced express written permission for this to happen?

https://marshill.com/terms-of-use

It may be the reason none of the rebranding church plants are using Mars Hill in the name could have something to do with trademark, licensing and derivative work.  So long as the name and branding of Mars Hill are ended with respect to any of the actual churches formerly called Mars Hill, the fact that Mark Driscoll's content was basically generated within the context of Mars Hill means that if all the formerly MH churches rebrand and develop new trademarks then the intellectual property (such as it's been) of Mark Driscoll can be used by Driscoll without running into the possible snag of his not being a member of or a pastor at Mars Hill.

We do have that 2011 news bit in which Mars Hill let a cease and desist letter get sent out

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/octoberweb-only/mars-hill-trademark-fight.html

In a Saturday blog post, elders from the Seattle church said the incident is not part of a larger campaign. "We have not sued any churches and have no plans to sue any churches," they said. "We have not sent any similar letters to any other 'Mars Hill' churches, and we are not planning on asking any church with 'Mars Hill' in their name to change their name." [emphasis added]

Perhaps the rebranding and relaunching of the surviving Mars Hill churches at the end of this year becomes the exception that proved the formerly stated rule?

For a moderately well preserved extract (a pretty big one) of the now removed notice Mars Hill gave in the wake of the trademark incident you can go here.

http://outoftheoverflow.com/2011/10/23/mars-hill-seattle-apologizes/

The same blog links to another post that explains that the cease and desist was over artwork and branding more than the formal name.

http://outoftheoverflow.com/2011/10/21/the-real-reason-why-mars-hill-seattle-is-threatening-legal-action-art-work-brand-not-name/

Which may raise a question of what formal written permission Mars Hill's leadership can establish has been given to Mark Driscoll to basically take the entire sermon media library content of Mars Hill and largely unmodified content to have over at markdriscoll.org.

Driscoll made a point of making pretty much all his sermons his intellectual property so that part's pretty straightforward but all the visual branding and look and feel look like ... Mars Hill.

So long as the corporation formerly known as Mars Hill formally dissolves and hands off the intellectual property and trademarking across the board in a formal compensation project of some kind to Driscoll then there'd be no reason Mars Hill would repeat its cease-and-desist action in later 2011 with that church in the Sacramento area during the season in which Sutton Turner began to finalize the Result Source Inc deal on behalf of Mark and Grace Driscoll's Real Marriage.

It didn't seem likely that in the wake of Driscoll's resignation he was going to switch over to driving a bread delivery truck.  Maybe he's seen A Matter of Loaf and Death at some point and has considered whether or not there are safety hazards to even that bread delivery work. 

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