Never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups, a wise
man once said. I'd add, never underestimate the stupidity of lawyers
in large corporations.
So you are one of the most successful car companies in the world.
Your products have many proud owners, who are so proud of the cars
they bought from you that many of them make really cool desktop
wallpapers of their photographs, presumably to show off. And then
they post these wallpapers on to a site dedicated to desktop
wallpapers, presumably to help others (less artistic than themselves)
also show off their cars.
What should the car maker do? Treat this as a bunch of free
advertising and nod benevolently? Maybe even pass on the occasional
high-res shot for people with the twin passions of photographs and
Toyota cars to drool and ooh and aah over?
That's what *you* think. No wonder you never got a job as a lawyer at
Toyota! Toyota lawyers know better.
Toyota is demanding that a website dedicated to desktop wallpapers
remove all wallpapers featuring Toyota cars, **even if the photograph
is copyright someone else*** (like perhaps one of the users of the
website). They cite this as a DMCA violation, of all things. The
DMCA, as some of my readers will now, is the law that supposedly
attempts to protect music and videos from being put on the internet.
Despite the fact that the DMCA has been misused and abused far more
often than used, I can understand a music company losing revenue if I
post an MP3, but a car company losing revenue due to wallpapers
created by proud owners?