Fans of Tin Tin, be warned: if you run a a fan site devoted to the Belgian cartoon hero, you could end up receiving a cease and desist letter, similar to the kind of litigious heavy handedness meted out by Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox against Star Trek, The Simpsons and The X-Files lovers in the past.
As we reported at the end of August, the protectors of Herge’s estate Moulinsart recently seems to have decided that, with all their copyrights and trademarks, their investments still aren’t protected well enough and so sent a cease and desist letter to French laungauge site Objectif Tintin, arguably the best informed and most enjoyable source of Tintin-related information on the web.
Forbidden Planet International contributor Wim Lockefeer reports that Moulinsart (who own the rights to Hergé’s legacy) took offence to OT using Tintin characters in their header images and even dared to mentioned events not authorised by Tin’ Tin’s official keepers. (For more information, you can read the letter, in French, here and re-read Didier Pasamonik’s take on this all at Actua BD).
Refusing to be bullied by Moulinsart, Wim reports that the fans behind OT have decided to close the site down as of 15 September 2008 rather than cede editorial control Wim warns that other sites, such as Cult Of Tintin, might be next in line for Moulinsart’s strong arm tactics which are sure to shock and infuriate fans of the world’s most popular Belgian comics character.
The heavy handed actions of the US companies who rightfully sought to protect their properties but did it in such a way as to alienate and damage their fanbase (in some cases, irretreivably), would, you would have thought, be an object lesson in how not to engage with your audience. Sadly, it is a lesson Moulinsart (and, indeed, some British comics companies and copyright owners) have yet to learn.