Today it was announced that CanonFilmmakers.com, the very informative resource created by Cristinai Valdivieso and Jon Connor, is being forced down (supposedly) by Canon. Naturally, we in the filmmaking community are saddened. When people put so much hard work into something like this, it hurts and is frustrating to see it wasted. Especially when a big corporate giant is doing the taking down. I especially know how much hard work something like this takes. My hats off to Jon and Cristina for all they have done (and do). But I want to offer an alternate way to look at this….
I’ve seen lots of comments on their blog post today blasting Canon, saying this hurts and alienates their user base. (Which is hard to believe. Are any of your really going to stop using Canon DSLRs because of this?). Other people were asking why would Canon do this just to protect a trademark. Having worked at a large corporation myself and working very closely with the legal department, I understand that this issue is way more than just protecting a trademark (although that is part of it). By having such a largely followed site bear the name of a major corporation, and since that site offers advice and resources related to what that corporation does, the argument could be made that the site could be confused as something endorsed and sponsored by Canon. That means anything Jon or Cristina do or say on that site could be construed by some people as coming from Canon. I’ll bet you a million dollars, that is the biggest concern of Canon.
Secondly, imagine if someone used your trademarked name, even for good, in a way you didn’t approve. How would you feel? Canon may actually one day want to use CanonFilmmakers.com, and by law they should be allowed to do that. If you wanted to start a website with your trademarked name, how would you feel if someone else had it. As artists, we all can understand and relate to that.
Don’t take this at all as a criticism against Jon and Cristina. I consider them friends and greatly appreciate all they do. I just want to offer a different perspective and hopefully cool some collars.
Jon and Cristina, I would implore you to export your content and re-import it into a new blog. There’s no reason why you need to stop. There are a million names you can come up with. Yes this is a set back. And obviously a hard lesson. But I for one encourage you to keep it up. (Unless for some reason you’re ready to do something different, which I could understand too).
Whatever or not you do, know that I sincerely appreciate what you have contributed to this community in such a short period of time. You two are heroes.
DISCLAIMER: For the record, I am not sponsored or endorsed by Canon. This is just me doing what I do. Trying to offer a different look at a tough situation.