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Variety: Disney Owns 6 of the Top 10 Licensed Franchises

Variety: With Star Wars and Princesses, Disney Now Has Six of the Top 10 Licensed Franchises

This was a little mind-blowing. Disney was the #1 licensor in the world last year, which speaks to the amount of Disney-related licensed products on the market—apparel, toys, flatware, bedsheets, etc. I was surprised that Winnie the Pooh and Cars were such big franchises for Disney, above Spiderman, even, but then I remembered all the Pooh Bear preschool merchandise and that Cars Land is still fairly new.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Disney manages its Star Wars licensees. I wonder whether they’ll continue to reissue figures the way Hasbro did in the past few years. This became common practice over the past few years, and I know a lot of collectors that stopped buying figures because they didn’t want to buy the same figure in a different packaging. In any case, I thought this article was interesting. I hadn’t really thought about licensing in this way before.


Disneyland Club 33 Video

My friend, Jimmy Burns of Angry Dog Studios, made this video of our visit to Club 33 in Disneyland last summer. Six of us (three couples) went to Disneyland after Anime Expo and had the opportunity to eat at Club 33. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’m so happy he put this together.

(Cross-posted to my costuming blog.)

Arizona State University’s law school establishes law firm for recent graduates

To Place Graduates, Law Schools Are Opening Firms (New York Times)

Arizona State University has created a law firm for graduates who can’t find jobs in the horrible law school job market. The story said that the Dean wanted to follow a model like a teaching hospital, and I think it’s a good idea, especially for students who didn’t get a chance to take a clinic in law school. Of course, something like this will pad law school employment stats (and I suspect that was a big factor for creating this firm,) but I think it will help young lawyers, so I can’t see it as a bad thing.

Above the Law: The Practice of Doing Free Work

Brian Tannenbaum:

The one question to ask yourself when debating doing free work is:

Why is this client coming to me?

If the answer is that they know you, then you have to think about what they would do if they didn’t know you. They would hire another lawyer. That lawyer would charge them money. That lawyer wouldn’t feel bad. I’m not saying that all of these clients are looking to take advantage of you, but the ease of these types of clients coming to you should not mean that you give away your time and expertise. These are the potential clients that you sit down with and ask, “Why are you coming to me?,” and, “What would you do if you didn’t know me?” At that point, you can address the need to be paid — something — for your time. It’s not about this client, it’s about the other — paying — clients. This is time you can never get back.

This doesn’t just apply to the legal profession, but I keep finding myself being distracted and frustrated by acquaintances—not even close friends—who send me Facebook messages asking a “quick legal question.” And every time this happens, it’s pretty clear that these people assume I have a level of knowledge that I just don’t have–that MOST lawyers don’t have. None of us knows ALL the law, and every time someone asks us a question, we have to do a significant amount of research in order to answer it effectively. For me, that’s time I could be spending writing posts for paying clients or drafting motions for my internship.

It’s hard not to be insulted when people ask for free legal help, and this may not be fair, but the more that I know someone, the less angry I am to receive messages. I guess it’s just different when a best friend asks for some help as opposed to when someone I haven’t spoken to since high school does it. (And yes, that actually happened to me.)

Look, I spent a lot of time and got into a LOT of debt to become a lawyer. If you didn’t contribute to that in some way (including emotional support), then I don’t owe you free legal advice OR legal research. Cause research takes a long time to do thoroughly, and like I said above, that’s time I could be working for paying clients. And if I’m not working for another client, that’s time you’re taking away from whomever I’m spending time with, especially on a weekend.

Before you ask me or one of your other lawyer friends for free advice, think about how you would feel if someone asked you to do a bunch of work for them for free. Be considerate and remember that I’m struggling to pay off student loans, and try to realize that it’s a little rude of you to assume that I’m going to use my training and specialized skills for nothing in return just because we are friends/went to high school/share similar interests.

If that offends you or you think I’m being greedy, then starting thinking of it this way: The next time you ask me for free legal advice, you’re going to get what you pay for.

Forever A Loan

I got a notification today that it was time to repay my loans. I’ve been in forbearance for a while because I just can’t cover my loans on top of my rent and other bills. When I logged into the site, I was informed that half of my loans have been transferred to another servicer.

So I log onto the new servicer’s website and not only do I have a payment due next week, it’s for WAY MORE than I ever paid with my old servicer. So I’m trying to frantically apply for income-based repayment and maybe forbearance, but they won’t let me do anything electronically the way my old servicer would. Argh. I email them, and they don’t respond today… we’ll see if they respond tomorrow. I tried calling them, too, but the line was busy. I have no idea what I’m going to do. Hopefully I’ll talk to them tomorrow, and I’m definitely going to get my stuff submitted to them (I learned that I could fax stuff instead of mailing it–everything on their website says to MAIL STUFF TO THEM, which is absolutely ridiculous. So at least I can fax them stuff.)

At the moment, I have no faith whatsoever in this company not to completely screw my loans up. I searched for a reason why these loans (and not my others) were transferred, and I found this article:

Apparently, the health care law required federal loans to be serviced by non-profit servicers. Which has fuck-all to do with healthcare, but WHATEVER. We had to pass it so we could find out what was in it, and here we are… additional taxes for real estate purchases and non-profits poorly servicing millions in student loans…

Deadspin: Shawn Johnson Retires, Raises Issues of Body Types in Gymnastics

The post isn’t as sinister as the headline makes it out to be, but there is something behind the argument that the leaner gymnasts are often fawned over. Svetlana Khorkina was the first person who came to mind when I read this–she was a Russian gymnast at the 96 Olympics (and others) who the commentators often Oo-ed and Ah-ed over because she was SO TALL. Oh, she’s SO TALL that Uneven Bars was really hard for her! And she’s SO TALL and graceful on Floor Exercise! I was shocked when I learned that she’s 5’5″.I also thought of the difference between female college gymnasts and the female Olympic gymnasts. It always drove me crazy that by the time a female gymnast hit college, her Olympic prospects were pretty much gone, but many male gymnasts went on to compete in the Olympics after college. A lot of the gymnasts I saw at college meets were stockier; I’m sure there were some lithe ballerina-types, but the ones I remember were curvier. (Of the two body types, I’m definitely on the stockier side, so don’t read this as being a negative judgment.)When I think of gymnasts, I usually think of the more powerful, “athletic” body type, even though I do love gymnasts like Nastia Liukin. I hate that Shawn Johnson felt like she weighed too much during the Beijing Olympics. 😦 I guess I’m lucky that my coaches, parents, and teammates never put any emphasis on weight. I would never have thought to judge my favorite gymnasts based on how they look.

Gideon Sundback’s Birthday!

Google has a nifty doodle today for Gideon Sundback, the inventor of the zipper. Today would be his 132nd birthday.

Google Patents has, of course, posted his patent for a separable fastener.

And here’s an IBN post that explains how zippers work: How the Gideon Sundback Zipper works

Zippers are so helpful, even if they are a pain to insert into clothing. Zippers and set-in sleeves are two of the most aggravating things I’ve had to deal with in my sewing. But I suppose I’d rather struggle with zippers than have to make button holes…

Jason Schultz & Jennifer M. Urban: Protecting Open Innovation

Jason Schultz and Jennifer M. Urban, both of the UC Berkeley School of Law, wrote this paper about why Open Innovation Communities have shied away from patents, how they’ve dealt with Intellectual Property Issues, and why they should seriously consider opting back into the patent system.

Protecting Open Innovation: A New Approach to Patent Threats, Transaction Costs, and Tactical Disarmament

NECA & Amazon totally screw up Hunger Games Jacket Pre-Orders

I ordered NECA’s $120 Hunger Games Replica jacket thinking that I would be receiving the replica of Katniss’s arena jacket—because that’s what NECA said the $120 jacket was. They described it on their blog as 2 jackets that could be worn separately or together. NECA also offered a $50 version that would just be the outer shell.

Today I received my package, and instead of receiving the replica, I received the $50 windbreaker.

Let me say that again. I paid $120 for a $50 windbreaker.

I called Amazon and talked to two separate customer reps about it. The best that they could do for me was to allow me to return the item and then pay $150 (plus shipping) for the item that I should have received in the first place. The two customer service reps had no idea that the jacket I received should have been priced at $50 and that I received the wrong item, because somewhere along the way, the jackets were re-priced back to their original, proper prices.

I’m tweeting about it and mentioning @NECA_Toys and @PanemTV whenever I do so. I haven’t received any sort of acknowledgement or response, but maybe they’ll pipe up soon and explain what went wrong. (I’ve seen them respond to other people, so there’s some hope that they’ll engage us on Twitter.)

So here’s why I’m going after NECA and not Amazon: It was their product, and the links on NECA’s pages were going to the wrong Amazon pages–at least on the day I placed my order. (Like I mentioned before, they have since changed their links to go to the right pages with the right prices.)

When you sell exclusively through a third-party vendor, you need to check and make sure they didn’t screw something up. Amazon has NO IDEA what these things are or what they’re supposed to sell for (as the two support people I talked to tonight proved) so it’s on the seller to make sure their products aren’t being misrepresented, mislabeled, or mispriced.

Further, one of their bloggers said that NECA “usually” sells through Amazon, so they should know how to do this by now. And NECA isn’t a new company; they have a ton of licenses for official toys, props, and other replicas, and they should be able to manage a successful pre-order campaign by now.

In addition to mentioning their Twitter account in my own posts, I contacted NECA’s customer support:

And I commented on two of their blog posts about it:

NECA Blog: The New Hunger Games Movie Merchandise is Phenomenal! (Note the commenter who mentions that he had something wrong—NECA claims “partial blame” for that, which is preposterous since they’re the sellers and they should have known this was happening.)

About NECA Hunger Games

Both of my comments are awaiting moderation. I’m curious to see whether they’ll actually make it through the mod queue.

I’d definitely recommend that anyone who’s dealing with this nonsense contact NECA at the links I’ve posted above and courteouslycoherently explain what your problem is and ask what they intend to do to rectify the situation.

This is completely ridiculous and entirely unprofessional behavior on NECA’s part. They need to figure out what the hell happened and then fix it for the people who paid $120 and received a $50 jacket.

AWA Costume Plans

Tentative Costumes for AWA:

Friday: Black Gold Saw
Friday Night: Menace (?)
Saturday: Dr. Girlfriend
Sunday: Comfy clothes! (Maybe bring “Miracle Day” Gwen, or just the jacket since I’m too big for the skinny jeans…)

Brandi, Bill, and Jimmy are doing the cosplay contest on Saturday, so I figure I can wear Dr. Girlfriend then since it’s easy to put on by myself and I don’t really need a handler when I wear it. (I’m still so mad at myself for not wearing it last year when the voice actor for Dean Venture was a guest!)

My goal is to wear the BGS for a long time. Like, longer than an hour and a half. I wish I had the crazy shoes made, because they’d be giant platforms instead of the wedges I have, and they would be way more comfortable. And no Setora for Menace at AWA. I’m beginning to suspect that it’ll never get started, let alone finished. 😦

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