View Full Version : “The Toyota Way” Claims Ownership of Fan Wallpapers

11-16-2008, 10:24 PM
Toyota Claims Ownership of Fan Wallpapers

Motoring giant Toyota is normally ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. The company is known for innovations like the Synergy Drive in the Prius, as well as long term reliability. However, if you take pride in your Toyota, and have it as a wallpaper on your system, Toyota doesn’t want you sharing.

Toyota, one of the biggest car companies in the world, is often a name synonymous with quality. There is even a philosophy of doing business, called “The Toyota Way”, which emphasizes that the right result will come from the right process, and that solving the root problems brings the organization the greatest benefit.

This ‘Way’ is probably not communicated to its lawyers in great detail, which is why Desktopnexus, a site that provides desktop backgrounds, has been contacted by them.

In perhaps one of the most wildly arrogant demands in DMCA history, Toyota’s lawyers are demanding the withdrawal of all wallpapers that feature a Toyota, Scion, or Lexus.

The site’s owner, Harry Maugans contacted Toyota to clarify. He was told that all images featuring Toyota vehicles should be removed, even images with copyright belonging to others.

Speaking to TorrentFreak, Maugans said: “Their lawyer, Garrett Biggs, told us that if we wanted them to specifically identify their images, we would have to pay for them to do so”.

Maugans also said he was afraid it would come to a lawsuit, fearing the attrition effect that is so common now in copyright disputes. Toyota, with cash assets of over $23Billion can surely afford to spin out the legal costs in an attempt to bankrupt the site – the same strategy that is often used to ‘encourage‘ a settlement in RIAA cases.

Yet, Toyota has also been cagey. These demands have not been sent in the form of a DMCA notice. While sending such a notice would require the takedown, it also requires that the person sending the notice legally certify that they are legal representatives for the copyright holders at issue. Making a false statement is ‘punishable under penalty of perjury‘, which is not taken lightly in US courts.snip

The ‘huh what?’ value of Toyota’s position has been noticed by others as well. On the FreeCulture News site, one comment questions the action saying “What are they trying to accomplish by attacking free advertising?” Indeed, this is what it comes down to. Instead of embracing free advertising and word of mouth, Toyota seems desperate to control and micromanage every aspect of it’s publicity.