YouTuber’s ‘Eleanor’ Body Swap Project Has Been Shut Down For Trademark Issues
Popular YouTuber, B is for Build, was in the middle of taking a 2015 Mustang GT body and replacing it with a 1967 Mustang fastback body, effectively an ‘Eleanor’ resto-mod. Unfortunately, that car is a copyrighted and trademarked design. And apparently, the owner of those copyrights and trademarks will shut down your build if they find out about it.
B is for Build decided to post the progress of his replica build to YouTube because the car has a pretty big fanbase, and what better platform for it?
Now here’s the thing. There are Eleanor replicas all over the place. Carroll Shelby even built some for a while, but the Eleanor copyright holder, Denice Halicki, actually shut Shelby down back in 2004 also.
Shutting down an operation like Shelby makes some sense. Shelby was churning out replicas and selling them for six figures and allegedly not paying out license fees for copyright. Naturally, Halicki wasn’t too pleased with that.
When it comes to what B is for Build (and others, we’re sure) are they really making enough money off the builds to justify the legal action? It seems like there’s a big discrepancy between the money a business like Shelby would’ve brought in verse a one-off build for a YouTube channel.
Nonetheless, as a copyright holder, Halicki defended the property:
“Denice and Eleanor WON a Ninth Circuit Ruling in 2008, with a Published Opinion by Judge Miner… setting new copyright law protection for car character’s look/image as they appear in their movies, television and comic books against infringers. Which helped the Batmobile’s look/image to be copyright protected against counterfeit infringers in its 2015 Ninth Circuit Ruling WIN, with a Published Opinion by Judge Sandra S. Ikuta… where she quotes from 1966 Batman TV Series: As Batman so sagely told Robin, “In our well-ordered society, protection of private property is essential.”
So long story short, while there are hundreds of Bullitt replicas and General Lee look-alikes out there, be sure to tread lightly if you’re thinking of an Eleanor restoration.