The (Browncoat) Invoice

Update: It's no secret that this site was sparked by the controversy surrounding legal notices received by fan-favorite 11th Hour. In early November, that situation was resolved, and so we're duly noting that here. That said, this site will remain online, since it still serves two purposes: Raising the issue of how entertainment companies interact with fanbases, and as an amusing community-building exercise for Browncoats.

With the shutting down of Blue Sun Shirts at the behest of FOX, cease and desist letters going out to owners of Browncoat shops on CafePress, at least one fan-favorite promoter receiving a demand from Universal Studios Licensing LLC for nearly $9,000 in retroactive licensing fees, and the resulting chilling effect leading to other fans shutting down preemptively, many Browncoats got to thinking about just how many hours they spent on helping to market and promote Serenity, in essence with the tacit agreement of Universal Pictures, if not their outright official encouragement.

Rather than responding in a manner which might antagonize Universal, we thought that asking fans to tally those hours and publishing the totals for all to see would be a gentler way to make both the specific point about Browncoat marketing for Serenity and the more general point about the relationship between producers of entertainment and their increasing (and knowing) reliance in the 21st century on fanbases to help promote that entertainment.

This site is not a screed against copyright or trademark law. Legally speaking, Universal Studios Licensing LLC can insist upon the enforcement of Universal's rights, and those of its licensees. We simply believe that issues are raised in this area when a company knowingly has accepted the promotional work of fans.

In other words, this site should not be taken as an attempt to actually bill Universal Pictures for all of our time, energy, and effort, nor encouragement for any fan do try to do so. We just believe that there is a point to be made.

Note: Mention of or links to specific fansites should not be considered an endorsement of this website by them and are made here only to provide context for this effort. Nothing about this site should be considered any form of legal advice, and each fan who receives any legal communication from Universal Pictures chooses how they want to respond or not respond, as they themselves see fit.

This website is maintained by The One True b!X, with hosting services provided by Viral Fan.