Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Little Lawsuit On the Prairie ~ Shame on YOU!!

This is the first book I ever read out loud. Sure, I went through the Hop on Pop and Dick and Jane books, but Little House in the Big Woods was the first time I read a story that got me hooked.

I have a life long love of reading thanks to the Little House books and I was appalled when I read this story.

If you're too lazy/busy to click over, basically it says that "Family Friendly Productions" (the company that owns the rights to the Little House tv series) is suing a small Independence, KS museum that calls itself "Little House on the Prairie". The museum is on the property that Laura's family lived in during the book that bears that title.

The not-for-profit museum takes in about $90K a year barely making ends meet (like any not-for-profit.)

If you're one of my Constant Readers, you know my passion for museums/history. Imagine how enraged I am at this load of crap lawsuit and you're not even close to how pissed I am.

What it really comes down to is "Little House: The Musical" money.

This whole thing makes me sick. The museum owns trademarks on the name, but "Family Friendly" (what an interesting name) is still suing for "trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition" and wants damages and any money the non-profit has made "from use of the name."

So, if I'm getting this all straight, it seems that it's more important for the Production company to get a few more pennies (and that's what it almost comes down to) than to teach children great literature and Kansas history.

Check out the Jezelbel article. The comments crack me up, especially this one:

Hey...hey. Hi. Um, a while ago we produced this television show based upon some books that were based upon a pioneer girl's life at the home you happen to be operating your museum out of. We have noticed that your historical location bares more than a passing resemblance to our fictitious interpretation of your historical location, and although you have a commonlaw service mark, our DVD sales aren't what we thought they'd be and anyway, could you give us some money?

Super swell? I bet Laura and Michael Landon are both rolling over in their graves.

I'm so going to all of the Little House Museum sites one day when Darling's old enough to read them. I think it would be fun to read them and then summer road trip to the 5 or so museums.

I might sneak up to the Guthrie and see the Musical though.

Check out the the Only Laura blog. Pretty awesome. I'm following this story, I'll keep you updated.

The ironic thing about this is that I LOVED the books, but then got mad at the TV show because it wasn't acurate. I liked the show ok, but it wasn't as good as the books. Isn't that always true, though?


Hound Doggy said...

i've been to that museum in Independence...I'd be surprised if they make that much money. It's really just a wide spot in the road (at least when I was there). I was glad I went....but I'm also glad that I didn't have to drive more than 3 miles.

This story sounds crazy....throw $$$ in the mix and that's what you get.

Anonymous said...

I went to the house in Mansfield, MO where Laura wrote the books in her 60's. I've always wanted to go to the little house in Independence, KS. I can't believe they are getting sued!!! How awful.

Anonymous said...

If you're a Little House fan, you might enjoy following @HalfPintIngalls on Twitter. Very funny combination of the books' era and modern observations.

Anonymous said...

What a load of poo. Personally never read the books (and didn't like the show). But you know what, I DO know when something aint right.

FletcherDodge said...

So tragic the way they hopped on pop...