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Reds pay good money for bird

...and Larry Neild sees red

Published on September 20th 2010.

Reds pay good money for bird

ONE of the most glorious sights on the planet must be sailing into Liverpool and seeing the Liver birds, perched on top of the Royal Liver Building.

The Liver bird belongs to Liverpool and to everyone who lives here; they are not the property of the city council or any particular organisation, especially a football club. Indeed, even the Royal Liver people have never, to my knowledge, claimed ownership of the Liver bird.

The best way to tackle counterfeiting is to sell goods at a more realistic price, rather than at highly inflated prices guaranteed to swell the coffers off our professional footballers

Yet a private company (Liverpool FC) has been given the right to trademark it.

LFC says it is to stop counterfeit goods being sold in competition to its own over-priced kit and gifts.

Once in China, I bought a pair of “Pierre Cardin” trousers. I knew they were not truly Cardin trousers as they only cost me 80p from a street stall. I especially knew the next day as I was riding along a busy street named Haidian Lu, in a Beijing suburb, and I felt a tear. Suddenly I was wearing one trouser on one leg and another on the other leg, with just fresh air in between.

Counterfeiting is rife and can never be condoned. So if somebody makes, or sells look-alike Liverpool kit with copies of the club’s familiar badge, it is only right they should be stopped.

A Chinese colleague, outraged by such appalling workmanship, said I should return to the stall and demand a refund. For 80p I didn’t bother.

But if somebody produces a red shirt, with the name of this city and a generic Liver bird what business is it of Liverpool FC?

Most fans want the real McCoy, not a cheap copy-cat version, and others enjoy showing their support for the Reds by wearing red. What next? Will Liverpool FC try to patent the colour red?

And will Everton FC slap a writ on the makers of Everton Mints who fail to produce their hard-boiled sweets outside the boundary of Everton. What about

Copying official merchandise to make it look real is one thing, but should that give the right of the club to “police” what people are wearing if it has a Liver bird emblazoned on it?

I’ve always taken the view the best way to tackle counterfeiting is to sell goods at a more realistic price, rather than at highly inflated prices guaranteed to swell the coffers off our professional footballers.

It’s the same with DVDs. While the filmmakers are charging so much there will be a market for pirate versions.

Liverpool FC, in my view, has become too big for its own football boots by being given these new rights. I think the council should have kicked the idea into tough and insisted our Liver bird belongs to everyone in this city, Evertonians among them.

If Liverpool had its own state flag the centrepiece would surely by the Liver Bird as the ultimate declaration of Scouseness.

I think we should all buy red flags showing Liver birds to send a message to Anfield’s millionaire row that the bird belongs to us all.

17 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

British CoveSeptember 6th 2010.

Americans mumble, quack and grunt a language that can't really be called English, can it?

here we go againSeptember 6th 2010.

In the 80s Labour sold the family silver by flogging the freeholds of loads of city centre properties, mainly in and around Duke Street and Rope Walks. Until then the city owned more listed buildings than any city outside London. Now the new Labour group has allowed LFC to 'buy' something even more precious, our Liver Bird. Shame on the council for working with the club, which is after all a commercial enterprise.

Red ErikSeptember 6th 2010.

It depends what cinema you go to of course. Some people seem to think that because you can buy counterfeit goods cheaply, then the real McCoy should cost less. Some people just don't want to pay for anything.If companies don't make money then they will cease to make the product, then we will all lose out. Manufacturers increase the retail price to compensate for theft and counterfeiting, which means that people buying the genuine article will be subsidising for those who buy counterfeit.

AnonymousSeptember 6th 2010.

What's wrong with Liverpool FC protecting it's merchandise? The club wants to protect it's own version of the Liverbird, they are not claiming ownership of the mythical creature.This article seems to suggest that counterfeiting of goods only takes place because the genuine products are too expensive. Counterfeiting will take place regardless of cost. Counterfeiters copy goods that are popular. The popularity of the goods is down to good design, status, good marketing or fitting the trend. The manufacturers of the genuine goods invest a lot of money into the product, if they didn't do this there would be no product to copy, and couterfeiters piggy-back on this. You mention DVD's being too expensive. Are they really? Most DVD's cost the same or less as the price of a cinema ticket, and with a DVD you can watch it many times over, if you want.I found this article contradicting itself and almost condoning counterfeit goods.

Soft JoeSeptember 6th 2010.

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Call the half-wit police - there's a knee-jerk on the loose. Doesn't anybody use their brains anymore? The club wants to trademark its OWN version of the Liver Bird, not the bird itself. Even so, LFC should be careful it doesn't get sued itself - some of the Liver Birds at the stadium (e.g. on gates of the old Main Stand) are taken straight from the original Higsons Brewery version.

WappingSeptember 6th 2010.

Have they really trademarked the generic Liver Bird or just their version with its foot on a football as it appears on the club emblem?

Our WoySeptember 6th 2010.

Maybe Manchester United will follow our lead and try to trademark The Devil. It shouldn't be a difficult deal as they've already sold their souls to him.

AnonymousSeptember 6th 2010.

Perhaps the author of this rant should have actually read a news sotry about it before writing such irrelevant and ill-informed twaddles

MikeSeptember 6th 2010.

Stop taking the piss out of Wayne Rooney.

Red ErikSeptember 6th 2010.

Foreign, referring to foreign language film.Thanks for pointing that out.

Roy AltiesSeptember 6th 2010.

Is the club going to go around the country burning off the tattoos of people unwilling or unable to pay them royalties?

Red ErikSeptember 6th 2010.

The cinema has to pay the film producers to show the film. The cinema doesn't make that much money out of the film, it will make more money out of pop corn and drinks, now those are overpriced.Classic films like Les Enfants du Paradis are an exception. It depends if the original print the the DVD publisher used is in good condition, with good sound or whether it's been remastered etc. and how much they had to pay for it. Hollywood film producers would rather sell you a remake than encourage you to buy a foreign film Dinner for Shmucks being their latest travesty, Le Diner de Cons being the original.

Working ManSeptember 6th 2010.

Only bargain DVDs in sales are as cheap as cinema tickets, and cinema tickets are overpriced.

Bally Anne DaySeptember 6th 2010.

It's actually a heraldic cormorant, Soft Joe. Heraldry has even more cormorants than - er - you!

opportunity knockersSeptember 6th 2010.

Maybe an enterprising street trader will produce red tee-shirts, emblazoned with a Liver Bird and the legend: Hands Off Our Birds

Liverpool WagSeptember 6th 2010.

Larry, just as well that pit bull wasn't around when you had your meat and two veg on display.

British CoveSeptember 6th 2010.

Hollywood films ARE foreign films!

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