Tell AMC: Don't shut down cancer fundraiser The Walking Hope
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I run a charity brand called The Walking Hope to raise money for cancer research. The charity parodies a TV show I love, "The Walking Dead," and we've raised $30,000 last year. 30 members of the show's cast and crew have even participated! So I was angry and confused when the show's network, AMC, told us we had to shut our charity down. Please ask AMC to drop its legal threat against my cancer charity fundraiser.
I began designing Walking Dead themed parody shirts, called the Walking Hope, to raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS) two years ago. 100% of the profits go to them. I make no money. I enjoy doing this as a longtime volunteer for various cancer charities.
I have been able to raise over $30,000 all benefiting The American Cancer Society! The letters "AMC" actually do not appear anywhere on the logo or shirts, instead within the parodied logo are the letters"RFL" which stand for the annual Relay For Life fundraising events that millions of people in 21 countries participate in to benefit ACS.
Recently, in an effort to "protect their brand," AMC has sent my t-shirt manufacturer a cease and desist letter. I never use images from the show, but they feel the designs are a close enough parody that they are infringing on their intellectual property rights. While I understand their position and their want and need to protect their brand, I would like them to consider this more closely, specifically the following points:
1 - I am not using the parody designs for profit in any way.
2 - More than 30 cast, crew and producers from the Walking Dead actively wear and support the Walking Hope charity idea. They not only have the shirts, but they actively help me promote them via social media for the good of the cause and to help raise awareness and funds.
3 - The Walking Hope has helped thousands of people worldwide to connect with other cancer survivors, fighters, caregivers and like-minded fans. It is not just a fundraising effort, but rather a community of caring people all connected by the hope!
4 - I am willing to alter the main logo slightly to better accommodate AMC’s comfort level with the Walking Dead parody, but they currently seem unwilling to compromise.
I am requesting special dispensation from AMC for continued use of the Walking Dead themes and would like to codify this permission so this is not an issue in the future. I already have expressed written permission in a similar fashion from The American Cancer Society.
Without AMC's continued permission, the Walking Hope will no longer exist and thousands of people will lose out.
Fans and supporters of the Walking Hope, please sign and share this petition. I truly believe that AMC is doing something procedural and does not know the damage that would be done if this community, cause and fundraising effort were not allowed to continue.
AMC, please rescind your cease and desist letter and work with me to further spread the Walking Hope to help prevent and cure cancer and support survivors.
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