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Tiki Central / General Tiki

Illegal use of Bar logos/symbols

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I'm pretty sure this sort of thing isn't legal, but I guess people do it because they figure they're too small a fish for the Kahiki to bother suing? I've been seeing a lot of this sort of shenanigans going on lately, and it rubs me the wrong way. Opinions?


I'm a big defender of free speech, and that includes creative things like arts and crafts... Trademark infringement only occurs when there is confusion to the consumer, and individuals or corporations can only register trademarks on words for particular clearly defined purposes - so, #1 nobody is going to be confused into thinking that someone's home tiki bar where this sign will one day hang is actually the Kahiki and #2 as far as Nels' carving of this sign goes, or Shag's painting "The Last Days of the Kahiki" goes - Kahiki has not trademarked the word for anything other than food service.

Given that the seller didn't misrepresent the item, I've got no bone to pick. Unlike people blatantly ripping off shags paintings and passing it off as their idea.
That sort of dishonesty deserves karmic credit collection.

Hey, that's Nels from the Tiki Zone!

Don't worry, he's one of us! He's been carving & making Tiki-related stuff for years. I've got one of his fab blueprints at home.

Anyway, he's not one of those eBay-bandwagon-jumper-for-$$$-types.

Trader Woody

In a very real sense, The Kahiki doesn't/shouldn't own the word Kahiki (which I think is the original God/Spirit to Tahitians) or various visual compositions of tiki masks and tiki torches. Obviously, polynisians developed these items centuries ago. Unfortunately for them, they developed these concepts prior to the white man's introduction of the culture of greed - "This is mine, don't use it because it will reduce my wealth!" Being a caring, altruistic society (unless you were from an opposing native group), they had no concept of mine/yours. Sorry for this diatribe which I know will annoy Kahiki-philes (which I am one as I have 3 or 4 Kahiki items).

Tiki Bong


No, they don't own the word itself, but they do own that logotype of their name. Some designer probably worked many many late nights perfecting that thing. So why is that any different than ripping off a Shag character? 'Cause commercial design doesn't count?


There's nothing wrong with "ripping off" shag or any other artist, people can be inspired by anything, including fellow artists. It's all creativity, it's all good.


No worries. I'm just stirring the pot a bit. As Mig can attest, he owns a painting of mine where I ripped off a little hula gal in a vintage Dole pineapple ad...

People have been imitating/copying great (and not-so-great)works of art for centuries. As long as they're not trying to pass it off as the actual work of the original artist, I see no problem. After all, imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery.

My two cents worth as a newbie!


"Good artists create. Great artists steal."

-u know who

Actually, Great artists get someone else to do the work, and then sign their name to it.
At least thats what I encounter day in and day out moving the stuff around.
So many artists, from the Masters to Warhol, DeKooning, Stella, Hockney, etc etc etc have what to me is an annoying habit of getting people to create the "vision", and then signing their name on it. Which I look at and think; " The person buying this isn't buying a work of art, they're buying an autograph.
But when trying to understand the art world, it's best to just sit down, pour a good stiff one, and enjoy the show.


you can say THAT again, brother!

Polynesian pop was BORN out of ripping of others' ideas, as the creation myth of Trader Vic testifies. Just look at menu and matchbook graphics, there are many Tiki designs that have migrated across the states between unrelated places. Since I have a photographic memory for Tikis, I enjoy pinning these infractions down to their origin, it is part of urban archeology.
The other day I was fantasizing with Jeff Berry about forming a "Tiki rip off cold case squad", searching out withered graphic artists in retirement homes and confronting them:
"You thought you could get away with this, but 35 years ago you ripped off the Kahiki Moai fireplace Tiki and used it for THIS Shangri-La matchbook! Here is the proof. You are going down, Mister!"
This off course would only be funny as a skid in a "Tiki Collectors Special" episode of the Simpsons....

Pages: 1 12 replies