SHORT VERSION: We’re changing our name from “Monster Scouts” to “Monster Rangers” to avoid legal action from the BSA so that we can continue on this journey with you.
So, this “Monster Scouts” thing has created way more success than we ever thought. It’s been amazing to do this stuff WITH you, instead of just making stuff FOR you. Our business has grown, and me and Dawna have had SO MUCH FUN with you guys. We don’t want it to stop!
We started it as “Steam Crow Scouts”, but within a year that didn’t make sense. We were bigger than a Steam Crow Fan Club, so we quickly changed the name to “Monster Scouts”.
It seemed like a great idea
We were SUPER careful to avoid all of the special Boy Scouts of America trademarks, copyrights, colors, badge shapes and all of that… Except one.
The Boy Scouts of America (the “BSA”) was granted a Congressional Charter about 107 years ago, allowing them more rights than normal, regarding their Trademarks. They can trademark anything SCOUTS related… and don’t have to prove any conflict of brand identity.
(They don’t have to even prove that there could be confusion in the marketplace.) Many groups have been shut down by the BSA, over “______ SCOUTS” names. (They have to cease and desist within 30 days, or meet legal action.)
Their argument usually goes something like this: – The BSA has been using “Scouts” for 107 years, longer than “X-SCOUTS”. – The BSA has invented what “Scouts” means to the world. The BSA owns that term, and that idea. – The BSA does commerce under the Scouts BRANDS; X-SCOUTS also does commerce. – The BSA does events, camps etc. X-SCOUTS does too. – The BSA had badges, missions, members; X-SCOUTS does too. And they’ve won this in court enough that courts rely on these past rulings.
It may not be “fair”, but it’s the law. – – – We – as “Monster Scouts” – will lose any such battle. (We do commerce. We’re largely based on the idea of BSA, we have patches, camps, members, missions, websites, etc.)
Sure, a lot of what we do is creative and imaginary, but that doesn’t matter. They have the charter to effectively own the term, unlike other companies/organizations.
We have 3 choices
- Keep on using the “Monster Scouts” name, risking our community and livelihood. We would never be able to trademark the name, as that’s when the BSA lawyers seem to be alerted.
- Monster Scouts Logo. (And most likely lose. We don’t have the time/energy/money/will to fight a $175,000,000 organization.)
- Change the name now, on our own timeline. (But risking losing YOU, our momentum, and brand development.)
We choose #3
Once we’re clear of the “SCOUTS” name, our factor of risk goes down monumentally. They can control the name, but not the scouting idea. (Linking them seems to be the issue.)
What’s new is old?
We’re very sad to have to change it.
We love the name, and we know that a lot of you probably do too. But, it’s not a wise way for us to proceed.
It’s going to cost us a bunch of time/money/energy to rebrand everything. It’s going to be a lot of work.
I’m really sorry to introduce a THIRD name change to our community.
The success of the “Steam Crow Scouts” is far beyond what we ever expected, and it continues to baffle and delight us. Which is why we need to be able to protect it.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?
Keep on Scouting… erm… Rangering?
First: We hope that you’ll continue to join us for this crazy ride.
This is just a name adjustment; everything that we can keep the same, we will.
We’re going to rename this Facebook Group. We request that the other Monster Scouts groups replace “Scouts” with “Rangers” in the title.
Keep doing Missions, and continue to spread the word. We have momentum; there’s no reason to stop. (Just tell them “Monster Rangers”)
Monster Scouts Gear
“Monster Scouts” branded products/gear/patches is still kosher, but won’t be produced from here on out. (We’ll sell through our current stock.) It will be “antique official” and we’re not going to ever quip about your “Scouts” stuff; it’s just fine, and it proves that you were here early on.
We’re going to be rebranding banners/cards/flyers/website to “MONSTER RANGERS”. Eventually, we’ll trademark it.
We’re (Webmaster Kale & I) are going to rebuild the new website from the ground up… as fast as we can. We may need some EDITORS to help us do that. We’ve been pushing the Scouts site to do so much, that it’s really slow. You will probably have to re-build your badge collection on our new site. We’ll help you, if you need assistance.
We’re still doing events, monster camps, cons, WEENHALLOW, and all of that. It’s still me and Dawna and all of you. (Hopefully.)
If you’re making something that says “Monster Scouts” please make it “Monster Rangers”, if you can.
If you’re a “Ranger Scout” you’re now a Ranger
We still say “CAW” and Pledge to Believe, Study and Protect Our Monster Friends.
I don’t have all of the answers yet for ALL OF THE DETAILS, but we’ll try to help you through this change the best we can.
Ask Questions. Make suggestions. Help each other/us through this.
We apologize for our mistake(s); we hope to continue to serve you the best that we can.
Daniel & Dawna Davis