Don't Ask Oprah To Run For President; She Might Sue You
from the seems-a-bit-problematic dept
The other claims seem to have even less to back them up. Trademark law, as we've pointed out repeatedly, is to prevent confusion, not give the trademark owner full control over the mark. No one reading the book or the site are likely to confuse them as being part of Oprah's empire -- and just because some of the URL's have the word "oprah" in them, doesn't give Oprah the right to shut them down. While trademark law does say you need to actively pursue violators to keep the trademark, it's difficult to believe anyone would find this an actual violation. Finally, while if you read through Illinois' right of publicity law, it's hard to believe it would ban someone from putting up a website or writing a book urging someone to run for president. It seems like the book falls under the first exception listed in the law, as the book is being used to portray or describe Oprah. Still, the most important part of all of this is that these are clearly some of Oprah's biggest fans. For her lawyers to think that it's intelligent business practice to send a nastygram to them is pure business folly.