What's The Guinness World Record For Morons In A Hurry Sending Bogus Takedowns?

from the just-wondering... dept

I think we've set a new world record for any particular story being submitted to us here at Techdirt. I'd actually ask the folks at the Guinness Book of World Records to verify that... but I don't think they really want to have much to do with this story. You see, there's a wonderful blog out there called the Fail Blog. If you don't read it regularly, it's like you're not really online at all. It's quite amusing. It usually involves pictures of random (hilarious) "failures" of some kind or another. Last week, it had a great one. It involved the website of the Guinness World Record book, where it had an entry on the "most individuals killed in a terrorist attack." What was the failure? Well... it appears that the Guinness records' web template includes a link on each record for "break this record." Not quite the sort of thing you would think that GWR folks wanted to encourage when it comes to the most people killed in a terrorist attack.

So how does Guinness respond? Certainly not by fixing the screwed up template. And, apparently not by taking some time to think it over while drinking a tall glass of Guinness. Instead, it released the legal hounds on the Fail Blog and threatened the site with a totally bogus trademark infringement claim, saying that because the screenshot included the Guinness World Record logo, it was a trademark violation. Of course, that's preposterous. Still, Fail Blog complied, took down the original, but posted Guinness' letter, its own rather direct response, and a new version of the screenshot with the Guinness World Record logo pixelated. Nobody will ever figure it out now:
Oh, and it looks like the Guinness folks have finally taken down the original world record page...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    What a bunch of mooks. FailBlog wins this fight.

     

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    RD, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 9:48am

    Um...

    Just because someone says or does something you dont like about you, doesnt make it ILLEGAL.

    Needless to say, FAIL.

     

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    RD, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 9:54am

    AND

    Oh AND, I love the line in the letter that say "use of the GBW trademark without permission constitutes trademark infringement" without ANY qualifiers....as if ANY use of ANY kind IS IN FACT infringement, period, across the board. This is not always the case, trademark is NOT a blanket all-encompassing protection against ANY non-permission use.

    Greedy Corporations + Soulless Bloodsucking Lawyers = Corruption of Law

     

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    TheStupidOne, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 9:55am

    FAIL FAIL WIN

    Original website = small automated fail

    Letter = EPIC FAIL

    Response = WIN

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 10:01am

    I'll tell you what's fail. The comment section of that page on fail blog.

     

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    Kamokazi, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Additional WIN

    Also notice the link for the 'full legal response' is a Rick Roll. Epic to the end.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 10:31am

    Legal Response

    Check out the full legal response, too:
    http://icanhaz.com/legalresponse

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 10:33am

    Well thank you Guinness World Record, without your ham fisted attempt to censor the internet from exposing your own carelessness I would never have learned about your mistake, the Fail Blog, or your misconstrued interpretation of trademark law.

    I hope your lawyers charged you a bunch for their shrewd legal insight.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 14th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    Troof?

    If you have no case under liable laws, on account of it actually happened, just go to the new standby of trademarks! They can't identify you using the identification you use!

    OK, it's complete bullshit, but they'll have to spend thousands of dollars to actually call you on it. Everybody wins! (where "everybody"==you and your lawyers.)

     

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    B's Opinion Only (profile), Jul 14th, 2009 @ 10:53am

    I still don't understand why people continue to accept emails as legal and proper communications from corporate lawyers. Reply with a bounce message. Make them do some actual WORK if they want to be idiots!

    Although I did like failblog's response!

     

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    Yakko Warner, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Not "finally"

    Oh, and it looks like the Guinness folks have finally taken down the original world record page...

    Actually, when the fail was first posted (a week prior to this), there was a note that said the record had already been removed from the Guinness site.

    This line from FailBlog's response, though, is EPIC WIN:
    I hope that this is the outcome you have expected as now NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW THAT GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS LIMITED HAS FAILED.

     

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    I Can Has Photoshop?, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 11:57am

    Uninteresting because fake

    This would be much more interesting if the record was an actual fail by GBWR. Instead somebody just photoshopped a scrape of the GBWR site. A fake fail that includes a real trademark will get a legal response every time. Ho hum how boring.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    i think you're a big failure mike masnick, b/c you don't know a damn.

     

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      Another anonymous somebody, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 1:35pm

      Re:

      "i think you're a big failure mike masnick, b/c you don't know a damn."

      Don't you just love and respect those who have nothing substantial or relevant to share with the community? Instead, they post inane comments designed to insult or otherwise irritate the author of this blog and the other contributors. I admit, I know nothing about Trademark or Copyright law, but I do know that courteous and relevant commentary are necessary in order to better understand every point of view in a given subject matter. I know that this response will fall on deaf/blind individuals who will continue to post their "opinions". However, it is my hope that some will see the light and conform to more civil conversation.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

        Re: Re:

        you fail at relevancy b/c your comment is irrelevant to the topic of this article.

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

        Re: Re:

        thank you for your preaching. you're better than the rest of us, and while we all burn in hell after death, you will go to heaven. thank you for being a better human being than others.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 1:44pm

      Re:

      You fail at English.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 4:27pm

    jesus the original image is old as hell. i remember seeing it on ytmnd like ages ago (i'd say over 2 years ago).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 7:45pm

    Just a quick google reveals that indeed this picture was making the rounds a few years back as something that the Guinness World Book of Records featured but "took down".

    Example:
    http://www.javno.com/en-world/attack-on-wtc-enters-guinnesss-world-records_20278

    So the "page" is certainly very old and was "removed" even earlier. And indeed it's quite probable that the page never existed. I could find no mention of a URL that we could check at the Internet Archive, I will try harder but I don't really expect anything.

     

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    Joe, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 7:59pm

    Guinness go take a dip in the wading pool you bunch of babies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 8:04pm

    Found it, the page existed since 2003 according to this post http://www.krikkit.com/2003/08/

    The page was at http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/index.asp?ID=53241

    Checked all existing copies at archive.org, from 2003 to 2006, none has "break this record" only "send to a friend" as an option.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2009 @ 8:54pm

    And finally, having a look at the source of the earliest archived pages reveals a commented out flash with id "RateThisRecord"". So

    * either a "break this record" button existed in early 2003 and was quickly changed to "rate this record"

    * or the button was really "rate this record" in the brief time it existed at all (which would explain the star next to it, btw)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 12:23am

    I wonder how many morons in a hurry come to this blog expecting to find free music torrents?

     

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    Mischa, Jul 15th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    OK, that was bad. I just wasted an hour looking at the Fail Blog. :-P

     

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    Xbox Free Live, Oct 28th, 2009 @ 7:43pm

    Morons

    What a bunch of morons.

     

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    Free PSN Codes, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:05pm

    Moron

    Wow lol some people are so stupid.

     

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    Free PSN, Sep 8th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Re

    haha this is insane! how come this morons do that.

     

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