If Andy Warhol Painted His Campbell's Soup Paintings Today, How Fast Would The Cease & Desist Arrive?

from the how-the-times-have-changed dept

proxy318 points us to a recent post at mthruf.com, which shows the letter the Campbell Soup Company sent Andy Warhol concerning his famous paintings of their soup cans in 1964:
Can you imagine that happening today? There's simply no way. Instead, you'd get a legal nastygram cease & desist, with all sorts of claims about trademark and a likelihood of confusion and demands to hand over the paintings immediately. And then people would defend Campbell Soup, saying they "had to" defend their trademark. How quickly the world has changed.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:20am

    Yeah

    ...not to mention Marilyn Monroe's heir's "Publicity Rights"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Mr. MacFarland...

    would be quickly fired today. The lawyers wouldn't have it any other way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:36am

    As difficult as it may be for some here to believe, it is not a "given" that a cease and desist letter would immediately be sent. I daresay that if this exact situation played out in 2010 the outcome would most likely be the same.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Andrew, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Re #3

    Depressing either way; either he gets away with it because he's rich, and less well-known people would get the C&D, or he got away with it because things were different then, and wouldn't get away with it now. Either it's a double standard, or it's a depressing shift in how we look at artistic freedom.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    James Carmichael, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:40am

    I think it's unfair to generalize and say that every company out there would send a C&D instead of such a nice letter... though I must admit, most of them would.

    CEO's everywhere should really look at that letter and think of this kind of action as a viable way of conducting business.

    Cooperation can succeed over competition, in the end! (That's a hopeful thought, but one can dream).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Christopher Weigel (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    Bullshit.
    I daresay that with a bit of research you could find several similar situations, in the past several years, where the outcome has been very nearly the opposite thereof.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re #3

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    As difficult as it may be for some here to believe, it is not a "given" that a cease and desist letter would immediately be sent. I daresay that if this exact situation played out in 2010 the outcome would most likely be the same.

    You honestly think that if someone put up a website offering to sell large, hand silk-screened prints of pictures of iPods that Apple would just offer to send a few to the artist?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re #3

    Oops. That was meant for the AC above.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:44am

    I always kind of assumed that Warhol's Campbell piece was a work for hire. Silly me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Hulser (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    say that every company out there would send a C&D instead of such a nice letter

    It's a good thing then that Mike didn't actually say this although you imply that he did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:51am

    After reading the first sentence and then looking at the picture. I pretty much assumed a legal nastygram without reading the actual letter. Zeitgeist or a result of being a regular reader of techdirt?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Pirate My Music (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:51am

    I'm thinking about printing that out and postering it across town, I'll add a label to it that says "From a time when copyright and trademark wasn't abused"

    And then I'll just provide the url to the Pirate Party

    :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Hulser (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re:

    Rereading Mike's post, I can see where the "There's simply no way" statement could be interpreted as an absolute statement about "every company out there", but I didn't interpret it that way. To me there's a big distinction between an absolute statement and an opinion, even an hyperbolic one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Tom Barger, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Dilution is the problem

    Mike, it continues to puzzle how we got to the hyper litigation state. So the easy phrase to use is dilution. A lawyer needs to defend his billing hours, or staff job, so is able to demonstrate fanatic vigilance. These days on the internets, they can do more without using a clipping service.

    A brand name that falls into generic status is what they call dilution, such as Thermos, Kleenex, escalator, or a verb like "I'll go Xerox it." Seems like a zombie living death if your stuff is popular enough for the public to use it. Again, mixing up the different creatures, trademark, patent, likeness and that of COPYRIGHT.

    DILUTION then must follow Cheney's one percent solution. That is, even the tiny chance that something might happen deserves a maximal response. A skeptical judge, if such a thing exists, would say you haven't proved an action caused any financial harm.

    Our corporate control is what is out of whack. Too many lawyers who lack common sense, and not enough judges to discipline them. This could be debated to the conservatives in terms of barretry, or nuisance lawsuits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    AJ, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 12:02pm

    Not so fast....

    Campbell may not have sent a C&D to Andy, but if you display his work in a burger joint, off come the gloves....

    http://gothamist.com/2008/10/21/pop_burger_under_fire_from_campbell.php

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Fans

    You know, I can see why Campbell's did this back in 1964: They saw that someone was a fan of their product, and even painted a picture of it.



    I think when you show a company that you really love their product and even send them feedback, they may give a thank you, and even a small gift. I once contacted Hungryman about their tv dinners by email and commented on one that I really liked, but could no longer find.

    I got a reply by actual mail, thanking me for my comments, and inside the envelope were 2 coupons, each for a free tv dinner.

    Businesses like feedback from their customers and fans. Try it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    Are you new here? Today, even using words that resemble something that has a trademark is grounds for cease and desist. And that applies only if you are in an entirely different industry... If you are in a similar industry and using something that sort of resembles another trademark, you probably ought to hide your family.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Not everyone

    Sad that the Cambell company has changed tack - however not everyone behaves like this.

    Consider the Internet Lending organisation Zopa: ( https://uk.zopa.com/ZopaWeb/public/about-zopa/big-idea.html )

    " Zopa was the world's first lending and borrowing marketplace. By demonstrating that Social Lending works on a large scale, Zopa has changed the financial sector for good.


    In Zopa's wake, copycats - such as Prosper in the US, Smava in Germany and Boober in the Netherlands - have sprung up across the world.

    Social Lending is a financial category of genuine and increasing importance. "


    Nice to see that at least someone still recognises the true meaning of imitation - as a form of flattery.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Dilution is the problem

    This is the opposite of dilution. If more people had made "xerox art" with pictures of actual Xerox brand copiers on them, more consumers would be aware that Xerox is an actual brand of copiers instead of just "photocopy".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    >> I daresay that if this exact situation played out in 2010 the outcome would most likely be the same.

    Could you please site one example?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    David Mast, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Campbell's Soup

    One example I heard of on Charlie Rose, where Steve Carell and Paul Rudd were spoofing "The Decision" with Lebrom James, and Carell "Decided" to take his appetite to Outback Steakhouse in stead of Chilis. Chilis replied with a "fake outrage" letter (Simular to the Caveleir's owner's response)...I thought that response, though tongue and cheek, shows that companies do not immediately go to the lawyers....then again, it could have all been "approved" by Chilis beforehand, but then again, how do we know that Warhol did not ask Campbells beforehand either

    http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/chilis-issues-response-to-steve-carells-outback-steakhouse -decision/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Not so fast....

    ...which kind of proves Mike's point and everything said here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    I can see how Campbells might see it as flattering (though it sounded to me like the guy was fishing for Andy to make them a new painting for their lobby... gratis,) but I'm certain that the instant the SCLIAA (soup can label industry artists of America)found out how much money was being made by Warhol on the blood, sweat and tears of their poor starving corporate artists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    I can see how Campbells might see it as flattering (though it sounded to me like the guy was fishing for Andy to make them a new painting for their lobby... gratis,) but I'm certain that the instant the SCLIAA (soup can label industry artists of America)found out how much money was being made by Warhol on the blood, sweat and tears of their poor starving corporate artists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Re:

    As difficult as it may be for some here to believe,

    Because "some here" aren't as stupid as you'd like for them to be.

    I daresay blah blah blah...

    Yeah, IP supporters generally "daresay" all kinds of crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Dilution is the problem

    Too many lawyers who lack common sense, and not enough judges to discipline them.

    It seems to me that the lawyers have plenty of common sense. Enough, anyway, that they're getting rich in many cases. The idiots are the ones that keep hiring them to get bled dry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Not so fast....

    Brilliant find that proves Mike's point exactly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    Bullshit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Adversarial politics

    I'm not going to respond to whether or not companies today would be pleased to see as Warhol painting (because I don't know for sure). But I will toss out something on how people approach all sorts of discussions these days.

    There's a general feeling, especially among those who have been in Washington for decades, that people are not cooperating as much anymore. People are drawing up sides and refuse to concede anything.

    I've intentionally tried to be something of a moderate in the Techdirt discussions because I don't think the hard line "IP protection has got to go" is going to get anyone very far. Sure, it unites the Techdirt community into an "US versus THEM" mentality, but I don't see enough people coming together in support of a hard line to actually get much done.

    So I think if we want to encourage cooperation, we should demonstrate it ourselves as well. A kinder, gentler tone is a good thing among company presidents, copyright holders, bloggers, politicians, etc.

    Maybe there was more civility in the past (unless, of course, you were subject to various forms of discrimination, which has gotten better over time).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 3:57pm

    Re:

    Wow, what are you smoking?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Willton, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re:

    I daresay that with a bit of research you could find several similar situations, in the past several years, where the outcome has been very nearly the opposite thereof.

    Then feel free to offer such examples.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    J Swift, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Adversarial politics

    I've intentionally tried to be something of a moderate in the Techdirt discussions because I don't think the hard line "IP protection has got to go" is going to get anyone very far. Sure, it unites the Techdirt community into an "US versus THEM" mentality, but I don't see enough people coming together in support of a hard line to actually get much done.

    Agreed. The anti-IP extremists remind me of some other extremists from history. For example, in the U.S. consider the case of the anti-slavery extremists. The pro-slavery people wanted slavery for the whole U.S., while the anti-slavery extremists wanted it abolished. They were so extreme that they even became widely known as "abolitionists". The moderates, however, saw that a moderate position, a compromise, if you will, that prohibited slavery in part of the country (the North) while allowing it another (the South), was a reasonable solution. This was called the Missouri Compromise. But the anti-slavery extremists just wouldn't leave well enough alone and that eventually led to a big fight called The U.S. Civil War.

    Now, I'm not saying that slavery and IP are exactly the same thing (although some have made _some_ comparisons), just pointing out how extremists, like some of the ones here on Techdirt, sometimes don't seem to know how to compromise in the middle on reasonable solutions, (like the Missouri Compromise). Thanks for pointing that out, Suzanne. If the U.S. had more people like you pointing out how important it is to compromise, the U.S Civil War and the total elimination of slavery might could have been avoided.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Adversarial politics

    Thanks for pointing that out, Suzanne. If the U.S. had more people like you pointing out how important it is to compromise, the U.S Civil War and the total elimination of slavery might could have been avoided.

    Are you prepared to go to war for your beliefs?

    I don't want to see violence come about because if IP disagreements, but I have suggested civil disobedience as an option.

    I knew people who went to Canada and to prison rather than to go to Vietnam. I also knew people who marched and protested and also sometimes handled police flowers to show that though they disagreed, they wanted to be friendly.

    I'm familiar with people making significant sacrifices in the name of what they believe in. So, yes, if you believe copyright and patents are evil and need to be fought at all costs, there are non-violent options to highlight your cause.

    I have a lot of respect for groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation which is proactive in trying to change the laws. There are respectful and effective ways to approach this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    J Swift, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Adversarial politics

    Are you prepared to go to war for your beliefs?

    Oh no, I believe in compromise!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Adversarial politics

    Actually, the Civil War wasn't about slavery.

    The war started, and it opened up the opportunity to end slavery, but it wasn't fought because of abolitionists.

    I have suggested that a patent-free zone makes sense. Set up some areas and kick ass by showing how well it will work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    James Carmichael (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, I wasn't trying to prove Mike had it wrong. I was just saying... if we look at companies as not being necessarily evil, it would help them in becoming a little more human. After all, these companies are ran by people. So it's not the company that's evil, it's the people behind it; us.

    Just a general thought. But like I said, yes, currently I agree how most companies/lawyers would just send a C&D.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    James Carmichael (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    Re:

    I agree with Anonymous Coward.

    I thought that this blog was all about highlighting companies making good decisions. Some making bad ones, sure, but still. Don't just say "that would never happen today". Just because it's not as likely to happen doesn't mean it would never happen.

    And no I can't recall any particular examples, though I'm sure Mike could. Yes I'm too lazy to look them up and I admit it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Cease & Desist Examples

    Willton claimed:

    Then feel free to offer such examples.

    You’re kidding, right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 8:06pm

    Another example

    Did you somehow miss the Namco story that is on the front page?

    Perhaps another write up can show you the perceived wrong in corporate policy nowadays.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Adversarial politics

    I'm not sure if everyone on TD is against patents and copyrights. The problem arises because of egregious abuse of these government mandated monopolies.

    If it were that people had more of a say in them, or that they were shorter in length, or a number of problems that could be solved instead of impeding on progress, I'm sure more people would feel that they were more valuable to have. As it stands, all evidence seems to point to the fact that these government mandates are more trouble than they're worth in regards to expression, privacy (DRM), and freedom.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Adversarial politics

    Personally I'm not a lawsuit kind of person. And what I would hope everyone gets from my posts is that I'd be much more likely to seek out a mutually-agreed-upon solution than to force one on people.

    So I can relate to people being frustrated over so many IP-related lawsuits. I see abuses in the system, too.

    But a lot of times the arguments against IP-protection are as unfriendly as the ones for them.

    So the reason I started this thread is to say, "Yes, isn't it nice that the Campbell's CEO wrote a friendly letter. Let's all be more like that. It would be a good thing all the way around."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 8:40pm

    It's a strange "moderation" that you embrace.

    You usually are reasonable but go totally EXTREME with: "Actually, the Civil War wasn't about slavery."

    Slavery is absolutely an abomination to the founding principles of the US. It's a contradiction in the heart of the Constitution. "No nation, so conceived and so dedicated" can long endure with such a contradiction.

    The Rich of the "gentlemanly agricultural south" were simply trying to preserve their easy lives built on the most offensive of practices. To this end, they duped the poor whites into thinking that "states rights" which not incidentally continued slavery were worth fighting and dying for.

    "The war started, and it opened up the opportunity to end slavery, but it wasn't fought because of abolitionists."

    What was it fought for then, besides the economic reasons I note above?

    The whole "states right" schtick is racists re-writing history of the long struggle of people with a conscience to end the affront of slavery to human dignity, and it cannot be simply swept aside with "the war started".

    Lincoln preserved the Union *because* slavery had to be abolished, else the whole premise of the US was a lie. You can trot out the old "IF" quote, but his point is that he *couldn't*, and that abolishing slavery *is* worth fighting and dying for: "As he [Christ] died to make men holy, let us die to make them free". To that end, Lincoln's actions of instituting a draft were entirely justified -- though letting The Rich of the North buy their way out of it was not, just shows how The Rich are uniformly pusillanimous. And yes, I'm HAPPY that Sheridan destroyed much of the South, and *more* should have been done after the war to dispossess those whose fortunes came from the labors of slaves, starting with hanging all former slave owners.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:06pm

    Re: It's a strange "moderation" that you embrace.

    To say the Civil War was about slavery overlooks the economic and political issues that were also in play. It would take books and books for us to sort it all out, but my understanding is that the issue was much more complex than a war between those who supported slavery and those who were against.

    Here are two quick references below.

    And of course, I don't believe in slavery. But we were talking about causes of wars and whether compromise is good or not. The closest current situation I can think of is the fight for and against abortion. The pro-life folks truly believe they are protecting the rights of the unborn. The pro-choice folks are just as determined that they are protecting women's rights. One compromise is to reduce the need for abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies, although there is disagreement as to what is the best approach to do that.

    Civil War - MOMENTUM FOR ABOLITIONISM

    The Civil War: "On November 6, 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States -- an event that outraged southern states. The Republican party had run on an anti-slavery platform, and many southerners felt that there was no longer a place for them in the Union. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded. By Febrary 1, 1861, six more states -- Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas -- had split from the Union. The seceded states created the Confederate States of America and elected Jefferson Davis, a Mississippi Senator, as their provisional president.

    In his inaugural address, delivered on March 4, 1861, Lincoln proclaimed that it was his duty to maintain the Union. He also declared that he had no intention of ending slavery where it existed, or of repealing the Fugitive Slave Law -- a position that horrified African Americans and their white allies. Lincoln's statement, however, did not satisfy the Confederacy, and on April 12 they attacked Fort Sumter, a federal stronghold in Charleston, South Carolina. Federal troops returned the fire. The Civil War had begun."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: It's a strange "moderation" that you embrace.

    I should have included the next paragraph on the history of the Civil War:

    Immediately following the attack, four more states -- Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee -- severed their ties with the Union. To retain the loyalty of the remaining border states -- Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri -- President Lincoln insisted that the war was not about slavery or black rights; it was a war to preserve the Union.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's a strange "moderation" that you embrace.

    As always, I'm not quite sure what to make of Suzanne's posts. She argues that people who take a position backed up by evidence shouldn't do so, and then argues about slavery? Huh? So back in the civil war time, you would have supported a "balanced" approach where we don't get rid of slaves, because that was "too extreme"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's a strange "moderation" that you embrace.

    She argues that people who take a position backed up by evidence shouldn't do so, and then argues about slavery?

    Someone else brought up slavery and talked about how the Civil War was fought over it as a way to debunk my approval of moderation and being nice.

    All I was doing when I posted my thoughts on adversarial politics was AGREEING with this entire post. Yes, it's good to be nice. It gets more done than being nasty.

    If you really want to get into why the Civil War was fought we can do it. But it's a major detour and I don't think what was posted was historically accurate.

    Again, if you want to talk about people defending what they believe to the death, there are a lot of current causes we can point to as well. Religion. Abortion rights. People have always vehemently believed in causes and their right to be extreme about them.

    Come on folks. I suggest that we be nicer to everyone and someone suggests that somehow it is comparable to advocating slavery? Really?? I'm shaking my head at the thought.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's a strange "moderation" that you embrace.

    Here's a quote for you all. I guess some of you would have been Goldwater fans.

    "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
    Barry Goldwater, acceptance speech as Republican candidate for President, 1964

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's a strange "moderation" that you embrace.

    I just thought of an example that I can relate to.

    There are horrendous things being done to women in some countries. But I'm not sure bombing those countries into the ground is the proper solution.

    This is the sort of thing I'd advocate. It changes the world, but it does so in a positive way rather than resorting to negative tactics.

    Two-wheel triumph : "In a place where women dutifully give birth in dingy huts, the men know of little outside their fields, and the world revolves around the local mosque; the sight of a 'modern' woman visitor astride her bike is a spectacle. The more so as Akhter zaps around with gadgets like a netbook, GSM mobile, blood pressure monitor and pregnancy kit, all deftly packed in her shoulder bag. 'It was a scandal when I started my rounds two years ago with just a mobile phone', says Akhter. Now it is more of a phenomenon. She is treated like a champion by people whose lives she's shaping with once 'scary machines'.

    Akhter belongs to a motley band of 'InfoLadies,' who are piloting a revolutionary idea - giving millions of Bangladeshis, trapped in a cycle of poverty and natural disaster, access to information on their doorstep to improve their chances in life."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 2:56am

    What is "contribution to developing culture"

    What is the purpose of copyright law? We have to consider the law's role of today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 10:24am

    Patents are not always a bad idea. If a person develops something through hours of research, hard work, and labor, and another person comes along and claims the product, that's wrong. Simply, absolutely wrong, and all the arguing and semantics in the world won't make it NOT wrong.

    If a writer puts in hours of imagination and writing into a work, and someone else comes along and claims that work, we call it "plagiarism" for a reason, and that's why copyrights exist.

    If there is no protection WHATSOEVER for the work a person does, they don't have much incentive to create or develop, do they?

    So in some cases patents and copyrights are there for a REASON, and to attempt to do away with them completely - sorry, you create a world where the incentive to create is lessened. Maybe some of you all want to go back to living in freaking caves, or living some hippie fairyland where everyone just shares and shares and shares (never going to happen, please stop trying for a non existent utopia) but I'll pass.

    Meanwhile though there are OUTRAGEOUS cases of both copyright and patent abuse by attorneys, and the person above who said that judges need to start slapping some of the overzealous lawyers around is correct. I'm a member of the EFF for exactly those reasons. But to say that all patents or copyrights are somehow abusing your right to take another's work and claim it as your own - nonsense. Nonsense and whining and not having the smarts to create something yourself. Too bad. End of story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Re:

    Patents are not always a bad idea. If a person develops something through hours of research, hard work, and labor, and another person comes along and claims the product, that's wrong. Simply, absolutely wrong, and all the arguing and semantics in the world won't make it NOT wrong.

    So once Mcdonald's developed fast food, we should not have allowed Burger King or Wendy's to exist?

    Mostly that's considered competition, and it leads the original idea creator to innovate faster. Why is competition a bad thing?

    If a writer puts in hours of imagination and writing into a work, and someone else comes along and claims that work, we call it "plagiarism" for a reason, and that's why copyrights exist.

    Actually, no. That's entirely wrong. Copyright and plagiarism are two separate things. They may overlap at times, but copyright has nothing to do with pretending someone else's work is your own. Plagiarism, by itself, breaks no law. Copyright has nothing to do with making sure someone is properly credited for their work.

    If there is no protection WHATSOEVER for the work a person does, they don't have much incentive to create or develop, do they?

    There are tons of incentives, as we've detailed for years. When it comes to innovation, the incentive is selling products in the market place. When it comes to creative works, there are lots of business models that are available to you as you get more well known which don't require copyright.

    There are lots of incentives that work entirely without patent or copyright law.

    So in some cases patents and copyrights are there for a REASON, and to attempt to do away with them completely - sorry, you create a world where the incentive to create is lessened.

    Unfortunately, the actual evidence suggests no such decrease in incentive to create.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    Re:

    "So in some cases patents and copyrights are there for a REASON, and to attempt to do away with them completely - sorry, you create a world where the incentive to create is lessened. Maybe some of you all want to go back to living in freaking caves, or living some hippie fairyland where everyone just shares and shares and shares (never going to happen, please stop trying for a non existent utopia) but I'll pass."

    Patents and copyrights don't necessarily do much for creating stories. Beowulf continues to have no copyright laws and it's a story that's been shared for ages.

    If we get into the world of literature, imagine if Bram Stoker had a copyright on the vampire. Would it have been used for Twilight or would there be a similar monster within this world?

    As has been proven, creativity is hampered by copyright laws if they are obsessive. We could have less protection on works whereby they go into the public domain. I doubt this takes away from someone's ability to create. Seeing as how I'll be finishing a book myself, I found it enriches my work if I can find what works for other authors in my field and what doesn't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Kev, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re:

    Yep, I agree. There was a case over here in Scotland some years ago about MacDonald's hassling some poor guy called Macdonald over his family's ironmongers being called Macdonald's. Never mind that it had been in the family and actually predated MacDonald's itself...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    visitor from another planet, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 12:42am

    and andy was the one who changed it. he wouldn't paint the soup cans today; he'd more likely make prints of the c&d.

    he was delighted with the free soup.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re:

    Notice that the letter is sent from the director of marketing. I would daresay that Apple would do the same thing for a self-made icon that is offering you free advertising.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Fuckwad, Aug 4th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Dilution is the problem

    Saying "I'll Xerox it" means you're wearing Depends. Nobody under 50 says that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    123, Aug 5th, 2010 @ 8:44am

    no doubt Marilyn Monroe would also have sued

    (posthumously, as indicated by hasty googles)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    123, Aug 5th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    the righteous snotblo of "folded and boxed tissue paper products"

    nobody (who isn't a "convalescent" care employee) under 70 yo knows what "depends" is ;-)
    Depends ad slogan: "Don't knock the depends (or something might drop out)"

    btw, my trademark application for the word "solicitor" was very recently approved, so you'll be reading more about trademark suits, soon. :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    123, Aug 5th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    and from the dept of circular circulars...

    i won't be sued if i publish someone else's C&D letter, will I?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    ScottE, Aug 5th, 2010 @ 5:42pm

    Realization of Reality !

    Yeah it's sad, these days we live in a country that has been seperated and situationaly divided by our Legal Beagles (aka lawyers) and our unfunctional politicians. As is the loss of our freedom & individual rights. A free country with more people in prison per capita than any other country in the world. Whats wrong with this picture? Only free if we stay with in the allowed and mandated reality of our highly unexceptable current situation. When will WE GATHER AND UNITE and maybe bring back some of the freedom and sanctity of the past? I hope we do before we lose what little control we still have, or possibly even the country itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    123, Aug 9th, 2010 @ 11:09pm

    likely zeitgeist, if you believe in seussgeist

    "After reading the first sentence and then looking at the picture. I pretty much assumed a legal nastygram without reading the actual letter. Zeitgeist or a result of being a regular reader of techdirt?"
    In news, bad news is good news. This was not bad news, so must qualify as weird news, which is still (niche) good news. and if it is weird news, that implies zeitgeist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2010 @ 7:32am

    How true. What sort of greedy world this has become

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Christian, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    If only things were this positive today.

    Now you don't even get a C&D, you get everyone telling you that you are going to get sued even before you start the project.

    Did I miss the part in school where everyone became a liability inspector. I must have been out that day.

    Now when you do anything everyone is already telling you that it's not legal, or you are gonna get sued. If you ask them for what, they don't know, but they know you are gonna get it.

    God forbid you mention fair use and satire.

    I am however in love with this letter and I am posting it on my modern contemporary art blog

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This