NHL Seems To Think Cheering On Your Favorite Team Is Infringement

from the insanity dept

Of the "major" sports leagues, generally the NHL has been the most reasonable, compared to the MLB, NFL and NBA, on intellectual property issues. However, it apparently still has moments of insanity. The NHL's legal department has apparently threatened a car dealership for having posted decals on its window saying "Go Canucks Go," in cheering on the Canucks in the NHL playoffs.
"Consumers are likely to be misled that the Vancouver Canucks have an official relationship with your dealership," NHL legal counsel Kelley Lynch wrote in the letter.
Plainly speaking, that's ridiculous. How long until fans will have to pay a team just to cheer them on? The dealership's manager points out the particular irony in this, since the team's slogan is apparently "We're all Canucks." Except when the lawyers get involved.

Ah, but that's not all. A radio station in Vancouver has also received a cease and desist letter from the NHL, claiming that a contest it was airing violated the NHL's intellectual property. The problem? The radio station was letting fans of the Canucks take a sledge hammer to a van that was painted with logos of the opposing teams that the Canucks were facing, and of course they're saying that the use of the logos is infringing. That is, once again, ridiculous. No one is going to think that's an "officially sponsored" contest by the NHL. It's just some fans cheering on their team.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2011 @ 8:55am

    What purpose do these threats serve?

    *crickets*

    I guess that's the question no one ever bothers to ask before firing off a letter.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re: Like a infection

    Lawyers are a infection that consume their host until it is dead, go on to infect other hosts, consume and kill all of the available hosts and then mutate to something else just as vile.

     

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  3.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Like a infection

    Tell us how you really feel.

     

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

  4.  
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    WeirdFish, May 2nd, 2011 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Like a infection

    That would explain the existence of Justin Bieber.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Go New York Giants, go!

    Oh shit now I'm gettin sued.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Fan, May 2nd, 2011 @ 9:48am

    A Little Ditty

    F*** the Can***s
    Hockey S***s

     

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  7.  
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    Thanatossassin (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 9:50am

    "How long until fans will have to pay a team just to cheer them on?"

    Canucks Ticket - $185
    Canucks Replica Jersey - $115
    Dinner/Drinks at a Watch Party - $20
    Sports Pack on DirecTV - $13
    Radio play-by-play - I'd say priceless but I doubt anyone can limit themselves to being a fan through radio only.

    I'm wondering why only the Canucks are being sheltered from those greedy people providing support and free advertising for their team. Is the NHL preparing the 'official Stanley cup champion' product line before the playoffs are over? Is Miller Lite already printing up Canuck logos on their beer cans?

    Smelly

     

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  8.  
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    johnny canada, May 2nd, 2011 @ 9:52am

    The sledge hammer of the van was to raise money for charity.

    If you can not post up a sign "Go Canucks Go" then all the Vancouver city buses must be pulled off the road.

    The route sign on all the buses flash the 'Route Name & #" then flashes "Go Cunucks Go".

     

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  9.  
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    PRMan, May 2nd, 2011 @ 9:56am

    To be fair...

    To be fair, those are bordering on commercial promotion and implied sponsorship. This still puts them aeons away from the others.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2011 @ 10:12am

    Re: To be fair...

    The whole "sponsorship" thing is a scam. If I "sponsor" something, it usually implies that I have some vested interest in what I'm sponsoring. For example, if you sponsor a person to get them into some kind of organization, you're putting your good name on the line for whatever you're sponsoring. These are just advertising deals. And the companies call them "sponsorships" to try an elicit a connection between the two companies when everyone know they are separate. It's like the idiocy with "Superbowl" sales. They can't actually use the word superbowl so they started using "The Big Game". Everyone knows what they're talking about, and there would be absolutely no difference if they used the word "Superbowl". The dealership should just change it to "Go Local Hockey Team Go".

     

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  11.  
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    Matthew A. Sawtell, May 2nd, 2011 @ 10:13am

    You can thank Gary Bettman for this...

    ... the head of the NHL, and chief ringleader in the Phoenix/Glendale Coyotes mess (now that is a legal issue even Mike may find hard to believe).

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Like a infection

    A reincarnated Lawyer?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re: A Little Ditty

    You mad, bro?

     

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

  14.  
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    MrWilson, May 2nd, 2011 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: To be fair...

    "The dealership should just change it to "Go Local Hockey Team Go"."

    But that would just reveal the truth that sports teams are interchangeable and sports fanaticism is just commercially exploitable micro-ultra-nationalism. We can't be that honest.

     

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  15.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: To be fair...

    add a note stating that you are not allowed to actually say who that team is, make it incredibly large so there is no way to miss it and i believe your sign idea would be perfect.

     

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  16.  
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    DogBreath, May 2nd, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: To be fair...

    Hey man, lawyers need to send someone "cease and desist" notices, and/or sue in between the Olympic Games for "implied sponsorship". After all, you wouldn't want the lawyers to get left in the shed and get all rusty and decrepit, because then we would need to buy all new lawyers.

     

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  17.  
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    Jason, May 2nd, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Who forgot the disclaimer?

    Maybe the dealer shoul dhave put up a huge sign that said:

    ------------------------------------------------------

    GO CANUCKS GO*

    *This sign is a purely fan based cheer for the home team sponsored by the Canuck loving employees who work here. The Canucks and the NHL do no sponsor or endorse this dealership in any way shape or form and had absolutely no involve what so ever with this display. This is just our way to lend support to the home team and should not be taken as anything else.

    ------------------------------------------------------

     

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  18.  
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    Kevin (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Next thing

    Next thing you know I'm going to get hit with a fine for wearing a jersey to the game, and some camera man zooms in on me during the game because of how awesome I look. Oh the price of being THIS awesome.

     

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  19.  
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    Kevin (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: A Little Ditty

     

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

  20.  
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    Dean, May 2nd, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    So if I where an NHL team jersey, will someone think I'm a player for that team? Hmmmm.

     

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  21.  
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    Fred, May 2nd, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Implied sponsorship

    Realistically, I agree that the car dealer posting the signs is almost an implied sponsorship. After all, there is a long history of car dealers partnering with athletes for paid promotional purposes.

    I guess the deciding factor would be whether the dealer posted the signs because they like the team and wanted to show their support or if they did it in hopes of attracting fans and increasing sales.

     

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  22.  
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    Fred, May 2nd, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    Re:

    No, but remember someone has already paid a licensing fee to the team in order to produce and sell that jersey. The team therefore has no reason to sue you. If someone started making jerseys in their basement, i'm sure the teams would be suing like crazy.

     

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  23.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 2:38pm

    The car dealer should just put new stickers reading "GO [censored] GO".

     

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  24. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Canucky, May 2nd, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    Hey, Mike the Kike Masnick, you run a sick blog with as much credibiity as a rat's ass. Come to think of it, you have a Jew rat face. Why are all Jews genetically deformed and evil? Take Eric Goldman, the ugly jew shyster. His mouth is deformed and when he smiles you give up your lunch. Larry Paige also has deformed teeth and a creepy smile. But maybe the worst of all, after you, Mike, is Sergey Brin. He has a huge hook nose and receding chin, the hallmark of the repulsive jew. But Mike the Kike, that's got a real Hebe ring to it!

     

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  25.  
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    Valkor (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    Revised sticker

    I think "Go Canucks, Go! NHL, Go piss up a rope!" would both accurately represent the dealership's attitude and disambiguate the question of sponsorship.

     

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  26.  
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    Craig (profile), May 2nd, 2011 @ 4:46pm

    The irony

    The dealership that is involved is a VW dealership, and VW has an advertising deal with the NHL - you see VW ads during the hockey game

     

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  27.  
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    Jarrod, May 3rd, 2011 @ 3:08pm

    T-shirts

    So, by following this train of thought, I can wear a teams shirt or sweater and be mistaken for an affiliate of their organization? So, you Licenses and sold me this, but it is bad for me to use it...That makes sense.

     

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  28.  
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    johnny canada, May 5th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    I have driven by many Vancouver car dealerships in the past few days.

    They now all have "Go Canucks Go" signs posted.

     

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


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