> And for that they and the police should be > sued and massively.
Why? If it's a criminal offense in that state, then the police are legitimately responding to a crime in progress.
I don't agree with such laws and think it's ridiculous for states to criminalize this sort of thing, but if the law is legitimately passed by the legislature, then there's no legal basis for suing the police for enforcing it.
> What they should be doing is make talking on > the phone illegal. I'm tired of nearly getting > into fights when I have to clearly tell these > people to Get. Off. The. Phone.
Yeah, my local theater chain in L.A. (Arclight) doesn't bother with any of this heavy-handed MPAA propaganda. Their only concern when it comes to electronic devices in the theater is that they remain off so that the rest of us aren't disturbed by the rude assholes who feel the need to text their way through a 2-hour film.
They have a pretty strict zero tolerance policy for it (one of the few instances where a zero tolerance policy makes sense) and I've seen them kick entire groups of people out of the movie mid-film because they wouldn't stop lighting up those little screens in the faces of everyone behind them.
They also prohibit infants in any film of any rating and they have special 21+ screenings every night for the more popular films where the minimum age is 21, regardless of the rating of the film, for those of us who prefer not to share a theater with hordes of giggling teenage girls and small children.
I bet Obama really wishes he could do this same thing with the dozens of speeches were he said:
"This is a guarantee we're going to make to the American public. If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it. No one will take that away from you. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period."
(He needed to put that 'period' in there for that little extra bit of dishonesty.)
The whole thing is beyond stupid anyway, because all someone has to do to avoid the fine is have a friend or relative post the negative review for them. Example:
"My best friend (or sister or wife or whatever) recently ordered merchandise from Kleargear.com and this is what happened to her..."
> I know what the purpose of trademark law is, > but there are parts of trademark law that deal > specifically with this issue, as there should be.
I don't agree that there should be-- the government shouldn't be in the business of protecting people from being offended-- but if we're going to have such requirements, then they should at least be applied fairly and objectively.
When the Patent & Trademark Office applies the same 'no offensive names' standards to other organizations whose names contain racially offensive or divisive terms in the same way that you would have them apply it to the Redskins, then at least everyone will have equal treatment under the law.
In other words, when groups like the NAACP and the United Negro College Fund lose their trademarks for containing offensive racial terms, then maybe you can make a case for taking away the Redksin's trademark, also.
> Trademark law does allow trademarks to be > denied because they are offensive. If this > one is offensive (I am of no opinion on this > point), then denying it is entirely within > the intention of the law
IP law allows a lot of things that this site regularly disagrees with. Never before has TechDirt taken the position that "Well, it's in the law, so that must make it okay."
The fact that some politician managed to squeeze in a clause in the trademark statute that allows censorship of unpopular ideas hardly means its appropriate to wield IP law like club to censor things that some people don't like. That's not why we have trademarks in the first place. It's using trademark as an end-run around protected free speech, to accomplish through economic extortion that which opponents couldn't accomplish through normal legal means.
> You mean Techdirt advocating for trademark law > to be correctly and appropriately applied to > prevent use of a demonstrably racist term that > a large number of people find offensive.
The purpose of trademark law is to prevent consumer confusion regarding the origin of branded items. It's purpose is not now, nor was it ever, to prevent the use of racist terms in business or save people from being offended.
> Removing a trademark does not restrict anyone's > speech or force anyone to change the name of > any team.
It's a clear attempt at economic extortion.
"You can change the name because we don't like it, or we'll (try and) torpedo your business by letting everyone else copy and sell your merchandise.
Trademark law was never designed for that purpose, so using it to accomplish that goal is misuing IP to punish speech that some people don't like-- which is exactly what this web site constantly criticizes.
> in turkey, another country with excessive > government surveillance, it is common practise > to pull the battery from cell phones and > leaving phones outside of a room if you > want your communications to remain secret
That's standard practice in America, also. In every government building that deals with classified information, you'll find racks of cell-phone-sized cubbyholes outside the doors to the SCIFs and everyone is required to leave all devices capable of sending or receiving EM signals in those cubbys. Bringing a cell phone into a SCIF is a serious violation and will bring you no end of grief.
> The overturning of the 'Redskins' trademark > would mean anyone could sell 'Redskins'-themed > appareal.
No, it actually doesn't mean that. The team would only lose the exclusive rights to the word "Redskins". They'd still have valid trademarks on the team colors and the Indian-head logo and combination of those with the word "Washington". That means they'd still be the only ones who could sell stuff that says "Redskins" combined with any (or all) of those other elements.
The guy on the street looking to cash in could now legally sell t-shirts that say Redskins, but he can't sell red-and-gold t-shirts with the Indian-head logo on them that say "Redskins". What fan would want to buy a blue or green or brown t-shirt with just the word "Redskins" on it?
This isn't as much of a threat to the team or NFL merchandising revenue as the proponents want to make it out to be.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Steve Gaucher on Nov 8th, 2013 @ 6:12pm
> I said the US government should not be in > the business of snactifying racist terms > via trademark.
So you've gone from equating the grant of a trademark with endorsement of that mark to equating the grant of a trademark with sanctification of that mark?
You're a professional writer. Surely you know what 'sanctification' actually means. Don't you think you're overstating things a tad here?
No matter how you want to spin it, the grant of a trademark is merely a government grant to the holder of the mark to its exclusive use in commerce. It brings with it no official endorsement, support, approval, or sanctification by the government of the mark, the business behind it, or the products of the business.
> I heard the Washington Redskins were > contemplating a name change that would > remove "Washington" from their name because > it was embarrassing.
Good one. And well-deserved, considering what comes out of their namesake city on a regular basis.
However, all this trademark business is silly hoopla over nothing. Even if the lawsuit is successful and the team loses the trademark on the word "Redskins", they still will have trademark on every *other* aspect of their logo and merchandising-- the Indian-head logo, the team colors combined with the name "Washington" etc.
If "Redskins" goes back to the public domain, other people will be legally allowed to sell merchandise with the name Redskins, but the team will still be the only ones who can legally print "Redskins" on their t-shirts and coffee mugs *along with* the team colors combined with the name "Washington" and the Indian head logo (to which they will also still have exclusive rights).
The only things Joe Salesman on the street will be able to sell are off-color, no-logo non-team-looking hats and shirts. Who wants to buy that stuff anyway?
I just don't see this as much of a threat to the team's revenue stream.