To me, this looks like another deliberate use of Streisanding to get publicity for everyone involved. So Francesa is an opinionated jerk who takes a ridiculous stand and then hammers away at anyone who disagrees: That's exactly what sports jocks are supposed to do -- haven't you ever listened to sports radio? This story helps Francesa's professional reputation, and it's no skin off his nose if the parodists get publicity too; actually it's even better for him if they do. If I were his PR advisor, I would have suggested he handle this exactly the way he's doing.
Is it Senator Wyden who misspelled "misled" in the headline, or is it the headline writer? Of course your spell-checker won't catch this because "mislead" is a real word too -- just not the right one here.
I agree with those other commenters who point out that this smells like an opponent's using the Streisand Effect, rather than the congresswoman or her supporters. Either way, though, it's nice to see our political class getting increasingly internet-savvy.
I agree that this lawsuit seems pretty stupid. However, I have to empathize with Johnny Monsarrat. Most of us have youthful indiscretions we'd prefer not to air in public. Surely Johnny Monsarrat's arrest and being accused of harassment fit this category. I hope he can find a different way to clear the air that's better than ill-advised legal action.
Restaurants use their own birthday songs, movies rarely include "Happy Birthday", and even kid-oriented radio stations don't play recordings of this song. Are people paying to download it? Where are the royalties coming from?
I don't think it's fair to say these attorneys practice law by boilerplate. Indeed (as Mr. Masnick indicates in his original post), the documents these attorneys have produced do not sound at all like standard legalese -- they seem casual and unique. I don't think I've ever heard of defendants' colleagues referred to as "minions" in a complaint before, for example.
Thinking about whether intellectual property is unethical, you probably already considered this: In most of the world, recognition that government-granted economic privileges aren't based on morality seems to be the basis for distinguishing between "moral rights" of authorship (like the right of an author to be correctly credited for his or her work) and "economic rights". But of course most moral rights aren't recognized in the U.S.
Techdirt has not posted any stories submitted by CharlesGrossman.