Drudge vs. K-Street – Reality, Fiction & Intellectual Property Laws

from the a-fun-one-for-the-lawyers dept

Want to understand just how confusing intellectual property law can get? Read this Findlaw article discussing a lawsuit Matt Drudge is planning on filing against the TV show K Street. I keep hearing about the show, but have never seen it. It is about a fictitious Washington DC lobbying firm, but pulls in so many real people and stories that the lines between reality and fiction blur. Matt Drudge is now threatening to sue the show because they’ve used his name and website on the show without permission. The article says that Drudge can make the claim of trademark infringement, since they did make use of his trademark without his permission. He also might have a copyright claim, because they showed a page from his website on the show. Now, the counter argument is that this was a perfectly reasonable fair use of the website – which is something I would agree with – but the law may see it differently. The article goes into great detail on the fine points of intellectual property law (and the various fair use tests) to explain why it’s not an open and shut case in either direction. Of course, from my standpoint, the conclusion of the article is that our intellectual property laws are impossibly screwed up.

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