Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Sues To Stop Website

from the how-dare-they! dept

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is quite upset that some folks are trying to set up a website called “the Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” The claim, of course, is that they have a trademark on the phrase “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and this violates that mark. The guys behind the website wonder how anyone can have a trademark on such generic terms and also wonder how anyone would possibly confuse the two — one being a big museum and one being a pretty focused website that hasn’t even launched yet. While trademark law may eventually side with the bigger Hall of Fame (while the terms are generic, putting them together may be considered fair game for a trademark), why should it? What benefit is that causing society? Either way, it seems the Hall itself has gone a bit overboard in how much this non-profit website is damaging them: “misappropriated Rock Hall’s substantial intellectual property rights as well as the goodwill associated therewith… such conduct will, permit defendants to gain an unfair advantage over Rock Hall.” An “unfair advantage?” That seems highly unlikely. The phrase “Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” seems fairly descriptive, rather than misappropriating someone’s brand. In New York, there’s a “Museum of Modern Art.” Should they then be able to go out and stop the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art because they put San Francisco in front of the MOMA part? Either way, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has just given a tiny website that not many people would have noticed a lot more attention than it was likely to get otherwise. Perhaps that’s the “unfair advantage” they were talking about?

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