What's The Guinness World Record For Morons In A Hurry Sending Bogus Takedowns?

from the just-wondering... dept

I think we’ve set a new world record for any particular story being submitted to us here at Techdirt. I’d actually ask the folks at the Guinness Book of World Records to verify that… but I don’t think they really want to have much to do with this story. You see, there’s a wonderful blog out there called the Fail Blog. If you don’t read it regularly, it’s like you’re not really online at all. It’s quite amusing. It usually involves pictures of random (hilarious) “failures” of some kind or another. Last week, it had a great one. It involved the website of the Guinness World Record book, where it had an entry on the “most individuals killed in a terrorist attack.” What was the failure? Well… it appears that the Guinness records’ web template includes a link on each record for “break this record.” Not quite the sort of thing you would think that GWR folks wanted to encourage when it comes to the most people killed in a terrorist attack.

So how does Guinness respond? Certainly not by fixing the screwed up template. And, apparently not by taking some time to think it over while drinking a tall glass of Guinness. Instead, it released the legal hounds on the Fail Blog and threatened the site with a totally bogus trademark infringement claim, saying that because the screenshot included the Guinness World Record logo, it was a trademark violation. Of course, that’s preposterous. Still, Fail Blog complied, took down the original, but posted Guinness’ letter, its own rather direct response, and a new version of the screenshot with the Guinness World Record logo pixelated. Nobody will ever figure it out now:

Oh, and it looks like the Guinness folks have finally taken down the original world record page…

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Companies: guinness

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Comments on “What's The Guinness World Record For Morons In A Hurry Sending Bogus Takedowns?”

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RD says:


Oh AND, I love the line in the letter that say “use of the GBW trademark without permission constitutes trademark infringement” without ANY qualifiers….as if ANY use of ANY kind IS IN FACT infringement, period, across the board. This is not always the case, trademark is NOT a blanket all-encompassing protection against ANY non-permission use.

Greedy Corporations + Soulless Bloodsucking Lawyers = Corruption of Law

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:


If you have no case under liable laws, on account of it actually happened, just go to the new standby of trademarks! They can’t identify you using the identification you use!

OK, it’s complete bullshit, but they’ll have to spend thousands of dollars to actually call you on it. Everybody wins! (where “everybody”==you and your lawyers.)

Yakko Warner says:

Not "finally"

Oh, and it looks like the Guinness folks have finally taken down the original world record page…

Actually, when the fail was first posted (a week prior to this), there was a note that said the record had already been removed from the Guinness site.

This line from FailBlog’s response, though, is EPIC WIN:

I hope that this is the outcome you have expected as now NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW THAT GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS LIMITED HAS FAILED.

Another anonymous somebody says:

Re: Re:

“i think you’re a big failure mike masnick, b/c you don’t know a damn.”

Don’t you just love and respect those who have nothing substantial or relevant to share with the community? Instead, they post inane comments designed to insult or otherwise irritate the author of this blog and the other contributors. I admit, I know nothing about Trademark or Copyright law, but I do know that courteous and relevant commentary are necessary in order to better understand every point of view in a given subject matter. I know that this response will fall on deaf/blind individuals who will continue to post their “opinions”. However, it is my hope that some will see the light and conform to more civil conversation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Just a quick google reveals that indeed this picture was making the rounds a few years back as something that the Guinness World Book of Records featured but “took down”.


So the “page” is certainly very old and was “removed” even earlier. And indeed it’s quite probable that the page never existed. I could find no mention of a URL that we could check at the Internet Archive, I will try harder but I don’t really expect anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

And finally, having a look at the source of the earliest archived pages reveals a commented out flash with id “RateThisRecord””. So

* either a “break this record” button existed in early 2003 and was quickly changed to “rate this record”

* or the button was really “rate this record” in the brief time it existed at all (which would explain the star next to it, btw)

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