Washington DC Football Team Who Shall Remain Nameless Won't Let Blogs Use Name Without Permission
from the good-job-washington-football-team dept
There’s an NFL football team in Washington DC, which is nominally called the Washington Redskins. You see what I did there? I mentioned the name… because that’s how you identify them. Yet, the team — which under the ownership of Dan Snyder has become about as anti-fan and as ridiculously over-aggressive in trying to control the media as a team can be — has taken it to yet another level. Reader karm points us to the news that the Washington Post has had to change the name of its blog from Redskins Insider to Football Insider, due to threats from the Washington Football Team Who Shall Henceforth Remain Nameless.
What really surprises me is that the Washington Post caved. Doesn’t the Washington Post have access to trademark lawyers there who can respond to the team and point out that the team has no case whatsoever? There’s no moron in a hurry anywhere who’s going to see the Washington Post’s blog and think “gee, that’s ‘sponsored’ or ‘endorsed’ by the team.” The team claims that it wants to be able to license out the name, such as to the official sports broadcast partner. Of course, it can still do an exclusive deal for broadcast rights, but it has no right to block the use of the name when its being used in a descriptive and non-confusing manner here.
Once again, this is an incredibly anti-fan move. Take pretty much any major sports team, and it’s not hard to find blogs that make use of the team’s name. And those teams survive just fine. They recognize that there’s no confusion and that these blogs help draw in more fans for the team. This seems like incredibly short-term thinking by Snyder’s Washington Football Team Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken, but that seems like par for the course.