EFF Teaches You How To Bake Mean-Spirited Censorship Pie

from the yum! dept

The EFF, who just moved into their new offices, seem to be making effective use of the new kitchen space. They’re baking up a special recipe: mean-spirited censorship pie. Yum! Most of you would call it “Derby Pie.” But a company called Kern’s Kitchen has been going around threatening everyone calling it Derby Pie based on its trademark. Kern’s has been forcing blogs to change what they call the pie when they post their own recipes:

Hence, the new name: mean-spirited censorship pie*. I hear it tastes great. If you want the full recipe, you can see it here. Just don’t call it “Derby Pie” or a bunch of trademark lawyers might start screaming at you. Because, here in America, we lock up our language!

* Also, please make your mean-spirited censorship pie before the trademark application on that name goes through and we all have to find another name.

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Comments on “EFF Teaches You How To Bake Mean-Spirited Censorship Pie”

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horse with no name says:

Re: Re: I remember when

EFF should be shamed for pointing out why a company is locking up language.

No, it’s just really that the EFF is sort of flailing around looking for something to get outraged about because it makes for good publicity, and not so much these days about the nuts and bolts in the background. They use to be the people who showed up for important court cases, now they seem to be everywhere, trying to be everything anti-copyright, anti-patent, and the all covering anti-censorship.

All things to everyone, soup to nuts. Just no longer as focused as they once were.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I remember when

This has nothing to do with political action (which, btw, EFF was involved in from its very beginning – remember, it started in DC before moving to SF) but is very much about protecting rights of people to use a commonly known term.

How is this possibly about political action rather than protecting rights?

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: I remember when

Okay, so if I want to call myself, “EFF Copyright” and devote myself to protecting copyright– a constitutionally guaranteed right, btw– the EFF won’t have a problem with that. I’m sure they’ll think it’s a complement to have everyone think that EFF is a generic term meaning “defender of rights.”

bobb (profile) says:

Re: I remember when

Exactly. The ability to trademark something is a protection that people have to avoid confusing the consumer. Yet the EFF is all about calling this “censorship”. That’s bogus. Censorship is when the government says you can’t express yourself– not when the government says you need to think of your own original name. Trademark law forces people to actually get off their duff and think of their own name.

Ima Fish (profile) says:

Re: Nothing wrong with this trademark IMHO

I must admit, this is not an example of a guy claiming a trademark on a generic term, and then suing everyone. In other words, he’s not a trademark troll. His restaurant allegedly invented the pie and trademarked the name way back in ’68.

Do I think the term is generic? Maybe, but I’ve never heard of the pie by any name until today. Regardless, as of now no court has held that it is generic. So he has a valid trademark and he’s enforcing it.

I personally think he’s in the PIE business and should stop spending so much money on litigation, but it’s not my place to tell him how to run his business. And as a lawyer I commend his desire to employ us so handsomely.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Nothing wrong with this trademark IMHO

Do I think the term is generic? Maybe, but I’ve never heard of the pie by any name until today. Regardless, as of now no court has held that it is generic. So he has a valid trademark and he’s enforcing it.

Bloggers posting Derby Pie recipes to their website are not engaged in commerce, which is necessary for their to be a trademark violation…

out_of_the_blue says:

I remember when Mike at least tried to tackle problems.

Now he’s down to whining about pie names.

After fifteen years of Mike writing about copyright, no one has been able to pry out more of his position than that copyright is broken. Don’t you guys ever want to do more than whine? You can’t beat a focused industry without even the outline of alternatives, and that’s why the copyright maximalists keep winning every battle!

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
Mike claims to have a college degree in economics, can’t ya tell?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: I remember when Mike at least tried to tackle problems.

I think they’re like Charles and Tara Carreon. AJ admits as much to posting naughty things on his wife’s laptop when he can’t be arsed to “sign in”. One posts nasty ad hominem and ridiculous arguments; the other posts batshit crazy 24/7.

After all, with today’s open-minded society, who said a wife had to be a woman? We’ve no reason to believe OOTB’s not a woman, either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Censorship?

There is “expressing opposing views”, and there is “compulsively being a whiny idiot”. The world in general is very unforgiving towards the latter.

It seems you’re new to this or simply trying to egg on a response, so I’ll give you a hint to help. Comments such as a snarkily-worded “charity comment” do not constitute as “opposing views” worthy of reading or viewing. When someone does this sort of jackass manoeuvre consistently, people will consistently hide nitwits like these by default.

Sheogorath (profile) says:

I did something like this

I found a story that the Brothers Grimm wrote down in 1812 in Deutsch, then shoved it through Google Translate before cleaning it up and changing a certain detail, then posting it on AO3 under the title ‘Girl with Black Hair, Pale Skin, and Red Lips’. All that to avoid infringing on Disney’s European trademark on ‘Snow White’. And I was allowed to use the trademark then, nominative fair use or whatever rule applies.

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