by Mike Masnick
Wed, Mar 4th 2009 5:06am
JJ sent in yet another story of intellectual property claims getting in the way of what actually makes sense. At the NBA all-star event, 5'7" NBA player Nate Robinson surprised a lot of people by winning the slam dunk competition, which brought a lot of attention to his "alter-ego" Krypto-Nate, something of a play on another player dressing up as Superman. The NBA (reasonably so) thought it would be fun to offer special t-shirts, in the color green, with the "Krypto-Nate" name on the back... until issues surrounding potential fights with DC Comics, owners of certain IP around Superman, came into play. The story isn't entirely clear concerning who made the final decision to back down from the promotion -- and, it may have just been folks at the NBA hoping to do future deals with DC Comics -- but the planned promotion was clearly shelved and worries about IP issues were the apparent reason. It's not clear that DC Comics would have had any actual legal claim on such a shirt, but just the fact that IP worries over such an obvious and reasonable promotion caused it to be killed (once again) highlights the ridiculous impact of IP laws gone nuts.
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