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...