Brazil's Largest Newspaper Sues Parody Blog For Making Fun Of It

from the thin-skin dept

Marcos alerts us to a story coming out of Brazil, where the country's largest newspaper publisher, Folha de S. Paulo is apparently suing a parody blog that was set up to mock the publisher. The parody blog is called Falha de S. Paulo. Obviously, the names are similar, but it's a parody and it's apparently somewhat clever in Portuguese. "Folha" is apparently somewhat akin to "Journal" in English, while "Falha" means "failure." See? Clever. Apparently the Folha folks didn't think so. They got a court order demanding the site be shut down and then filed suit, demanding monetary damages. The claim, of course, is trademark infringement. Not being too familiar with Brazilian law, I don't know if there are parody exceptions, though obviously I think there should be. However, the claim is that it probably doesn't much matter either way, as many expect Folha to win simply due to its political clout. That would be unfortunate if true. Either way, it's a pretty sad statement when the largest newspaper in a country can't handle a little parody.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Big_Mike (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 6:01am


    The biggest bully in school probably coudn't handle being bullied if they had never had to deal with it before.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 6:56am

    Folha = Leaf, sheet of paper.
    Falha = Failure

    The Brazilian courts are notorious for their corruption, although they like to pretend otherwise.

    About the limitations of copyright and trademarks in Brazil there is almost none, but that is not surprising in a country that coded in their new constitution that anonymity is illegal.



    “The more aggressive trademark owners are in securing their rights, the better protection their mark will have,” she says. “Owners should view thorough trademark research and monitoring as wise investments in their brand’s equity.”

    Now that is just wrong.

    1. The defence

    Parody is a defence to trade mark infringement in Brazil. The Brazilian Industrial Property Law, section 132, IV establishes: "The owner of a mark may not prevent the mention of the mark in speeches, scientific or literary works or in any other type of publication, provided that it is without any commercial connotation and without prejudice to its distinctive character."

    The ambiguity of the law make it almost sure the "Falha de Sao Paulo" will be stomped.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 7:09am

    Re: Bully

    In my experience, the biggest bully in school also cannot handle being on the receiving end of an ass-whooping. Just saying...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Whatis42? (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    Re: Bully

    Which is what made it so easy to bait the biggest bully into getting themselves in serious trouble, or so I thought?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    thublihnk (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 7:25am


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Lucas, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:42am


    This case happenned some time ago, during the national election proccess. Folha is a right-wing neocon newspaper (I.E.: they released in the front page a large acusation calling the left-wing candidate, Dilma, a TERRORIST and used a false document in order to try to prove it).

    The parody was about this kind of thing.
    It's about politics, nothing more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Overcast (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:54am

    This story makes all the fun of it one would ever want to see. It seems the newspaper made themselves look like a real tabloid-level joke.

    I concur with thublihnk as well: "EPIC Falha"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 8:56am

    Falha Epico! (Epic Fail)

    Folha d S.P is indeed an organ of the gov't there. I don't know why they are bothering with trademark infringement when they can just have them brought offline; probably need the cover since it's a connected world now.

    One thing about using capitalists tools to suppress what you don't like, is that they are sharp at both ends. Playing the trademark card opens up a trademark debate.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    the real Falha *has* been standing up, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    so 'Folha' is a typo that Falha has not yet fixed..

    that explains the validity of the trademark complaint ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Marcos, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 9:03am

    Re: Falha Epico! (Epic Fail)

    Actually Falha is NOT an "organ of the government", as you say, it is a private newspaper (and part of a huge media group).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Marcos, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re: Falha Epico! (Epic Fail)

    Sorry, I meant FOLHA. :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    subhashpal (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 2:26am


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Almeida, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 3:51am


    Notorious for their corruption? How do you know?Fucking loser!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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