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.

Filed Under: brazil, chilling effects, free speech, parody
Companies: folha de s. paulo


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 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.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/08/no_satire_or_parody_in_brazil.html

    http://www.manag ingip.com/Article/1321310/Channel/194878/Brazil-How-to-protect-famous-trade-marks.html

    http://www .serioninfo.com/us/brazil/BrandingBrazil.html

    “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."


    http://www.managingip.com/Article/2701920/Does-it-matter-if-the-judge-laughs.html

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

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