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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    identicon
    horse with no name, May 14th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    I remember when

    I remember when the EFF was about protecting rights, and wasn't a pseudo PAC. Stuff like this really takes away from their standing, IMHO.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 2:58pm

      Re: I remember when

      It's taking a stand on the issue by showing how absurd it is.

      People find this relatable and are better able to understand the issues with Intellectual Property.

      Using their legal expertise is just as valid use of their time as educating people.

       

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      Jay (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 2:58pm

      Re: I remember when

      ... So that doesn't take away from the company trying to censor people?

      No, EFF should be shamed for pointing out why a company is locking up language.

      Great set of priorities you got there...

       

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        identicon
        horse with no name, May 14th, 2013 @ 10:58pm

        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.

         

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      Automatic Grammatizator, May 14th, 2013 @ 3:02pm

      Re: I remember when

      Huh? How does it take away from their standing? This just looks like an attempt to help people laugh a little in the midst of oppressive times. Surely they're allowed to do that too.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

      Re: I remember when

      I remember when I thought Mike was a somewhat reasonable person who had interesting things to say and who cared about truth. Oh well. I was wrong about that one.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

      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?

       

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        bob, May 14th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

        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."

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 4:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: I remember when

          " a constitutionally guaranteed right"

          It's not constitutionally guaranteed. The constitution gives congress the legal right to grant copy'right' but congress has no obligation to do so.

           

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      bobb, May 14th, 2013 @ 3:52pm

      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.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 5:27pm

        Re: Re: I remember when

        Yeah, and when people submit recipes for French fries they all owe royalties to France. I mean, it's not like their fries come from France. Imagine all the trademarks that got hurt each time you call a non-French fry a French fry. The humanity!

         

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          Ninja (profile), May 15th, 2013 @ 3:27am

          Re: Re: Re: I remember when

          I think we should call them bob fries from now on honoring our bright and enlightened friend for his honorable mentions.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2013 @ 4:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I remember when

            What, to bob? Fuck no, I'd rather my royalties go to France. They need the help more, after the massive money sinkhole they called HADOPI.

             

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    PRMan, May 14th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Nothing wrong with this trademark IMHO

    EFF is wrong on this one. And I think they're almost never wrong.

     

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      Ima Fish (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 3:37pm

      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.

       

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        Mike Masnick (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 3:39pm

        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...

         

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          Ima Fish (profile), May 14th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Nothing wrong with this trademark IMHO

          Oh I get it. The guy (in my subjective opinion) is nuts. That's what I get for not reading the link.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 3:49pm

        Re: Re: Nothing wrong with this trademark IMHO

        Derby is the name of an english city with about 250.000 inhabitants. That is bound to be somewhat generic. How many different "London Pizza"'s exist?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 4:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: Nothing wrong with this trademark IMHO

          Reminds me of the whole "Sturgis Rally" trademark issue

          The trademark should only apply to the item iself, not the broad general use of the word. (or city name!)

           

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    out_of_the_blue, May 14th, 2013 @ 3:41pm

    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!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Mike claims to have a college degree in economics, can't ya tell?
    11:39:58[m-522-4]

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2013 @ 1:03am

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

      You seem to still fail at reading comprehension (or is it your memory failing?). Mike has stated his opinion many times. He has shown what can work, and shown what doesn't work.

       

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      Alana (profile), May 15th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

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

      ... Did OOTB just become AJ?

      Or... Are they both separate personalities of the same deluded mind?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2013 @ 7:20pm

        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.

         

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    Eponymous Coward, May 14th, 2013 @ 6:43pm

    Sorry, but the new name needs work...

    Instead, why not call it a Derpy Pie in honor of Kern's derpy attempt to stifle people from posting the recipe!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2013 @ 2:49am

    Spirited?

    I thought there would be some alcohol in the ingredient... no?

     

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    Ninja (profile), May 15th, 2013 @ 3:29am

    Well, when you can patent types of beef cuts, trademark pie names and copyright rounded corners you know something is wrong...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Humanity: The single most destructive force in the universe.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Censorship?

    Does anyone else find it amusing that on a blog opposed censorship, enough readers have flagged comments expressing opposing views that they are hidden by default?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2013 @ 2:48am

      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.

       

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      Sheogorath (profile), May 16th, 2013 @ 9:12pm

      Re: Censorship?

      'Hidden' is a lot different to 'inaccessible', AC. IMHO, Techdirt actually does a great balancing trick whereby anybody is free to read the hidden comments simply by clicking on a link, but nobody is forced to read them by having them shoved in their face.

       

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    Sheogorath (profile), May 16th, 2013 @ 9:05pm

    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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