Automattic Rejects Series Of Bogus Janet Jackson Takedown Attempts By Using Janet Jackson Song Titles

from the automattic-wins-the-internet dept

Via Parker Higgins we learn that Automattic (better known as the Wordpress people) have added singer Janet Jackson to their "Hall of Shame" for sending totally bogus takedowns. Apparently, her people made the wacky claim that this post on "what would your WWE smackdown name be?" represented trademark infringement. It doesn't. The only place it even mentions Jackson is in showing a picture of Sacha Baron Cohen with the following explanation:
Costume and entrance: Picture Sacha Baron Cohen in, what else? his movie The Dictator. Elaborate General’s outfit, hat, etc. He walks in flanked by half a dozen sexy female soldiers inspired by the Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation video.
Uh, yeah. That's not trademark infringement. It's not copyright infringement. It's not anything but someone writing.

The other takedown is equally problematic. It claims the following image is copyright infringement:
As you can clearly see that's using a photo of Jackson's famous "wardrobe malfunction" from the Superbowl many years ago, and applying the Things Tim Howard Could Save meme to it. Marginally funny. But not copyright infringement. Not only does Jackson not hold the copyright on that image, it's obvious fair use for whoever does hold the copyright.

Still, Automattic's lawyers had some fun with their response, noting that they "tried to use as many Janet Jackson song titles as possible" in the response (while also noting they hope that doesn't lead to another takedown demand):

It seems like you believe the use of the trademark “Janet Jackson” is reserved all for you, but we were hoping you’d be open to some feedback because your attempt to control every use of the mark is pretty nasty. If you read up on nominative use, you’ll discover that it doesn’t really matter that “Janet Jackson” is used on this site. If you believe there are any other alleged infringements, would you mind submitting a notice again via our trademark form?

http://automattic.com/trademark-policy/

So excited to work with you going forward

Nicely done.

Filed Under: copyright, fair use, janet jackson, takedowns, trademark, wordpress
Companies: automattic


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 5:45am

    Wonders if Miss Jackson's Nipple is the trademarked item.

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

  2. identicon
    S. T. Stone, 5 Sep 2014 @ 5:50am

    Automattic just won the Internet for the rest of this month.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 6:12am

    Re:

    Can't be, it was redacted by the presence of a hand.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 6:15am

    this whole copyright, trademark, patent crap has gotten totally out of hand. it wants throwing away and starting again, but with no input from anyone involved. it has to be done by those 'looking in'. it wont be popular, to say the least, but something needs to be done before someone tries to patent or copyright the country and some thick friggin' judge rules in their favor! what the hell would happen then? the government has allowed this to happen and go on and on. now it needs to put foot down, get a grip and sort it out. i hate to think of the things that we dont have and cant do simply because someone doesn't like it and wants the present thing to carry on being used (or not, as the case may be) or whatever. it's bloody ridiculous!!

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

  5. identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 5 Sep 2014 @ 6:36am

    I wonder if I can get a copyright on "matter, energy, and all derivative works" and then sue everyone who abuses copyright for the lulz.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 6:44am

    Pardon me for saying so but that image of Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction was posted all over the media, most likely censored for the public of her revealed nip-slip. So, my question is why they didn't send takedown requests to every media organization out there and why they didn't send a takedown notice to the FCC as well. lols

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

  7. icon
    Ninja (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 7:49am

    Not only does Jackson not hold the copyright on that image

    Obviously if anybody is holding something it is Tim Howard.
    Derp.

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

  8. identicon
    True, 5 Sep 2014 @ 7:50am

    I can see why her people would go after the use of the word play using her song titles. I don't believe they could go after the use if they had no legal footing to do so.

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

  9. identicon
    RD, 5 Sep 2014 @ 7:53am

    Re:

    Sigh. I DO wish people would get the context of Janet's "reveal" right. It was NOT a nipple slip or a bare breast (not entirely anyway.) The nipple was covered by a big borg-implant looking pastie:

    http://www.inflexwetrust.com/2014/01/30/nfl-10-years-since-nipplegate-heres-what-justin-timbe rlake-has-to-say-about-the-sb-incident/janet-jackson-wardrobe-malfunction-4/

    And yes, you are right (as shown above) pics of the "malfunction" are (still) all over the internet. To target this one site for just MENTIONING it in text only is absurd.

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

  10. identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 5 Sep 2014 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    The wordplay is the rejection of their ridiculous claim. The takedowns are on a fair use image of that Super Bowl incident, and mentioning her name.
    Clearly, you don't understand how copyright works. Copyright is a tool for taking down anything you don't like that remotely references you.

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

  11. identicon
    JimJamTLewis, 5 Sep 2014 @ 7:58am

    Few more legal points

    When I Think of You, the response should be addressed to Miss Jackson, (If) You Want This New Agenda.

    It was an honest legal error, done Because Of Love, but also with The Knowledge, that Love Will Never Do. That's The Way Love Goes.

    Techdirt may cause lawyers to Runaway after these details, but hey, that's The State Of The World and they may need an Escapade.

    All Right.

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

  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 8:26am

    Mike Masnick just hates it when copyright law is enforced.

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

  13. identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 5 Sep 2014 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    Just Another Anonymous Troll hates it when idiots post this despite there being absolutely nothing even close to infringement.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 8:53am

    They meant titties not titles.

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

  15. icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 9:54am

    the only thing i didn't like about it...

    was that they tried to play it off as the 'wardrobe malfunction' and apologized for it...
    1. a SEX-obsessed 'culture' hyperventilates about a fine looking woman showing a portion of a fine looking boobie during THE high-testosterone event of the year ? ? ?
    hypocrisy abounds...
    2. could have done without the pastie thing, ruined a good boobie...
    3. it is certain there were MANY commercials during the broadcast far more 'disgusting' and 'obscene' than a jj nip slip...
    4. as a general rule, most any woman who wants to show me her boobies is welcome; i can confidently speak to this for 99.99% of the male population, and about 5-10% of the female population...
    (yes, even gay males will want to see her boobs, *that's* how fine she is...)

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

  16. icon
    scotts13 (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re:

    "Copyright is a tool for taking down anything you don't like that remotely references you."

    Or extracting payment thereof.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Re:

    I don't believe they could go after the use if they had no legal footing to do so.


    Welcome to the Legal side of the Internet, where lawyers go after pretty much anything they could conceive of going after on an hourly basis (they bill by the hour).

    Now, actually getting a court ruling in their favour on such a thing, that's another issue. But with DMCA takedowns, it rarely gets that far; most people just take down the material when threatened by a lawyer.

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

  18. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 12:30pm

    Re: the only thing i didn't like about it...

    I agree pretty much entirely. The only thing that truly shocked me about the thing was how much people totally freaked about it, even to the point have talking such nonsense as "how do I explain this to my kids?" Seems easy enough to me: "Women have breasts. There's one." What's harder to explain to kids is why everyone freaked out about the whole thing.

    Tangentially related to your ode to boobies: a couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend who was bemoaning the fact that she had small breasts. I told her the ill-kept "secret" of men: men think breasts are awesome. Doesn't matter if they're big, small, or what their shape is. They're all fantastic.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 1:48pm

    I wish I was that judge Because I'd call Miss Jackson into the court, dismiss the case and tell her she was just making a right tit of herself....

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

  20. identicon
    Kennae Crew, 5 Sep 2014 @ 4:31pm

    Leave Janet alone Now!!!!

    Leave Janet alone oh my gosh this happened all because of Justin timberlake... if anything he should be receiving hell...Not her... he grabbed too much fabric and her breast fell out... his fault... not her's... damn leave her alone you low lives not having nothing better to do than ruin someone else's because you already done ruined yours!

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

  21. icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: the only thing i didn't like about it...

    *shhh*
    damn, are you going to blab all the sekrets of man klub ? ? ?

    IF ONLY women knew that it is *one* thing for us piggies to admire, desire, or fantasize about a 'perfect body/woman' (which we NEVER expect to come to fruition, EVER); but they can't know that 90%+ of us are ABSOLUTELY THRILLED with her (supposed) less-than-perfect body... she is perfectly fine to us ! ! !

    oh, crap, me and my big mouth...

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

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 8:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Were you surprised to find that average_joe was a cocksucker?

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

  23. identicon
    KoD, 5 Sep 2014 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah... pretty sure that is a massive nipple ring.

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

  24. identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 6 Sep 2014 @ 5:20am

    Re: Leave Janet alone Now!!!!

    May I recommend this site for you?
    http://www.readingcomprehensionconnection.com

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

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:42am

    Re:

    They could be trying to base the claim on the copyright in her pastie, on the same logic as allows an architect or sculptor to call a photo of his work a derivative work (compared to the original point of restricting derivatives, which was to stop people making trivial changes and claiming it wasn't an infringing copy).

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:43am

    Re:

    I think she booked here.

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:44am

    Re: Re:

    Well, that's my cock up.

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re:

    Well, that's my cock up.

    That should have read "I think she boobed here".

    Stupid autocorrect.

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

  29. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 8 Sep 2014 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re: the only thing i didn't like about it...

    "admire, desire, or fantasize about a 'perfect body/woman' (which we NEVER expect to come to fruition, EVER)"

    Not only that but in my experience, no two people actually agree as to what a "perfect body" looks like.

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2014 @ 12:37pm

    Letter from a Lawyer: Miss Jackon's nipple is hereby considered a security measure so putting a hand in front of it is defeating our security measures...here's a DCMA takedown notice.....

    toodles!

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

  31. identicon
    Xah Lee, 26 Sep 2015 @ 6:53pm

    i got that DMCA too

    i got DCMA too. Here's the letter i got https://twitter.com/xah_lee/status/647932440611127297

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


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