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"If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong. ... The parties are advised to chill." (PDF file)
July 25, 2002 12:20 PM   Subscribe

"If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong. ... The parties are advised to chill." (PDF file) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is at it again. Aqua's hit song "Barbie Girl" is judged not to be a violation of Mattel's trademark, but to be a parody protected by free speech. And all laboured judgely joshing aside, the decision offers a nice summary of trademark law. Get a plain HTML news story from CNN here. (The chorus is running through your brain now, right? And it's going to be there all day, too. *snicker*)
posted by maudlin (5 comments total)

 
MCA [sued Mattel] for defamation [because a Mattel representative had, in characterizing MCA's alleged trademark infringement, used] the words "bank robber," "heist," "crime" and "theft." But all of these are variants of the invective most often hurled at accused infringers, namely "piracy." No one hearing this accusation understands intellectual property owners to be saying that infringers are nautical cutthroats with eyepatches and peg legs who board galleons to plunder cargo. In context, all these terms are nonactionable "rhetorical hyperbole." The parties are advised to chill.

Funny stuff. Plus, Judge Kozinski is a bad-ass.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:42 PM on July 25, 2002


I'd say "grand-stander" instead of "bad-ass" but yeah, it's a funny disposition for sure.

As for the rest of the case, it's really pretty boring stuff. There are so many precedents, there was really no good reason for it to make it this far up the ladder of our legal system. Spending taxes so that Kozinski can make King Kong references and drag out some slang that's been hip for 15 years is a waste, IMHO.
posted by zekinskia at 1:00 PM on July 25, 2002


Aqua's hit song "Barbie Girl" is judged not to be a violation of Mattel's trademark, but to be a parody protected by free speech.

A parody of what, exactly? Real music?
posted by monosyllabic at 1:06 PM on July 25, 2002


(The chorus is running through your brain now, right? And it's going to be there all day, too. *snicker*)

Oh, yeah? I can make that stop with one little click (now go get that out of your head!)
posted by briank at 1:30 PM on July 25, 2002


The chorus is running through your brain now, right? And it's going to be there all day, too. *snicker*)
*fingers-in-ears* BOOP BOOP DIDDIM DADDUM WADDAM CHEW... AND THEY SWAM AND THEY SWAM ALL OVER THE DAM
posted by holloway at 4:37 PM on July 25, 2002


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