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Rob Zombie claims to own the word "zombie."
June 18, 2009 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Rob Zombie claims to own the word "zombie." I call dibs on "elf".
posted by shetterly (115 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
OH NO HE DIDN'T.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:54 PM on June 18, 2009 [34 favorites]


Other words Rob Zombie owns or is bidding heavily on: "douche", "wanker", "talentless" and "hack".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:55 PM on June 18, 2009 [24 favorites]


Antichrist, what an asshole.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:55 PM on June 18, 2009 [15 favorites]


I guess this makes him the living embodiment of Monster Cable. Not cool, Mr. The Zombie.
posted by porn in the woods at 1:57 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of how game developer White Wolf claimed that the Underworld movies ripped them off because they pretty much invented vampires and werewolves. Penny Arcade proceeded to mock them, and the comic they made is applicable to Mr. Zombie's insane claim.

Also, I call dibs on 'Dragon'.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:57 PM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is like that time Metallica claimed to own the E and F chords...

...right?
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:58 PM on June 18, 2009


Well, the other guy tried to trademark "ZOMBIE!" as the name of a rock band, which was idiotic. Yeah, Rob Zombie's lawyers have gone over the top in attacking that trademark, but that's what lawyers do, especially in trademark law.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:58 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I call dibs on "elf".

I think not.
posted by elfgirl at 1:59 PM on June 18, 2009 [16 favorites]


Can I claim dibs on 'Metafilter' while I'm at it? If so...

Hey Haughey! You owe me some cash for infringing on my copyright!
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:00 PM on June 18, 2009


I'm taking it to the next level by claiming ownership of a number. 42 is mine and fucksue anyone who claims otherwise.
posted by owtytrof at 2:01 PM on June 18, 2009


Oh, for fuck's sake, think critically. "Rob Zombie claims to own the word "zombie."" That's not what the fucking letter from the attorney says, and that's not the intent of the letter. That's just some assclown making shit up.

If I started a "multimedia project" that used rock music, and I called my band "Beatle" or "The Beetles" or "Four Guys From Liverpool That Used to Play the Cavern Club and We're Named George, Paul, John and Ringo," I'd get a letter just like it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:02 PM on June 18, 2009 [18 favorites]


My first order of business as the new owner of Metafilter is to keep jessamyn where she is because she does a fantastic job. So does cortex, but he will nonetheless be sent in chains to toil in our vast maze of underground donut mines.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:02 PM on June 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


I really wish people would stop conflating people with their lawyers. It's the lawyers' job to keep on top of these things, to prevent dilution of trademark, etc. It's extraordinarily unlikely that Rob Zombie saw this and told his lawyers to sue. That, and if somehow the "Rob Zombie" trademark did get diluted, he might somehow find himself on the other end of a lawsuit from the record companies that own the contract to his music.

Now, if there were a bunch of quotes from Rob Zombie himself, I'd be happy to call him a dick, much like Lars Ulrich put his foot in his mouth during the Napster deal. As it stands now, it's lawyers doing what they have to do.
posted by explosion at 2:04 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, the other guy tried to trademark "ZOMBIE!" as the name of a rock band, which was idiotic.

And I think the letter lays out the case pretty well:
The only word in your mark and band name - ZOMBIE - is the same as our client's last name, which is a distinctive and memorable portion of our client's famous mark. The services covered by your application are essentially the same as the services covered in Class 41 of our client's registration, and the specimen of use you filed with your application refers to your music as "horror rock", which exacerbates the likely association with our client.

For the above reasons, your use of the ZOMBIE! and Design mark and name will inevitably cause confusion, as it will leave the impression with consumers that your band is our client, is a band that is led by or includes our client, or is otherwise associated with our client.
For some reason, the linked post just summarized the letter incompetently, while posting quotes from the response.
posted by smackfu at 2:04 PM on June 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


This is not completely ridiculous because Rob Zombie owns the rights to a band named "White Zombie." I suppose if he could demonstrate that people confuse ZOMBIE! for White Zombie, he might have a case. It's much more likely that people confuse "White Zombie" for "shit."
posted by Pastabagel at 2:05 PM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


"If this lawsuit persists, I don't think they'll have to worry about the goodwill associated with the mark "Rob Zombie".

Yup.
posted by Xoebe at 2:05 PM on June 18, 2009


Let's be clear: he's not claiming ownership of the word "zombie." He's contesting the use of the word as an identifying mark in connection with the same business he works in -- rock music. It's not totally farfetched to suggest that people could be confused as to whether Zombie! is associated with Rob Zombie.

I think it's stupid for Rob Zombie to go after this guy, and he'd probably lose the case, but it's not as ridiculous as the blog entry suggests.
posted by brain_drain at 2:06 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I smell bullshit (although in fact you can't trademark a scent).
posted by mattbucher at 2:07 PM on June 18, 2009


i.e., what everyone else said after I started typing.
posted by brain_drain at 2:07 PM on June 18, 2009


I'm going to patent "a process by which oxygen is converted to carbon dioxide through cardiopulmonary action."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:07 PM on June 18, 2009


As it stands now, it's lawyers doing what they have to do.

I've got friends who are lawyers, and I've asked them, and nowhere in the coursework does it say anything about being a towering asshole. Either Rob Zombie's lawyers come by it naturally, or they're giving him a little something extra for all those years of unlistenable garbage.
posted by littlerobothead at 2:08 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dibs on "the".
posted by daniel_charms at 2:08 PM on June 18, 2009


If... I called my band... "Four Guys From Liverpool That Used to Play the Cavern Club and We're Named George, Paul, John and Ringo"

You'd need a really big drum kit.
posted by rokusan at 2:09 PM on June 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, he has a trademark on Rob Zombie (Reg. No. 2932172) with use in commerce dating back to 1998. The Zombie! people filed for a trademark (Ser. No. 77734794) on May 12, 2009. The problem is that the Zombie! application claims the same goods & services classes (IC 041. US 100 101 107) and their usage doesn't go nearly so far back.

Whether there's actually a likelihood of confusion I don't know.
posted by jedicus at 2:09 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really wish people would stop conflating people with their lawyers. It's the lawyers' job to keep on top of these things, to prevent dilution of trademark, etc. It's extraordinarily unlikely that Rob Zombie saw this and told his lawyers to sue. That, and if somehow the "Rob Zombie" trademark did get diluted, he might somehow find himself on the other end of a lawsuit from the record companies that own the contract to his music.

Disagree. No one just grows lawyers. You hire and direct them. If you hire lawyers who are fucking assholes about IP issues, that's on you -- if you're a rich entertainer, that's probably why you hired them in the first place. Your lawyers are your agents at law, and accordingly you should bear responsibility for what they do. There are some exceptions, and if Mr. the Zombie quickly turns around and gets his lawyers to stop (and apologizes), then he's off the hook. But otherwise he deserves blame.
posted by grobstein at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


The federal trademark for the ROB ZOMBIE mark. shetterly, you might consider changing the tags of the post, since this is a trademark claim, not a copyright claim.

I can think of one defense, though it might not pass the laugh test: "Zombie" is primarily merely a surname.
posted by exogenous at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2009


This is a bit like Handsome Dick Manitoba forcing Dan Snaith to stop calling his band "Manitoba" - because, you know, there was so much potential for confusion between a rock dinosaur & an electronica act.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2009


I call dibs on zombi-rific.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:11 PM on June 18, 2009


He can have it.
posted by Zambrano at 2:11 PM on June 18, 2009


You know who else got a cease and desist letter from Rob Zombie's lawyers? That's right: White Zogby.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:15 PM on June 18, 2009


Cool Papa Bell, they wanted a trademark on "Zombie!" That's perfectly reasonable. You could get a trademark on "Dungbeetles" and while the Beatles' evil lawyers might stop you simply because they can hire more lawyers than any small nation could, that doesn't make it right.

There are two issues here:

1. Do artists have a right to protect their names in commerce?

2. Do artists have a right to stop other artists from using names that are somewhat like theirs?

I think the answers are "1. Yes" and "2. No".

I do agree that this is probably a case of idiot lawyers. But they're acting in Rob Zombies' name. He owns that until he says otherwise.
posted by shetterly at 2:16 PM on June 18, 2009


exogenous, my bad! I'll see if I can change the tags now.
posted by shetterly at 2:17 PM on June 18, 2009


"And then, we looked at each other and said..."
"Said, look, why not?"
"...We might as well join up. You know?"
"So, we became The Originals."
"Right."
"And, uh, we had to change our name, actually."
"Well, there was another group, in the East End, called The Originals and we had to rename ourselves."
"The New Originals."
"The New Originals."
"Yeah."
"And they became..."
"...The Regulars. They changed their name back to The Regulars. And we thought we could go back to The Originals, but what's the point?"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:19 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, for fuck's sake, think critically. "Rob Zombie claims to own the word "zombie."" That's not what the fucking letter from the attorney says, and that's not the intent of the letter. That's just some assclown making shit up.

Since I don't have anything to add to the above, I'm just going to say that The Devil's Rejects is a superduperfuntimes movie.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:19 PM on June 18, 2009


grobstein: No one just grows lawyers.

I do. They grow nicely in the garden patch behind my lair of hatred. The trick is not too much sun, and lots of cheap scotch. (Although you have to lie about the brand to them.) If you get cuttings from disillusioned public defenders and environmental activists, you can get a pretty nasty crop.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:20 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dear It's Raining Florence Henderson:

It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized use of my client's copyrighted work entitled "Florence Henderson" (the "Work") in the preparation of a work derived therefrom. I have reserved all rights in the Work, first published in February 14, 1934. Your work entitled "It's Raining Florence Henderson" is essentially identical to the Work and clearly used the Work as its basis.

As you neither asked for nor received permission to use the Work as the basis for "It's Raining Florence Henderson" nor to make or distribute copies, including electronic copies, of same, I believe you have willfully infringed our rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) therein.

I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from the Work, and all copies, including electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to me, if applicable, all unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future. If I have not received an affirmative response from you by last week indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I shall take further action against you.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:20 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dibs on "Necrocuddle".

What?

I mean, I use it to refer to the anime/manga trope of cradling the decapitated head of a loved one, but I figure if we're going to fight over "zombie", hugs will have to be made in the end.

And that's when I'll be waiting...
posted by yeloson at 2:24 PM on June 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think I have a reasonable claim to the word 'lemurrhea'. I'm pretty sure I am the only person to ever use the word, and if I somehow end up in projects that require it, I could trademark it.

Also, I mistyped dracula as dragula back when I was like 10, so I'm gonna call dibs on it. I'm sure Rob Zombie has no problem with that, being such a staunch defender of trademark laws.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:24 PM on June 18, 2009


Actually, the letter seems fairly polite for a cease-and-desist letter from a Manhattan entertainment law firm, but what do I know.
posted by blucevalo at 2:27 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I herby copyright the word "The" all you bastards owe my five cents per usage, now get the hell off my lawn.
posted by edgeways at 2:27 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hereby claim Tomorrow. As soon as it arrives, all you fuckers will have to do what I say.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:27 PM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


chains to toil in our vast maze of underground donut mines.

What quality of donuts can these possibly be if you need chains to keep people toiling there?
posted by weston at 2:28 PM on June 18, 2009


IF anything he is infringing on whoever owns the crimson ghost and/or the misfits way more than rob zombie. I guess the current holders of the misfits trademark are just a lot cooler, or can't afford a group of hounds.

I sat at the same table as rob zombie back stage at Ozfest in 1998 and i thought the difference between his normal talking voice and the dr. girlfriend voice he does on stage were just hillarious. Back stage he seemed like a normal dude. On stage he seemed like a normal douche.

I agree that if he doesn't call his lawyers off he is fully aware of this and is allowing it to happen. I don't find him pardonable for something his "help" is doing.
posted by djduckie at 2:30 PM on June 18, 2009


I've just trademarked "Rob". Mr. Zombie, expect a letter.
posted by ardgedee at 2:32 PM on June 18, 2009


Campbell and Waits can argue over who owns eyeballkid.

I'm want dibs on "douchenugget".
posted by eyeballkid at 2:33 PM on June 18, 2009


I agree that Rob Zombie's lawyers are probably being unnecessarily pissy in their letter.

But I don't think that it's ridiculous of Rob Zombie and/or anyone in his employ to take legal action protesting this other guy's attempt to trademark the word "ZOMBIE!" as his band name.

The linked blog post buries the whole "the other guy filed a trademark application to use the word 'ZOMBIE!' as a band name" so Rob Z. will seem like the only douche.

Looks like a pretty standard douchefight from where I sit. This is how it's going to play out: Guy files trademark app for "ZOMBIE!"; Rob Zombie's lawyers file suit saying "Stop calling yourself 'ZOMBIE!'"; judge finds for "ZOMBIE!" guy, but makes it clear that his trademark only refers to the logo, and that he can't stop anyone else from calling themselves "Doctor Zombie" or "Zombie Train" or whatever; Rob Zombie is now on record as defending his trademark on White Zombie and Zombie Entertainment and what-not. Lawyers collect $$. Douches lick their wounds publicly.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:36 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I claim "human." Maybe he can send me a fat check for all the times in the 90s I had to listen to that word gargled like a strangled bison in his "hit" song with that word endlessly repeated in the chorus.
posted by blucevalo at 2:36 PM on June 18, 2009


I'm going to sue the Avenue Q people.
posted by jquinby at 2:37 PM on June 18, 2009


Dear Florence Henderson's Lawyers,

Enclosed please find a check for every penny I have made from my totally legal parody of your client's "Work." (That would be zero.) As for any claims of "statutory damages," your client is more than 30 years older than I am, so good luck with that one!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:37 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Maybe this is just about the way Rob Zombie looked, the way he had to have the color of his hair.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:39 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


christ what an asshole who wants to eat my brains...


...too late?
posted by From Bklyn at 2:40 PM on June 18, 2009


I bet Jick over at Kingdom of Loathing thinks he owns "zmobie".
posted by PuppyCat at 2:41 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to say that The Devil's Rejects is a superduperfuntimes movie.

Yes it is. Too bad the rest of his movies are abominations before the Lord. And not in the good way.
posted by brundlefly at 2:41 PM on June 18, 2009


Also, i hadn't read the letter, i went back when i read that someone refered to it as "polite" (aren't all legal letters "profesional", which i guess can read as "polite" or atleast aren't neccesarily "attacking").

According to the wording of the letter their client found out about Zombie! and requested that they make the claim, since Zombie! wants to perform live and recorded music in the "horror rock" genre, which could cause some confusion between the two.

I'm not sure how punk and whatever kind of metal rob zombie considers himself could be mistaken for each other, but i really can't see this having any merit in court. I mean, i'm not a lawyer but, really?

I'm want dibs on "douchenugget".

I'm sorry it would seem a Mr. Rob Zombie already has claim to that.
posted by djduckie at 2:44 PM on June 18, 2009


"I really wish people would stop conflating people with their lawyers. It's the lawyers' job to keep on top of these things, to prevent dilution of trademark, etc. It's extraordinarily unlikely that Rob Zombie saw this and told his lawyers to sue. That, and if somehow the "Rob Zombie" trademark did get diluted, he might somehow find himself on the other end of a lawsuit from the record companies that own the contract to his music."

Actually, I think it's somewhat understandable. He fronted a band called White Zombie, now he's Rob Zombie as a solo artist, and this is another band called Zombie! But I agree, this is probably the lawyers' doing.

I always liked Rob Zombie, but he's not as good live as he used to be, back when that was his primary gig.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:46 PM on June 18, 2009


I claim "human." Maybe he can send me a fat check for all the times in the 90s I had to listen to that word gargled like a strangled bison in his "hit" song with that word endlessly repeated in the chorus.

A person named Rob Zombie had a hit song in the 90s? I missed so much during that 10-year-coma.
posted by not that girl at 2:46 PM on June 18, 2009


Who cares if he owns the word? It's from a dead language.
posted by aftermarketradio at 2:48 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's your name? Who's your daddy? Is he rich like me?
posted by box at 2:48 PM on June 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


"I'm not sure how punk and whatever kind of metal rob zombie considers himself could be mistaken for each other"

They aren't exactly far apart. Most of the punk rockers and metalheads I know like Rob Zombie as well as the Misfits. They both draw from the same pop culture references. Only those who are really into the music will understand the distinctions.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:48 PM on June 18, 2009


I missed so much during that 10-year-coma.

Not really, no. It was a good decade for a coma.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:48 PM on June 18, 2009


i went back when i read that someone refered to it as "polite" (aren't all legal letters "profesional", which i guess can read as "polite" or atleast aren't neccesarily "attacking").

Yeah, I meant "polite" only as in the sense of not threatening to barbecue and consume all of the adversary's descendants into time immemorial, which is what a lot of hardcore threatening legal correspondence does.
posted by blucevalo at 2:49 PM on June 18, 2009


I've got friends who are lawyers, and I've asked them, and nowhere in the coursework does it say anything about being a towering asshole.

out of curiosity, did you ask them "is there anything in the coursework for becoming a lawyer about being a towering asshole?" if so, have you considered reframing the question?

honestly, I think the article is misleading. the problem is that the guy created a horror rock band called ZOMBIE!. Now, people can use zombie in almost any way they want. Ask the legions of horror book, film, blog and other writers who have never received a cease and desist from Rob Zombie for doing so. But if you were to come up to me and say "We're going to see ZOMBIE! at the knitting factory tonight," I'd think "really? you're going to see fucking rob zombie? that guy sucks!" further, if the show DID suck and you told me, I'd think "fucking A, I told you Rob Zombie sucked." even further, if you saw the show, told me it sucked, and I was a Rob Zombie fan, I could quite possibly think "man, Rob Zombie must be losing his touch." Add to that the fact that you might even describe the show as being horror inspired rock, and my belief that you were seeing Rob Zombie perform would be further supported.

This, as i understand it, is the nature of brand dilution. This, as I understand it, is what trademark is intended to prevent.

Is Rob Zombie's case legally sound? I don't know. Would he be better off not bothering, since this will estrange him from a portion of his fan base? Maybe. But it doesn't sound to me like this is an open and shut case of Zombie or his lawyers being total dickwads.
posted by shmegegge at 2:49 PM on June 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


Posted on that Zombie! dude's Twitter:
PLEASE RT! I spoke with Rob Zombie directly. "We are all good." He was NOT aware of the lawyer BS. He is a GREAT guy. ZOMBIE! will coexist!
So its time to retract all the Rob Zombie is a douche talk.

Well, I mean, he is a douche, just not for this particular reason. He's a douche for remaking Halloween.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:50 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


also, I say this as someone who hates everything about Rob Zombie's entire career, from his dumb-luck career-making Beavis and Butthead endorsement to his piss-poor Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip-off movies and on into his typically soulless hollywood remakes of better original horror flicks.
posted by shmegegge at 2:51 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


So its time to retract all the Rob Zombie is a douche talk.

I'm not going to sue the Avenue Q people.
posted by jquinby at 2:53 PM on June 18, 2009


"I've got friends who are lawyers, and I've asked them, and nowhere in the coursework does it say anything about being a towering asshole."

This is made up in your brain and is completely untrue. Lawyers defending corporate IP are either towering assholes or they aren't doing their job. And I'm sure that's part of the coursework. In fact the term "towering asshole" would most clearly be defined by some reference to corporate IP lawyers.

I suspect your friends are lawyers that do work for kittens and flowers. That course work does indeed leave out the towering asshole class.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:55 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


The update is also posted at the FPP's linked article.
UPDATE: Overzealous lawyers it is.

Apparently Rob Zombie has contacted Weiss directly this afternoon. I don't have the details of how he was contacted (by phone or email), but he was unaware of the actions his lawyers had taken, and said 'we are all good'; there will be no further action."
posted by ericb at 2:55 PM on June 18, 2009


posted by Lemurrhea Also, I mistyped dracula as dragula back when I was like 10, so I'm gonna call dibs on it.

Too late.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:56 PM on June 18, 2009


"also, I say this as someone who hates everything about Rob Zombie's entire career, from his dumb-luck career-making Beavis and Butthead endorsement to his piss-poor Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip-off movies and on into his typically soulless hollywood remakes of better original horror flicks."

I dunno. Ebert is a fan. That may or may not be good, but I have to give him some benefit of the doubt.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:57 PM on June 18, 2009


I dunno. Ebert is a fan. That may or may not be good, but I have to give him some benefit of the doubt.

Well, I'm a fan of Ebert. But let me ask you this: What has Ebert done for you lately? Think about it.
posted by shmegegge at 2:59 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm glad Rob Zombie moved fast on that. I hereby relinquish all claim to "elf"; it is safely back in the public domain. Or, at least, in elfgirl's hands.
posted by shetterly at 3:02 PM on June 18, 2009


Ebert...

And you know who also has had his own trademark dispute? Yep...over the term "Two Thumbs Up?"

"Two Thumbs Up® is a registered trademark of The Ebert Company and Siskel Productions."
"Ebert has been battling serious medical problems for the past two years and has been off the air since the summer of 2006. But his departure now stems from a dispute with Disney, the distributor for At the Movies, over the show's famous trademark thumbs-up/thumbs-down verdict on films. The rights to that trademark belong to Ebert and the widow of Gene Siskel, Ebert's original co-host. Ebert's departure from the show apparently comes after he and Disney could not come to an agreement on compensation related to the trademark."*
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on June 18, 2009


PLAY HIM OFF, KEYBOARD OTTER
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:08 PM on June 18, 2009


What the fuck is a zombie? Is that anything like a zombi?
posted by Eideteker at 3:11 PM on June 18, 2009


This reminds me of how game developer White Wolf claimed that the Underworld movies ripped them off because they pretty much invented vampires and werewolves.

Actually, their claim was that Underworld's version of vampires and werewolves was lifted entirely from White Wolf's work, and that the plot was identical to a story White Wolf had published a decade earlier.

I swear to god, it's the geek version of the McDonald's coffee suit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:11 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


What the fuck is a zombie? Is that anything like a zombi?

I'm more into zmobies, myself.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:12 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


An update from the article:

Overzealous lawyers it is.

Apparently Rob Zombie has contacted Weiss directly by phone this afternoon. He said he was unaware of the actions his lawyers had taken, and told Weiss "we are all good"; there will be no further action.
posted by clearlydemon at 3:13 PM on June 18, 2009


What about the 1960s band "The Zombies"?
posted by bottlebrushtree at 3:14 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently Rob Zombie has contacted Weiss directly this afternoon. I don't have the details of how he was contacted (by phone or email), but he was unaware of the actions his lawyers had taken, and said 'we are all good'; there will be no further action."

Cool. Previous comment retracted.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:14 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


In all fairness, he could still be a douche and just realise that this bad press could be more damning than allowing some kid to have a band that probably won't be as succesfiul to exist in his zombieverse.

In fact, he got to have his lawyers make a threat, take a barometer reading of how the public was going to react, blame said faceless lawyers and be "cool" with the kid he just threatened to sue. '

Well played Mr. Zombie, well played indeed.
posted by djduckie at 3:18 PM on June 18, 2009


> Well played Mr. Zombie, well played indeed.

It's not necessary to have opinions on things you don't know.
posted by ardgedee at 3:23 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not necessary to have opinions on things you don't know.

In my case, that's pretty much all that differentiates me from a zombie.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:25 PM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's not necessary to have opinions on things you don't know.

It wasn't obvious that I was just kidding and trying to justify the zombie bashing?
posted by djduckie at 3:30 PM on June 18, 2009


Well played Mr. Zombie, well played indeed.

There was a third zombie plaintiff on the grassy knoll!
posted by brundlefly at 3:32 PM on June 18, 2009


I claim to own the word "Rob."
posted by Ironmouth at 3:33 PM on June 18, 2009


What the fuck is a zombie? Is that anything like a zombi?

I'm more into zmobies, myself.


Me, I'm more into zuvembies.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:40 PM on June 18, 2009


I own the word "Bartleh".
posted by Eideteker at 3:45 PM on June 18, 2009


So.... why is this thread still open? It's basically an FPP now about a story that says at the end, "oops, isn't actually true."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:45 PM on June 18, 2009


XQUZYPHYR, I beg your pardon: it's a story that says, "This problem has been addressed since the story was posted."

But lawyers will keep doing this sort of shit, because that's what they're paid for.
posted by shetterly at 3:49 PM on June 18, 2009


P.S. I do wish it was possible to edit posts, if only to add an ETA, 'cause I would put something about this specific case having been addressed, if I could.
posted by shetterly at 3:50 PM on June 18, 2009


Since Rob Zombie has terminated this tomfoolery regarding the word 'Zombie', I relinquish my claim to 'Dragon' and 'Metafilter.'

Uh... only thing is cortex was already sent away to toil in the donut mines and we're having trouble finding him. If anyone sees him, please return him to his home.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:53 PM on June 18, 2009


So.... why is this thread still open? It's basically an FPP now about a story that says at the end, "oops, isn't actually true."

Sounds like a good reason for a metatalk post*

*I'm being obnoxious
posted by Pants! at 3:59 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hmm, the Comics Code Authority, established in 1954, specifically bans comics from portraying zombies or using the word "zombies". This would seem to establish the existence of the word, at least, prior to 1954. Robert Bartleh Cummings (AKA Rob Zombie) wasn't born until 1964. So, EC Comics (now Time/Warner) at the very least, can claim prior art, if not a slew of b-movie directors as well. What an ignorant fuck.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:05 PM on June 18, 2009


The thread is worth reading, doctor_negative.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:20 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hmm, this makes me want to trademark the process used to kill zombies: shooting them in the head. Which I would then freely license to anyone, and then point them in Mr. Zombie's direction. That's what trademark and copyright law needs more of: gibbage!
posted by jamstigator at 4:36 PM on June 18, 2009


Correct me if I'm wrong, but he's not trying to copyright "zombie", he's trying to copyright "ZOMBIE!", with allcaps and an exclamation point. I know nothing about copyright law, but it seems fairly reasonable.
posted by zardoz at 4:41 PM on June 18, 2009


Then I'm going back to copyright METAFILTER! Reasonable, no?
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:53 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm taking it to the next level by claiming ownership of a number. 42 is mine and fucksue anyone who claims otherwise.

You're talkin gibberish now.
Everyone knows that 24 is the highest number.



/youshadduppayouface
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:03 PM on June 18, 2009


Also Rob Zombie never once had a good idea (actually this sentence could end right here) that he didn't swipe from someone else.

Throwing Ed Roth, Famous Monsters, 70's exploitation flicks, what have you into a stew doesnt mean you invented any of them. Especially if you didnt even come up with the recipe in the first place. And if you've seen any of his films or heard any of his records you realize thats really all he's got. And he has one mode of doing it too.

The only reason we're even still talking about this knob is because, just like Kevin Smith, he was smart enough to harden himself into a brand name marketed to a very niche audience of fetishist dudes with a predilection for obsessive fanboyings and hardcore merch-binging. It's the exact same way that Insane Clown Posse have managed to stay in bread and jam all these years. Probably a lot of crossover in those demo's too.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:10 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Then I'm going back to copyright METAFILTER! Reasonable, no?

NO!

or...

YES!*

*Either way. I've got copyright and trademark on both of those. And patent pending on MAYBE!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:44 PM on June 18, 2009


Christ, what an astrocreep (2009)
posted by TedW at 5:51 PM on June 18, 2009


Does anyone have a map to these rumored Donut Mines? As a sugar addict I'm thinking I need to make it a roadtrip.
posted by batgrlHG at 6:15 PM on June 18, 2009


I walked with a Zombie last night.

but not a ZOMBIE!
posted by Sailormom at 6:30 PM on June 18, 2009


Didn't Rob Zombie borrow the name of his band from an old Bela Lugosi movie anyway?
posted by jonp72 at 6:31 PM on June 18, 2009


Yeti. Called it.
posted by jimfl at 6:55 PM on June 18, 2009


I'm sure Max Brooks will be real pleased about this.
posted by Pseudology at 8:28 PM on June 18, 2009


I knew Bela Lugosi had a cause for action!
posted by blucevalo at 9:06 PM on June 18, 2009


Correct me if I'm wrong, but he's not trying to copyright "zombie", he's trying to copyright "ZOMBIE!"

Trademark.

very different
posted by dirigibleman at 9:10 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


amuzing...wonder when the catholic church will call dibs on jesus
posted by fightoplankton at 11:10 PM on June 18, 2009


Bela Lugosi's dead.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:38 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


For all those claiming dibs on any particular term, for themselves or on behalf of anyone else: ANY term is registrable as a trademark if it holds sufficient distinctive character* and does not conflict with a trademark already on the register.

*A trademark may exhibit distinctive character if it distinguishes goods/services from the similar goods or services of other parties.

The article is an uninformed beatup of a commonplace trademark scenario where one party with a registered mark seeks to prevent another party using or registering a similar mark specifying similar goods/services. It is quite possible that this IP law firm (incidentally, well known in the field) independently came across the details of Weiss' application (and then requested instructions to take action), but it did not send any correspondence without instructions to go ahead. ("did not", until we know these lawyers were not concerned with getting instructions or receiving payment, notwithstanding the update informing us that Rob Zombie pleaded ignorance of his lawyers' actions)
posted by deeplyambivalent at 5:48 AM on June 19, 2009


Bela Lugosi's dead.

undead undead undead
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:05 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


For the longest time, I thought that was "I'm dead, I'm dead, I'm dead." I was kind of disappointed when I found out I was wrong.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:18 AM on June 19, 2009


Well since all of the good "dibs" are taking, I'll dib "smegma". You'll see. One day you'll be searching for the most disgusting word to describe something and you'll be speechless. mwuwuwhhahahhaha
posted by dasheekeejones at 4:34 PM on June 20, 2009


First thing we do, let's kill all the zombies.
posted by unknowncommand at 7:19 PM on July 1, 2009


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