Too funny...
June 5, 2000 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Too funny... Napster has hit The Offspring with a cease-and-desist order after the band started selling merchanidise emblazened with the Napster logo. Boo Napster.
posted by PWA_BadBoy (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ok, see, I think it's funny that Offspring is doing this, but Napster is completely in the right asking them to stop. I think Metallica's suit against Napster is silly -- Napster isn't actually selling bootleg copies of Metallica songs, they're just providing a way for people to do it themselves. Why not sue the guy who invented TCP/IP for giving people the ability to trade warez? Why not sue the guy who invented recordable video tapes for allowing people to dub tapes?

But Offspring is actually using Napsters trademark to make money. They, Offspring, are taking something that belongs to the Napster company and using it for their own purposes. That's just plain copyright infringement.

I don't think it's Tacky at all for Napster to request that they stop. Sure, it's a funny joke, but Napster has employees and investors to worry about, and they, just like any other company, must watch out for it's own good.
posted by benbrown at 1:41 PM on June 5, 2000

Why not sue Al Gore? after all, he did invent the Internet.
posted by Doomsday at 1:47 PM on June 5, 2000

yea, except while napster might not be making money directly from the downloading of pirated music bands are theoretically losing money because of this.

if offspring had any balls they would keep selling the shit. i think its funny and it serves napster right.
posted by sikk at 2:00 PM on June 5, 2000

Of course you do.

posted by baylink at 2:04 PM on June 5, 2000

I think this rocks. Napster can take it up the butt.

So there......
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:11 PM on June 5, 2000


Isn't Napster using material copyrighted by others to make money? Do you think Napster is providing the service with no expectation of reward or returns? If I put a post in an AOL chatroom advertising free copies of Microsoft Windows 2000, and put an FTP URL that pointed back to my server, it wouldn't matter -- AOL would kill the post, and rightly so.

Napster's response *is* hypocritical. You're right, the situations aren't 100% analogous, but they're close, and the issue at hand is the same.

posted by delfuego at 2:14 PM on June 5, 2000

I'm going to start making my own line of Abercrombie and Fitch. Wish me luck.
posted by howa2396 at 2:15 PM on June 5, 2000

Ben is's apples and oranges. One is a case of Metallica and Dre shooting the messenger (although you might disagree with this). The other is a case of using another company's logo to make money off of it without permission.

You take away the fact that Napster is the company in question, and we wouldn't be having this debate.

On the surface, it's a clever move on Offspring's part, but not clever enough. The similarities just don't hold up upon more careful scrutiny: "you stealing from us" and "you allowing* others to steal from us" just isn't the same thing. Maybe if they wrote a song that encouraged people to print and sell their own Napster merchandise or provided the instructions for printing the shirts on their Web site...although that isn't quite right either. It's hard to think of real world analogies to what Napster does....perhaps that's why people are having trouble getting their minds around this issue.

*"Allowing" isn't the right word here because it implies permission, which, as the Napster app's welcome message states, is not the case. "Enabling" might be a better word, but is still misleading.

posted by jkottke at 3:05 PM on June 5, 2000

Hey, maybe this is actually Napster's first attempt at a business plan: litigation.
posted by aaron at 3:18 PM on June 5, 2000

I think the most analogous thing would be if the Offspring released source for their own bootleg version of Napster, a la the Perl RSA implementations that you can have as a sig, a t-shirt, or a tattoo. Then they wouldn't be violating Napster's copyright; they'd be providing the tools that help you violate it yourself.

If they could comission someone to knock it off, I bet the source would make for better lyrics than anything off their last two albums.
posted by snarkout at 3:25 PM on June 5, 2000

I think they should sue the asses off Offspring. Offspring suck! Don't flame me all you Offspring fans. I mean, they ripped off Obla di Obla da by the Beatles!
posted by FAB4GIRL at 3:52 PM on June 5, 2000

of course offspring suck. but what they are doing is funny. more power to them.
posted by sikk at 3:54 PM on June 5, 2000

All I know is, if Shakespeare were trying to do his work in today's copyright infested climate, we'd never have had most of his plays. He was a hack.

You think sequels and old-tv-show-to-movie routines is bad? Most of Shakespeare's stuff was directly lifted from everything from classic Greco-Roman literature to the equivalent of 16th century bestseller lists. He stole from his contemporaries. He stole from history books. He stole from everything, and didn't have to pay a single royalty.

I'm not saying stealing ideas from other people is good, but without communal sharing of ideas, you get the crap of the 20th century, where nothing is refined.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:22 PM on June 6, 2000

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