Faux Fox Fuxed
June 26, 2003 2:29 AM   Subscribe

The Fun Folks at Fox are giving the C&D Smackdown to "Faux News" and "O'Reilly Youth" t-shirts. The same people who taunted anti-war protesters with their news marquee are showing a shortfall of sense of humor. But always remember "there's no such thing as bad publicity", so the attacked site's web traffic is up. Anybody know a good intellectual property lawyer who'd work for t-shirts?
posted by wendell (16 comments total)
Better T-shirts are available.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 3:04 AM on June 26, 2003

Which is a matter of taste, n'es pas F_n_M?

Fox are acting in the manner of paranoid control freaks, IMHO. Fox making statements invoking 'offensive''incredibly poor taste' against the T-Shirt manufacturers could cause observers irony cicuits to overload. As it says in the article.
One wonders what good will come of this for NewsCorp.
posted by asok at 5:06 AM on June 26, 2003

Along with a lawyer, agitproperties could probably use the services of a web designer, too. For a second, I thought I'd buy one of their shirts just for the collectable value, but then decided that they just didn't have enough razzamatazz.
posted by crunchland at 5:21 AM on June 26, 2003

Fox has forgotten that parody trumps trademark and copyright law. To be a parody the work must parody the original and these shirts sure parody Fox, O'Reilly and crew. They might be better off asserting defamation of character, but then truth is always a defense there.
posted by caddis at 7:17 AM on June 26, 2003

Do not taunt Happy Fun Network.
posted by FormlessOne at 7:29 AM on June 26, 2003

FOX: We spin, you deride.
posted by FormlessOne at 7:30 AM on June 26, 2003

MeFi-Dotted... Bandwidth Limit Exceeded
posted by TreeHugger at 8:27 AM on June 26, 2003

Yep... anybody got a mirror or cache so's the rest of us can see the shirts?
posted by soyjoy at 8:33 AM on June 26, 2003

MeFi-Dotted... Bandwidth Limit Exceeded

Don't get too excited, the site was also on Fark this morning.

I hope the spike in traffic at least netted this guy som e sales :)
posted by Space Coyote at 8:38 AM on June 26, 2003

Which is a matter of taste, n'es pas F_n_M?


I trust yours is as fine as mine.

But must you speak in that traitorous tongue? Really...what would O'Reilly say?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:07 AM on June 26, 2003

that traitorous tongue?

Even worse is butchering that traitorous tongue (ow!). As any Verlaine fan knows, it's n'est-ce pas?
posted by soyjoy at 9:54 AM on June 26, 2003

that C&D letter is pretty unimpressive -- oooh, better comply or they'll be "forced to consider" taking action! you'd think the legal office would take the time to trump it up a bit with an explicit threat...all Agitproperties needs is a nice rebuttal letter explaining "parody" to Fox...not that they aren't already parodying themselves, nyuk, nyuk...
posted by serafinapekkala at 10:34 AM on June 26, 2003

Are you sure parody is a valid defense for trademarks? As far as I recall parody is part of "fair use", which only works for copyright.
posted by fvw at 12:14 PM on June 26, 2003

Parody is a defense to trademark as well as copyright infringement. In copyright parody is indeed part of fair use and is in essence a free speech defense. The essence of trademark infringement is likelihood of confusion as to source, sponsorship or affiliation. Parody is a factor in assessing likelihood of confusion. Here I doubt anyone will be confused into believing that these shirts are from, sponsored by, or affiliated with Fox News. A trademark holder can also assert that its mark is being diluted (in this case via tarnishment), in which case the parody defense acts more like free speech as it does in copyright fair use. Even in assessing likelihood of confusion, however, some courts give weight to the free speech concerns of protecting artistic expression.

In any event, I do not think Fox has much of a case, but they do have lawyers and their opponents do not. Who will win this fight?
posted by caddis at 1:15 PM on June 26, 2003

Caddis, like it says in the Register article: "Sadly, free speech cost a lot of money in America."
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:15 PM on June 26, 2003

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