Oscar the Grouch
February 9, 2007 9:54 AM   Subscribe

AMPAS ankles Oscarwatch skein The Academy has brought the banhammer down on the Oscarwatch blog, issuing a demand that blogger Sasha Stone cease and desist from using the Oscar trademark in her domain name. Why now after 7 1/2 years of blogging under that name? Maybe because they found out about her whopping $20k yearly ad revenue.
posted by Horace Rumpole (18 comments total)
 
Points for the title, meh for the "Web site gets C&D" story.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:00 AM on February 9, 2007


Maybe because they found out about her whopping $20k yearly ad revenue.

Oh, okay. I was waiting to hear about some astronaut love triangle or something, well, interesting. So the Academy discovered someone was making a profit off of their trademark and realized they therefore had to enforce their trademark protection. This is a story because...?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:24 AM on February 9, 2007


She should change the name to O Scar Watch . com?
posted by R. Mutt at 10:27 AM on February 9, 2007


academyawardwatch.com?
posted by matteo at 10:35 AM on February 9, 2007


"Academy Award" is trademarked too.

What's weird is that these aren't protected in the context of actual news reporting: in other words she could be making millions in revenue talking about the Oscars and using the words as much as she wants. She just can't actually use trademarked terms as a branding issue, which is what her URL (and the graphic of an Oscar statue, also a trademark) does. It's like how anyone can say "let's get ready to rumble" but if you want it on a t-shirt or product you need Michael Buffer's permission.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:56 AM on February 9, 2007


From the article: Stone makes a piddly $20 grand a year from Oscarwatch.com ad revenues.

I love that editorializing. $20,000 a year is now considered "piddly"?

Great. I can finally put up that hollywoodelsewhere.net blog. I'll use a pseudonym too, maybe Jeffery Wells.

Here's a news flash: Just because some entity is rich doesn't mean you get to steal from them a little.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:32 AM on February 9, 2007


"Academy Award" is trademarked too.

it was a joke?
posted by matteo at 11:55 AM on February 9, 2007


$20,000 a year is now considered "piddly"?

for Hollywood blogs, yeah, I've read somewhere that Perez Hilton makes 20K a week or something
posted by matteo at 11:56 AM on February 9, 2007


7 and a half years? IANA™L, but I would think she'd have a decent equitable defense under the doctrine of laches to keep her domain.*

*although I know everything gets (more) complicated by the anti-cybersquatting law.
posted by norm at 12:09 PM on February 9, 2007


All sorts of sites use "Oscars" "Academy Awards" and such and make money off of it. The major players like Yahoo, MSN and other news sites have entire sections devoted to the awards. And guess what, they slap ads on their pages and are making money off of AMPAS' trademark, likely a hell of a lot more than Ms. Stone.

She should fight it.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:44 PM on February 9, 2007


$20k is a "whopping" sum in my book.
posted by delmoi at 1:10 PM on February 9, 2007


All sorts of sites use "Oscars" "Academy Awards" and such and make money off of it. The major players like Yahoo, MSN and other news sites have entire sections devoted to the awards. And guess what, they slap ads on their pages and are making money off of AMPAS' trademark, likely a hell of a lot more than Ms. Stone.

The key word there is "sections." I have a strong feeling those sites would be able to submit the use of the term Oscar was not significant to the bulk of their profit revenue. Yahoo and MSN are large information and news sites of which talking about the Oscars are a miniscule function. Oscarwatch.com is entirely devoted to the Academy Awards and makes money off of no other factor except that. The singular, small site element is a huge negative in this case. Not saying that's fair, but I'm being the devil's advocate slash realist here.

It's interesting someone else noted Perez Hilton because if I recall correctly, that site is also being sued for massive use of copyrighted images without permission or royalties.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:39 PM on February 9, 2007


lumped together, yes. spread over a year -- a year made of 6 or 7 days a week, 12-posts-a-day --of work on a blog, not so much. if you do the math and consider the expenses, it pays less than working at a supermarket. and at least the Academy won't sue you if you work at Wal-Mart.
posted by matteo at 1:44 PM on February 9, 2007


and yes, Perez Hilton's being sued. his defense is, "all the bloggers steal images", and yes, he's probably being singled out because he's the biggest gossip blogger out there -- not considering Drudge, who's more or less a GOP operation and doesn't often steal images as shamelessly as Perez, Dlisted and the others. we'll see how it ends.
posted by matteo at 1:47 PM on February 9, 2007


Hammerstein, de la Renta, de la Hoya, Wilde, the Grouch ... watch out, you're infringing on the Academy's trademark!
posted by Xere at 5:23 PM on February 9, 2007


Hilton's gonna (and should) lose his shirt in that court case. I can't believe he thinks drawing spittle on the faces of pictures constitutes parody / fair use.
posted by dobbs at 5:39 PM on February 9, 2007


From the article: Stone makes a piddly $20 grand a year from Oscarwatch.com ad revenues.

I love that editorializing. $20,000 a year is now considered "piddly"?


You haven't been reading Sarcasmwatch.com, have you?
posted by dhartung at 9:16 PM on February 9, 2007


All sorts of sites use "Oscars" "Academy Awards" and such and make money off of it.

Nonsense. There's an obvious difference between fair use and infringement. IANAL, but I think the standard is that a "normal" consumer would be confused by the association, i.e. think that "Oscarwatch" is associated with the Academy Awards. If you want to change trademark law, that's one thing, but it seems like a cut and dry case here.

Non-story. Now that Perez Hilton case, that should be interesting.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:09 AM on February 10, 2007


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