aw, so sweet...
April 19, 2001 5:55 PM   Subscribe

aw, so sweet... it seems lately that everyone's first response to copyright and trademark infringement is to jump down the offender's throat and rip their guts out. this company just corrects the spelling of their name and sends presents.
posted by centrs (17 comments total)
Dear Napster user,

In the hotlist of files you're sharing on Napster, we noticed you incorrectly list '*NSYNC' as 'N-Sync' and Blink 182's 'Enema of the State' as 'Enemy of the State.' If you could correct these trademarked names, we would really appreciate it.

To say thanks for promoting our artists, please accept this free t-shirt and a selection of CD singles from our up-and-coming artists, suitable for Napster distribution.

Your friend,
Hilary Rosen
posted by waxpancake at 6:14 PM on April 19, 2001

I think it takes a small firm like this, one that does one thing well, to realise that the Web is the perfect medium for valorising niche brands: the hard-to-find, quirky things that so often go under through conglomeration and brand homogenisation. (Same applies to the perennial Peeps thread, or even to p7a77's great Project Denny's)

When you have a corporation that -- often by necessity -- grows to a scale where it hires generic MBAs and uses cookie-cutter corporate lawyers, you end up like Mattel, with the kneejerk response, shitloads of bad publicity, etc etc. And they never learn.
posted by holgate at 6:20 PM on April 19, 2001

hehe, Waxy.

I actually find the following humorous and touching in a 1994 sort of way:
"If you ever decide to re-do your web site..."

If I'm not mistaken, that's about a 2 second change. How unassuming and...well...just too damn NICE!

Finally, if you would be willing to supply me with a snail-mail address or addresses, I would be happy to send you some free samples of our newest fragrances (or your favorite fragrances) and some "Little Trees" t-shirts to show our appreciation of your appreciation of the world-famous "Little Trees" air fresheners.

Oh, yeah, and of course so we can serve your ass with a subpoena... ;-)
posted by fooljay at 6:23 PM on April 19, 2001

Oh, yeah, and of course so we can serve your ass with a subpoena... ;-)

yeah, i thought that too, though she has his permission now in writing to do it. i think it's genuine.
posted by centrs at 6:31 PM on April 19, 2001

That was kind of the point of the ;-), you know? :-)
posted by fooljay at 6:45 PM on April 19, 2001

sorry, i rarely get subtle humor online. :) i'm a pretty literal person.
posted by centrs at 7:02 PM on April 19, 2001

Those folks are on the Cluetrain.
posted by netbros at 8:58 PM on April 19, 2001

Y'know I hate those little tree things, but after reading this, come to think of it, my car does need some freshening y'know? It's been awhile since I bought one of them. Maybe years ago I just wasn't mature enough to be prepared for the sweet smell of pine hanging off my rear view mirror. I think I'm gonna give those little bastards another try. I'll buy a CAR-FRESHNER (TM) air freshener on the way home. Just cuz.

I wish more companies were this cybernetically clueful.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:16 PM on April 19, 2001

i applaud the president of that company for having the insight that making people feel good about his product is going to make them feel like buying it.

this is a perfect example of someone in the business world who "gets it."

now if only i can get mercedes-benz to send me an s-class sedan...
posted by bwg at 10:39 PM on April 19, 2001

Cool! CAR-FRESHNER air fresheners come in smells other than Pine. =) If you go buy one, be sure to look on the back. There might still be some impostors, but I bet that may be the real reason why this company's being so kind. I mean if they've spent the last several years fighting companies who were blatantly stealing the design they patented, they're probably just really happy to see a website actually use their product for free publicity instead of someone else's.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:38 AM on April 20, 2001

You know, this whole feel good huggy warm N fuzzy had me all glowy about our good friends with the stinky trees. I never bought one of their dopey products, but darn it, I was out to buy one on the way home today.

And then, my heart full of happyhappyjoyjoy, I rushed to congradulate them, and swear alliegence to stinky cardboard. I hit their web site, rushed to the 'contact us' section....

And was given a choice between snail mail and telephone. Not an e-mail addy on the whole darn site.

Ah well. So much for online corporate enlightenment.
posted by Perigee at 8:09 AM on April 20, 2001

This is the warm fuzziest I've felt in a long time. I'm just brimming with Vanilla Pride.
posted by jennyb at 8:14 AM on April 20, 2001

New Car Scent! Brilliant.
posted by lia at 9:08 AM on April 20, 2001

i can almost smell it.... if only.
posted by heather at 11:17 AM on April 20, 2001

Great way to handle it. The problem with trademarks is that if you don't enforce them, you can lose them. Especially with a mark like CAR-FRESHENER -- which is pretty darn close to generic -- they have to be vigilant. One way to enforce is to do what this company did -- gently correct to ensure that the mark is used in the correct manner, and give permission to use it, so long as it is done correctly. Smart lawyers know that you win more flies with honey than with vinegar!
posted by IPLawyer at 3:43 PM on April 20, 2001

The Car-Freshner folks definitely seem to get it. Remember Repo Man? Every car in the movie has one of the little trees in it. I wonder if it was a paid product placement?
posted by gimli at 5:21 PM on April 20, 2001

Ahhhh but it's not "CAR-FRESHENER". It's "CAR-FRESHNER", which is not generic... :-)
posted by fooljay at 6:22 PM on April 20, 2001

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