Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Lamebook Sues Facebook Over Trademark Infringement

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the when-parody-attacks dept.

Facebook 108

designersdigest writes "Here's a head scratcher, at first glance at least: Lamebook, a hilarious advertising-supported site that lets Facebook users submit funny status updates, pictures and 'other gems' originating from the social network, is apparently suing Facebook over trademark infringement."

cancel ×

108 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

it'd be funny if I cared... (1, Insightful)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154722)

but there's no way either of these parasites will get more attention from me.

Re:it'd be funny if I cared... (2)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154750)

I'm with you! I don't care about them -- this isn't news for nerds! It's news for popular-and-stupid-people.

Re:it'd be funny if I cared... (-1, Redundant)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155196)

A Troll rated 2. How interesting.

Re:it'd be funny if I cared... (1)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161780)

If someone rate him troll and a lot of people rate him underrated, I think we can get a +5troll

Re:it'd be funny if I cared... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155296)

Being a nerd and being stupid aren't mutually exclusive.

Re:it'd be funny if I cared... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155960)

Yes they are. Being a geek and stupid is possible, though.

Re:it'd be funny if I cared... (2, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156884)

Wrong. The only difference between a nerd and a geek is the former is socially awkward.

I agree with the poster who commented that this isn't 'news for nerds' though, but anyone who hasn't see the quality of /. stories decline rapidly over the last five years or so must be new here.

Re:it'd be funny if I cared... (1)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161798)

This is why a read a lot of Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] nowadays...

Re:it'd be funny if I cared... (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159780)

Your geeky anger is understood and justified in this context!

Re:it'd be funny if I cared... (0, Redundant)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158522)

If you really don't care, then why are you commenting on the article about it, rather than merely moving on to the next Slashdot story?

Ok (2, Insightful)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154744)

Here's what's ACTUALLY happening. Until this article, I had never heard of lamebook. They (or anybody else) sue facebook, and they get tons of publicity, publicity that they can't afford to actually pay for. With the lawsuit, they get it for free, and it's good publicity instead of bad because they are doing the suing.

RTFA (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154828)

"So here’s what’s going on here. The complaint is for a declaratory judgement, which means Facebook threatened to sue Lamebook over trademark infringement, and now the tiny company is suing them first in order to get a preemptive decision from the court that there is, in fact, no wrongdoing. Most probably, Lamebook is doing this to keep the lawsuit in Texas."

Re:RTFA (-1, Flamebait)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155552)

I DID read the article you tool, and that's a load of shit. Like getting a judgment now would in ANY way bias a future judge to rule in favor of them should facebook sue. If you want to believe that, I've got a bridge in California to sell you. This is about publicity, plain and simple.

Re:RTFA (5, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155708)

Like getting a judgment now would in ANY way bias a future judge to rule in favor of them should facebook sue.

Wrong. If Lamebook is granted a declaratory judgement [wikipedia.org] in their favor it will be exactly as if Facebook had sued them and lost.

Re:RTFA (2, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155876)

wow, you're dumb.

Re:RTFA (1)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161818)

C'mon, this is not insightful, this is redundant. If you read parent, it says the same thing!

Re:RTFA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34156060)

You're living under a rock if you haven't heard of Lamebook. Everyone knows it. If anyone is a tool here, it's you.

Re:RTFA (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157590)

Your knowledge of the legal is clearly on par with your level of bridge ownership.

Re:RTFA (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156800)

If this is true, it's one of the smartest lawsuit moves I ever seen. One where you literally want to loose (as long as it's not a loss where their victim is granted the "trademark") to set a precedent so you can stop the other company from doing the same all over the country. That is priceless.

Lamebook should lose on the basis that... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159522)

As long as Facebook is around, Lamebook is totally redundant.

Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (5, Informative)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154846)

Lamebook is quite obviously a parody site, something that is protected by the First Amendment. Facebook (which has already tried to claim trademark on all ----book sites [slashdot.org] ) has already threatened to go after Lamebook. If they do so, it will be tried in whatever Facebook-friendly court district that Facebook wants.

In order to help protect themselves, Lamebook is suing them preemptively to declare that they have the right to their parody site and avoid being put in a position where Facebook simply outspends them in litigation.

I say good for 'em, and I hope they win. This is a MUCH better long-term strategy than simply not responding to Facebook or mocking them [thepiratebay.org] until they get shut down.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

Archeleus (1840908) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154908)

I hope they win. Just because I detest Facebook.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (0)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155400)

I've hated facebook since before it was cool to hate facebook.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155860)

I hated Facebook before "before it was cool to hate Facebook" I have since drank the koolaid.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (2, Funny)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158114)

Keeping up with the Jonestown... DON'T DRINK THE KOOLAID!

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34156438)

I haven't liked any of those info harvesting "social" networking sites since I was contracted to create one (this was pre-Friendster, so it was possibly one of the first, if not the first, of its kind) back in '99. Sure I raked them over the coals for a shade over $120K for 5 months of work, but I still didn't like the idea behind it.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154982)

This is a MUCH better long-term strategy than simply not responding to Facebook or mocking them [thepiratebay.org] until they get shut down.

Probably, but isn't it a bit sad that there is such a thing as a good strategy when it comes to what is considered right or wrong?

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155002)

It looks like Facebook wasn't suing all sites with the word book it, it was *social networking* sites that have book in them. And frankly, "Teachbook" is a poor name for a social networking site, even if it is just a specialty one focusing on teachers. The naming plainly sounds like they're trying to ride the coattails of the Facebook trademark.

It's still protected. (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155046)

Are they riding the coattails of Facebook? Hell yes, they never said they're not! The site's tagline is, "The funniest and lamest of facebook." But again, it's parody, which is allowed by the First Amendment.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155096)

Lamebook is suing them preemptively to declare that they have the right to their parody site and avoid being put in a position where Facebook simply outspends them in litigation.

How does that work? Lamebook is suing over trademark infringement, not over a breach of their right to be a parody site.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155204)

mocking them until they get shut down.

Well... they're still online, aren't they? (TPB)

In their own words,

TEH PIRATE BAY IZ AN UNSINKABLE SHIP. IT WILL SAIL TEH INTERWEBS 4 AS LONG AS WE WANTS IT 2. REMEMBR DAT, K THX.

TPB, ONLY IN IT 4 TEH LULZ SINCE 2003

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (2, Funny)

RaymondKurzweil (1506023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156430)

Ok... after looking over the facts I am taking Facebook's side.

Lamebook may be a parody site, it may even feature nostril rape, but that site is an absolute mess and looks like shit, and its basically a shitty blog of images. Based on technical merits alone it should be wiped off the Internet by any means possible. This kind of shitty design shouldn't be encouraged.

Facebook is doing the right thing.

Welcome to 4chanbook (3, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160314)

it may even feature nostril rape, but that site is an absolute mess and looks like shit, and its basically a shitty blog of images.

You're going to love /b/ ;-)

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156440)

Lamebook is quite obviously a parody site, something that is protected by the First Amendment. Facebook (which has already tried to claim trademark on all ----book sites [slashdot.org]) has already threatened to go after Lamebook. If they do so, it will be tried in whatever Facebook-friendly court district that Facebook wants.

In order to help protect themselves, Lamebook is suing them preemptively to declare that they have the right to their parody site and avoid being put in a position where Facebook simply outspends them in litigation.

I doubt that they were worried about this going to court, even in a Facebook-friendly court that's one-thousand miles away from them.

The crux of their panic here was that the Facebook lawyer threatened the nuclear option, to "shut down their personal Facebook account if they didn't comply" [lamebook.com] (and that, I'm afraid they wouldn't have been able to do anything about, it's Facebook's right to shut down any personal Facebook page they desire, just like it was Rupert Murdoch's right to shut down any MySpace account that criticized him).

At least, by tackling the trademark issue head-on, and asking a preemptive verdict on that part at least, it will look that much worse if Facebook ever decides to shut down their personal account after that.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158078)

Parody is not a blanket defense to allow someone to copy another by trying to make it funny:

is the use of some elements of a prior author's composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author's works

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody#Copyright_issues [wikipedia.org]
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_v._Acuff-Rose_Music,_Inc [wikipedia.org] .

I can't see anywhere on that site where they are commenting on the author's work. They are producing screenshots of various updates and things they think are amusing, without as far as I can tell, commenting on them at all.

Note that parody is a copyright defense not a trademark defense.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159108)

My understanding is that trademark infringement and / or dilution are related to the likelyhood of causing confusion in the marketplace. Calling yourself "The funniest and lamest of facebook" in your logo is likely to clarify that the site in question is not facebook. That's not parody, but they should be adequately protected. Still, they should have chosen another font.

Also, does Facebook own the exclusive copyright to the content, or do the posters?

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159394)

regardless of who owns it, it may be owned by each individual who made a comment on some of those long status updates, it is extremely unlikely they have permission from each person in the thread to repost those.
So even if it's not facebook who owns the content for copyright, they're likely on the hook to someone. Someone mentioned earlier something about the Facebook ToS taking any work you create on there.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

Amlothi (207848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158846)

Why is it that summarizing the article, point for point, gets a score of 5 informative?

Perhaps it's because:

1) Nobody expected anyone to actually read the article.

2) The summaries presented do not actually summarize the article, but simply copy and paste the first couple of sentences.

I should just start summarizing every article on Slashdot, without adding any insight or information, just to raise my karma.

Re:Here's what's REALLY ACTUALLY happening (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160840)

So wait, are you saying that no one reads the articles, and that the summaries of submissions just contain the first little bit of the back-end article?

Re:Ok (-1, Offtopic)

Potor (658520) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155034)

+5 insightful
  • for being wrong
  • for not RTFA
  • for thinking that going to court against FB will be "free" advertising

Are the mods on crack?

Re:Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155062)

Yep, nothing like free lawsuits. I bet they used one of those free lawyers to get them all that free advertising, too.

News for nerds? Stuff that matters? (-1, Troll)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154748)

How is this "STUFF THAT MATTERS?"

This "matters" as much as a tic turd.

It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154764)

Lamebook has a funny catchy name that they feel has yet to go viral. Since they just host ads, all they need you to do is visit their site. Or, better yet, Google and then visit their site (like icing on the cake). Any money they spend on this frivolous lawsuit will be more than made up by the resultant ad views and revenue from thousands visiting their site from this news.

Don't do it. Don't reinforce this behavior. Let them gamble and let them lose. They're making a mockery of our justice system by using it as an advertising mechanism. The system already is a mockery enough of itself, don't perpetuate this behavior.

Hell, it might even be in Facebook's interest to work with parasites in this respect. Anything that needs Facebook is interested in augmenting Facebook and keeping the beast alive and healthy.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154870)

Quoting TFA - Emphasis mine.

So here’s what’s going on here. The complaint is for a declaratory judgement, which means Facebook threatened to sue Lamebook over trademark infringement, and now the tiny company is suing them first in order to get a preemptive decision from the court that there is, in fact, no wrongdoing. Most probably, Lamebook is doing this to keep the lawsuit in Texas.

According to the complaint, Facebook counsel first contacted Lamebook back in March 2010, asking them to cease and desist using the Lamebook mark and change the name and look of its website. They repeated this request several times over the next few months and are now threatening to take the small company to court to get their way.

Basically, Lamebook’s counterargument is that its site is a clear parody to Facebook and as such does not infringe or dilute the Facebook mark, and enjoys protection under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (2, Insightful)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154888)

They are not making a mockery of the system, the system has been at the funny farm for quite some time. They are just playing by the same 'rules' that Facebook are. Going after legit businesses with 'book' in their name is just as farcical as this.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159798)

Uhhh... Microsoft v. Lindows [wikipedia.org]

Not entirely without precedent. I understand that Lindows was not a parody and therefore is not in the same situation, but it's hardly the first time a huge company has sued a much smaller one just for having a similar name.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160562)

I think your comparison is without merit. Lindows was obviously trying to ride on the coat-tails of Microsoft by using its name as a way to 'confuse' people into using Linux versus Windows. Linspire's own lawyers didn't even want to defend the case, as the article points out.

This on the other hand, is parody, a key ingredient to a successful defense.

They're defending themselves. (5, Informative)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154906)

Did you even read the article? They're not the ones who initiated this action. Facebook has already contacted them several times threatening to sue, and they have every reason to believe they will [slashdot.org] . If they do, then Lamebook, which has a site that is protected by the First Amendment, will be forced to defend themselves through a trial and umpteen appeals in a faraway district, likely one that is very unfriendly to them.

All they are doing is asking for a declaratory judgment that they have done nothing wrong so that they won't be litigated into either bankruptcy or submission. From there, some news outlets picked up the story, because it is of interest to the tech community.

Will they benefit from the free advertising as a result? Maybe so, but that doesn't change that the motive is probably primarily self-preservation, not revenue generation.

Re:They're defending themselves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159072)

Did you even read the article?

Come here often?

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (5, Interesting)

ddxexex (1664191) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154932)

My understanding of them suing was not for the free advertisement but rather the fact that the lawsuit will happen in Texas rather than a "Facebook-friendly" court. And Facebook was probably going to sue them anyways, so they took the initiative and did something to improve their chances of winning. I don't see anything wrong with survival instincts and I give them credit for sticking up for their 1st amendment rights.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154948)

It is you, american voters that made your justice system a mockery of what it should be. If you're looking for the guilty ones, get a mirror.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (0, Flamebait)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154952)

lamebook also seems to have a business plan that revolves around stealing copyrighted content from individuals facebook pages and posting it on their site without even the courtesy of attribution. Even if you hate facebook for being a narcisstic circle-jerk, they don't seem to be the bad-guys here, just clueless.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (3, Informative)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155144)

Copyrighted by whom? Not the Facebook user who posted it; you waive your right to copyright the moment you sign up for a Facebook account. There is an argument to be made that Lamebook is profiting off of Facebook's "copyrighted" content, but Facebook didn't create the content. They just force their users to hand over rights to it. It's a clusterfuck all the way around, and unfortunately the only ones left with no rights at all are the users.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155272)

but you can make use of copyrighted content for parody... isn't that what lamebook is?

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155440)

Yes you can, and I'm actually on Lamebook's side in this; I personally feel it's a legal parody. I just pointed out that in the end, the actual content creators (the users) have no say in the matter either way.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158104)

No, it's not. legal parody requires that the the person creating the parody use the material to comment on the original author's creation.

is the use of some elements of a prior author's composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author's works

Lamebook has done nothing of the sort. They're simply posting pictures and content without comment as far as I can see. About the only thing they create is the blurry stuff and the titles, neither of which make comments about Facebook.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody#Copyright_issues [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159666)

Isn't the Lamebook site itself a commentary on Facebook?

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159694)

it's extremely weak commentary.
Since some of the content they post isn't "lame" and instead is posted to indicate it's funny, it doesn't seem to be particularly good commentary either.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157666)

: a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule
: a feeble or ridiculous imitation
PARODY [merriam-webster.com]

You see to make a parody, requires creative effort, not merely copying other's work and making slight changes. the style is copied. The musical "Westside Story" is a parody of "Romeo and Juliet"; Lamebook is not a parody of Facebook.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (2, Informative)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158164)

Westside story is not a parody, it might be ridiculous, but it's not a parody.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (2, Informative)

roju (193642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155428)

Copyrighted by whom? Not the Facebook user who posted it; you waive your right to copyright the moment you sign up for a Facebook account.

That's not even remotely true. It's the second item in the Facebook terms [facebook.com] :

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157568)

They don't force any rights transferm except they do say they need the license to distribute the copyrighted material that user post on their site to distributed.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155470)

The names are removed to avoid being sued by the authors for slander or whatever damage they suffer from having their lameness publicized. Providing proper attributions could even get lamebook criminally charged with "cyber-bullying".

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155090)

wait... what is morally unacceptable about this?

everything you said is correct except that i do not agree with your judgmental tone. This is corporate america. if you can't handle the heat, then don't do business here.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155108)

And? Facebook have made an even bigger mockery of the system than Lamebook ever could.

Facebook have threatened and probably shutdown most other sites with "book" as a suffix. (some changed their name through the inability of being able to defend their own site)
They even threatened Lamebook.
Lamebook are defending themselves by firing the first round.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (1)

grimdawg (954902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155116)

I suspect they feel it's most definitely 'gone viral'. You might not have heard of it, but Lamebook is definitely a popular website with a lot of fans.

They are not after Slashdot's traffic, they are trying to protect themselves from Facebook's hefty law department.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155152)

This is not a frivolous suit. It is a justified declaratory judgement suit. Outfits like Facebook use public threats to sue to spread FUD. They drag out "negotiations" indefinitely with no intention of actually suing. The purpose of a declaratory judgement suit is to put a stop to that.

Re:It's Simple But Where's the "Advertising" tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155452)

I wonder if Facebook has a fake blogging department... About a year and a half ago I was doing some database stuff for a very large entertainment company that you all know. During the last weeks of my contract, I heard they were putting together an entire fake blogging department. What? Yes that's right, a whole pod of cubicles so they can pay a bunch of people (and a manager ; ) to blog and twitter all across the web all day under different fake personalities. To make posts wherever relevant in support and defense of the company. I'm glad it was just a contract, because I take up ethical issues with that practice.

I quote:

"Don't do it. Don't reinforce this behavior. Let them gamble and let them lose."

Make what you want of it.

I have been on slashdot since before it was slashdot and I expect that many here will post in defense of lamebook as protected under the constitution. It really comes down to one detail for me. While as a parody it's seems apparent that this is indeed protected constitutionally - is a parody allowed to make money off of that which they poke fun at? Lawyer please. I know your out there. Personally I would rather have the whole thing done in the name of just good fun. It would be funnier if the ads were fake too.

late,

-w

Facebook threatened to sue first... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154800)

From TFA:

"The complaint is for a declaratory judgement, which means Facebook threatened to sue Lamebook over trademark infringement, and now the tiny company is suing them first in order to get a preemptive decision from the court that there is, in fact, no wrongdoing."

Just dealt with this this week (1)

caffeinejolt (584827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155450)

This site is pretty straight forward: http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/ [customerse...eboard.com] - people can score companies based on the customer service they provide. Facebook / markmonitor.com decide for some reason that it infringes on their trademark based on this page: http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Facebook [customerse...eboard.com] Which leads to the following big waste of time/resources simply to tell their legal team to leave them alone: 1) they receive the complaint 2) they contact their registrar http://www.namesilo.com/ [namesilo.com] to find out what problems if any they have with their domain 3) NameSilo recommends some trademark attorney and 4) the attorney files a response (http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/images/CustomerServiceScoreboard_Facebook_Response.pdf) which more or less tells Facebook to please leave them alone and that their trademark infringement case is baseless. Facebook ended up dropping the threat. But this goes to show you how ridiculous the situation has become. Sites like Facebook employ services like Markmonitor.com to basically send out thousands of trademark and/or dmca threats.

Re:Just dealt with this this week (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34157738)

[snip] Facebook / markmonitor.com decide for some reason that it infringes on their trademark based on this page: http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Facebook [customerse...eboard.com] Which leads to the following big waste of time/resources simply to tell their legal team to leave them alone: 1) they receive the complaint 2) they contact their registrar http://www.namesilo.com/ [namesilo.com] to find out what problems if any they have with their domain 3) NameSilo recommends some trademark attorney and 4) the attorney files a response (http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/images/CustomerServiceScoreboard_Facebook_Response.pdf) which more or less tells Facebook to please leave them alone and that their trademark infringement case is baseless. Facebook ended up dropping the threat. But this goes to show you how ridiculous the situation has become. Sites like Facebook employ services like Markmonitor.com to basically send out thousands of trademark and/or dmca threats.

One of the quirks of American trademark law is that if a trademark holder does not aggressively "defend" its trademark it risks losing said trademark. But before you decry this as just another vulgar americanism, remember that this is not just a really dumb aspect to trademark law -- It's a jobs program for lawyers. N.B.: IANAL

Re:Just dealt with this this week (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161488)

One of the quirks of American trademark law is that if a trademark holder does not aggressively "defend" its trademark it risks losing said trademark. But before you decry this as just another vulgar americanism, remember that this is not just a really dumb aspect to trademark law -- It's a jobs program for lawyers.

What's the alternative? A government bureaucracy of 'trademark police' whose job is to go out and enforce private businesses' IP? The way it is makes the most sense. The burden of protecting IP belongs on the backs of the IP owner, not the taxpayer in general.

Now that's (1)

Archeleus (1840908) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154864)

Totally lame.

You know what (-1, Flamebait)

rshxd (1875730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154868)

I prefer Lamebook over Failblog any day of the week - I think Failblog is ran by autists and folks infected with Assbergers Syndrome.

Re:You know what (0, Offtopic)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155160)

You just reminded me, I haven't been to Failblog.org all morning. Be back in a few hours.

Re:You know what (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155990)

I don't think Lamebook could hold a candle to Failblog. At least Failblog has a wider assortment of content aside from people talking to each other on Facebook.

Re:You know what (1)

Stormie (708) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158296)

Indeed. Everyone on Facebook is lame, and fails, but not everyone who is lame and fails is on Facebook.

Head Scratcher? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34154978)

Did the article writer read their own article? There's no head scratcher, the article clearly explains what's going on. Lamebook is suing to determine that their use of the name and appearance are legal as a parody of Facebook. They're not trying to claim Facebook is infringing.

I don't infringement here in any way. (1)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155170)

When I read the summary I thought that lamebook has a very similar layout to fb. I visited lb and even the shade of blue is wrong. It's just a freakin blog...

you're next "phonebook" (1)

pat sajak (1368465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34155274)

What about the Phonebook? They've been infringing on facebook's trademark for a long time now, over 100 years actually.

Re:you're next "phonebook" (2, Funny)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156102)

"Phonebook -- A Place For Phones"

Failbook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155276)

Personally, I am a fan of failbook

More like lawlsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155284)

Lawsuit? More like lawlsuit.

make a site called fleshdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155340)

yeh yeh just like slashdot but with a live nude webcam next to each nerd comment

Parody yes, but lamebook gets ad revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155420)

Yes parody is covered by the first amendment, but lamebook is generating income (ad revenue) based on facebook's trademark. So yeah its not a black and white case either way.

Re:Parody yes, but lamebook gets ad revenue (5, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156030)

parody is covered by the first amendment

The 1st Amendment matters only for the government's actions against you, not a private company's. The issue here is purely about copyright and trademarks, and the law that allows parody is Fair Use, not the 1st Amendment.

lamebook is generating income (ad revenue) based on facebook's trademark

Which is not forbidden. Fair Use rights are not restricted to non-commercial uses. Just look at parodies like Space Balls, a major movie that grossed $34M.

Re:Parody yes, but lamebook gets ad revenue (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158090)

and parody requires that the content created under fair use be used for or as commentary on the original author's work. I can't see any evidence that lamebook has done that, and it'd be too late to start now.

Re:Parody yes, but lamebook gets ad revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159032)

The 1st Amendment matters only for the government's actions against you, not a private company's. The issue here is purely about copyright and trademarks

Copyright and trademark laws are government actions. They restrict the speech of everyone who is not the copyright or trademark owner and as such, are subject to limitations of the First Amendment (Congress shall pass no law...).

and the law that allows parody is Fair Use, not the 1st Amendment.

They both do. The fair use doctrine was first created by courts because the judges thought it was required by the First Amendment. Later Congress decided to incorporate it into United States Code.

Summary ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34155556)

I guess we can't be bothered to write our own summary these days... Let's just lift the article's summary instead - yeah.

Facebook Statement under Truth Serum (5, Informative)

skywire (469351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156098)

According to the article, Facebook has publicly responded with

  It’s unfortunate that after months of working with Lamebook to amicably resolve what we believe is an improper attempt to build a brand that trades off Facebook’s popularity and fame, they have turned to litigation. We are confident in our position and believe we will prevail in court.

What they would be saying under sodium pentathol:

We are miffed that after several months of bullying Lamebook with threatened litigation over their building of a business that takes natural and legal (but you'll never get us to admit it) advantage of the social phenomena created by Facebook, under a brand name that no human being would come close to confusing with ours, they feel forced to defend themselves in a court of law. We are certain that our deeper pockets will overwhelm justice in court.

"First amendment" (2, Informative)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156856)

Seriously, is everyone retarded? Yes, the first amendment dictates that the US government shall not infringe on its people's right to free speech and assembly, and yes, parody is (with certain conditions) exempt from copyright as Fair Use.

These two facts have nothing to do with each other.

So STFU about amendments already.

Re:"First amendment" (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159772)

Copyright is a law that restricts my freedom of speech. Parody is an explicit case of free speech in that it's typically criticism.

Sounds like an own goal... (1)

achyuta (1236050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156922)

...that Facebook tried to threaten action and, in doing so, suggest they had something in common to lose to Lamebook.

Forget what Lamebook has to gain from this. People are going to see Facebook and Lamebook side by side in the story and say "Facebook feels Lamebook is a threat? Did Lamebook offer something Facebook felt threatened about losing?" What they should have done is to ignore Lamebook from the start. Its the best way to discredit them.

I, for one, understand the ethos... (1)

achyuta (1236050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34156954)

...Facebook wants people to be lame on Facebook and not Lamebook.

marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34157904)

Sounds like a marketing scam by Lamebook. Who ever heard of Lamebook before this suit.

Re:marketing (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159844)

Anyone who uses reddit.com. Probably quite a few other similar sites as well.

This is common practice... (1)

BillX (307153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159112)

...to nip legal huffing and puffing in the bud - you can go in circles for months and months basically arguing "did not, did too!" with the puffer while potential damages accrue, or file for declaratory judgment, in which you present the evidence to a judge who (you hope) says "yup, did not, now bugger off." (Any parallels to running to the teacher on the playground are purely uncoincidental). For example look up Symantec v. HotBar (DirectRevenue?): a spyware company was sending threats to an A/V vendor for detecting its "product"; A/V vendor sues for declaratory judgment that it is legal to remove 3rd-party software.

I do wonder though; and maybe someone more familiar with law knows the answer: In cases like these it is common (standard?) practice that if Facebook filed suit, they would argue their first threatening letter was proof that Lamebook was aware of the infringement from that point forward, making them liable for mondo additional damages due to "willful infringement" during the months between the first letter and the eventual suit. If Lamebook succeeded in its declaratory judgment, only to have it later overturned somehow, would this have any effect (relative to a plain old "Facebook sues Lamebook" scenario) on the likelihood of a willful infringement ruling? (I.e. showing there was enough uncertainty as to the validity of the claim -- even the judges don't agree! -- that it could not possibly be considered putting Lamebook on notice?)

facebook could end this now... (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159600)

... if they started their own "lamest of facebook" section. One of the most popular parts of Craigslist is the "best of craigslist" section, so it's been done and proven.

On facebooks' trademarks: Prior use would be easy to establish. "The phone book" has been in use way longer than facebook has been existing. Remarkably, it is also a directory that enables people to communicate with each other and is also widely used as a data mine by advertisers as well.
The thumbs sign was documented to be "invented" by the Romans. Just because Facebook uses these, doesn't mean anybody else can't in a logo. Facebook will have a lot less to bring to the courtroom with these arguments dealt with.

Class action against Facebook (1)

drgregoryhouse (1909704) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159824)

Can everyone in the world sue Facebook? Considering everyone actually has a "Face" and Facebook used it as a trademark?

who came first (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160774)

Lamebook or Facebook, who came out first with their name, end of story, no?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>