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!

Boy Scouts Bully Hacker Scouts Into Submission

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the is-there-a-badge-for-being-obnoxious dept.

News 289

b1tbkt writes "Youth-focused Maker organization 'Hacker Scouts' has announced their decision to surrender their name due to bullying by the Boy Scouts of America. It appears that BSA has interpreted their federal charter to include a claim on any and all use of the term 'Scout' in an organization's name. The litmus test for such a claim, so far as I'm aware, is the likelihood of causing confusion. The term 'Scout' is sufficiently generic, though, and by this reasoning most every airline in the world would need to eliminate 'Airlines' from their name."

cancel ×

289 comments

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

Letter (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951639)

Letter from Camp

Dear Mom,

Our scout master told us all write to our parents in case you saw the flood on TV and worried. We are OK. Only 1 of our tents and 2 sleeping bags got washed away. Luckily, none of us got drowned because we were all up on the mountain looking for Chad when it happened. Oh yes, please call Chad's mother and tell her he is OK. He can't write because of the cast.

I got to ride in one of the search & rescue jeeps. It was neat. We never would have found him in the dark if it hadn't been for the lightning.

Scoutmaster Webb got mad at Chad for going on a hike alone without telling anyone. Chad said he did tell him, but it was during the fire so he probably didn't hear him. Did you know that if you put gas on a fire, the gas can will blow up? The wet wood still didn't burn, but one of our tents did. Also some of our clothes. John is going to look weird until his hair grows back.

We will be home on Saturday if Scoutmaster Webb gets the car fixed. It wasn't his fault about the wreck. The brakes worked OK when we left. Scoutmaster Webb said with a car that old you have to expect something to break down; that's probably why he can't get insurance on it. We think it's a neat car. He doesn't care if we get it dirty, and if it's hot, sometimes he lets us ride on the tailgate. IT gets pretty hot with 10 people in a car. He let us take turns riding in the trailer until the highway patrolman stopped and talked to us.

Scoutmaster Webb is a neat guy. Don't worry, he is a good driver. In fact, he is teaching Terry how to drive. But he only lets him drive on the mountain roads where there isn't any traffic. All we ever see up there are logging trucks.

This morning all of the guys were diving off the rocks and swimming out in the lake. Scoutmaster Webb wouldn't let me because I can't swim and Chad was afraid he would sink because of his cast, so he let us take the canoe
across the lake. It was great. You can still see some of the trees under the water from the flood. Scoutmaster Webb isn't crabby like some scoutmasters. He didn't even get mad about the life jackets. He has to spend a lot of time working on the car so we are trying not to cause him any trouble.

Guess what? We have all passed our first aid merit badges. When Dave dove in the lake and cut his arm, we got to see how a tourniquet works.

Also Wade and I threw up. Scoutmaster Webb said it probably was just food poisoning from the leftover chicken, he said they got sick that way with the food they ate in prison. I'm so glad he got out and became our scoutmaster.
He said he sure figured out how to get things done better while he was doing time.

I have to go now. We are going into town to mail our letters and buy bullets. Don't worry about anything. We are fine.

Love your son,

Cole

P.S. How long has it been since I had a tetanus shot?

Re:Letter (1)

sabri (584428) | about 10 months ago | (#44951901)

Mod parent up. Is funny, not troll.

Re:Letter (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 10 months ago | (#44952221)

That last line cracked me up.

Re:Letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952457)

jojo, you just describe part of my youth...

What a great time!!!

(no kidding... you just describe part of my youth... )

Well... (0)

Phs2501 (559902) | about 10 months ago | (#44951671)

They could embrace gender equality and rename themselves the Hacker Guides [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | about 10 months ago | (#44951761)

Yes, because no one would use "Scouts" for girls [wikipedia.org] , would they?

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 10 months ago | (#44952107)

The hacking group claims they are creative. They should prove it --- the next creative work should be a creative new name.

Any businessperson knows you must have your own creative and unique names and marks. You cannot ride the coattails of another organization's name without the risk of a lawsuit. A quick search of TESS shows the word "Scout" by itself has multiple trademarks on it. Since this is the name of a youth group and the BSA and GSA have trademarks on "Scout" in youth groups, there is a clear trademark case to be made, and fought about in the courts.

But it gets more complicated than that.

Both the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America have a charter from the United States congress. Their charters give them additional power beyond traditional copyright law. Specifically, they include "exclusive right to use emblems, badges, descriptive or designating marks, and words or phrases" for their organizations which extends beyond traditional

So first off, all organizations MUST sue when they discover other people using their marks. It is not an option. Trademark holders are required either to defend the mark in the courts or risk losing the mark. So the BSA really doesn't have much of a choice in the matter. The marks they use are also boosted by the congressional charter, so any fight brought by the "Hacker Scouts" will face both the traditional trademark battle (which is difficult) and a congressional charter (which is also difficult).

The group did something any business lawyer would have warned them about --- avoid using any names that are already trademarked. They chose to pick a word that is already trademarked, and are now facing the inevitable consequences of it.

Re:Well... (-1, Flamebait)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#44952365)

use "Scouts" for girls

So, instead of "boy scouts" it could be "boy girls"?

I think you're completely disregarding that the BSA is a Mormon organization. Keep your unsexist, non-racist, scientific minded, freethinking kids far far away...

... unless you're all for all the oaths and honors and other mindless appeals to duty and unquestionably of authority, second only to that of JROTC.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952035)

Scouts are already girly. That's why the Sailor Senshi were renamed the Sailor Scouts in the english adaptation instead of using a more accurate translation.

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952451)

That's why the Sailor Senshi were renamed the Sailor Scouts in the english adaptation instead of using a more accurate translation.

No, it isn't. Rather, the idiocy of American marketers and translators is entirely to blame.

Or are you telling me we got "Neon Genesis" Evangelion by some method other than someone sniffing a hell of a lot of glue?

Change it to "Hacker Sc0uts" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951677)

Aha, worked for my pr0n folder too

I'm shocked (-1, Flamebait)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 10 months ago | (#44951683)

Wow, bullying, in the boy scouts? I'm utterly shocked. Who would have though an organization full of teenage asshole testosterone pumps would be susceptible to bullying?

Re:I'm shocked (5, Informative)

Quantus347 (1220456) | about 10 months ago | (#44951719)

Wow, bullying, in the boy scouts? I'm utterly shocked. Who would have though an organization full of teenage asshole testosterone pumps would be susceptible to bullying?

Just because the national management is regrettably old-fashioned and very very conservative does not mean the youth themselves are assholes. At that age they more often actually live up to the public Ideals.

Having BEEN in the BSA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951777)

Let me just say they as a whole live up to their 'grown up' acronym sharing fellows as far as their attitudes go.

I'm sure there are good and nice groups among the BSA, but it's because of the individuals not the organization.

They've got cliques based on religion, school, probably what part of town you live in. (I got firsthand experience in the former two thanks to changing schools. It really opened my eyes as far as prejudices go. Especially among groups supposedly espousing otherwise. Also: WTF girls can't join, gays can't join, but female 'Pack Leaders' are ok? I'd always found that a bit iffy.)

Re:Having BEEN in the BSA... (1)

drevange (2365548) | about 10 months ago | (#44951943)

There are many different troops, etc. sponsored by many different organizations. The ideals are very good, there are always people who are exceptions to the rule. At the Cub Scout level it is more family oriented, boys and their siblings (male or female) go camping, etc. and women leaders are OK. At the Boy Scout level it is strictly for boys. At the Venture & Explorer Scout level it opens up to boys and girls.

Re:I'm shocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952053)

The local leaders I'm familiar with (at the troop level) are a bunch of arrogant turds that think theirs don't smell.

Re:I'm shocked (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#44951731)

Wow, bullying, in the boy scouts? I'm utterly shocked. Who would have though an organization full of teenage asshole testosterone pumps would be susceptible to bullying?

This was bullying by the boy scouts, an even less shocking phenomenon.

(If anything, the boy scouts, and similar organizations in other countries, have actually chilled out considerably since the bad old days in the fires of psychotic European ultra-nationalism. They still skew right on god and gays; but the 'direct feeder into the armed might of The State' vibe has been toned down considerably)

Re:I'm shocked (3, Insightful)

immaterial (1520413) | about 10 months ago | (#44951779)

Yes, this was done by a bunch of 13 year olds from troop 26 in Spokane, WA - not the adults that run the national organization. There's no way THOSE guys could be a bag of dicks.

Re:I'm shocked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951781)

Really? Why do you bigots from that point of view mock others? All for equality, my a$$. Liberals are frauds through and though. I love how the government or some group with an agenda publishes this kind of crap and all you so called corporate haters fall for it. Bigots.

Yeah right the Boy Scouts are so scary. Your all turning new conformist.

Re:I'm shocked (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 10 months ago | (#44951839)

One would think that the BSA could use this to their advantage. Among their demographic, hackers have better public opinion than boy scouts.

Kid: Yeah, I'm here for the scouts. I brought my laptop.
Scoutmaster: Welcome, here's your manual of how to tie knots, a pamphlet on why you should always vote republican, and your assigned times to go to church! Watch out for the troop leader of group 40. Lets just say you'll need your pocket knife for more than carving bears.
Kid: Wait... what?

Re:I'm shocked (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 10 months ago | (#44952113)

>teenage asshole testosterone pumps

It sounds like you need a LOT of therapy for whatever dysfunction causes you to lash out at these kids.

a better name (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951703)

Could they change their name to Boy Hackers Of America?

Gay Scouts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951923)

Well, I was hoping for my organization "Gay Scouts" to come into existence without legal challenge.

Queer Scouts (1)

themushroom (197365) | about 10 months ago | (#44952367)

This does exist in the Seattle area.
http://queerscoutsofamerica.blogspot.com/

No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951713)

No, learn how copyright law works. The BAS is forced to do so by interpretations from the last few decades. Further, it's a deliberate re-use of their brand name; not just "scout" as in the dictionary definition, but in the specific context of non-profit national youth organization.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | about 10 months ago | (#44951759)

This AC is exactly right. There's no way the name "hacker scouts" wasn't inspired by the boy scouts and frankly it could well mislead people into thinking their is a relationship between the two organisations. It isn't bullying when you rip off someone else and they ask you to stop.

Re:No (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951793)

That's because inspiration is illegal in this country.

Re:No (0)

stewsters (1406737) | about 10 months ago | (#44951849)

Hopefully they never hear about the "Girl Scouts of America".

Re:No (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#44951931)

On the other hand, the people you ripped off and are asking you to stop are horrible bigots with no reputation left to protect.

Re:No (1, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 10 months ago | (#44952079)

On the other hand, the people you ripped off and are asking you to stop are horrible bigots with no reputation left to protect.

It's ok to steal from people whose political and ethical standards are different than yours. Check.

I dare say that the reputation of the Boy Scouts is considerably better than "hacker" for most of the public. Most people don't hate them quite as much as you do, and there are still a lot of people who would prefer to hire an Eagle Scout than someone who makes it a life ambition to break into computers. That's how most of the people view this.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951941)

I guess the worldwide scouting movement should send a cease and desist letter to the BSA then.

Re:No (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44951815)

You mean trademark law.
Copyright law has no such provision.

Re:No (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 10 months ago | (#44951831)

Then why aren't they going after the Girl Scouts [girlscouts.org] ? That is a competing organization with an extremely similar name and siimilar product.

Re:No (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about 10 months ago | (#44951907)

siimilar product.

Can't say I've ever thought of popcorn as being similar to cookies. But I suppose they are both junk food.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952009)

Camping trips and little badges.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952005)

Gee, maybe it's the fact that it is a completely different demographic? Parents can choose to send their sons to Boy Scouts or Hacker Scouts, but not even very effeminate boys can join the Girl Scouts of America.

I agree that Hacker Scouts was trying to coattail on the established brand of Boy Scouts, and changing their name was the right thing to do.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952119)

Parents can choose to send their sons to Boy Scouts or Hacker Scouts, but not even very effeminate boys can join the Girl Scouts of America.

Actually, that's not strictly true. The Girl Scouts has a rule allowing a transgendered child - meaning if the child identifies as a girl and the family treats him (her) as such, then yes, she can join the Girl Scouts.

The Girls Scouts of America are much more right on than the BSA.

Re:No (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 10 months ago | (#44952031)

For those who are still living in their parent's basement and haven't run into any of these yet, "girls" are different than "boys", and most people understand that the two are (almost always) mutually exclusive. This is different than "hacker" and "boy", which through an odd twist of STEM inequities, are closer to synonyms than antonyms.

Re:No (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952103)

Girl Scouts is not a competing organization due to the 1) gender bias of the respective organizations 2) the biologically bifurcated gender system that we all come from* 3) Each organization already formally recognizes the other as non-competing entities (see #'s 1 & 2).

* I am talking about most of society - not the small number of exceptions nor folks that think they are exceptions.

As for the origins of the GS and BS... The Girl Scouts / Girl Guides, the parent worldwide organization of the GSA were formed by Agnes Baden-Powell. Wife of Robert Baden-Powell. The founder of the Boy Scouts, and subsequently BSA.

Both were formed at roughly the same time. BS 1909, GS 1910.

Re:No (1)

azadrozny (576352) | about 10 months ago | (#44952375)

The Girl Scouts of the USA [girlscouts.org] were founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912. Also, I am not sure that they can't be considered non-competing entities. The BSA has a co-ed Venturing program.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952263)

Where did you get the idea that they're competing organizations?
 
Right from the get-go your argument is flawwed.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952055)

Insightful??? No, this has nothing to do with copyright law, nor is it how copyright works. First off, you are confusion copyright with trademark law. Second, the Boy Scout were using their charter to bully, not copyright or trademark laws.

Re:No (2)

drevange (2365548) | about 10 months ago | (#44952471)

Get facts straight, not bullying at all. Is part of the trademark application process that Hacker Scouts is trying to go through. It is in the "Publication for Opposition" period and the BSA response is according to that procedure.

Re:No (1)

b1tbkt (756288) | about 10 months ago | (#44952101)

Forced to do this? Could you expand upon that please? If they want to retain claim to the term 'scout' as part of their brand then perhaps they are 'forced'. Would the average person conclude that any 'scout' organization is affiliated with or endorsed by BSA (open-ended question)? If I'm overlooking something from Copyright Law 101, please feel free to engage in constructive dialog. Otherwise, we're all left to believe that you lack sufficient grasp of the relevant laws to convey their applicability simply and with clarity.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952391)

You misspelled "Trademark."

Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951737)

http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Licensing/Protecting%20the%20Brand/Boy%20Scouts%20of%20America%20Trademark%20Listing.aspx

They have to defend their trademark, or they will lose it. IMHO, "Hacker Scouts" is confusing and when I first heard it I thought it was a Scout-related computer group.

Re:Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (2)

drevange (2365548) | about 10 months ago | (#44951881)

Agree, I also though it maybe was a related group. The need to defend is there. They also were not bullying - it was a response during the normal trademark application process. I like both Boy Scouts and the "maker" community and agree there would be a high level of interest. Unfortunately the Maker Scouts was a pretty blatant infringement, even in how they were structuring things.

Re:Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (1, Flamebait)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44952075)

No need to defend, the Hacker Scouts should gladly change their name so they are not assumed to be involved with those bigots.

Re:Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 10 months ago | (#44951919)

And the girl scouts?

Re:Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (1)

MobileC (83699) | about 10 months ago | (#44952061)

http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Licensing/Protecting%20the%20Brand/Boy%20Scouts%20of%20America%20Trademark%20Listing.aspx

They have to defend their trademark, or they will lose it. IMHO, "Hacker Scouts" is confusing and when I first heard it I thought it was a Scout-related computer group.

They have a trademark on "* Scouts"?
Baden-Powell would be surprised...

"* Scouts of America", I could understand...

Re:Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952105)

That old nonsense again? No, they do NOT have to defend their trademark or lose it. Firstly, they are pulling their charter, not trademark. Secondly, for trademarks you can simply license them to use it, without going through legal channels. Trademark is not sue or lose. There are other options.

Re:Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952109)

Just looked over the page. There's no trademark they hold on 'Hacker Scouts' or even just 'Scouts' (though they do hold a trademark on 'Scouting').

Re:Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (2)

azadrozny (576352) | about 10 months ago | (#44952137)

When the BSA changed is policy in May with respect to gay scouts, several groups began to organize Boy Scout-like programs (sans the gays). Several of these groups initially tried to use a form of the word "scout" in their name, or the trademarked Fleur-de-li as part of their logo. I think it is safe to assume that the BSA has stepped up enforcement of its trademarks and copyrights, in an effort to keep these groups from building on their name.

Re:Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 10 months ago | (#44952215)

Agreed. I can't seem to come up with any reason a hacker group would have anything to do with scouting in the general sense, unless the hacked tech is exclusively used to scout new territories.

It only makes sense if they're trying to ride on the coattails of the Boy Scouts, presumably believing it's a respectable org because they don't realize that bigots have had control of that organization for a while.

I was a Boy Scout long before they started spewing Conservative hate, and have been really disappointed by decline of the organization.

Re:Unfortunately I have to side with the Scouts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952265)

It's unfortunate that you're so easily confused.

what about girl scouts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951739)

I wonder what the Girl Scouts of America would think about giving up their name?

Not that I think much of 'em. I was a Boy Scout when I was kid for a few months before I was thrown out for being a girl. Hiking & similar activities were far more appealing to me than baking cookies...

Re:what about girl scouts? (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 10 months ago | (#44951961)

The Girl Scouts of America were founded as a sister organization to Boy Scouts of America. That is, at one time they were two separate arms of the same organization (at least in a de facto sense if not a de jure one).

In this case there is merit (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951751)

In this particular case I think there is some merit. The goals of the organizations, how they operate, and the "user base" are similar. "Scouts" is nowhere near as generic as "airlines". Obviously the Hacker Scouts is specifically named after the Boy/Girl Scouts.

It's more like me marketing a cereal called "Apple Loops" or something. Generic words but I wouldn't last 2 seconds in court against Kellogg's because I'm targeting the same audience just like Hacker Scouts is targeting the same people as the other "Scouts".

Re:In this case there is merit (1)

drevange (2365548) | about 10 months ago | (#44951949)

Agree. Very good and succinct explanation.

Re:In this case there is merit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951997)

Scout is an extremely generic word.

Re:In this case there is merit (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 10 months ago | (#44952381)

Which is why in applications that have nothing to do with non-profit youth based organizations the BSA doesn't do anything. You'll find the word Scout used from Navigation systems to International off road vehicles. It is the context of the word that makes all the difference in the world.

It's how Apple got away with ripping off their name from Apple records (Beetles publishing company). They didn't have any notable legal issues over the matter until they went into the business of selling music. For the same reason you could safely make a car called the "Apple" but you would be sued without hesitation if you tried doing anything in the computer industry with the name of "Apple".

The gays (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951755)

You let in the homosexuals and this is what you get. Homosexuals bully everyone into getting their way.

Oh My! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951757)

Poor little Makers/Hackers... persecuted again. Better get Cory Doctorow to comment on this ASAP.

It's due to the trademark law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951775)

Like any company, they have to try to (at least make an appearance of) defending any and all trademarks or service marks, else they lose all protection from the law...

The scouts themselves most likely couldn't care less about what another group calls itself, and many would most likely love to be part of the hacker scouts... It's the corporation that is the National BSA Office that is leading this, as would any other company / corporation...

my 2c worth as a long-time BSA leader...

Re:It's due to the trademark law (0)

drevange (2365548) | about 10 months ago | (#44951875)

True - the need to defend is there. They also were not bullying - it was a response during the normal trademark application process. I like both Boy Scouts and the "maker" community and agree there would be a high level of interest. Unfortunately the Maker Scouts was a pretty blatant infringement, even in how they were structuring things.

Re:It's due to the trademark law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952043)

God forbid they'd use structure that was first created in the UK 10 years before the BSA even existed.

Re:It's due to the trademark law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952141)

NOT true. That is a myth. They can simple license the other group to use the name. They don't need to sue or lose their trademark.

Summary and article are vague on details (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 10 months ago | (#44951803)

What bullying tactics were employed beyond "change your name or we'll sue"?

Because if that's it... I'm not sure why they caved. "Scout" is a pretty generic word.

Re:Summary and article are vague on details (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952069)

[...] "Scout" is a pretty generic word.

No, it's not - at least not when it's about a youth organization.
The trademark laws permit an organization to use the word "scout" if it's in an unrelated field but not if it's also a youth organization - in my opinion that is right since otherwise people may thing that the newer youth organization is related to the... "real" scouts!
I am a "scout" because i served in the Greek marine special forces as a scout, but when it comes to youth organizations i am not - in my country (Greece) we have the similar to USA boy scouts called "proskopi" (and the movement "proskopismos") and no other youth organization will name themselfs similary because it's an obvious attempt to mislead parents.
So... only real scouts can be named "scouts"...

Scouts isn't exactly generic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951809)

Oh come on. If you say 'Scouts', especially in reference to a youth group, in the US, people associate that with Boy Scouts. Hacker Scouts were intentionally borrowing on that association and got busted. Besides, for hackers? They can't keep a web server up.

Re:Scouts isn't exactly generic... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 10 months ago | (#44951891)

In the 1970's, there was a hockey team called the Scouts... They are defunct now, but afaik it wasn't because of their name.

Re:Scouts isn't exactly generic... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 10 months ago | (#44952213)

Rate on a scale of "they look identical if you're so drunk you're legally a munition, from Kansas, and had no sleep for 72 hours" to "Einstein, Hawking and Feynman couldn't tell them apart) the likelihood of confusing a youth movement with a professional sports team.

Re:Scouts isn't exactly generic... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 10 months ago | (#44952369)

Not very...

But then I wouldn't be likely to confuse a youth group that focuses exclusively on specialized technical skills that are not really relevant without modern the conveniences of that electronics provides with a youth group that focuses on outdoor and other life skills either.

Dumb reasoning from Slashdot, per usual (1, Troll)

Legal.Troll (2002574) | about 10 months ago | (#44951835)

The clear purpose and intent of using the name "Hacker Scouts" is to borrow on the name recognition of the Boy Scouts. The airlines "example" is dumb on its face for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that there is roughly zero likelihood that anybody would be confused by commercial airlines having the word "airline" in their name. All they need to do is stop using the name that was deliberately chosen to borrow off of the BSA name recognition. This is exactly what they've wisely decided to do. The only sad part is that oceans of dumb nerd tears are being cried due to nerd ignorance. We get it. Techies don't understand legal reasoning or the law. News at 11.

Re:Dumb reasoning from Slashdot, per usual (3, Insightful)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about 10 months ago | (#44951861)

Techies don't understand legal reasoning or the law.

No one with a brain does.

Re:Dumb reasoning from Slashdot, per usual (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 10 months ago | (#44952295)

Techies don't understand legal reasoning or the law.

No one with a brain does.

I guess you have to take that on trust.

It's social engineering (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44951853)

The "hacker scouts" are just trying a social engineering tactic for more attention. I mean, come on, "hacking" and "scouts" go together? I'm thinking something more like: Junior Hackers League, or Cult of the Sick Cow, or DefCon 4 (not completely at peace). The planned activities just aren't a natural fit:

05:00 - 06:00 PM - Campfire dinner - make and eat foil dinners
06:00 - 07:00 PM - Clean up camp and gather wood for bonfire
07:00 - 09:00 PM - Bonfire - roast marshmallows, hot dogs, make s'mores, and drink hot chocolate.
09:00 - 10:00 PM - Tell ghost stories and tales of great 'sploits
10:00 - 03:00 AM - Pwn some Chinese kids playing Warcraft

Mmmm, I just don't see them as "scouts."

Re:It's social engineering (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 10 months ago | (#44952147)

They are scouting for gay guys and alerting their scoutleader when they find them.

Bullying? (5, Insightful)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 10 months ago | (#44951899)

"I don't think that word means what you think it means".

Since when is protecting your trademarked name bullying? It's simply business. The law forces organizations to do this or they lose their right to their own name. Like the Boy Scouts or not, the problem here is the law.

Re:Bullying? (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 10 months ago | (#44951977)

Absolutely. If you don't try to protect your trademark, you lose it.
And I could definitely see the confusion with the general public.
Most hackers are boys.
And the general public imagines them as boys down in the basement of their house and never getting out except when going camping in the scary woods with the scoutmaster who snuggles them tightly inside his tent all night long to protect them from lions and tigers and bears and Oh My! And then they figure that's probably why all those lonely hacker boys in basements have those sexual p-p-p-p-p-p-problems.
You can see why the Boy Scouts have to protect their trademark.

Re:Bullying? (3, Informative)

geek (5680) | about 10 months ago | (#44952003)

I always know when Soulskill is posting articles because they are nothing more than inflamatory bullshit.

Re:Bullying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952433)

That's where the page hits come from. Page hits = dollars. They're all about the dollars just like Phil Plait.

Re:Bullying? (1)

twocows (1216842) | about 10 months ago | (#44952489)

God, I wish I had mod points for you right now. I thought I was the only one.

Re:Bullying? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 10 months ago | (#44952131)

bullying and business are not mutually exclusive. That IS the business model of some corporations.

Re:Bullying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952269)

God, I'm sick of this myth! This is NOT true. An organization is never forced to sue. They can simple license the other group to use the name. They don't need to sue or lose their trademark.

Re:Bullying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952425)

Except that the BSA doesn't have a trademark on either the whole, or any distinct part of 'Hacker Scouts'. The BSA was in no danger of losing their trademark on 'Boy Scouts'.

The problem here is that people go, "That sounds kind of, vaguely, sort of similar if you squint hard enough. You can't use that name!", and then proceed to threaten with an expensive, baseless lawsuit (which the other, newly founded group can't afford to defend against) if the new group doesn't change it's name.

Scouts? (1)

phoenix_orb (469019) | about 10 months ago | (#44952029)

I was a cub scout, and a boy scout.

I was also a Cavalry Scout in the United States Army. MOS is 19D.

"Scouts" as a term predates Baden-Powell (the founder of the scouting movement). He took the term from the definition of reconnoitering - "scouting".

I don't know about the legal ramifications, but I know that they aren't the only organization to use the term "Scouts"

Re:Scouts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952093)

Except using the term scout for reconnoitering would not cause a trademark problem. The suit here is because it was used the way Baden-Powell redefined it, which is trademarked.

Re:Scouts? (1)

phoenix_orb (469019) | about 10 months ago | (#44952317)

"I see!" said the blind man. Thank you AC :)

Turning in my Eagle Scout badge (2, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 10 months ago | (#44952065)

I can remember a day when Boy Scouts of America would have been approving of something like hackerscouts.org because they would have shared a central theme; curiosity, experimentation, education, science -- all good things to interest young people. It's disappointing to see the BSA stooping to such douchenozzly levels. The have apparently lost enough positive virutue I would not want to be associated with them today.

Re:Turning in my Eagle Scout badge (0)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 10 months ago | (#44952151)

I think the better reasoning for turning the badge is for discrimination, but that's just my opinion.

Re:Turning in my Eagle Scout badge (1)

drevange (2365548) | about 10 months ago | (#44952491)

They never would have approved of a separate organization that was confusing and conflicted. The better thing would have been to work with BSA to have Hacker Scouts be part of the same organization - not try to hijack the name and similar structure.

Not surprising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952077)

Look, the reason they called themselves "Hacker Scouts" was specifically to be associated (in people's minds, not officially) with the BSA. I find it reasonable that the BSA (which has been using the term "Scouts" and "Scouting" for a long time) would want to control their brand.

All you see is their hand (1)

magusxxx (751600) | about 10 months ago | (#44952085)

Can't wait to see their new campaign, "There's a Badge for That."

WTF with the contact email (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952099)

If who get the Whois information for their website, the contact is leftyarble@gmail.com.

Does "left yarble" not mean left testicle? My English not so good.

Re:WTF with the contact email (1)

themushroom (197365) | about 10 months ago | (#44952439)

It's Nadsat and yes, yarbs are bollocks.

The true litmus test... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 10 months ago | (#44952117)

...is what organization has more lawyers. That's what US law is about.

Bullying? (5, Insightful)

Zalbik (308903) | about 10 months ago | (#44952407)

Wow, that's quite the bullying there.

Once the BSA found out about the name, they sent some of their older members over to intimidate, physically threaten, and wedgie the heck out of the HS kids until they agreed to the name change.

Wait...no, they didn't.

Ahh, they verbally abused the HS group, calling them a bunch of whiny geeks with no right to the name.

No, they didn't do that either.

Oh....they sent a letter, asking that the HS change their name as they felt it may be confusing with their organization. If they failed to comply, they were willing to allow the courts (you know, that group your tax dollars go to partially in order to settle this kind of dispute?) decide on the matter.

Yep, that's quite the "bullying" there.

I've gotta start keeping score on Slashdot. 1 point for every misleading, sensationalist, or simply factually incorrect headline I see. At 10 points a month my reward is to quit reading this stupid site.

Of course they're not above a bit of bullying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44952453)

They are an organization of pederasts, after all.

Re:Of course they're not above a bit of bullying. (1)

magusxxx (751600) | about 10 months ago | (#44952503)

I had to look that word up. I thought it had something to do with bicycles.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>