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Damn trial lawyers


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http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A45293-2003Aug11?language=printer

NEW YORK - Fox News Channel has sued liberal humorist Al Franken and the Penguin Group to stop them from using the phrase "fair and balanced" in the title of his upcoming book.

Filed Monday in Manhattan, the trademark infringement lawsuit seeks a court order forcing Penguin to rename the book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." It also asks for unspecified damages.

Fox News registered "Fair & Balanced" as a trademark in 1995, the suit says.

Franken's "intent is clear - to exploit Fox News' trademark, confuse the public as to the origins of the book and, accordingly, boost sales of the book," the suit said.

Calls to Penguin and Franken's publicist were not immediately returned. The book is due out next month

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What it will hinge on (IMO) is context. A trademark prevents the use of a word or phrase in a particular context. (Apple computers don't infringe on the trademark of Apple records.)

So: is the title of a book close enough to the context of a broadcast news network?

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And Spike Lee got money from the former TNN when they tried to change their name to Spike TV. It went to court (ultimately settled) because of copyright.

Instead of blaming the trial lawyers (who definitely deserve it most of the time), blame the jackass who cant come up with an original thought.

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I'm not either an intellectual property attorney, or a free speech attorney, but I'd suspect that Franken will win this one. Yes, the name is trademarked, but it's being used as a book title as part of someone's political commentary. Under the law, that's pretty sacred stuff. Besides, the "lying liars" part of the title would appear to remove any confusion about context.

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I think you'd have to see what the content is to determine that Larry.....if its a book blasting the new 'right wing media' (specifically FOX) which I'm guessing it is then the tagline on the front cover could clearly cross the line. If on the other hand, it just generically blasts conservatives and the Right wing in general, maybe not.

Either way, don't see why they'd go to the trouble of suing.....Franken's kind of a buffoon (and thats a kind characterization) and I think the more he spouts, the more he hurts his own cause. The few times I've seen him on Fox, he looked like he was going to have an aneurysm.

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Originally posted by Larry

I don't think I could vote for Miller. He practically ruined MNF. (Not that it's been great before or since, but that's beside the point.)

Now, if Jaws wants to run. . .

Yeah....but think of the rant we could expect at the first State of the Union Address.....

'The State of the Union is STRONG....then again, I could be WRONG' :cool:

Miller the NFL Broadcaster.....ouch.

Miller the hip political pundit.....I'm diggin' it.

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