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Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan

 
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 05:02 pm
I knew the Fox News Channel was dumb, but not this stupid.
....BumbleBeeBoogie

Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan
The Associated Press
Monday, August 11, 2003; 5:15 PM

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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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 7,094 • Replies: 91
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 05:06 pm
I don't think it's stupid at all. Franken is clearly trying to ride on their trademarked catch phrase.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 05:09 pm
Oh my gosh, poking fun at Fox! Franken is going too far.

Given the rest of the title, is anyone really gonna think the book is a Fox production and buy it for that reason?
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 05:32 pm
actually fox should be sued for false advertising "fair and balanced"
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 06:14 pm
So the State Network takes offense at the use of its slogan in parody. Theres a grand tradition in humor that skewering those who richly deserve it , is a rteasonable defense.
I remember parodies on "Good to the last drop"
or "Corinthian Leather". or how a bout "This spuds for you"
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hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 10:24 pm
Remember the Doonesbury Cartoon: "FOX News...We Decide, You Concur!" ? Very Happy
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 07:41 am
It depends on whether the intent is to slander or not. I would say that is Franken's intent...
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 07:47 am
Rush Limbaugh should have sued. I don't care if someone IS a big, fat idiot--you shouldn't be able to title your book as a personal insult against someone else. Glad he's getting sued.
0 Replies
 
CodeBorg
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 08:55 am
Amazon.com lists a book called
Al Franken Is a Buck-Toothed Moron: And Other Observations.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 09:03 am
McGentrix wrote:
It depends on whether the intent is to slander or not. I would say that is Franken's intent...


On the other hand, perhaps the intent is draw attention and sell books...
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 09:16 am
On the other hand, perhaps the intent is draw attention and sell books...
--------------
Probably true. But, if you seek to do that using the cultivated and copywrited property of someone else, I think it is illegal.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 09:24 am
Our laws and culture allow a lot of room for satire, Sofia. It's part of what it means to have a free press.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 09:36 am
Possibly not in this case...
It will be interesting to see how this one shakes out.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 09:58 am
It's interesting how folks like O'Reilly, for instance, can say all sorts of nasty things about people and groups they don't like, but when the shoe's on the other foot, oh, look out!

I heard O'Reilly opine recently about the ACLU, which he called "the most dangerous organization in the U.S." If it's OK to say that (and it is), than so can Franken write what he has.
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PDiddie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 07:29 pm
Quote:
Al Franken, the humorist being sued by Fox News Channel for use of the phrase "fair and balanced," said Tuesday he doesn't mind the legal action.

But he does wish it hadn't happened during his vacation.

Fox sued the former "Saturday Night Live" performer and his publisher, the Penguin Group, to stop them from including "fair and balanced" in the title of his upcoming book. Filed Monday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, the trademark infringement lawsuit seeks to force Penguin to rename "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," scheduled for release next month. It also asks for unspecified damages.

Fox News registered "Fair & Balanced" as a trademark in 1995, the lawsuit said.

"I normally prefer not to be out of the country on vacation when I'm sued. However, from everything I know about law regarding satire, I'm not worried," Franken, who has not filed a response in court, said in a statement released Tuesday. He is vacationing in Italy.

Franken also thanked Fox "for all the publicity." As of Tuesday night, "Lies" had reached No. 4 on the bestseller list of Amazon.com, one ranking ahead of the latest Harry Potter book.

In its court papers, Fox described the author and liberal commentator as "neither a journalist nor a television news personality. He is not a well-respected voice in American politics; rather, he appears to be shrill and unstable. His views lack any serious depth or insight."

Fox alleged that Franken was "either intoxicated or deranged" when he attacked the network and conservative host Bill O'Reilly at an April press correspondents dinner. The lawsuit also says that Franken has been described as "increasingly unfunny."

"As far as the personal attacks go," Franken responded, "when I read `intoxicated or deranged' and `shrill and unstable' in their complaint, I thought for a moment I was a Fox commentator.

"And by the way, a few months ago, I trademarked the word `funny.' So when Fox calls me `unfunny,' they're violating my trademark. I am seriously considering a countersuit."


Yahoo! News
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 10:31 pm
They trademarked the words "fair and balanced"?

Right now right here I claim copyright on the word "love".
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 10:36 pm
I am not too excited either way about Fox and Franken, they both may gain by this bruhaha, but I am sort of surprised about getting to trademark phrases.

In my old home town, a guy opened a hair salon under his own name and had to change it, since a more famous guy had the name trademarked. The guy in the home town lost in court, and I can understand that, but think it is a little strange that you can't open a shop under your own name...a very modern dilemma.

Trademarking and copyrighting everything in sight gets pretty creativity blocking. Yes, I don't want people using my artwork as theirs, or even my wandering words in email or internet missives. But my phrases???

Listen, while we are at it, I want to trademark carmine red.
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Aug, 2003 09:27 am
Well, Microsoft trademarked "Where to you want to go today?", and for the last couple days, I guess we have all wanted to go "down".
0 Replies
 
mamajuana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Aug, 2003 03:49 pm
Should be interesting. I thought trademarks were protected only when they applied to names in the same category: if Franken wanted to do a news show called "Fair and Balanced," for instance. But that when name or title applied to other categories, their use was okay.
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Aug, 2003 04:41 pm
Returns to the main question, if this actually goes to court - all Franken has to prove is that Fox is not "Fair and Balanced"! That should be easy and Fox looses - twice!!!!!!
0 Replies
 
 

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