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OfflineGernBlanston
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Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan
    #1805031 - 08/12/03 11:30 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

washingtonpost.com
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.


? 2003 The Associated Press


--------------------
There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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Offlineshakta
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Registered: 06/03/03
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1805041 - 08/12/03 11:37 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I don't blame them.


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OfflineGernBlanston
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: shakta]
    #1805052 - 08/12/03 11:43 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

a: I do.

b: Parody is exempt from copyright/trademark infringment.

c: This is parody.

d: Al Franken is funny.


--------------------
There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Registered: 11/29/01
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1805067 - 08/12/03 11:51 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

a. I don't

b. Let's see if the courts agree

c. Sure seems to be even though it hasn't been released yet.

d. More often than not.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineGernBlanston
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1805074 - 08/12/03 11:55 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

re: b. Let's see if the courts agree.

It has already been agreed on. Parody is exempt from claims of trademark or copyright infringement. This is how Saturday Night Live (and every other sketch comedy show on...) can do what they do without being sued to the teeth every week.

Now, whether Al Franken's book will be judged as a parody, and thus protected by existing copyright law is really another question.


--------------------
There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1805089 - 08/12/03 12:01 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Let me clarify..... let's see if the courts agree his book is a parody.

Sorry I wasn't clear.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1805090 - 08/12/03 12:01 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Is the title of the book considered parody or does that apply to just the contents? I don't see a problem with Fox getting pissed.

Al is funny when he's just being a comedian but when he starts on with politics he comes across as a bitter old man. He's funny and irratating at the same time.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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OfflineGernBlanston
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: Innvertigo]
    #1805099 - 08/12/03 12:05 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

The title would also fall under the heading of parody, in this case.


--------------------
There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1805126 - 08/12/03 12:15 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

How? It's like a tag-line. Do you know for sure or are you just guessing? Personally i don't know, nor do i pretend to.

Edit:
The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

The question is, does SOME mean that they can copy a tag-line? I guess the courts will decide.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


Edited by Innvertigo (08/12/03 12:22 PM)


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OfflineGernBlanston
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: Innvertigo]
    #1805181 - 08/12/03 12:40 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

How? It's like a tag-line. Do you know for sure or are you just guessing?

I actually do know for sure. I have been TA-ing (Teaching Assistant) a college Copyright Law class for about 3 years now. It's summer, so I don't have any of my class materials available at the moment, but I am positive that, as you found in the copied text above, parody falls squarely under "fair use" as it relates to copyright/trademark infringement.

The only question for the courts is whether the work itself falls under the definition of parody.


--------------------
There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1805197 - 08/12/03 12:44 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

That's a tough one because he's political and at the same time a humorist. I think it will fall under parody but the courts may disagree. Either way he still appears to be bitter. I like him too and i think he is alienating his "fans". Drop the political humor because that's too easy.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Registered: 11/29/01
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: Innvertigo]
    #1805202 - 08/12/03 12:46 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

If it was that easy, he'd be good at it.

Political humor is not his forte.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1805218 - 08/12/03 12:50 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I know that. Do you see how MAD he gets when he does it? I'd say he was passionate aboot it but that's not what he shows. He just shows his ability to whine while throwing a few put-downs here and there. He should just stick to the John Stewert show.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Anonymous

Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1805241 - 08/12/03 12:59 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

i don't think they've got any place sueing over that.

so what? he used the words "fair and balanced". it's not as though he's got a newspaper or TV station and is using that as his motto... it's a parody, sheesh.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1805292 - 08/12/03 01:18 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

luvdemshrooms said:
If it was that easy, he'd be good at it.

Political humor is not his forte.



I disagree. Try reading "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, and Other Observations."


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlineshakta
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: ]
    #1805301 - 08/12/03 01:23 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

If it is a parody then I would agree. They do have the right to defend their trademarks though. I guess the courts will decide.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: silversoul7]
    #1805306 - 08/12/03 01:28 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I did when it first came out as I like most of his humor. It wasn't that good.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineTheHobbit
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: shakta]
    #1805323 - 08/12/03 01:34 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

How the hell can anyone sue over such a generic phrase like 'fair and balanced'? That's probably been in use for hundreds of years in various contexts..what about 'warm and friendly', or 'dark and scary'? I guess sueing over it will boost sales anyway...hmmm, i wonder if I'm libel somehow somewhere for saying 'i guess' and 'boost sales'?


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: TheHobbit]
    #1805346 - 08/12/03 01:39 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

It's a registered trade mark.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Anonymous

Re: Fox Sues Humorist Al Franken Over Slogan [Re: TheHobbit]
    #1805352 - 08/12/03 01:40 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

yeah... but trademarks are different... "fair and balanced" may be just as common as "just do it" but these are registered trademarks. i cannot open mushmaster brand sportswear with the motto "just do it". mr. franken wasn't using the trademark as a trademark though, and it's pretty clear that if there is any connection to foxnews at all, it's parody.

i'd bet there's probably some self-help book out there with the phrase, "just do it" in the title... no one ever bothered to sue them though.


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