Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

No Sesame. All Dick.

The makers of “Sesame Street” are suing the promoter of a new Melissa McCarthy movie, saying it’s abusing the famed puppets’ sterling reputation to advertise the R-rated film. ... The lawsuit said the “Sesame Street” brand will be harmed by a just-released movie trailer featuring “explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating and even ejaculating puppets” along with the tagline “NO SESAME. ALL STREET.”
I understand that if you have a trademark, you have to aggressively protect it against "dilution".

Having said that, it's probably going to be a stretch to award actual damages. It makes the Sesame Workshop look like a bunch of dicks. And they may lose, if the defendants successfully argue that their work is a parody.

Still, it's two corporations spending money on lawyers to fight one another. What's to hate about that?

4 comments:

The New York Crank said...

You think the Muppets are bad? You should see Barbie. I mean Mattel. Years ago, (MANY years ago) I submitted a book proposal for a work of fiction in which Barbie and Ken get a bitter divorce. (They weren't even married, but never mind.) The general idea was, Barbie (Yes, the doll Barbie) was getting ahead in her career, while Ken was becoming more and more of a slug-a-bed drone. She decides to dump him. The matrimonial lawyers rub their hands in glee. Barbie goes out to Hollywood to make movies. He's left behind in New York, where he's reduced to break dancing on the street for loose change. Spinning around on his head against the concrete is sanding his head down to almost nothing, but he keeps going out of desperation. And on and on.

I had a literary agent who enthusiastically represented the book. His pitch was, "They'll sue us for copyright infringement, and the resulting publicity will sell millions of copies." That was exactly what the publishers didn't want to hear. In fact, it was also exactly what I didn't want to hear. There was no way book royalties would make up for my legal fees and even though it was clearly a parody, and even if I won, the legal fees would sink me. In addition, every standard book contract contains a clause saying the author will indemnify the publisher in cases of copywriter infringement, libel, plagiarism, yadda yaddda.

I finally withdrew the book. The agent was furious. Why shouldn't he have been? He'd have made money. I'd have ended up with no escape from bankruptcy.

Yours Crankily,
The New York Crank



Comrade Misfit said...

How did John Varley get away with The Barbie Murders?

drouse said...

That shop sailed when the new Muppet Show started airing. After the initial "How dare they", it was pretty funny.

Borepatch said...

Avenue Q was on Broadway for years and was pretty funny. It was clearly based on Sesame Street, but the songs were (ahem) adult themed.