Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

The latest legal battle over a name: Fox News vs. Al Franken


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
152 replies to this topic

#1 of 153 Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted August 12 2003 - 03:55 AM

Comedian Al Franken and his publisher have been sued by Fox News Channel over the title of Franken's upcoming book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Fox wants the title changed, claiming a trademark on the phrase "fair and balanced". The suit was filed on Monday, August 11, in New York City.

http://www.cnn.com/2.....ap/index.html

This one promises to be even more interesting than the Spike Lee/SpikeTV battle.

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#2 of 153 Philip Hamm

Philip Hamm

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 6,885 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 23 1999

Posted August 12 2003 - 04:15 AM

Great press for Al Franken's book, I'm sure he's loving this!!! I remember his "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" book that was hilarious!
Philip Hamm
Moderator Emeritus

#3 of 153 Van Patton

Van Patton

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 459 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 27 2001

Posted August 12 2003 - 04:24 AM

I just got done reading Al's latest book and it is great. It's a tongue-in-cheek advice book that made me laugh out loud several times. It's called "A Guide To Success, or failing that, Happiness."

#4 of 153 Paul_Medenwaldt

Paul_Medenwaldt

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 647 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted August 12 2003 - 05:07 AM

Oh boy, there is a lot of bad blood between these parties.

There is a history of loud verbal exchanges between Al and Bill O'Reilly and Shawn Hannity.

Paul
If there be one of them who does not follow the way of the Snitzil, let that one go and do not throw bowling balls at them.

#5 of 153 Mark Schermerhorn

Mark Schermerhorn

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 354 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 24 2000

Posted August 12 2003 - 05:47 AM

The exchange between Franken and O'Reilly at that book expo in LA a few months back was absolutely classic. Sad as a debate, but classic for humor and karmic payback for O'Reilly. I'm such a geek that I watched it live on C-Span.

#6 of 153 Patrick Larkin

Patrick Larkin

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 1,761 posts
  • Join Date: May 08 2001

Posted August 12 2003 - 07:01 AM

Quote:
The exchange between Franken and O'Reilly at that book expo in LA a few months back was absolutely classic. Sad as a debate, but classic for humor and karmic payback for O'Reilly. I'm such a geek that I watched it live on C-Span.


what happened?

#7 of 153 Philip Hamm

Philip Hamm

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 6,885 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 23 1999

Posted August 12 2003 - 07:10 AM

Here's one account

There are many more available on Google.
Philip Hamm
Moderator Emeritus

#8 of 153 Chris Lockwood

Chris Lockwood

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 3,215 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 21 1999

Posted August 12 2003 - 09:46 AM

> This one promises to be even more interesting than the Spike Lee/SpikeTV battle.

At least this one supposedly involves a registered trademark.

#9 of 153 Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted August 12 2003 - 10:07 AM

Quote:
At least this one supposedly involves a registered trademark.
A coupla things:

1. The SpikeTV case didn't involve a trademark claim; so no registration was required. (And it's possible to have a trademark without registration, but leave that aside.)

2. Without seeing the complaint, there's no way to know exactly what Fox is claiming. News reports of litigations that have just been filed are notoriously unreliable.

3. Registration is only a first step. The registrant's right to the mark doesn't really get tested until someone challenges it -- and a good way to provoke such a challenge is to sue someone.

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#10 of 153 Aaron Reynolds

Aaron Reynolds

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 1,709 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 06 2001

Posted August 13 2003 - 05:19 AM

Franken is using "fair and balanced" deliberately, as satire. Isn't the whole point of the title of the book that he doesn't believe that the network in question presents fair and balanced news?

I don't fully understand the trademark laws of the United States, but I'm pretty certain that he'll be able to successfully argue that the title is deliberately satirical.

#11 of 153 Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted August 13 2003 - 05:27 AM

I haven't seen the complaint, but it's not clear whether Fox News is claiming under U.S. trademark laws. The case was filed in state court, not federal, which is where a federal trademark case would usually be sent. They may be proceeding under the same state laws used in the SpikeTV case, since they too are seeking a preliminary injunction (presumably to halt publication).

Quote:
I'm pretty certain that he'll be able to successfully argue that the title is deliberately satirical

I'm sure that will be a major defense point, no matter what law applies.

The New York Times had an editorial about this case today. Their suggestion was to send it to Judge Judy. Posted Image

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#12 of 153 CharlesD

CharlesD

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 1,495 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 30 2000

Posted August 13 2003 - 05:41 AM

It certainly seems to be boosting pre-orders for Franken's book. http://1.junglescan.....5947647&days=7

According to internet rumor-monger Matt Drudge, O'Reilly himself pushed for the lawsuit. I guess O'Reilly's personal grudge against Franken is clouding his judgement.

#13 of 153 Mark Schermerhorn

Mark Schermerhorn

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 354 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 24 2000

Posted August 13 2003 - 05:42 AM

I believe US trademark laws allow for satire. Of course, what qualifies as satire is open to debate, which is probably what will occur.

Patrick, the link posted by Phillip is accurate, but a bit nebulous. I'll summarize a brief portion of the "talk and debate" as I saw it.

Frankken was given 15 minutes to talk about his book, which is about pretty much what the title says it is. He used the time to rip into several well known right wingers, and since O'Reilly is on the cover and was conveniently seated to Frankken's left, he proceeded to tear into him as well, with much exuberance. He spent a good 20 minutes ripping on him (he went 35 mins total), while O'Reilly had to just sit there and take it. The look on O'Reilly's face told me he was ready to kill. After Frankken finished, O'Reilly yelled at Frankken for several minutes, followed by a "debate" that consisted of Frankken baiting O'Reilly and O'Reilly yelling back. A disgusted Molly Ivins, who was also present, got a few words in, but not many.

I referred to Frankken's lambasting of O'Reilly as karmic payback because O'Reilly uses his show on Fox News as a bully pulpit. When the tables were turned, he almost lost control of himself.

#14 of 153 Jeff Kleist

Jeff Kleist

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 11,286 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 1999

Posted August 13 2003 - 05:52 AM

People like O'Reilly typically do. Franken can and will run rings around him in any debate. Frankly I can't wait to read the book

#15 of 153 Mark Sherman

Mark Sherman

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 783 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 09 2003

Posted August 13 2003 - 06:34 AM

GIVE ME A F'N BREAK.


This is just friggen ridiculous.
Making the world a better Place one Plasma and LCD at a time

#16 of 153 MarkHastings

MarkHastings

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,013 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 27 2003

Posted August 13 2003 - 08:23 AM

I read some replies to this when the story hit Yahoo's front page:

It's pretty obvious that if a new soup company comes into the marketplace and uses the phrase "Mmmm! Mmmm! Good!", then I can see (and justify) Campbells concern.

The grey area comes into play when we start trademarking everyday phrases:

Should "Fair and Balanced" be a trademark? It almost sounds too generic. Kinda like trademarking the phrase "This is my story" and then not allowing anyone to ever use that phrase when they write an autobiography.

p.s. If Fox is really "Fair", then they'd let Al use the phrase Posted Image

#17 of 153 Jeff Kleist

Jeff Kleist

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 11,286 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 1999

Posted August 13 2003 - 08:40 AM

Fox News: We Report; You Concur Posted Image

Franken's book is now #1 on Amazon. Posted Image

#18 of 153 Chris Lockwood

Chris Lockwood

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 3,215 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 21 1999

Posted August 13 2003 - 09:00 AM

> O'Reilly uses his show on Fox News as a bully pulpit

Well, it is his show, not a news broadcast. Same for anyone else's TV or radio talk show.


I wonder how well an Al Franken book would sell if he didn't link himself to someone or something much more popular than him. I wouldn't have known he had a new book if he hadn't used the phrase in the title that led to all this.

#19 of 153 MarkHastings

MarkHastings

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 12,013 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 27 2003

Posted August 13 2003 - 09:05 AM

Quote:
I wonder how well an Al Franken book would sell if he didn't link himself to someone or something much more popular than him. I wouldn't have known he had a new book if he hadn't used the phrase in the title that led to all this.
There are TONS of people that are famous for doing this.

Sometimes it seems like that's the only way to get noticed these days. Posted Image

#20 of 153 CharlesD

CharlesD

    Advanced Member

  • PipPipPip
  • 1,495 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 30 2000

Posted August 13 2003 - 09:08 AM

Franken is not "linking" himself to anyone. After all this book is not exactly aimed at fans of Fox News or Bill O'Reilly (both of which BTW seem to spend a great deal of time putting down things much more popular than themselves (i.e. the mainstream media)).


Back to After Hours Lounge


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Forum Nav Content I Follow