Re: spike tv

From: Karen Rand Smigrodzki (
Date: Fri Jun 13 2003 - 09:48:18 MDT

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    > Subject: Re: spike tv
    > >actually it isn't quite like a patent; so you won't have to change your
    > >name. Patents have different subject matter altogether; a name can't be
    > >patented.
    > I should hope not. This case is a clear example of the absurdity to
    > which intellectual property law has descended.
       I feel obligated to disagree. First, I think the appropriate NY law is
    commercial misappropriation. This would entitle the complainant to
    injunctive relief (ie tells violator to stop doing that) and damages if
    there are any. It is a privacy tort ( tort as in civil wrong, not as in
    torte which is yummy). I am not much into legal theorizing (so far I am
    just trying to learn the law I need to pass the bar) and I don't mind at all
    if anyone wants to give me a piece of their mind on this. My view is that
    this case (I skimmed the article you linked to) is to have very limited
    effect. What seems to be happening is that Spike Lee, a very well known
    director, is complaining that if someone creates a TV channel called Spike
    TV, then most people are going to associate it with him -- that is, with
    Spike Lee. By that association, Spike TV would profit off of misleading the
    public. I hope I am being clear; I have a migraine and am behind on studies
    for today's class. Ask me to clarify if need be.

        Not personally being very knowledgeable about Spike Lee, I can say that
    I would have assumed the association between Spike TV and Spike Lee. Spike
    Lee would be correct to be concerned, wouldn't he? What if people assumed
    that Spike Lee was behind or endorsed Spike TV and Spike TV turned out to be
    scandalous thereby tarnishing Spike Lee's image? I think it is agreed that
    once image has been tarnished via the media, it is hard to ever polish that
    image back to the original shine. (I don't like the phrasing I am using.
    Chalk it up to migraine please.)

        The limited effect of this case is so far simply to tell the violator to
    stop using Spike TV in name; for now. The case will likely proceed to court
    soon where there will be a permanent injunction (ie Spike TV will have to
    think of another name or somehow disassociate itself from Spike Lee in the
    public eye. Perhaps "Spike TV. We have nothing to do with Spike Lee. Spike
    Lee doesn't endorse Spike TV." )

        The case is not anything new. By that I mean, there are many cases in
    which celebrities have sued to stop someone from using their pictures,
    voice, name to advertise without consent of the celebrity. I think these
    cases are just. I wouldn't want, were I famous, someone appropriating my
    likeness to advertise -- especially to advertise something I didn't agree

         I am too long winded. I think I made my points.

    > >This case is more akin to trademark infringement. It is a NY
    > >state law, not federal law that the complaint relies on.
    > Actually I am extremely pleased that there will soon be a guy channel
    > called spike TV. The glory of it all: car races, fight movies, Bay
    > Watch, World Rassling Championships, 24-7!

       actually, as of now, there will not be a Spike TV. Spike Lee has an
    injunction against the use of the name for the TV channel, for now.

    > Women must think we guys are all idiots. {8^D
            Hmmm. Does what we think really matter? It won't change the
    underlying truth. ;)


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