Saturday, February 08, 2014

Identity Theft and the Legal Rights Battle between Twitter, an Anonymous Twitter User at @JamesDean, and Celebrity James Dean IP Rightsholders

The Hollywood Reporter in Twitter in Legal War Over @JamesDean presents an "exclusive" story on the intellectual property law case of an anonymous Twitter user who has registered @JamesDean at Twitter and has already amassed about 8000 followers.

The plaintiff in the legal dispute is CMG Worldwide, which manages and licenses rights relating to the late James Dean estate and many other deceased celebrities.

Various violations of law have been claimed and it will be interesting to see how the matter is resolved in the courts. We hope there is no settlement but a clear court judgment that sets appropriate standards.

The whole idea of "trademarks" is to avoid unnecessary confusion about the identity of people and companies.

We oppose trademarks for generic names like apple, windows, retina, paper. You should have to ADD something to a generic term to make a trademark name unique to the owner and we would for example have nothing against MicrosoftRetina as a trademark at the same time as the e.g. trademark WOZJOIRetina, but we definitely opposed trademark monopolies on generic terms like retina, which should be free to use by anyone. It is a word of our language that no one should be able to claim.

That is why we title our blog LawPundit and not "Law Pundit". The term "LawPundit" written together is our newly formed compound word. The terms law and pundit are as free for use as they always were, and should be.

We have a particular interest in this case because some anonymous user appropriated our "lawpundit" name at Twitter quite some time after our LawPundit trademark was published online, where it could easily have been found by an honest user.

We informed Twitter about this pilfering, but they did nothing, and that user still remains anonymous, at least to us.

That is why we had little choice but to use @law_pundit at Twitter as our name, as a kind of an identity check, although it is clear that some anonymous user "took" our trademarked name to profit from the goodwill attached to our name, thus wilfully creating the impression that we may have something to do with that Twitter account, which we do not. We have no idea who it is.

It is time that this kind of identity theft at Twitter be stopped. There is no rational purpose of society that is served by allowing that kind of thing, which amounts to enjoying the right of anonymity at other people's cost.

Obviously, the James Dean estate should be the only entity entitled to the celebrity @JamesDean address at Twitter, unless it is a user who in fact also has that legal name and expressly distances himself from the celebrity identity by an appropriate notice at his website presence.


Earth and Our Moon Seen by Curiosity from Mars: It Always Pays to Keep One's Perspective About Life and "the World"

Photographs can be viewed at the pages of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology at:

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Sees 'Evening Star' Earth

and

Catalog Page for PIA17935.

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