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Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx! Copyright Slap from the Ripley’s Folks

Here is a recent milestone- my first email of warning of copyright infringement. Apparently, my 2003 parody of Ripley’s saying Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx! (I am bound not to actually use it apparently) in a presentation titled Learning Objects Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx! was stepping on the toes of the Riplet folks:

Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction
RE: Learning Objectives Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx! Website page
http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/mlx/show/believe_it.html

Dear Mr. Levine:
On behalf of Ripley Entertainment Inc, I am writing to notify you of a trademark infringement discovered on your website.  The title of your Learning Objectives website page, “Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx!” constitutes unauthorised use of our trademark and we, therefore, must insist that you remove it from your site immediately.

Our company is the owner of the world-famous trademarks, “Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx!”, and “Ripley’s Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx!”.  These trademarks are registered in the U.S. and Canadian patent and trademark offices under registration numbers that can be provided upon request.

Ripleys vigorously pursues any and all cases of infringement on our registered trademarks in order to maintain the integrity of our licensing program and protect the image and public perception of our company.  We hope you will comply with our request without hesitation or objection and we ask that you acknowledge your infringement in writing to confirm that you have ceased using the “Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx!” trademark in any form whatsoever on all MCLI websites and publications.   Your response is expected no later than April 4, 2005. 

So just in case you were curious, the former URL now posts a brief “content gone” notice.

Now the purpose of this was to share some video interviews with faculty on our system that Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx! actually used or re-used learning object content from our Maricopa Learning eXchange. We thought that was remarkable and thought this would fall under the realm of parody. We were not using the scared expression to make money, to profit, and I am a bit puzzled how our little web site hurt the Ripley name or devalued it. I guess that Learning Objects are really unpopular! Go figure.

But the Ripley’s folks sic-ed the lawyers on us (they must be scraping the bottom of the barrel now), so now we are proud to unveil… “Learning Objects: Real Life Stories!”

Anyhow, after checking our strategy with the Legal department here, removing the “infringed” expression satisfies the letter of their request.

I’m a bit puffed up over this notoriety. Xxxxxxx Xx or Xxx!

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.