cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by parhessiastes

Our professional team of qualified experts know how to get your stolen content taken down fast. No matter what country the thieving website is hosted in. On average we will have your stolen or copyrighted material take down within a few hours.

Them’s strong words. But again, since I am a thieving scoundrel who steals content, I ought to be on the run.

And technically, I guess I am guilty– for using a metaphor that is copyrighted. I ought to know better, but I cannot resist.

For quite a few years I have been hoisting “stolen content” on my web site under the banner of “Amazing Stories of Openness”.

it has taken them 3 years to track me down.

Okay, so it was not quote the hunt. I got an email from the person that owns the rights to the trademark name of the magazine.

Your use of “Amazing Stories” infringes the Trademark of the same (serial #77422636) for print and electronic publications and must cease.

Opportunities to license the brand exist. If you wish to pursue such opportunities, please contact me at this email address.

Failure to comply will result in the issuance of a DMCA notice to your service providers.

Actually the person was not viscous at all, not a blood seeking vulture. I tried asking nicely:

My use of Amazing Stories is in no way meant to steal or profit from the name, it was a fitting metaphor for purely educational use to promote the free and open sharing by educators.

I have no means to pay for licensing, so if permission cannot be granted, I will change my materials but need time to do so.

If I can ask, in what capacity are you informing me this as I do not see any identification in your message as to whom you represent. Also, is this in regards to the imagery or just the use if the words “Amazing Stories”?

I am cooperative but my own curiosity wants to know how my use to promote openness and connectivity in education is a threat or damage to this brand- it was chosen to be the metaphor of wonder and excitement the old publications represent; if that is not the spirit if the brand I will find something else.

But the bottom line is:

I appreciate your intent when using the name, but one aspect of trademark rights rests on the maintenance of the brand it represents, both in quality and in scope, and without a licensing arrangement, I can not demonstrate that level of control necessary to maintain the brand.

Now while I can maybe argue a stand of fair use, as has been noted, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act gives copyight owners the ability to shut down an entire internet provider (ask edublogs about how this feels), so even if I wanted to take a stand, do I risk losing all my sites and killing every other person’s at hippiehosting? Really?

Who was smoking crack the day that got voted in?

And actually the person that owns the copyright for the magazine says the infringement is my use of the trademarked phrase “Amazing Stories” it has nothing to do with the remixes I did of the magazine covers, who may have a whole raft of copyright holders.

That’s right, I cannot use the words “Amazing Stories” in a published web site because it takes value away from …. WTF??? This is insane.

And I guess I do not learn my lesson; about 9 years ago I got laywer slapped for making a site that was a spoof of Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

I know people will tell me know I might have a leg to stand on in fair-use, but there looms again the teeth of DMCA.

And in some way I knew I was on sqiishy ground with the graphics. I might have assumed they were old enough to be public domain, but thats sloppy. I found the covers on http://www.philsp.com/mags/amazing_stories.html a site I can only guess either licensed within the owner or are in line to get slapped.

And look, DMCA Takedown is a business!

Is that the kind of work you brag to your MOm about? Do your kids tell the other ones at school how awesome a take down artist their old man is? Look, its just a comical business

Heck it looks FUN.

I don’t really want to make a pissing match, and frankly it is not that important to me. So I am going to be changing the wording on the site. I am going to use art from the public domain art The Digital Comic Museum in particular WOW Comics

There is a ton of art here I can work with. And frankly, my new phrase is going to be “Wow Stories of Openness”.

So does that make me just a dog who will rollover? I guess so butaccording to the laws in place BY A 100% MAJORITY OF THE US SENATE SEE WHO THEY REPRESENT???, they have the rights to yank my web presence.

And that is something I am not going to let roll.


cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by H.Marine

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.

Comments

    1. You’re giving me thought, Wayne. There is no reason why I cannot use that as an expression, it is the similar use of the graphic magazine covers; if I change them then there is no connection to their magazine of the same name. (?)

      1. I can’t see that the concept of a graphic magazine can be trademarked — its your creativity and in my view you are free to use the phrase “Amazing stories of openness” — but hey, I’m not a lawyer and not planning to become one when I grow up ;-)

        1. Me either. I’d rather eat beets (and I hate beets).

          Bu I have to fess up that the collection of images I used for the comic covers were not licensed for re-use (that site does not explicitly state if they have permission or license), so I am going to change the graphic. I think that takes away the trademark claim.

          Any lawyers out there?

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