Dec 27, 2003 1:43 am


Atrios points us to the Fox v. Franken transcript. The whole thing is pretty damned hilarious but here's a particularly funny part:

THE COURT: Do you think the use of the phrase"lying liars" can be a joke?

MS. HANSWIRTH: It can be, but it isn't necessarily. I mean, look at the title of Mr. O'Reilly's book"The Completely Ridiculous and American Life."

THE COURT: Let me ask you about that: Mr. O'Reilly uses in his book"the good, the bad and the completely ridiculous." Is that not a play on"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"?

MS. HANSWIRTH: I don't know.

THE COURT: You don't know whether that's a play on"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."

MS. HANSWIRTH: I don't know.

THE COURT: Well, assume that it is. Is that not a play on a trademarked phrase?

MS. HANSWIRTH: That's a title of a movie.

THE COURT: Yes. And I assume there's some kind of protection for the title of the movie"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."

MS. HANSWIRTH: Your Honor, there generally --

THE COURT: I think that I have in some of the papers, it might have been the amicus brief, a representation that the phrase"the good, the bad and the ugly" is a trademarked phrase.

MS. HANSWIRTH: I don't know that that's the case. And I don't know --

THE COURT: Well, I mean, isn't Mr. O'Reilly doing exactly the same thing using a trademarked phrase in the title of his book? The good, the bad --

MS. HANSWIRTH: He's not doing it to confuse. He's certainly not using it to sell the product.

THE COURT: Do you think that Mr. Franken and the publisher are intending to confuse buyers into thinking that he, Mr. Franken, is somehow associated with Fox?

MS. HANSWIRTH: I think what they're doing is they're intending to use the trademark to sell the product. And they are. They've admitted that. The way that they've set it up is too ambiguous. Once again, it does not say parody satire. It is the only trademark on that book, unlike the O'Reilly book, which has Fox News's"The O'Reilly Factor" prominent trademark on it at least three times that I can see from here.

The whole thing is very entertaining -- and these things are usually quite boring. Go read it.

comments powered by Disqus