Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thin-Skinned Wal-Mart

As if anyone really needed more evidence that Wal-Mart does, indeed, suck, here's more: The world's largest retail chain has no sense of humor.

For a class at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Daniel Papasian had designed a Web site parodying a the philanthropical Wal-Mart Foundation. Until, that is, Wal-Mart attorneys presented Papasian with a cease-and-desist order alleging violation of copyright law.

Papasian wrote on his site that he's not buying Wal-Mart's presumed concerns about use of its logo:

"The act of parody was no doubt political; it was not the use of copyrighted materials that threatened Wal-Mart, but rather the more radical implications that challenged the position of Wal-Mart within our society. The parody site caused people to question the power of Wal-Mart, global trade, and global capital in general..."

OK, maybe that last line indicates that the 20-year-old Papasian might be getting just a bit of a swelled head, but no matter. We think he still has a point ...

"Because the United States still recognizes the right of people to free speech - it hasn't been struck down (yet) as anticompetitive by the WTO - Wal-Mart knew they couldn't go after me for my criticism. So Wal-Mart's high-powered attorneys went after me for copyright violation ..."

Haiku that, LilRed ...


At 10:53 PM, Anonymous lawgirrl said...

When you parody someone, as you have done with WalMart, they cannot sue you and win. They can make you stop, though, because they have a lot of money and you don't, so you can't pay an attorney. But you can get the ACLU involved to represent you, and you will win. What you are doing is not against copyright law.


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