[rumori] more domain name madness: american pie

Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Thu, 2 Dec 1999 16:50:58 -0800 (PST)

McLean, you greedy fuck! it's 28 years later!!

(thanx again to Jon Nelson for bringing this up)

The '70s anthem"American Pie" has a special place in the history of American 
music. But does that mean Don McLean, who released the song in 1971, should 
get every piece? A graphic designer is suing him over what she says is her 
fair share.

Desirae Pierce runs American Pie Design, a graphics-design company in Austin, Texas, and holds the domain name to the url www.americanpie.com. So she was less than thrilled when McLean and his legal team told her that she had to stop using the term.

"He doesn't have a right to that," Pierce tells the Austin American-Statesman. "'American pie' is part of the vernacular." She is seeking unspecified damages, as well as her attorney fees, and the right to continue using the americanpie.com domain name.

Pierce filed the lawsuit in federal court last week, claiming that McLean is violating her right to free speech. "Don McLean's actions are not only malicious, but he's interfering with my business," says Pierce. "My studio relies on name recognition and my online portfolio to get new clients, and my domain name is a key part of my business."

McLean is one of 14 people who have a trademark on American Pie." The musician's version is for "entertainment services in the nature of musical group performances of musical concerts."

"The use of the term 'American Pie' for graphic design services is unrelated to the trademark for musical group performances,' Pierce's lawyer Paul Danziger tells the Associated Press.

Pierce says she's spent thousands of dollars in damage control since McLean's attorney's told her to stop using the term. "This isn't right," she says. "'American Pie' is a depressing song written in 1971."

For his part, McLean has recently licensed out the "American Pie" term to two entertainment entities. The film of the same name that was released over the summer, and also to Weird Al Yankovic, who used the tune in his Star Wars: The Phantom Menace parody, "The Saga Begins." He said in a recent press release that he claims sole credit for the term, dismissing rumors that "American Pie" was the name of the plane that crashed in 1958, killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. "I created the term. It did not exist in any way before my recording and to spread this rumor diminishes my contribution," he says.


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