Re: [rumori] Iowa Prof. to Muzzle AT&T

From: matt davignon (
Date: Thu Jan 23 2003 - 16:01:13 PST

Wow, this is completely revolutionary when compared to the article that was
posted here 30 minutes ago.

I should probably state that I met the guy who owns the trademark for the
phrase "Without My Permission". It's the name of his pet-grooming store.


>From: Kembrew McLeod <>

>January 23, 2003 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>Iowa Professor Owns Phrase Freedom of Expression, Threatens Suit Against
>AT&T for Violating His Trademark.
>New York Times columnist Nat Ives writes, "Freedom of Expression, it turns
>out, may not be for everyone."
>At a January 25, 2003 press conference in Chicago, IL, University of Iowa
>professor Kembrew McLeod will formally announce his plans to pursue legal
>action against AT&T for trademark infringement. The telecommunications
>giant used "Freedom of Expression" as the slogan for a recent print ad
>campaign, which violates Dr. McLeod's federally registered trademark,
>Freedom of Expression, which is also the name of his long-running
>"Yesterday, Mr. McLeod sent AT&T a 'cease and desist' letter, asserting
>that consumers might infer a link between the company and his
>anti-corporate publication, 'Freedom of Expression,'" wrote Ives in a
>January 23, 2003 New York Times column. McLeod objects to the fact that
>AT&T, in reality, cares little for freedom of expression; he is also
>concerned with the way intellectual property law is accelerating the
>privatization of our culture.
>"Your company has usurped my client's registered trademark in its attempts
>to sell long-distance telephone service to college students," McLeod's Iowa
>City-based attorney Gregory Williams wrote in the cease and desist letter
>mailed to AT&T on January 22, 2003. "Consequently, we demand that you
>immediately cease and desist from further use of the registered mark
>'Freedom of Expression.'"
>"I want AT&T to think twice the next time they try to use 'Freedom of
>Expression' without my permission," states McLeod. He acknowledges the
>irony of trademarking the very phrase that sums up the American commitment
>to free speech. "But 99.999% of the time it is corporations that shut down
>individuals' Freedom of Expression," he said, "so it's satisfying that
>trademark law allows me to do the same to AT&T." McLeod is an assistant
>professor at the University of Iowa who has written about the impact of
>intellectual property law and the privatization of culture in his book
>Owning Culture (2001).
>This is not the first time a commonly used phrase has been trademarked.
>Food manufacturing company Mrs. Smith's fires off cease and desist letters
>to bakeries that dare to infringe on its trademark, "home style."
>University of Massachusetts ex-basketball coach John Calipari trademarked
>"Refuse to Lose" and charges the school royalties to use his slogan. And
>Ohio University and Ohio State engaged in a lengthy, expensive battle over
>the word "Ohio."
>The Trademark for Freedom of Expression (no. 2,127,381) was filed under
>Class 16 of the international register of services and goods, which covers
>printed matter, and the like.
>The press conference is part of the Chicago opening of "Illegal Art:
>Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age," an art show that runs from
>January 25 through February 21. "Illegal Art" (
>debuted in New York City, and it will also travel to San Francisco. The
>show is sponsored by Stay Free! magazine and the Chicago exhibit is hosted
>by In These Times magazine. McLeod's framed Freedom of Expression trademark
>certificate is part of the show, which highlights art and ideas on the
>legal fringes of intellectual property law. Works include the cover art of
>Negativland's infamous "U2" sound collage, which prompted a lawsuit by the
>Irish band's record company, as well as director Todd Haynes' "Superstar,"
>a short film that sympathetically tells the story of Karen Carpenter with
>Barbie dolls, but which was enjoined from distribution.
>Media representatives and others are invited to the press conference at 5pm
>on January 25, 2003. It is located at 2040 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago,
>IL, 60647, at the In These Times magazine building. The show opens at the
>same location at 6pm.
>High Resolution Images Available for Media at
>Kembrew McLeod
>(( ( (( ( (( ( (((Kembrew 11 McLeod))) ) )) ) )) ) ))
>Assistant Professor
>Dept. of Communication Studies
>University of Iowa
>1218 College St.
>Iowa City, IA 52245
>(319) 341-3583
>"The U.S. is auditioning to be Rome in the next Bible."
>--Jon Stewart, on Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea

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