Ramblings of Silver Blue

30 Jan

Another long and winding rant.

Stupid people should be barred from self-checkout lines.

Tink and I went by Ghettoworld Wal-Mart this evening, one that normally isn’t Ghetto, to pick up groceries since I wanted to cook at home. By the time we gathered everything together, we figured, hey, We’ve 11 items. Let’s go through the self-checkout. We have no coupons and the lines are rather long.

Wrong idea. We got behind this person who shouldn’t be allowed outside by themselves. In fact, they even had someone with them that was flitting like a damn gnat. Anyway, this person couldn’t figure out that you had to press ENGLISH to start the process before attempting to scan your item. Then they scanned in their hair colour. Big mistake. I guess it didn’t come up the right price, because they scanned it three more times (care to guess how many they now had on their on screen receipt? How many were they being charged?) Anyway, they had to get the head cashier over because “this damn thing is f*cked up.” I told Tink to change lanes and we did. We were out of there before she even GOT to the fresh fruit that she was going to have to use the “look up” feature for. I shudder at the thought.

It’s not that I don’t empathize with those who are “technologically challenged.” It’s just that if you know you have issues, do NOT put yourself through the headache of having it mess up on you. (Also, as a side note, don’t put your fellow customers through your own personal hell either. We have enough on our hands.)

Also, to the older guy who insisted on going through the self-checkout in another lane… you had a basket full. The signs say “limit 20 items”. That’s for good reason. They try to get people out of the store as quickly as possible. Having to stop every two seconds and help people like you and hair-colour woman doesn’t make for fast checkout times.

Dominatrix who dismembered dead client acquitted

Sorry that the man had a heart attack and expired on your version of the rack. But what was the point of trying to cover up the death by hacking the 275-pound man to bits? Of course, you were blessed by them not finding blood or DNA. Personally, you may not have killed him, but I wish they could have charged you with indecent liberties with the dead, or something like that. Your Defense Attorney had it right (supposedly) when she claimed the man could still be alive — they had no body, blood or DNA linking you to him. Except for your own admission that you cut him up with the help of your boyfriend. Maybe the family should sue you in Civil court next. Hey, if it’s good enough for OJ, it should be good enough for you. Maybe then you can go on a manhunt to find the person who actually killed the man. (Yeah, right)

Tomorrow’s Tuesday Ten™

It’s all about the ethics, baby. The questions will make you stop and think. They’re not going to be questions you can just give off the cuff answers to. (Ok, well, question #10 you’ll be able to… LOL)

When did “fair use” become “trademark infringement”?

Sorry, but there’s enough going on that we really didn’t need a company to do this.

Over at Wikipedia, they have this to say about Fair Use and Trademark

In the U.S., there is also a fair use defense in trademark law based on similar principles as the doctrine under copyright (such as free speech), but with different exceptions. Fair use is consistent with the more limited protection granted to trademarks, generally specific only to the particular product market and geographic area of the trademark owner.

Most trademarks are adopted from words or symbols already common to the culture (such as Apple), instead of being invented by the mark owner (such as Kodak). Courts have recognized that ownership in the mark cannot prevent others from using the word or symbol in these other senses, such as if the trademark is a descriptive word or common symbol such as a pine tree. This means that the less distinctive or original the trademark, the less able the trademark owner will be to control how it is used.

Trademarks may also be used by a nonowner nominatively—to refer to the actual trademarked product or its source. In addition to protecting product criticism and analysis, U.S. law actually encourages nominative usage by competitors in the form of comparative advertising.

Both of these exceptions require that the mark not be used by the nonowner in a way that would be likely to confuse consumers about the source of their (or the trademark owner’s) product. Generally this translates into the requirement, similar to that in fair use under copyright, that no more of the trademark is used than is necessary for the legitimate purpose.

Over at the International Trademark Association, they say:


As a general matter, it is advisable to obtain the consent of a trademark owner before proceeding with use of their mark. Trademark law, however, does permit the use of another’s mark (whether registered or unregistered) without their consent if the use of the mark is made in good faith for the purpose of merely describing the goods or services to which the mark relates or to accurately indicate compatibility with another’s goods or services. Relevant considerations for determining whether use of another ’s mark constitutes “fair use” include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

Bad faith. Intentionally using another’s mark for the purpose of benefiting from the good will associated with the mark is not a permissible use of another person’s mark without their consent.

Since, as Madonna has so eloquently said, “There is no such thing as bad publicity”, almost all Trademark holders have had their marks mentioned. To not have your mark mentioned means that people aren’t discussing your product. Many companies go to great lengths to protect their marks (as evidenced in movies where Coca-Cola has people make sure if they ask for a “Coke” they aren’t served a Pepsi or an RC, or what have you. Most restaurants are this way as well, which is why if Pepsi is served, and you ask for a Coke, your server will say “Is Pepsi alright?”), however if you are talking about good (or bad) service, you more than likely will mention the mark (as I did when I had a bad experience with McDonald’s (still unresolved) or with Cracker Barrel (now resolved to my satisfaction)). As long as what you are posting is true, there is little recourse for the mark holder.

Mind you, if you were to write falsely about a mark holder, they could, potentially, sue you for libel. The mark holder, however, would have a problem getting a favourable verdict from the court, however, if what was written was not libel, but truth.

Remember what is said: the most effective advertising is word of mouth. If someone is satisfied with your service, they will tell (on average) one person; however, if someone is not satisfied with your service, that one person will tell TEN people.

The blogsphere has caught on to this like wildfire. It even won a mention on Instapundit today.

We may be small in number, but we stick together and try to help each other out where we can.

Bandwidth theft is a reality. That’s why I have hotlinking to my images turned off to even Google. I pay for the bandwidth — contrary to popular belief, it’s not free. After paying a pretty penny from having people hotlink directly to this shockwave I had to take it down. It’s one thing to have a visitor to your site view an image, animation, etc. It’s a totally different thing when someone embeds that same data in a message, website, or newsgroup post. Sure it’s cute, but in effect, its still theft.

One Response to “Another long and winding rant.”

  1. 1
    Fritz Says:

    It is interesting that you mentioned Madonna — she lost a lawsuit against an Italian jewelry company called Madonna several years ago. She tried to stop them from using her trademarked name. Unfortunately for her, the company has been in business under that name for something like 150 years! The Italian judge severely admonished the singer’s lawyers and said something like, “Who will she sue next? The Mother of God?!”

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