Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Oscar Goes After Blogs

From The Envelope:
Oscar the statue, meet Oscar the Grouch.

Lawyers for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last week ordered the editor of the seven-year-old Oscarwatch.com web site to give up the name or face a lawsuit.

At issue: The Academy owns the "Oscar" trademark and warned founding editor Sasha Stone that she has no legal right to the name and that her website "is likely to confuse visitors searching the Academy's site."

Stone, who has run Oscarwatch.com from her Los Angeles home since just after her daughter's 1999 birth, said she can't afford a lawyer and is uncertain what her next step will be.

A message seeking comment from the Academy was not returned.

The Academy has taken similar measures dating back a decade, including moving in 2000 against some 50 websites that incorporated Oscar or Academy in their site names. But this is the first time the Academy has gone after Stone's site, she said.

Stone speculated she was targeted to preclude other potential users of "Oscar" from citing her as an example in challenging the Academy's trademark. Yet the name is already part of the common language, she said.

"I really do think I can argue this thing - people do use the name all the time Oscarwatching is its own word, really," she said. "But I probably just can't afford it. I think I'll just have to comply."


Click here to read the full article.

If the Academy keeps biting the hands of the people who feed it they're going to keep sliding into the oblivion of irrelevancy. Oscar has always had difficulty keeping up with the times, and this is no different.

Sites like this are huge buzz generators, keeping up interest in the annual Oscar race. And for the Academy to start going after them shows just how humorless and well, ungrateful they are. This is a site dedicated to promoting and generating interest in them. And they go and do this.

It's shameful.

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