I love it when large corporates have their insane bullying tactics defeated and exposed. I remember for example having a pitched battle with Warner Brothers when they started threatening to sue children for having Harry Potter websites.
But even better, and much funnier, is the story which I have just comes across today where the company behind Barney the Dinosaur – a huge pink dinosaur that purports to be children’s entertainment – has been forced to back down in its legal action against a man running a satire site calling the fluffy dinosaur “evil”, and then producing a series of hilarious web pages pointing out why Barney was the devil incarnate and “to children as Osama Bin Laden is to Islam”.
You can see from the image on the left (grabbed from the site) that the owner was not being completely serious. It must be dreadful to be one of those people who sit in a room of people roaring with laughter and wondering why they don’t get it.
And Lyons Partnership is that confused lonely little man because it didn’t find the site as funny as everyone else in the world and sued the owner of Dusty Feet, Dr. Stuart Frankel for violating their trademarks. The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) got involved and now the insane humourless world that companies live in has come back to bite them on the arse thanks to the tremendous news value of the story.
The story is already all over the media – the online media are, as ever, first one the case – but I would like to draw attention to The Register‘s crazed rant about the tale which caused me to laugh out loud a minute ago. The author – one “Bonhomie Snoutintroff” provides an intriguing biography at the bottom of the piece that he is “a plain-spoken strong leader in cyberspace. He did poorly in school but his family is rich and well connected, so he’s served as CEO of numerous, well-known Internet ventures that for various reasons unrelated to his forward-looking guidance no longer exist.
“He developed a cocaine and alcohol problem, although he refuses to dwell on the past: his mission is to bring honor and dignity to the IT profession. His keen insight as a global techno-visionary is matched only by his Christian humility.”
However, I sense the undeniable comic touches of Lester Haines.