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How ProtectMarriage.com Can Get Back at Courage Campaign’s Logo Lift: Gay-Up CC’s Logo

This website knows a little something about cease and desist letters. We just received one from Ovie Mughelli’s attorney, who’s upset we dared inquire as to the NFL player’s sexuality. Also getting one this week? The Courage Campaign, which had a little fun with ProtectMarriage.com’s “Yes On 8” logo, changing it from a straight family with two kids to a lesbian family with two kids, and stamping it on top of their Perry trial website. It’s how Rick Jacobs shows his sense of humor. But it also got ProtectMarriage.com all sorts of upset that the radical homosexual activists would try to ruin American families by infringing on their trademark! Which has us all: Why don’t you infringe on ours?

We’ll spare you whether this is a “fair use” of a trademark (it is) than actual trademark infringement (it isn’t), and instead zero in on why the Courage Campaign even chose to use the “Yes On 8” logo on their website:

They are upset that we are parodying them and are making themselves out to be victims again. It’s just ridiculous. It’s very clear that the our logo is a parody, and they are just freaking out about an image depicting a family of two mothers with two kids. The ProtectMarriage.com logo was originally used as the pro-Prop 8 logo, you know the proposition this trial is about… that little thing.

You see, the Courage Campaign is taking something that’s been used to abuse the LGBT community, and putting their own twist on it to empower the queers. Which is the same explanation used by homos who throw around the word “fag.” Brilliant!

To which we say: Why not encourage ProtectMarriage.com to do the same to us? We’ll ever offer up Queerty‘s logo, which ProtectMarriage.com’s Frank Schubert is welcome to doll up however he wants, and we won’t complain!

Or just take the Courage Campaign’s own logo of a grizzly bear (California’s state animal) —

— and really fag things up. Like so:

UPDATE JAN. 20: ProtectMarriage.com has formally sued the Courage Campaign over the satirical use of its trademark.

UPDATE JAN. 20: U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton has denied ProtectMarriage.com’s temporary restraining order pending a ruling.

    • Jesse @ Gay Vantage

      I see the mark as parody and nothing more.

      Any good trademark attorney would see it as the same.

      Jan 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TommyOC

      Queerty: This isn’t a copyright issue, it’s a TRADEMARK issue!! Copyright protects made works from repackaging or deviation from it’s original form/intent (fair use). Trademark’s all about the creation of a stamp, logo, phrase, mark or other identifying characteristic that people can see/hear and know it’s your product they’re consuming. Trademark infringement law stops people from using similar or identical marks on non-genuine products in such a manner that it confuses the consumer into consuming the non-genuine work.

      Parody is protected from trademark infrinement claims. Thus why Courage Campaign has nothing to worry about.

      Please correct your copy.

      Jan 17, 2010 at 2:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

      Smokey the Bear says: “Get yo foot out my a@@!” Otherwise, the Protect Marriage (but ignore Families) folk should stop letting their children do Photoshop! Shame on their beehives and loafers!

      Jan 17, 2010 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Umm...

      Except… that really is how bears have sex. As in… male and female bears. Not particularly gay.

      Jan 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon B

      @TommyOC: It could be a trademark claim… it could also be a copyright issue… it could also be both. Copyright protection attaches once an artistic work is created. That’s an artistic work. It gets protection… just not against this because it’s probably fair use. They would have had to registered as a trademark if they wanted trademark protection, which they probably did. But whatever, don’t make such a big deal about it.

      Jan 18, 2010 at 1:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greybat

      Has anyone noticed that the Prop.8 logo is a direct knock-off of the “City of Hope” logo?

      Jan 18, 2010 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TommyOC

      @Jon B: No, it’s not a copyright claim. It’s a Trademark issue. The logo wasn’t created to be consumed by itself (as art is), the logo was created to represent an organization. That’s the difference between this being a copyrighted work and a trademark.

      It’s why the Apple logo, the Microsoft logo, and the Pepsi log aren’t copyrighted, rather they’re trademarked (notice the ™ and disclaimers accompanying them wherever they go).

      And since it’s not a copyrighted work (that’s not opinion, btw), its use doesn’t qualify for “Fair Use” protection.

      Jan 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TommyOC

      @Jon B: Also, Jon, as a guy who’s actually *read* the exchanges between lawyers on this very case (it’s very interesting to read, btw), I know for a fact it’s being argued as a trademark claim.

      That’s why I’m making a “bid deal” out of this, as you claim. Folks needs to do their research a little better…

      Jan 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trickstertara

      The question of libel/parody vs. trademark would depend on how often they used it and whether they included Prop 8’s original logo in the same context (ex: a compare/contrast, “ha ha, look what we did to your stick family, you hateful dicks”).

      If they used the altered logo by itself, then it’s a trademark issue and they should cease and desist, pay the claim and move on. If it was used in conjunction with the original logo, then Courage Campaign might have an argument for it being a parody which would, ironically, be protected under the precedent set by Hustler v. Falwell.

      Of course, that would also mean they used the logo without permission and they should cease and desist anyway.

      They should have just done a fake interview with Maggie Gallagher talking about how she lost her virginity to a turkey baster in a sperm bank.

      Jan 21, 2010 at 12:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FakeName

      TricksterTara sez: libel/parody

      There is no accusation of libel in this case. The case is strictly about trademark infringement.

      TricksterTara sez: If they used the altered logo by itself, then it’s a trademark issue and they should cease and desist, pay the claim and move on. If it was used in conjunction with the original logo, then Courage Campaign might have an argument for it being a parody which would, ironically, be protected under the precedent set by Hustler v. Falwell.

      This is completely wrong legally. There is no requirement that the original source material be used in or alongside the parody for First Amendment protections to attach. The defendants cited a number of Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit cases in support of their position but Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is not among them. That’s because Hustler is not a trademark case. It deals with whether the First Amendment bars claims by public figures for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

      Jan 21, 2010 at 2:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trickstertara

      My apologies.

      Jan 21, 2010 at 3:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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