Who Dat Say Who Dat?

January 29, 2010

Any unauthorized use of the Saints colors and other [marks] designed to create the illusion of an affiliation with the Saints is equally a violation of the Saints trademark rights because it allows a third party to ‘free ride’ by profiting from confusion of the team’s fans, who want to show support for the Saints.

NFL spokesman Dan Masonson

If ‘who dat’ is used in a manner to refer to Saints football, then the Saints own the rights.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy

The basic idea of trademark as it developed in the common law is that someone cannot use the mark of another if it is confusingly similar to the mark of that other party. Now as I noted in the linked pieces above, the primary right should be the right of the consumer, not the trademark holder, and it should be more explicitly anchored in the notion of fraud–but you can see that the idea of “confusingly similar” is more or less related to the idea of fraud: if the competitor’s mark is so similar that it will confuse the consumer, it’s arguable the competitor is defrauding the consumer. But this has nothing to do with “dilution.” It’s focused on misleading the consumer (note that a clearer focus on this, and making it clear that the consumer, not the trademark holder, is the plaintiff, would not prohibit knockoffs such as cheap Rolex watches or Louis Vuitton purses, since in these cases the consumer is not defrauded or misled at all).

Stephan Kinsella, author of Against Intellectual Property.

Because it is already so anchored, there is no need for anyone – the NFL or the fans – to claim ownership¹. Read the rest of this entry »

David Ellerman, a major source of inspiration for this blog, has started his own blog. I hope my few readers will wander over there and subscribe. The first post on associational speech is an absolute home run.

PS – There are two Ellerman blogs. The one above is his current events and social science blog. This one is his logic and mathematics edition.

Flowers for the Sick

January 28, 2010

Margaret Flowers, M.D. responds to the SOTU in an open letter to Barack Obama:

There was an opportunity this past year to create universal and financially-sustainable health care reform rather than expensive health insurance reform.

Flowers is talking about single-payer or as she likes to call it (in a move I suppose she intends to be an argument in its favor) “Medicare-for-All.” This was followed closely by:

This poor value for our health care dollar is due to the waste of having so many insurance companies.

So on the one hand, Flowers gets that health care and health insurance are two different things. But then she thinks that health care value is bad because of health insurance competition. Read the rest of this entry »


January 28, 2010

Talk to the window manufacturer in Philadelphia who said he used to be skeptical about the Recovery Act, until he had to add two more work shifts just because of the business it created.

President Barack Obama, State of the Union speech, 01/27/2010

Many people (I imagine) will be quick to accuse the Prez of hiding the truth beneath layers and layers of rhetoric in his speech. I think they are being unfair. Who else commits the Broken Window Fallacy by actually talking about broken windows? Say what you will, but he’s no obscurantist.

Izzy Serious?

January 26, 2010

From Eddie Izzard’s website:

It has come to our attention that various ticket agencies are offering Eddie tickets at extortionate marked-up prices. Frustratingly this is something that is out of our control despite the imposing of a 6 ticket limit per purchase policy. Eddie was particularly adamant that ticket prices should be kept to a minimum. £30 outside London and £35 in London. If you want to purchase tickets at the original price, check only ticketweb.co.uk or go direct to the venues. If you can’t find a specific seat or ticket you want, then try the other sites (which are all ticket scalper or ticket tout sites and who will charge you a lot more for your purchase – for no reason. Just for their profit). Until legislation is passed, the only way to stop scalpers is to not use their websites.

Stick to comedy, not economics, Eddie. I particularly love the last sentence. I think I’m going to adopt my own version of it:

Until the state solves the problem, the only way to solve it is anarchism.

Hollywood Blacklist

January 24, 2010

In the morning, I’ll be heading to the 2nd Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair. I’ll be at the ALL table with Charles “Rad Geek” Johnson, Gary Chartier, Sam Resnick, and Nick Forbes. For those going, I hope I’ll see you there.

Holy Free Parking, Batman!

January 20, 2010

I realize that we anarchists generally like to think the fewer nations the better but the fact that libertariannation.org is down is going too far. [Update: it seems that it just may be having problems with delivering some pages without “www.” The webmaster is investigating the problem.]

Quick, Robin! To the Way Back Machine!

Fox in the Henhouse

January 15, 2010

Radio host, former Republican mayoral candidate of Lewisville, TX and old high school peer of mine, Winston Edmondson, has invited me on his radio show today to discuss anarchism from 3-4pm CST (Dallas, TX). If you don’t live in Dallas, you can listen to a live online stream or, if you miss it, the online archive.

And how fitting it is that this show is taking place on the birthday of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon!

If you are here because you heard about the blog on the show, welcome! Please have a look around and let me recommend the “Essentials” link on the sidebar for more reading.