mothers against move on!
You may call it "nonsense" if you like,' she said, ` but I've heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary.

-- The Red Queen

In yet another example of how the copyright and trademark laws are being used to interfere with free speech, the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is taking legal action against the anti-illegal immigration group Mothers Against Illegal Aliens. Because, claims MADD, they "own" the words "Mothers Against"!
Michelle Dallacroce was hopping mad when she received a letter from Mothers Against Drunk Driving demanding she change the name of her organization, Mothers Against Illegal Aliens.

"I couldn't believe it," Mrs. Dallacroce said. "I don't know who would be confused by this. We don't even have the same acronym."

Mrs. Dallacroce, president of the Phoenix-based advocacy group, received a certified letter Oct. 10 stating that MADD owns the rights to the name "Mothers Against" and giving her 10 days to stop using it.

There are more groups named "Mothers Against" this or that than I can count.

There's Mothers Against Brain Injury, Mothers Against War, Mothers Against Guns (who don't get a link), Mothers Against Sex Predators, Mothers Against Sexual Abuse, Mothers Against Predators, Mothers Against Pornography Addiction, Mothers Against Peeing Standing Up, Mothers Against Video Game Addiction amd Violence, and last but not least on my list, Mothers Against Blogging. ("It's sucking the life out of my kids," proclaims the site! My mom would probably join it were she alive.)

In fact, there are so many "Mothers Against" organizations that I feel like starting the "Mothers Against Mothers Against Invention." But the fact is, I'm not a mother. Not that a detail like that has stopped the president of MADD, who's a man.

Anyway, MADD has not taken legal action against the Other Mothers. Only against MAIA.

All Mothers should be aghast.

MADD's sleazy, heavyhanded tactics remind me of what MoveOn.org tried to do to it's critics. Robert Cox (via Glenn Reynolds has a report, and Michele Malkin details how the organization with all its vast Soros resources decided to bully a small independent t-shirt seller:

I heard from one of the independent T-shirt sellers targeted by MoveOn.org last week. The seller is a lifelong Democrat and member of the military. Incensed by the attack on Gen. Petraeus, the retailer opened up a shop at online store CafePress. The homemade designs at the PoliStew Cafe (www.cafepress.com/polistew) were stark and simple: "Move Away from Move On!" "MoveOn.org NoFriend to Dems." "General Petraeus has done more for this country than MoveOn.org."

For daring to raise a voice and raise some money for the troops (all proceeds from the sale of his items go to the National Military Family Association charity), this T-shirt seller earned the wrath of MoveOn.org's lawyers. MoveOn.org chief operating officer Carrie Olson brought down the sledgehammer. She sent a cease-and-desist letter to CafePress demanding that PoliStew Cafe's items and other anti-MoveOn.org merchandise be removed from the store.

Olson warned: "We have been alerted to an entire page of items on your website that infringes on our registered trademark, and we request that you remove all items immediately, and ask the poster to refrain from shipping any items purchased on this webpage. We also request that you give us contact information for the company / person who posted the items. This content has certainly NOT been authorized by anyone at MoveOn.org, nor anyone affiliated with MoveOn."

Unfortunately, Cafe Press caves pretty easily, as I found when I tried multiple versions of the PINO CHE T. (Maybe I should start a "Mothers Against Che" while I'm at it.)

It's worth noting that this obnoxious form of censorship has been attempted for years across the political spectrum. From Michael Savage to Al Franken to the New York Times, the idea is to use copyright and trademark laws to thwart free speech and especially silence critics.

The theory of protecting names from misappropriation for personal gain is being perverted into the the banning of ordinary words, and into the outrageous idea that critics should not be allowed to name what they're criticizing.

The ultimate idea is "You cannnot criticize me, or I'll sue you for using my name!"

It's like something from Alice in Wonderland.

I better stop, because if the Red Queen© reads this post, she might sue me for mentioning her! ("NOT IN MY NAME you don't!")

posted by Eric on 10.31.07 at 10:15 AM










Comments

Mothers Against Guns:

http://mothersagainstguns.org/

(It's revolting.)

And you've written "it's" when it should be "its", again.

Hidalgo Pedant   ·  October 31, 2007 10:40 AM

I feel like starting the "Mothers Against Mothers Against Invention."

Watch out, the lawyers representing Frank Zappa's estate might put you in their sights.

Anonymous   ·  October 31, 2007 7:05 PM

Umm... I think the point was that Eric intentionally left out the link for "Mothers Against Guns". Providing it was a nice gesture (I suppose), but it isn't exactly helping.

John S.   ·  October 31, 2007 10:54 PM

On another note... maybe it's just me, but "Mothers Against Illegal Aliens" makes it sound like the group is against the people themselves, rather than against the practice of illegal immigration. But then, "Mothers Against Illegal Immigration" doesn't make a cool acronym.

John S.   ·  October 31, 2007 10:57 PM

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