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November 8, 2004
Postal Service to Promote Postal Service
In what has to be among the most bizarre-yet-cool trademark infringement settlements ever, Postal Service, the pop sensation whose song is covered on the excellent Garden State soundtrack, will be granted free license to use the name "Postal Service" in exchange for working to promote using the mail. Reports the NYT (reg. req.):
Future copies of the album and the group's follow-up work will have a notice about the trademark, while the federal Postal Service will sell the band's CD's on its Web site, potentially earning a profit. The band may do some television commercials for the post office. The group also agreed to perform at the postmaster general's annual National Executive Conference in Washington on Nov. 17.
It's interesting to compare/contrast this solution to the one proposed by the evidently clueless
garbage collection company Sunset Scavenger, which has forced Wide Hive Records
to change the cover and title of the DJ Zeph
CD, "Sunset Scavenger." DJ Zeph might have helped Sunset Scavenger improve its profile; it sure wasn't going in the other direction.
Later: James Grimmelmann, who evidently was thinking the same way about this, but 4 days earlier: "Americans who buy stamps, a tiny bit of your money is going to hire some musicians to play a show. San Franciscans living in the Sunset, a tiny bit of your money is going to sue a musician and force him to pay to reprint an album. Which of these two seems like a better deal?"
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