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August 11, 2005
Dumb Ideas Never Die
In this case the dumb idea is "claim any IP use we don't like is a DMCA violation." It's been a while since we've seen one of these stories and the latest one is likely another tempest in a teapot. But here goes:
Kristen Philipkoski has a story on WIRED about Jose Avila. What makes Avila typical is that he's a creative software development guy who had to move around for job reasons and at the moment is stuck paying two rents. What makes him atypical is that he's responded to this situation by creating furniture for himself entirely out of FedEx boxes - they're sturdy, you see. Avila has an architecture background and he created a Web site (fedexfurniture.com) to document his process and results.
For some reason, this upset FedEx and their lawyers insisted he take down the site, claiming that the site infringed on its trademark and copyright. In specific, they claimed DMCA violations. Say what? Avila is being represented by lawyers from the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society who pointed out that FedEx's claims really appear to be about trademark infringement and conversion (link courtesy of Philipkoski's article) neither of which are coverd by the DMCA.
As of this writing the site is back up and FedEx's next move is unclear.
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