A Fight Of Mammamental Proportions

Wordpess is not only a popular blogging platform, but also apparently a champion of the First Amendment, fighting proudly on behalf of its clients against those who do not want you to see Janet Jackson‘s booby.
To you this may be a tired, overused photo with a little bit of Tim Howard thrown in. But to those who publish this photo, it's “Janet Jackson's attorneys on line five.” 

The publishing tool is implemented on more than 60 million websites, so it has the financial muscle to safeguard its customers from frivolous litigation for alleged abuse of fair-use content. It has recently released its second “Transparency Report” and followed that with the launch of a “Hall of Shame”  list of what it believes to be ridiculously aggressive attempts to take down fair-use content.

Some runner ups include a New York ad agency that went after a blogger for manipulating the “I <3 New York” logo to promote bicycling in the city. Another is Dorra Slimming, which claimed a blogger, critical of the company's weight loss product, apparently shouldn't have posted a photo of said product. Another runner up is Kern's Kitchen, which doesn't appreciate that people are writing recipes for a popular Southern dish called “derby pie” because Kern's Kitchen owns the rights to the name.

“We pushed back as much as possible to keep the posts up, and reached out to each of our bloggers about the issue and suggested alternate recipe names, such as ‘Kentucky Derby Chocolate Pie’ or “Mean-Spirited Censorship Pie,” WordPress said.

But the top you-know-what prize goes to the attorneys for Jackson, who apparently are so aggressive they’ve tried to nix any unflattering mention of their client’s name.

According to WordPress, attorneys asked for the following to be removed because of trademark infringement: “What would your WWE Smackdown name be?” a blogger asked. The response: “Picture Sacha Baron Cohen in, what else? his movie The Dictator. Elaborate General’s outfit, hat, etc. He walks in flanked by half a dozen sexy female soldiers inspired by the Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation video.”

Attorneys also asked for a blogger to take down the famed shot of Jackson and Justin Timberlake at the Super Bowl, with Tim Howard, star goalkeeper of the U.S. Olympics soccer team, superimposed to obscure any wardrobe malfunction.

WordPress’ response to the C&D incorporated the names of Jackson songs. “It seems like you believe the use of the trademark ‘Janet Jackson’ is reserved all for you, but we were hoping you’d be open to some feedback because your attempt to control every use of the mark is pretty nasty. If you read up on nominative use, you’ll discover that it doesn’t really matter that ‘Janet Jackson’ is used on this site. If you believe there are any other alleged infringements, would you mind submitting a notice again via our trademark form?

“So excited to work with you going forward.”

The image was still online at press time.