Pick on somebody your own size.

Bullies haven’t been cool since Biff Tannen graced our presence, and even he wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box.  North Face has proven they’re not quite the cool guys in school like many may have believed them to be.  When 18-year-old Jimmy Winkelmann created a parody brand, “South Butt,” North Face decided to file a lawsuit against the teenager rather than laughing along with the joke.

The story became viral most recently when South Butt released a Facebook app that allows you to use your judgment to see if you can “tell a butt from a face.”  The popularity of the app strengthens South Butt’s case that their brand is truly a mere parody and proves that the class clown can sometimes come out ahead of the school bully.

North Face’s decision to sue ultimately ruined their reputation.  Sorry Biff, your days are over.

D. Marvin Jones can’t let it go

d-marvin-jonesIt’s kind of a sad story.  University of Miami law professor Donald Marvin Jones was arrested in 2007 for soliciting a prostitute.  He denied the claims, and the charges were later dropped.  The law blog AboveTheLaw had written a series of posts about the story and included his faculty photo.  Jones has filed a lawsuit against the blog, claiming that the use of the faculty photo is a copyright violation.

As TechDirt points out, there are two big problems with this:

1 — He likely doesn’t hold the copyright on the photo.
2 — Even if he does, it’s very clearly a fair use claim.

In the end, it just draws more people to the story.  I had never heard about Mr. Jones or this situation before, but now he’s bringing it all back to the forefront.

Ralph Lauren doesn’t like that you don’t like their ad

ralph-laurenRalph Lauren has a new ad out with an impossibly skinny model in it.  As Boing-Boing put it, “Dude, her head’s bigger than her pelvis”.

The ad was highlighted on PhotoshopDisasters, as an example of (we really hope) bad Photoshopping.  However, Ralph Lauren filed a (bogus) DMCA takedown notice on the post, which has since been removed.

That’s the end of it, right?  Post removed, story gone.  Ha!  BoingBoing has now covered the story, as has the Huffington Post, TechDirt and others.  Ralph Lauren filed a DMCA complaint against BoingBoing, but their ISP (Canada’s Priority Colo) knows what they’re doing, and didn’t remove the post.  They spoke with BoingBoing about it, and decided (rightfully) that the post can stay.

Not only can we all see the insane ad, but we can see just how out of touch Ralph Lauren is.

WPIX falls for April Fools joke and tries to use the DMCA to hide it

I hate companies like this and I’m glad that the internet can show everyone how stupid and arrogant they are.  Improv Everywhere is a group based in New York that does funny improv stunts around the city, such as sending a bunch of people into Best Buy in blue golf shirts, and a 200 person freeze in Grand Central station.  It’s all pretty funny stuff that is fairly harmless.

Last year, they performed “Best Game Ever“, where they made a little league game awesome — showing up with signs, as peanut vendors, etc.  Everyone enjoyed it.  This year on April 1st they did the “Best Funeral Ever” as a joke.  They staged a fake funeral, then pretended to crash it and join the mourners, but made the video look like they were crashing a real funeral.  Here’s the video:

Lots of people fell for it (and many were quite upset), including CW 11 news (WPIX) who played it on the air as if it really happened.  They didn’t contact Improv Everywhere.  They didn’t call the cemetery.  They didn’t try to get a quote from the family.  Nothing.  They played it as a factual story.  Here’s their news story about it:

Improv Everywhere posted a video of the news story on their site, but it was later removed due a copyright claim from the Tribune, who owns the news station.  Not only was this a horrible way to try to hide their mistake (rather than own up to it and apologize), but it simply reeks of hypocrisy.  They showed the Improv Everywhere video on the air without permission or attribution, then file a DMCA claim to have their video removed from YouTube.  As Charlie Todd, the founder of IE, said:

It’s OK for them to air content that we shot and own, but it’s not OK for me to upload their footage of the content they took from me? It’s “fair use” for the news to take a video off of YouTube and broadcast it, but it’s not “fair use” for a citizen to expose their poor reporting on his own content?

CW 11, nice job hiding the story.  Now instead of a handful of people knowing how stupid you area,  a whole bunch know.

(via Techdirt)

MPAA promoting another site they hate

Is the MPAA this stupid, or does it just look that way?  Once again, they’re suing a website for copyright infringement and the result is that the site is getting a ton more traffic.

The site in question this time is Pullmylink.com, which links to sites that have various movies and TV shows online for you to watch. That’s right — the site being sued doesn’t even host the infringing content.

However, this story has already hit TechDirt and Reuters (and The Movie Blog, nobosh, cdrinfo, film-industry, etc), and is sure to get much bigger before it’s over.  I had never heard of this site before, but now I have.