Failblog was originally a creation of Eric Nakagawa, who discovered a method of monetizing lolcats. Had he used that level of creativity for good, we might now all be riding cancer-free solar hovercars to a peaceful Gaza. Thanks a lot, asshole. Anyway, failblog runs pictures of various human failures, with FAIL printed over them for those of its readers who are a little slow on the uptake.
Recently Failblog had a good one. Noting that the Guiness World Records site featured a "Break This Record!" button on many of the pages describing various records, they searched for a record that would make that exhortation embarrassing. It wasn't hard to find:
In case you can't read it, Guinness just encouraged you to break the record for most people killed in a terrorist attack.
Funny. That is to say, amusing, to normal human beings. Not, though, to lawyers. Quick, send in the lawyers. Don't worry, they're here.
I represent and write on behalf of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS LIMITED . . . .
. . . and so on, claiming trademark infringement. I guess it's possible that Guinness's lawyers are unfamiliar with the concept of fair use. Maybe they don't have fair use in England. God knows their libel law is ludicrous enough; it wouldn't surprise me. Anywhere else in the world, though, this is a patently frivolous cease-and-desist letter.
Failblog, to its credit, mocks them in response:
Thanks for writing us an email regarding the “Record Breaking Fail”. Unfortunately, douchebaggy cyber-bullying emails will only bring upon you more shame on your house. I am also resisting the urge to write this email in ALL CAPS.
It's hard to imagine how Guinness could have thought that this would bring them anything but ridicule.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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