Brad Templeton -- the long-time moderator of rec.humor.funny and host of the rhf archives -- has received a cease-and-desist notice from AmEx's lawyers over a 13 year old joke
called "American Expressway." Brad, being fully aware of the Constitutionally protected right to parody and how that trumps trademark, has posted a link to the joke, the C&D, and his response, which pokes vicious fun at AmEx's lawyers at the firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe:
hould you ever feel your reputation lost or stolen by free speech and satire, just one call gets LVM to write a threatening cease and desist letter -- usually on the same day -- citing all sorts of important sounding laws but ignoring the realities of parody. Most innocent web sites will cave in, not knowing their rights. LVM will pretend it has never read cases like L.L. Bean, Inc. v. High Society and dozens of others. There's no preset limit on the number of people you can threaten, so you can bully as much as you wish.
After all, Being Giant and Intimidating has its Privileges.
American Express Lawyers: Don't leave your home page without them.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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