There's a legal battle brewing over the fuckingmachines.com domain. The robophilia site is one of many fetish domains managed by alt-porn company Kink.com (formerly Cybernet Entertainment LLC).
I've visited the studio where this site and other Kink.com properties are produced, and met some of the folks behind it (and in front of it, and on top of it, and -- ok ok sorry). They're the most health/safety-conscious porn biz people I've ever met, and many of the employees are very friendly, geeky hacker/maker/ex-dotcom folk. It's a cool space, and by all appearances, one of the most responsibly-run adult entertainment companies around.
Anyway, fuckingmachines launched in 2000. Five years later, the company behind it asked the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the word "fuckingmachines," to protect their IP rights. According to a feature in the Orlando Weekly....
Cybernet’s request met the government’s most preliminary standard: No one else was using the word “fuckingmachines.” But it didn’t clear another, more important hurdle: The patent office believes the word “fuck” is “scandalous,” and won’t allow Cybernet owner Peter Acworth to trademark it, or any variation of it.
“Registration is refused because the proposed mark consists of or comprises immoral or scandalous matter,” wrote Michael Engel, the attorney who reviewed the case for the government. “The term ‘fucking’ is an offensive and vulgar reference to the act of sex. … A mark that is deemed scandalous ... is not registrable.”
In other words, the federal government decides which words are and are not scandalous, and “fuck” falls on the immoral side of that divide. It’s been that way since 1905, according to documents included in Cybernet’s trademark application case, when federal guidelines for trademarks were first spelled out. Times may have changed, but the trademark office’s standards haven’t.
(thanks, Susannah Breslin, via daze reader
Images: coupla phonecam snapshots I took on the kink.com set last year.
Related BB posts:
(NPR) Tech and Porn collide in Vegas
(NPR) Larry Flynt and Online Porn Crackdown
Reader comment: Marc J. Randazza says,
Here is a PDF link to the actual legal arguments in the case.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]