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.
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
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
SitePoint Premium is the ultimate e-learning library for web developers, designers, and digital professionals. Famous for their web development books written by industry leaders, they’ve expanded their content library to include in-depth video courses and short, handy screencasts partnering with A Book Apart and UX Mastery. Whatever you want to achieve in your web career, […]
Skip the technical jargon and get right to taking amazing, professional-quality photos with this complete training. The Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course includes 22 modules filled with tutorials on how to profit off of your photography, or simply capture your memories in the manner they deserve.Accredited by the Photography Education Accreditation CouncilDive into this 22 […]