Rob Beschizza at 9:50 am Tue, May 22, 2012
ADVERTISE AT BOING BOING!
OK, I’ll bite: I don’t see the irony. And I also don’t see how to be sarcastic about it. (And yes, I’m German.)
BitTorrent, developers of the BitTorrent protocol (which is used by millions of people to do …. you …. know …. what) sues a company for infringing their intellectual property.
Not the best irony, but an irony none-the-less.
A trademark dispute of this sort isn’t so much an “intellectual property” situation as it is a “fraud” situation. They don’t own the words bittorrent, but you aren’t allowed to use the words in your company name to pretend you are that /other/ bittorrent.
What people don’t realize is that this is the one and only purpose of trademark law: to prevent one company from fraudulently pretending to be another and selling their products or services under that pretense.
Unfortunately, it gets lumped into the term “intellectual property” alongside copyright and patent law, which exist for completely different purposes (to create an economic incentive for the creation and publication of creative works and inventions, respectively). With that term comes a public perception that all three exist because whoever comes up with an idea has a natural right to control all uses of it. And that’s why the public conversation on these topics is such a mess.
OK, thanks. That’s what I thought. I had hopes that there was some delicious tidbit that I’d missed, but apparently there wasn’t. :-/
Isn’t BitTorrent a textbook example of a genericized trademark?
I don’t know anyone who uses ‘BitTorrent’ as a verb. The verb is ‘to torrent’
Rorschach test separating lovers of situational irony from sarcastic morons.
Can’t I be both?
That would make you quite a troll!
Well, if you’re gonna do something, do it right. ;D
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