More “freedom” under Bush.
Important New Legislation Proposal
Written by Edward Greenberg
Wednesday, 25 January 2006
A few weeks ago I referenced a proposed new Trademark law formally entitled “HR 683 – the Trademark Dilution Revision Act”. It passed in the House of Representatives and is under consideration by the Judiciary Committee.
Now stay with me, don’t get bored. This is important.
The Act contains certain anti-speech aspects which will directly affect illustrators, photographers and others.
It will serve to eliminate the current protection for non-commercial speech currently contained in the Lanham Act. It will prevent businesses (artists)and consumers from invoking famous trademarks to explain or illustrate their discussion of public issues.
For example, using the phrase “Where’s the Beef” could be actionable. Although you might use it in a non-commercial way, the (very) famous Wendy’s slogan when used to comment might not be protected by the fair use exception.