A rare moment of common sense pervailing – A Manhattan judge has thrown out Fox’s ridiculous suit against Al Franken for using the phrase “Fair and Balanced” in the title of his book. Newsday has the story here.
This whole suit was completely emblematic of the ridiculous state of control that corporations are attempting (and mostly succeeding) to exercise over intellectual property. In my opinion this is one of the most important political debates that is emerging in the early part of this new century. We see the attempt at corporate control being exerted in all areas of intellectual property – with the RIAA/MPAA cabal in the artistic copyright realm, with the SCO suit against IBM over Linux in the software realm (and isn’t it about time we questioned the whole idea of patents for software?), and with ridiculous assertions in trademarks like Fox’s example here.
It’s great to see some of the Democratic Presidentail candidates speaking out on some of these issues, like Dean and Kucinich have recently in Lawrence Lessig’s weblog.