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November 29, 2006

Barney Gives Up, Settles Suit

As last we looked, Stuart Frankel, creator of an anti-Barney web site got fed up and couldn't take it any more.  Barney, of course, is the lovable children's character that many people love to hate.  Frankel sued Barney creators in federal court seeking a declaratory judgment that Frankel's use of Barney is fair use and does not infringe on any claims of copyright or trademark.  That's usually the reverse of how it happens.  Someone posts unflattering reflections on a revenue stream such as Barney and the big law firms get their knives out to nip the threat in the bud.  This time Barney had to put up or shut up, and he did...shut up.  The case ended with a settlement of the case in Frankel's favor.  Barney's creators agreed not to sue Frankel and paid him $5,000 to go away.  They also agreed not to sue him.  The settlement does not require Frankel to shut down his site or remove his ant--Barney parodies.  He just agrees to end his suit and not pursue the matter again.

Frankel was ably represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in his suit against Lyons Partnership, owner of Barney's rights bundle.  Case documents and press statements from the EFF are here.  News about the settlement is available from ZDNET.

November 29, 2006 | Permalink

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