Adobe: STFU. Time Warner: Let our Culture Go.

The topic this surrounds is genericide, follow the Wikipedia link if you are unfamiliar with the term, get to know it, and realize the freedoms it entitles us all to. Example: the lowly Aspirin.  You may not realize it, but Aspirin is a brand name, and in many other countries it has to be called by its generic name “Acetosal” In America if a trademark becomes part of the culture, it is subject to genericide. 

Adobe is terrified at the prospect of Photoshop becoming genericized.   So much so they actually released this insulting sheet (Thanks for the link, Alek) [link] on how the term “Photoshop” can and cannot be used.   I quote now from this sheet

CORRECT: The new features in Adobe® Photoshop® software are impressive.
INCORRECT: Photoshop's features are impressive.

“Trademarks must never be abbreviated.” Do they honestly expect people to say Adobe every time they refer to Photoshop?  What right do companies have to control how we refer to its products?  Could I make a product whose name took half an hour to pronounce, and then be upset when people don’t bother to use its full name?  This is completely ridiculous. 

As a side note I’ve been meaning to write a post for a while now on how Copyright should be subject to genericide.  Lets look for example at the Birthday Song.  It was copyrighted in 1935 and not set to expire until 2030 (thanks very much Sonny Bono). Anyone who had any legitimate reason to gain from that song will be, and probably already is long dead. You have to admit that the song is part of our culture.  How can someone own and profit from our culture?  That’s just wrong. I argue that when something becomes part of the culture, part of how we live, and so common that a thought is never even given to where it came from, its copyright should be null and void.

Secondly and even more pointedly, it’s a 4-line song, 3 of the lines are identical.  How can that even be copyrightable?  It’s literally a copyright on two sentences, one of which is missing a word i.e.: Insert Name Here.   There should be a minimum length on what is copyrightable. How can you copyright that, it’s a common saying.  If anything has ever been disserving of ridicule, this is it. 

Time Warner, it is your turn to step up to the plate.  Don’t be a dick, let “Happy Birthday To You” go.  Uhoh, I just posted 3/4ths of the song by saying the title, fuck... Its in quotes though, I should be fine.   Thoes of you curious to the full lyrics can find them here: [link] .

One final note, this is the first Oasisband post of 2007. Heres wishing this year be better than last! Godspeed.

Comment by: Andy on
First of all, your comment box still sucks. The courts have ruled on the minimum amount of content on which to enforce a copyright, and it's three significant words: Happy Birthday Dear. Also, it's the notes that are copyrighted, not the meaningless chant. Finally, using full names and Æ or ô or © symbols is for the purposes of Adobe-sourced documents and published reviews. They don't actually expect people to SAY it that way. Also, as a linguist, I must say genericide and genericize are two completely different ideas. You can't homicize a person. That's already done. And finally, I repeat, your comment box sucks.
Comment by: Forshee on
Quit ragging on the box. . .
Comment by: Jesse Donat on
This is a test of the new form... No more bitching about this box...

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