May 26 2009 Carol Gross United States Olympic Committee One Olympic Plaza Colorado Springs CO 80909 VIA FIRST CLASS MAIL AND EMAIL RE CafePress Trademark Complaint

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May 26 2009 Carol Gross United States Olympic Committee One Olympic Plaza Colorado Springs CO 80909 VIA FIRST CLASS MAIL AND EMAIL RE CafePress Trademark Complaint Powered By Docstoc
					May 26, 2009

Carol Gross
United States Olympic Committee
One Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909

VIA FIRST CLASS MAIL AND EMAIL: __________________

RE: CafePress Trademark Complaint

Dear Ms. Gross:

I am Corporate Counsel for PETA and I am in receipt of your May 20 email to
CafePress, regarding PETA’s use of the “Vancouver 2010” and Olympic
Symbol images on certain materials displayed in PETA’s CafePress store,
requesting the removal of the materials. I have outlined below why your
request is unjustified and entirely without merit.

As you may know, PETA is the world’s largest animal rights organization and
for the last 29 years has mounted public education campaigns to shed light on
animal abuse and cruelty where it finds them. PETA is a longstanding and
vocal opponent of Canada’s annual seal slaughter, and views the International
Olympic Committee’s decision to award the 2010 Winter Games to
Vancouver as a prime opportunity to educate the public about the blood that is
shed on Canadian ice floes each year. The thrust of PETA’s argument, in
targeting the Olympics, is that the IOC should not be rewarding, and in so
rewarding adopts some responsibility for, Canada’s choice to slaughter
hundreds of thousands of seals each year.

Your request that PETA be prevented from making use of the Vancouver
2010 logo and the Olympic Symbol is misplaced as PETA’s graphic using
both falls squarely within the fair use doctrine. PETA’s entire purpose in
making use of these images is to convey the message that, while all eyes turn
to Canada as it prepares to host the Games, Canada should be setting a
positive example for the world. PETA’s use of the Olympic images is
predominantly aimed at urging the Vancouver Olympic Organizing
Committee to use its influence to help stop the Canadian seal slaughter. To
achieve this aim, PETA has created a campaign logo that is clearly a protected
parody.

Effective parodies must necessarily conjure up the original work so viewers of
the work may know who and what is being targeted for criticism. The graphic
that PETA has created for use in its campaign targeting the 2010 Olympics
adopts colors and shapes that conjure up the Olympic inukshuk, while
transforming the figure into a hostile man, armed with a hakapik, poised ready
to strike a frightened seal who is sitting in a pool of blood. Drips of blood
hang from the Olympic Symbol portion of the graphic. Immediately below
this image PETA’s famous trademarked logo appears. The words “Vancouver
2010”, which appear in the original graphic, are included in the parody logo in
a manner that identifies the original while allowing the critiquing elements to
take aim at the business practices of the IOC – namely, rewarding what PETA
views as cruel and unnecessary behavior.

PETA’s graphic is an obvious parody of the Vancouver 2010 logo and
Olympic Symbol and there is no conceivable possibility that individuals who
encounter PETA’s graphic would mistake it for an IOC-endorsed venture.
With respect, you cannot seriously contend that any reasonable consumer who
sees a t-shirt or mug bearing a logo featuring a murderous figure intent on
beating a seal and accompanied by a bloodied set of Olympic rings and a
famous animal rights logo would be confused into thinking the IOC is the
source of or otherwise endorses the product. Absent that confusion, and in the
context of a critical and parodic use of the images, there is no trademark
infringement.

In sum, neither the IOC nor any other Olympic Committee (be it USOC,
COC, or VANOC), have the right to demand that CafePress remove or disable
access to PETA’s materials here. I look forward to your confirmation that you
have withdrawn your complaint to CafePress.

Very truly yours,

Paula Hough
Corporate Counsel - Publications
____________
____________

cc via email only:    Lindsay Moore, Content Usage Associate,
                      CafePress.com, Michael Chambers, President,
                      Canadian Olympic Committee, John Furlong, CEO,
                      Vancouver Organizing Committee, Jacques Rogge,
                      President, International Olympic Committee