ALA Sends "Cease & Desist" Letter to Audible.com

As a follow-up to the earlier-mentioned Audible's "Don't Read" Campaign, Library Journal reports that the ALA has sent a "cease and desist" letter to Audible.com about the ads, as featured on dontread.org. (Apparently the legal advice in the previous LISNews story went unheeded!) Is this a case of obligatory trademark protection, or playing in to their publicist's hands while lowering people's image of librarians?

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Reminds me of the old joke

Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in the light bulb?A: That's not funny.

more to the story

I've been meaning to blog about this for a few days but been a little distracted.

1. As I understand it while Audible has done business with libraries before, they have made a decision to no longer do so. That's their right.

2. Unlike the gas card deal this is a deliberate shot at libraries. While not fair, such is life.

What's ominous is having a business using a new technology that libraries are behind in getting into (but must asap), and having that business willingly disparage libraries. Our weaknesses are on full display with digital audio and its going to be the first of many PR challenges to prove our worth in the new century.

notable for 2 reasons...

1) ALA motto is worth ripping off... good news, they've decided the ALA brand/design has enough recognition that they can get somewhere by ripping it off
2) ALA showing enough self-esteem to stand up for their design.

Anyway, the cease and desist will serve as more marketing ... Probably a good idea unless we come off shrill and mean spirited...

Intellectual Property Professor

I know a professor that teaches Intellectual Property in a law school setting. In a casual conversation I mentioned the "cease and desist" letter from ALA to Audible.com and asked what he thought the outcome would be. He did not think ALA had any legal grounds to stand on from a copyright or trademark perspective. He said if Audible.com had taken one of the ALA posters and modified it there would be a much stonger argument for a copyright claim.The professor was familiar with the ALA Read poters. He mentioned seeing a Orlando Bloom poster and asked if I knew how he might be able to get one for his daughter. I directed him to the ALA website.
 
 

Maybe it's time for a new campaign?

While a poke at libraries, I certainly was not surprised when Audible's campaign came out. ALA has been clinging for so long to their "READ" campaign, it was just a matter of time for someone to take a poke at it. I just saw Audible's take as humorous (albeit a bit mean). Maybe my skin is a bit thicker, or maybe I am so disenchanted with ALA as of late that I am having a real hard time feeling too much sympathy for them. Anyhow, I am quitting now while I am "ahead" as they say. Best.

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