Copyright gone out of control



  •  I hate copyright and trademark symbols with a passion. They're fucking useless interruptions in the flow of a sentence that should just be a single small-print line at the bottom of a document. Whenever I read them, it 'sounds' like every other word, someone is stopping and whispering under their breath. Using them over and over makes one look either like an insecure tool who needs to constantly remind people 'please don't steal this', or an overconfident douche who needs to remind everyone 'my idea is teh awesome and a snowflake!!!1". In either case, fuck you.

    Usually, when they're a tiny superscript, I can at least ignore them with a minimum of cringing. Until last week when Hotmail decided to do who knows fuck what with their fonts, and I end up with this:

    While I read as:

    "Need glasses? Recieve 100 bonus Air Miles [b]AIR MILES IS A GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING REGISTERED FUCKING TRADEMARK YOU SHIT EATING COCKPILE!! GET IT? GET IT? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH![/b] reward miles...."



  •  Judging by the font(TM) size(R), you do need glasses(C).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Did anyone else look at the headline and expect the thread to be about the Oracle-Google lawsuit?



  • TRWTF is the OP's assumption that points are best gotten across in a 30 pixel boldface font.



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    Did anyone else look at the headline and expect the thread to be about the Oracle-Google lawsuit?
    I wasn't sure, but that seemed a much safer bet than this.



  • @toon said:

    TRWTF is the OP's assumption that points are best gotten across in a 30 pixel boldface font.
     

     You're right. I should have used 36px. Who uses 30px anymore? What is it, 2011? Stupid. STUPID!



  • @TGV said:

     Judging by the font™ size®, you do need glasses©.

     

     



  • @dhromed said:

    @TGV said:

     Judging by the font size®, you do need glasses©.

    Hotmail'd that for you.

    The font size in the screen cap is only larger because I have FF zoomed in. Two monitors: one is 1920x1080, the other 800x600 (for minimum-screen-requirement testing). Everything looks too small on 1920x1080.




  •  I'm having the exact same problem at work on a site. The client wants ® symbols after every occurance of their company name (which is part of every product name) and on any special products (which is about ⅓ of them). The site is all about their products, so a typical product page will refer to the product by name at least 4-5 times (apparently mentioning stuff like this in a way no normal person would is good for SEO) and then there's all the product menus, and upsell blocks, et al. And each one has to be superscript, which is a pita because it's not a superscript character, and at small font sizes it's indecipherable.

     And one last kick in the teeth. The site must be accessible. I produced a quick sound-byte of a typical chunk of a page being read out by a screen reader. All the registration marks make the computer sound asthmatic. I would hate to be blind and visit this site :(



  • @ASheridan said:

     I'm having the exact same problem at work on a site. The client wants ® symbols after every occurance of their company name (which is part of every product name) and on any special products (which is about ⅓ of them). The site is all about their products, so a typical product page will refer to the product by name at least 4-5 times (apparently mentioning stuff like this in a way no normal person would is good for SEO) and then there's all the product menus, and upsell blocks, et al. And each one has to be superscript, which is a pita because it's not a superscript character, and at small font sizes it's indecipherable.

     And one last kick in the teeth. The site must be accessible. I produced a quick sound-byte of a typical chunk of a page being read out by a screen reader. All the registration marks make the computer sound asthmatic. I would hate to be blind and visit this site :(

    Same here. My client's legal team believes if even one mention of those brands lacks a trademark symbol, it opens them up to all kinds of trademark infringement that they won't be able to enforce in a court of law. I'm not sure if that's technically true or not, but it really makes everything look really ugly. Klennex and Band Aid's websites all have trademark symbols all over the place, but only because they are almost completely genericized and they're holding onto whatever's left to keep their brand. My client's company isn't even close to that problem.

    It also really annoys me when it's in speech bubbles on comic strips.



  • @RHuckster said:

    My client's legal team believes if even one mention of those brands lacks a trademark symbol, it opens them up to all kinds of trademark infringement that they won't be able to enforce in a court of law.
     

    Yeah, I've heard that. And while I understand the sentiment, I think it's going about it the wrong way. They need to show that they are defending their trademarks, otherwise there's a chance that a trademark can be lost. But this is supposed to mean "ah shit, dude's made a drink calling itself Coke, go fuck his ass with a carbon-dioxide filled dildo". In other words, just saying something is trademark over and over isn't what gets it done. It's when someone tries to use your trademark, you go after them or lose it.

    Sure, putting TM beside a name will help [b]remind[/b] people that Coke is, indeed, a trademark. But it would be just as effective to put some fine print at the bottom of the page saying "Coke is a registered trademark...". You know, like they already do. Unobtrusively.

    Of course, I'm not a lawyer, so this post may be complete bullshit (as opposed to being a lawyer, in which case this post would still be bullshit, but as $150/hour)



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    Did anyone else look at the headline and expect the thread to be about the Oracle-Google lawsuit?
    I was expecting Pedantic Dickweedery®.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @RHuckster said:

    My client's legal team believes if even one mention of those brands lacks a trademark symbol, it opens them up to all kinds of trademark infringement that they won't be able to enforce in a court of law.
     

    Yeah, I've heard that. And while I understand the sentiment, I think it's going about it the wrong way. They need to show that they are defending their trademarks, otherwise there's a chance that a trademark can be lost. But this is supposed to mean "ah shit, dude's made a drink calling itself Coke, go fuck his ass with a carbon-dioxide filled dildo". In other words, just saying something is trademark over and over isn't what gets it done. It's when someone tries to use your trademark, you go after them or lose it.

    Sure, putting TM beside a name will help remind people that Coke is, indeed, a trademark. But it would be just as effective to put some fine print at the bottom of the page saying "Coke is a registered trademark...". You know, like they already do. Unobtrusively.

    Of course, I'm not a lawyer, so this post may be complete bullshit (as opposed to being a lawyer, in which case this post would still be bullshit, but as $150/hour)

    I am not a Lawyer, but have paid one (much more that $150/hr and for a good number of hours) on this exact issue. First, TM is different than R  [I am too lazy to go pick the characters from charmap]. Second (and on topic), the lack of the symbol does weaken the claim. The "fine print" is also necessary as the usage of the symbol, without attibution of the appropriate owner has resulted in some "interesting" court cases.

    So yes, a PITA (not the bread)..but unless one estalishes an "intent to protect", the act of trying to defend can be lost before it even is started. [I lost a nameI thought I had secured to another company back in the 1980's - that company went on to have assets in excess of $1B]





  • All I really just do is stick the literal letter in when reading it, so "Adobe® Photoshop™" becomes "Adobe, arr, Photoshop tee em".

    Well except for SUPER© which I actually say as "Super-copyright" but I don't think anybody cares about SUPER©.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    the other 800x600 (for minimum-screen-requirement testing).

    Aren't there tools to emulate a minimum screen size?



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    All I really just do is stick the literal letter in when reading it, so "Adobe® Photoshop™" becomes "Adobe, arr, Photoshop tee em".

    Do you people also pronounce punctuation [question mark]

    I mean [comma] I never even notice trademark symbols [semicolon] I just skim right over them [period]



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    All I really just do is stick the literal letter in when reading it, so "Adobe® Photoshop™" becomes "Adobe, arr, Photoshop tee em".

    Do you people also pronounce punctuation [question mark]

    I mean [comma] I never even notice trademark symbols [semicolon] I just skim right over them [period]

    Many screen readers do (at least as an option)..Otherwise things may get confusion/ambiguous...



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Lorne Kates said:
    the other 800x600 (for minimum-screen-requirement testing).

    Aren't there tools to emulate a minimum screen size?

     

    Sure. I have one. It's called a monitor set to 800x600.

    (Sorry, I lie, it's 1024x768. I just can't give a fuck about the actual number)

     

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Do you people also pronounce punctuation [question mark]

    I mean [comma] I never even notice trademark symbols [semicolon] I just skim right over them [period]

    No [brief pause] but I do pronounce their intended enunciation[longer pause]  Don't you [slight raise of tone]



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    All I really just do is stick the literal letter in when reading it, so "Adobe® Photoshop™" becomes "Adobe, arr, Photoshop tee em".

    Do you people also pronounce punctuation [question mark]

    I mean [comma] I never even notice trademark symbols [semicolon] I just skim right over them [period]

    I think what Miff is saying is when he's reading something by himself, his brain simply automatically parses the symbols as literal letters simply because they're there and hard to ignore once you see them (kind of like when you try to avoid thinking of a pink elephant or get an earworm out of your head), which is something I sometimes do, too. Heck, when someone spells the "teh" I pronounce it in my head exactly as it's spelled I know the author means "the" but my brain doesn't give a shit.



  • @RHuckster said:

    I pronounce it in my head exactly as it's spelled I know the author means "the" but my brain doesn't give a shit.

    Do your lips move when you read, too?



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Do you people also pronounce punctuation [question mark]

    I mean [comma] I never even notice trademark symbols [semicolon] I just skim right over them [period]

    No [brief pause] but I do pronounce their intended enunciation[longer pause]  Don't you [slight raise of tone]

    Yes, but there's no real pronunciation of symbols like registered trademark. It just seems like something your mind would skip over. I know mine does. I tend to just ignore things like that without even thinking about it.



  •  Even Lego® does it.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    No [brief pause] but I do pronounce their intended enunciation[longer pause]  Don't you [slight raise of tone]
     

    ... it works



  • @dhromed said:

     Even Lego® does it.

    What the hell is "Legor"?



  • @boomzilla said:

    @RHuckster said:
    I pronounce it in my head exactly as it's spelled I know the author means "the" but my brain doesn't give a shit.

    Do your lips move when you read, too?

    Only when I'm on a painkiller high and I'm sounding out the ingredients list on the bottle.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    What the hell is "Legor"?
     

    Legor, alien hero from outer space, defender of the free, the innocent...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I mean [comma] I never even notice trademark symbols [semicolon] I just skim right over them [period]
    You wot [interrobang]



  • @dhromed said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    What the hell is "Legor"?
     

    Legor, alien hero from outer space, defender of the free, the innocent...

    Ohh, you mean Legor™...



  •  lals!

     

    Legortm is a Hungarian toy line, though.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @dhromed said:

     Even Lego® does it.

    What the hell is "Legor"?

    Let me Google® that for you:


     



  • ®®®®®®® Radio Shack



    Or maybe we should replace all trademark symbols with swastikas...



  • When we demo'ed our new web site to our SVP, he did a product search and said "I want trademark symbols next to all of the trademarked names." The BA wrote it down, worded it as a requirement, and threw it over the wall to development. I got the requirements and immediately sent them back to my manager with an infinity dollar quote. The names he wanted symbols next to came from the database - and the maintenance tool doesn't support anything but alpha-numeric values (English character set, of course). So, effectively what he was asking for was for the website to analyze the text of all of the product descriptions and figure out where to insert trademark symbols for display on the web site.

    The best part is that we're a distributor - we have no trademarks to protect, so there is absolutely no downside to not doing this.



  • @Jaime said:

    When we demo'ed our new web site to our SVP, he did a product search and said "I want trademark symbols next to all of the trademarked names." The BA wrote it down, worded it as a requirement, and threw it over the wall to development. I got the requirements and immediately sent them back to my manager with an infinity dollar quote. The names he wanted symbols next to came from the database - and the maintenance tool doesn't support anything but alpha-numeric values (English character set, of course). So, effectively what he was asking for was for the website to analyze the text of all of the product descriptions and figure out where to insert trademark symbols for display on the web site.

    The best part is that we're a distributor - we have no trademarks to protect, so there is absolutely no downside to not doing this.

    To be fair to your SVP, the real WTF there is the software you are using. Adding in trademark symbols isn't some esoteric, WTFy request, it's pretty standard.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Jaime said:

    When we demo'ed our new web site to our SVP, he did a product search and said "I want trademark symbols next to all of the trademarked names." The BA wrote it down, worded it as a requirement, and threw it over the wall to development. I got the requirements and immediately sent them back to my manager with an infinity dollar quote. The names he wanted symbols next to came from the database - and the maintenance tool doesn't support anything but alpha-numeric values (English character set, of course). So, effectively what he was asking for was for the website to analyze the text of all of the product descriptions and figure out where to insert trademark symbols for display on the web site.

    The best part is that we're a distributor - we have no trademarks to protect, so there is absolutely no downside to not doing this.

    To be fair to your SVP, the real WTF there is the software you are using. Adding in trademark symbols isn't some esoteric, WTFy request, it's pretty standard.

    Adding trademark symbols to data they maintain? I understand adding it to static copy, but to database data? Also, the biggest WTF wasn't for the SVP, it was for the BA that simply wrote it down and threw it over the wall. He knew the data shown on the web site was from the DB. The DB even has a field called "WebDescription" and that same BA made that field happen a few years ago.

    ...and the software is the WTF. But it's from 1997 and on an AS/400.



  • @Jaime said:

    Adding trademark symbols to data they maintain?

    Oh, I see. I didn't realize it was data they maintained.

    @Jaime said:

    I understand adding it to static copy, but to database data?

    Well, if it's a product name or description, yeah. How else would you do it?



  • @Jaime said:

    When we demo'ed our new web site to our SVP, he did a product search and said "I want trademark symbols next to all of the trademarked names."
    I always wonder whether people who make this kind of request understand the difference between a "trademark" and a "service mark".



  • Slightly off-topic, but related.... Back in 1993, I was contracted to create a CD-ROM pubication for a major publisher. They had 12 journals (everyone here is probably famioiar with at least 1/2 of them). Part of the task was to "index" the ful text with respect to vendors, products, technologies, etc.

    Sounds easy (to most people), but it actually quite difficult. There are many times where a word is used meaning a specific company, but the same word is also a common word....The most notorious was "Digital"..used quite often, it only rarely was a reference to Digital Equipment Corp. and finding these required the development of a fairly sophesticated (for the time) system.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    The most notorious was "Digital"..used quite often, it only rarely was a reference to Digital Equipment Corp. and finding these required the development of a fairly sophesticated (for the time) system.

    See, this is a case where using trademark symbols after each usage would clarify things.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Do you people also pronounce punctuation [question mark]

    I mean [comma] I never even notice trademark symbols [semicolon] I just skim right over them [period]

    No [brief pause] but I do pronounce their intended enunciation[longer pause]  Don't you [slight raise of tone]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4qii8S3gw



  • So if this thread is about trademark symbols, why is it titled "[b]Copyright[/b] gone out of control"?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    All I really just do is stick the literal letter in when reading it, so "Adobe® Photoshop™" becomes "Adobe, arr, Photoshop tee em".

    Do you people also pronounce punctuation [question mark]

    I mean [comma] I never even notice trademark symbols [semicolon] I just skim right over them [period]

    Sarcastic remark with a twinge of regret: If everyone did this, it would improve internet communication quite a bit.



  •  

    @Spectre said:

    So if this thread is about trademark symbols, why is it titled "Copyright gone out of control"?
     

    The Copyright symbol was also crazy large, but I'd emptied my spam folder, so I didn't have one to screen cap.

    But I do appreciate your pedantic comment, and thank you for the valuable and expected contribution.



  •  @morbiuswilters said:

    Yes, but there's no real pronunciation of symbols like registered trademark. It just seems like something your mind would skip over. I know mine does. I tend to just ignore things like that without even thinking about it.
    Try it with a screen reader, it's a lot harder to ignore when your computer is speaking the punctuation.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Jaime said:
    Adding trademark symbols to data they maintain?

    Oh, I see. I didn't realize it was data they maintained.

    @Jaime said:

    I understand adding it to static copy, but to database data?

    Well, if it's a product name or description, yeah. How else would you do it?

    I'd have some kind of lookup table to do on-the-fly "™" appending to recognised (trademarked) words and leave the marks out of the database. It only needs to appear in the final presentation, really.

    (I'm probably thinking of some web-based system as the final presentation).

    I mean, ultimately, it's possible. It's just a matter of whether it's stored v translated. If the former, how current processes will need to change to automatically capture the symbol, and how a one-off to "correct" existing data will be done.

    .. then feed back the cost to the original requester and watch them splutter when they sign it off. 



  • @Cassidy said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Jaime said:
    Adding trademark symbols to data they maintain?
    Oh, I see. I didn't realize it was data they maintained.

    @Jaime said:
    I understand adding it to static copy, but to database data?
    Well, if it's a product name or description, yeah. How else would you do it?

    I'd have some kind of lookup table to do on-the-fly "™" appending to recognised (trademarked) words and leave the marks out of the database. It only needs to appear in the final presentation, really.

    (I'm probably thinking of some web-based system as the final presentation).

    I mean, ultimately, it's possible. It's just a matter of whether it's stored v translated. If the former, how current processes will need to change to automatically capture the symbol, and how a one-off to "correct" existing data will be done.

    .. then feed back the cost to the original requester and watch them splutter when they sign it off. 

    Clearly, you haven't heard of the "clbuttic" phenomenon. In addition, the list of brands we sell isn't static.


  • @Cassidy said:

    I'd have some kind of lookup table to do on-the-fly "™" appending to recognised (trademarked) words and leave the marks out of the database. It only needs to appear in the final presentation, really.

    (I'm probably thinking of some web-based system as the final presentation).

    I mean, ultimately, it's possible. It's just a matter of whether it's stored v translated. If the former, how current processes will need to change to automatically capture the symbol, and how a one-off to "correct" existing data will be done.

    .. then feed back the cost to the original requester and watch them splutter when they sign it off. 

    Sure®, but do you know how many common words are registered trademarks?



  • @RHuckster said:

    Sure®, but do you know how many common words are registered trademarks?

    That was kinda the point.. but I didn't make it too clear. I think it was clear in the ol' grey matter, but reading back I can see some thoughts didn't reach the keyboard. MY bad.

    I guess if I'd have used: "Sure, boss - we can do that. If you can provide us with a list of the stuff that needs the ™ next to it, we can get on with it. End of the week possible for you, yup?"

    It's the same argument about the ISPs and their filters. People are arguing about it being impossible for technical reasons, when in fact it's perfectly possible technically - and pretty easy to do. The issue is who comes up with these lists, and what the updating process is: the ongoing effort required makes it pretty costly to implement. 



  • @Cassidy said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Jaime said:
    Adding trademark symbols to data they maintain?

    Oh, I see. I didn't realize it was data they maintained.

    @Jaime said:

    I understand adding it to static copy, but to database data?

    Well, if it's a product name or description, yeah. How else would you do it?

    I'd have some kind of lookup table to do on-the-fly "™" appending to recognised (trademarked) words and leave the marks out of the database. It only needs to appear in the final presentation, really.

    (I'm probably thinking of some web-based system as the final presentation).

    I mean, ultimately, it's possible. It's just a matter of whether it's stored v translated. If the former, how current processes will need to change to automatically capture the symbol, and how a one-off to "correct" existing data will be done.

    .. then feed back the cost to the original requester and watch them splutter when they sign it off. 

    Holy Jesus God. So instead of including it as part of the text, where it belongs and is easy to edit, you're going to look up every single trademark from the database and apply a series of thousands-upon-thousands of string substitutions just to render a page? And you've unnecessarily introduced the problem of context: is "Windows" a trademark or not? If the trademark was stored inline it wouldn't complicate things but since you're apply it after-the-fact now every single instance of the words "windows" has a trademark symbol next to it.

    I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you think the requirement itself is foolish and so chose the worst possible way to implement it as a passive-aggressive way of sticking it to your boss. I'd still fire you for it, though.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you think the requirement itself is foolish and so chose the worst possible way to implement it as a passive-aggressive way of sticking it to your boss. I'd still fire you for it, though.

    You assume partly correct.

    I understand the requirement to be incredibly stupid (for all the technical reasons you specified) but rather than proceed into implementing it, I'd want management sign-off on one of the two options I presented: do it on the fly, or convert all existing and future data over to the trademarked version.

    Then I'd want management engagement in determining what needs such symbols.

    The passive-agressive part is right: if I'm tasked with something bloody stupid and not treated as someone who is trusted enough to provide input into the decision-making process, I'm going to proceed with the same frame in mind: I'll continue to be a doer and not a thinker, leaving the tricky implementation thinking to those who thought up the original idea in the first place. Ye shall reap what you sow, bitches.

     Fire me for it all you like. But fucked if I'm expected to put in the effort trying to realise a WTF decision.


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