Thursday, August 24, 2006

What we as a country really value

Working on a book chapter on trademark and free speech, I came across an argument for the dilution cause of action that I really don’t buy: “Rare characters like James Bond are national treasures; as such they should not be free for all to use.”

Um, as opposed to Abraham Lincoln or the American flag? Also, isn’t James Bond a foreigner of some sort, and thus not our national treasure? Talk about cultural imperialism …

Cite: Kristen Knudsen, Tomorrow Never Dies: The Protection of James Bond and Other Fictional Characters Under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act, 2 Vand. J. Ent. L. & Prac. 13 (2000).


Eric Goldman said...

When I think of national treasures, I think of our national parks and monuments--exactly the things we dedicate to the public rather than privatizing. Eric.

Anonymous said...

National parks etc. have use restrictions though, precisely to protect their value (e.g., from overuse). But as Rebecca notes, that theory wouldn't tell you why some icons get protected and others don't.