The Daily BarbieTM
Barbie is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc.
Barbie Nation: An Unauthorized Tour
Journalist Susan Stern's balanced,
witty documentary Barbie Nation: An Unauthorized
Tour briefly flashes one of artist Mark Napier's
images, "Fat and Ugly Barbie" and mentions Mattel's
recent wave of cease-and-desist type letters to
web sites and other entities using the Barbie name.
To Air on PBS Week of July 14
The movie will be shown on the PBS documentary
series P.O.V. on the week of July 14 (check local
Won the Battle, Lost the War?
I am told by one of my lawyers that
Mattel's failure to respond thus far after over six
months to my letter responding to their original
letter to me, constitutes a near-defaulting on their
original accusation, by the principle of laches
(hope I spelled that right). If so, huzzah, huzzah!
We have (all but) won! Still, it cost me a good six
weeks of productive time in the late fall of '97,
and - worse yet - numerous legitimate creative
sites with utterly defensible legal positions
preemptively folded in the face of Mattel's deep
pockets and bullying legal approach.
I am concerned that this imbalance will give
heart to other corporate entities eager to limit
free discussion of their intellectual property
My next step at this site will be to organize
the links to the various documents and resources
contained here, continue to field the ever-increasing
flow of Barbie items, and report on breaking
Mark Napier's website,
The Distorted Barbie
explores the Barbie image and its effect on girls and on society in general.
A lawyer representing Mattel has demanded that he remove the site. Soon,
I too received a letter from this lawyer, regarding
an e-zine I co-founded, which had published
earlier version of Mark's Barbie installation in its
back in June of 1996. The letter cited 15 U.S.C.
section 1125(c) and asserted that this artistic, political,
noncommercial discussion of the effects on our culture, and particularly
on women and their images of themselves, of a vastly successful
mass-produced doll embodying an improbably unlikely and restrictive
caricature of a narrow concept of female beauty, somehow dilutes
Mattel's Barbie trademark.
I've decided to alert the community of people who believe in
free expression of ideas on the Net and who favor an open discussion
of issues related to women, by documenting the daily proceedings of
the case at this site.
All That Went Down
(My Daily Log from October and November 1997
Your Two Cents
Copyright © 1997, 1998 Christian Crumlish. All