Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Some people do not have a clue
In my spare time, you know, when I'm not busy actually working or writing words, I read words that were written by other people. Because I'm fucking cultured. One of these places is that listed about, "Wrap Around Curl", written by a young (presumably, I mean it is the internet, am I right? Am I right, Mayor Bloomberg?) woman who goes by the pseudonym of...well, Wrap Around Curl. Her blog covers a lot of hockey and random stuff, but the main point of emphasis there is on her following of a minor league hockey team in Spokane, WA. The Spokane Chiefs.
Now, you may be thinking, the Spokane Chiefs? Who the fuck are the Spokane Chiefs??? And when you say that, you will have made my point for me. Chances are, unless you are sweet at geography like I am, you will go to Google Maps and look up exactly where the hell this place is. Whatever, that's not important. Recently, a PR member from the Chiefs saw this free publicity and decided that the team would have none of it. They threw every made up rule in their made up book at her. Amongst their rules:
- You are not allowed to use the last name of the players on a shirt. They claim to own the names of the players.
- You cannot post your personal pictures from the games on the internet without a press pass.
- You will not be given a press pass if your website has bad words on it.
This is the public relations guy. Public relations. This is how this random minor league hockey team responds to the fact that someone has started a relatively popular (especially as far as blogs about minor league hockey teams go) blog dedicated to your team. They took the free publicity and pissed all over it like it was one of R. Kelly's 14 year old girlfriends.
They may have a few points, legally. Although copyright law was not written to cover the internet and there is a whole lot of grey area just waiting for a significant precedent to finally be set, they may still have some valid points. But...that's just a terrible public relations decision to go ahead and do that to someone who writes about your team in an overall favorable light. People that would have never heard about the Spokane Chiefs...well, now they had. And now, these same people probably think that the Chiefs are a bunch of douchebags. That's what this move has given them. They have become douchebags. That is the opposite of the intention of public relations. Especially as far as they took it, claiming to own the last name of the players.
I'm pretty sure they don't. Just the hockey likeness.
For example, I could not make a custom Cleveland Browns jersey and write Braylon Edwards on the back of it. However, if I wanted to make a jersey for the Dicksucking Albatrosses, and write "Edwards" on the back, I'm pretty sure the team cannot stop me. They can try, but it's probably not worth it for them to associate themselves in a situation they are unlikely to win and in which the phrase "Dicksucking Albatrosses" will become associated with the team. Braylon Edwards may have a claim against me, but the team does not, as far as I can tell. So if Tokarski has a problem with his name being used on a shirt, he can send her an email, and I'm sure she'd oblige. But when the PR member for the team does and claims to pretty much own the player's name? That's dickmove right there, Spokane Chiefs.
I'm guessing the only reason the team didn't have a lawyer send the email is the fact that they probably don't have one.
I bet the Penguins are glad the Pensblog has a huge following. It's good for the team, even if it does associate Charlie's gayness with them. People pay more attention. In fact, I bet their following amongst the gay crowd has gone way up since Charlie was introduced. I'll ask Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Crist the next time I see them. Apparently, however, the Spokane Chiefs do not feel the same way about blogs dedicated to their team. People clinging to this anti-blog old school mentality are gonna get left behind, just like Buzz Bissinger, whom everybody under the age of 30 now thinks is a douchebag. Maybe the Chiefs will give him an honorary press pass.
EDIT: Here's another fun example of a hockey team behaving in a Gestapo fashion. An NHL team! This is the kind of stuff that is exacerbating the collapse of newspapers and the old media.