So looks like Ochs is out of the Chrome Store for now as someone in the Time’s legal department has complained about trademark infringement.
This is not unexpected and I’m more surprised it took almost two years. The extension changes the layout and other aspects of the Times. I’m secretly hoping that this will be completely defunct with their impending redesign this year.
As a past employee of the Times I’m well aware of the legal department doing things independently from the rest of the larger body. That happens in any large company.
In short. Its all cool. This happens. No ill will or anything. I still ♥ NYT. I have so far received legal notices of some shape of form from Facebook, Coca-Cola too. All handled amicably.
I’ve emailed the individual who made the complaint directly but have yet to hear back (which is to be expected, cos its only Monday after all).
Part of me wasn’t going to write about this - I don’t wanna piss off anyone. However four people have contacted me since Saturday about this so I feel I should provide an explanation and reduce further email (which I’m lousy at replying to in a timely manner).
The nature of the infringement is ambigiuous. The complaint only said:
tm_good_faith: checked tm_infringement_explanation: This app – which has no connection whatsoever to The New York Times Company -- makes use of The New York Times’s trademark, thereby infringing The Times’s rights under U.S. Trademark law and in contravention of Section 43(a)(1) of the Lanham Act. The app is: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ochs/lejiflopkadmkjajbalpkglfhmkjchol tm_location_and_number: United States
I’ve done the following:
1. Updated the icons
2. Updated description to explicitly state “no affiliation”. Many times.
My only worry is the screen-shots. They include the Times logo by their very nature. It is after all a extension that changes the very page that includes things like logos and such… I consider that along the lines of fair-use (but I could be wrong).
Anyway - we will see what the Google Chrome Webstore Gods think about this one.
Now you know - and apologies for the inconvenience.
Just one more thing - in this and other cases, if someone in the legal dept just wrote me a quick email saying “hey, not cool, you should change X, Y, Z please" it would save us both time and headaches. Its not hard to find me and I’m a reasonable person after all. Sheesh.
The list of technology companies allegedly participating in a vast US government surveillance program known as PRISM, which was just reported by the Washington Post and Guardian, is notable for one name that’s not on it: Twitter.