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EFF Accepts Barney's Surrender
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 12:17:55 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

From: EFF Press <press () eff org>
Date: November 28, 2006 11:29:03 AM EST
To: presslist () eff org
Subject: [E-B] EFF Accepts Barney's Surrender
Reply-To: press () eff org

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Corynne McSherry
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   corynne () eff org
   +1 415 436-9333 x122 (office), +1 415 806-4330 (cell)

Fred von Lohmann
   Senior Intellectual Property Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   fred () eff org
   +1 415 436-9333 x123 (office), +1 415 215-6087 (cell)

EFF Accepts Barney's Surrender

Purple Dinosaur Backs Off and Pays Up; Free Speech Rights

San Francisco - The corporate owners of the popular
children's television character Barney the Purple Dinosaur
have agreed to withdraw their baseless legal threats
against a website publisher who parodied the character and
to compensate him for fees expended in defending himself.

The agreement settles a suit filed by the Electronic
Frontier Foundation (EFF) in August on behalf of Dr. Stuart
Frankel against Lyons Partnership, owners of the Barney
character.  Frankel received repeated, meritless
cease-and-desist letters from Lyons, claiming his online
parody violated copyright and trademark law.  EFF's suit
asked the court to declare that Frankel's parody was a
noninfringing fair use protected by the First Amendment.

"We wish we hadn't had to file a lawsuit to finally get
Barney's lawyers to stop harassing a man who was just
expressing his opinion about a cultural phenomenon," said
EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry.  "Hopefully Lyons
Partnership has learned its lesson and will have more
respect for fair use in the future."

This settlement is the latest development in EFF's ongoing
campaign to protect online free speech from the chilling
effects of bogus copyright claims.  Earlier this month, EFF
filed suit against Michael Crook -- a man who claimed
copyright infringement in an effort to censor his online

"Those who misuse copyright should know that they can be
sued for doing so," said McSherry.  "This settlement should
send a message to those who want to use copyright law as a
pretext for censorship."

EFF was assisted in this case by Elizabeth Rader, James
d'Auguste, and Brian Carney, attorneys with the firm of
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, which is defending
Dr. Frankel's free speech rights on a pro bono basis.

For the original complaint:

For more on Barney's copyright abuses:

For this release:

About EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil
liberties organization working to protect rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and
challenges industry and government to support free
expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported
organization and maintains one of the most linked-to
websites in the world at http://www.eff.org/


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