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David Thorne Fights a Penguin

TIIAP_Penguin_book2Those interested in trademark disputes may enjoy this story (at least in the telling). David Thorne published his 2011 book “The Internet is a Playground” with Penguin Press, and it included the Penguin Press logo on its spine.

His latest book, not published by Penguin, is entitled, “I’ll go Home Then; It’s Warm and Has Chairs” was originally marketed with a penguin on the cover (A penguin flipping the bird, as it were). He received a note from Penguin’s lawyers objecting to the penguin, followed by a letter, followed by more notes (with his responses in-between), and eventually changed the cover to one suggested by the publisher’s attorney.penguin8

I was sorely tempted to re-post the series of images showing development of the story here, but it’s well presented on Thorne’s site, 27b/6 (named after the apartment that George Orwell lived in while writing 1984) in the “We are angryface” story (alternatively labeled “Trademark Infringement and Dilution”), so go there and take a look.

Thorne’s approach to the entire “dispute” is much like his approach to everything else (satirical), and I caution you that he admits to “tweaking” the language of the e-mails contained in his posts for satirical purposes. Even if it’s not a verbatim transcript, it’s worth a read.

/edit/ Apparently my links are not showing as links (though they are live if you hover over them); here they are:


1 thought on “David Thorne Fights a Penguin”

  1. I am quite saddened. I read Thorne from time to time, and just happened upon this story recently. As troubling as the issue of the trademark of Penguin iconography was, I was particularly interested in others’ opinions this time around. A quick Google search brought me here, but I was dismayed to find that there were no comments following it. Nonetheless, thank you for a proper representation of his story. Perhaps this can spark some discussion a few months late.

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