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[ISN] Did RT Miss the Mark This Time?
From: InfoSec News (isnC4I.ORG)
Date: Fri Jun 16 2000 - 06:47:30 CDT
by Craig Bicknell
3:00 a.m. Jun. 16, 2000 PDT
When Miranda July pondered a name for her grassroots distribution
network for women filmmakers, she knew she wanted "movie" in there
somewhere, but "movie" didn't quite sound right.
"Moviola," though, that had a nice ring -- "movie" with a little
lyrical twist. And wasn't there some old film-editing tool called
Moviola? Even better.
Thus, in 1995, was born Big Miss Moviola. Hundreds of women filmmakers
have since swapped tapes of their work through Big Miss Moviola, and
July took it online last year at bigmissmoviola.com.
Which is where Magnasync/Moviola Corporation, the original maker of
Moviola film-editing tools, found it. Magnasync/Moviola promptly fired
off a letter to July, informing her that she was violating the
"If we were to allow everyone and anyone to use the 'Moviola' name, we
would lose our rights to the trademark," said Dana Newman, Moviola's
corporate counsel. Legally, Newman has a valid point -- companies are
required by law to police their trademarks.
Unfortunately for Magnasync/Moviola, July promptly contacted RTMark,
the anti-corporate activist group that led the online assault against
eToys.com last winter after the company sued the online art collective
And RTMark doesn't particularly care if Moviola's point is legally
valid or not; the assault on Big Miss Moviola is at least ethically
invalid, RTMark said, and it therefore decided to unleash its online
fury against Magnasync/Moviola and its parent company, J&R Film Co.
The plan was to launch a coordinated email assault on Moviola.com -- a
"virtual sit-in" of thousands of email protestors -- "likely to
cripple the Moviola servers even better than it did those of eToys,"
according to a message from RTMark to its mailing list recipients. "Of
course, we are also working out other strategies more specific to this
RTMark has already sent protest emails to every employee at Moviola.
It also circulated a list of Moviola email addresses, urging
supporters to send their own protests.
"Big Miss Moviola is empowering girls, and to harm that activity in
the name of the 'potential' to have commercial damage is morally
bankrupt," said an RTMark organizer who uses the alias Frank Guerrero.
"That's not a legal opinion, its just common sense and ethics, which
sometimes have little to do with the law."
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