Sometimes people wonder how a site like textfiles.com can even be up in the modern world. Sometimes I ask that myself. However, be assured that my life is occasionally interrupted with threats, legal and otherwise. The legal ones are always interesting because someone is being paid to threaten me.
Today, I was finally made aware of a threat waved against my person by a law firm representing C.R. Bard, Inc. of Murray Hill, NJ. Apparently the august firm of Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maire and Neustadt had attempted to contact me previously on this pressing matter but were unable to do so. But this time around, they were able to reach me and pass unto me the important news.
Among the other fine jewels and artifacts in the textfiles.com collection are a handful of erotic stories. Over 5,000, in fact. They were primarily the gift of one or two individuals who really liked collecting them. It was pretty simple to put them up. But along the way, they have caused me the occasional headache. One such headache was people who wrote erotic stories in their younger, more lusty years, and signed their real names to them only to later discover that stories they had posted to the internet were still online, with their real names signed to them. Naturally, they come to me, in tones ranging from amused to wild-eyed angry. I get around to the amused ones quicker.
Such it is that we apparently run into the unique situation of the C.R. Bard company and their fine line of products. I hope most people who read this site do not have to deal with such foolish legalistics, but there is an interesting doctrine called dilution of trademark. Let me explain.
In the idea of dilution of trademark, the use of someone’s brand to describe or advocate an illegal or immoral act represents damage to that brand’s reputation. In this case, C.R. Bard, Inc. (of Murray Hill, NJ), the makers of a fine line of medical catheter devices, are completely against the idea that their products could be used in any way to deliver enemas. That is, while they do advocate the use of their materials in standard acceptable ways, under no circumstances should their products foment a rectal invasion. It is wrong, and potentially dangerous to a potential customer in a potential situation where the potential customer has decided to give himself a potential enema using a handy potential device. In this case, we speak of the BARDEX trademark of C.R. Bard, Inc., which does not apparently include devices intended for enemas. Regardless of the fact that it appears many, many people refer to the idea of a “BARDEX Enema”, they are apparently entirely incorrect and unlawful in doing so… not to mention unsanitary.
While I have a lot of people cry “free speech” and “fair use”, in fact this does NOT fall under fair use, thanks to a law called the Lanham Act. Under a somewhat-liberal interpretation of this statute:
Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which– (A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or….
Getting sleepy. Anyway, it’s a bit of a jump to indicate that textfiles.com, which has no cost, no goods, and no advertising, is intentionally misleading people as to the use of C.R. Bard’s fine product line of BARDEX Catheters because the website contains a set of erotic stories pertaining to enemas. But, they have money and I do not.
The stories are gone, stored away for a rainy day somewhere else besides the Internet. I will not take their suggestion from their letter: “Accordingly, we request you revise the stories to refer to a balloon nozzle, enema bulb or some other generic phrase, without referring to our client’s trademark.” While I have been involved in some interesting side projects along the lifetime of textfiles.com, the careful re-editing of years-old enema stories to not involve the BARDEX trademark is certainly not in the top of my to-do-list.
On a side note, I am not the only site to have suffered the crushing mental blows of the C.R. Bard Company and their valiant lawyer, Roberta S. Bren (who I will refrain from calling the True and Rightful Defender of the Proper Enema). In fact, it turns out that should you decide to commit suicide after a period of worshipping Satan, you are not to refer to the idea of a Vodka Enema as one that requires a BARDEX device. Heed well, purveyors of (fatal) vodka enemas.
For people who are skimming, here is a copy of the threatening letter.
NOT the True and Rightful Defender of The Proper Enema
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