Politico Threatens to Sue the College Politico

I received an email from the College Politico asking for advice. The big media blog Politico sent him a cease and desist letter on using the word politico in his blog name. I didnt think of making a blog post on it, but I did send him advice. I told him I didnt think they had a case, and that I would ignore them and be prepared with a defense lawyer. I told him I didnt think they had dibs on the word politico which can be found in the dictionary.

Ed Morrissey has the exact same advice I had.

According to the dictionary, the word “politico” originated almost 400 years ago, and it means “a politician.” Newspaper columnists have been especially fond of the word for decades, using it as an in-the-know slang word of sorts in discussing elected officials or candidates, sometimes shortening it even further to “pol” or “pols”. It’s no surprise that the word gets exercised in the blogosphere, and also no surprise that a journalistic enterprise would want to use it for their somewhat unconventional approach to political coverage. But does that mean that they’re the only ones who can use that word?

Patterico:

The College Politico has received a cease-and-desist letter from lawyers for Politico, demanding that he stop using the word “Politico” in his name — and that he give them control of his domain.

Stephen Gutkowski, the operator of the domain, has broken several stories, including one that proved that Obama=Hitler signs were being wielded by Lyndon LaRouche supporters.

Spread the word far and wide: we will not stand for such thuggish tactics. … Until this threat is withdrawn, I plan to boycott Politico, and I encourage others to do the same.

Glenn Reynolds:

The blogosphere has been very good to Politico, and I think they should bear in mind the ill-will they’re incurring as a result of their heavy-handed legal tactics.

I think most of Politicos readership is from the blogosphere, and I for one wont be reading them until they withdraw this threat.