NFL bullies man out of copyright for the term "Harbowl"

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

It's a stupid term that looks weird in print anyway, but the NFL gave us here at BTSC plenty of reason to not use it. Even if that action means nothing, we're going to stand up for it anyway.

Behind The Steel Curtain will not use the name "Harbowl."

On one smallish hand, it's stupid, it trivializes the efforts put forward this year by both the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens (coached by Jim and John Harbaugh, respectively, hence the easy nickname of this year's Super Bowl) and it looks awkward in print.

On a much bigger hand, it's because we refuse to allow the NFL the pleasure of essentially legally stealing the name from the man who obtained the rightful copyright.

Washington Examiner reporter Timothy P. Carney exposed the actions by the NFL in bullying Ray Fox of Pendleton, Ind., to abandon his rightfully obtained copyright on the name "Harbowl."

As if the cutesy if not cheesy nickname given to a game coached by the Brothers Harbaugh is means for the NFL's army of lawyers to become involved.

Carney interviewed Fox, and in it comes a perfectly vulgar display of legal and financial power, tantamount to money buying influence and the quintessential example of power corporations out-muscling the Little Man.

It's not as if the NFL coined the phrase, mind you - it's not exactly a tough one to come up with. But if Fox was quick enough to find a way to make a few bucks on a phrase, then so be it.

Paraphrased, the NFL's objection to the copyright (in which they were able to secure an extension on the objections process) was what they felt was their trademarked word (bowl?) and not wanting the public to be mistaken into thinking it was buying NFL material.

This is the same league that's facing countless lawsuits concerning head injuries and player safety, yet, knowingly continues to sell pictures and videos of players knocking themselves senseless.

Interesting how it chooses to accept billing from those lawyers when it's already spending countless millions to try to cover up the notion they covered up evidence that supported direct ties between long-term dangers of concussions as they continued to print money off the punishment doled out and sustained by players like Junior Seau over the Big Money Era of the league.

Cincy Jungle's Josh Kirkendall does a great job breaking the whole ordeal down much more objectively than I am choosing to, but it's impossible to feel this is anything more than another example of the lawyer-rich NFL protecting something it does not own, but no one being powerful enough to challenge it in a court of law.

I hate the name anyway, but now I have justified reason for not using it.

Even if I'm the littlest of Little Guys, people should know where their money is going when they spend it on garbage NFL apparel.


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