Creative-Commons Marriage

I found this article so mind numbingly stupid that I just had to have a go at tearing it apart. I’m not the biggest expert on the copyright fight, so I’ll Fisk it my way and then open it up to the better informed.

It’s dilution, stupid!

Posted: May 8, 2004

1:00 a.m. Eastern

� 2004

I’m going to assume (or pretend) that reprinting the article with my notes falls under Fair Use.

That’s the answer. So what’s the question?

The question is “If gays can get married, how does that destroy my marriage or yours? How does giving rights to one group take away rights from another group?”

The answer originates in the world of intellectual property, specifically trademark law. Dilution is the unauthorized use of a well-known mark that protects the distinctive quality of any word or symbol used for identification. Dilution takes two forms: blurring and tarnishment. Blurring causes the diluted mark to no longer uniquely identify its owner’s goods or services. Tarnishment diminishes the quality associated with the mark.

For example, if a burger joint called MacDonald’s opens using a large yellow “M” as a symbol � it dilutes the market for the well-known golden arches of McDonald’s. The use of the yellow letter “M” and the name MacDonald’s itself can blur the famous mark so that the golden arches of McDonald’s are no longer uniquely associated with the original product. Additionally, MacDonald’s can tarnish the famous mark by making second-rate burgers.

Aside– Wasn’t there a case a year or so ago where someone called McDonald was sued by Mickey D’s for use of ‘their’ copyright? Surely a name going back generations is a senior mark to some upstart burger chain and the clan McDonald should sue for tarnishment of their reputation through the sale of low quality, fat filled, unhealthy produce.

In this example where McDonald’s owns the senior mark and MacDonald’s owns the junior mark, MacDonald’s is diluting the distinctive quality of McDonald’s.

That is how giving rights to one group such as MacDonald’s takes away rights from another group such as McDonald’s. This principle, by way of analogy, is exactly how gay marriage destroys my marriage and yours.

There are at least six factors considered in a charge of dilution.

Similarity of the marks

Similarity of products using the marks

Sophistication of consumers in the targeted markets

Predatory intent

Renown of the senior mark

Renown of the junior mark

Consider how these six factors apply to traditional verses same-sex marriage where the “mark” is a marriage or marriage license.

1. Similarity of the marks: A fully legal marriage between couples of the same sex will be indistinguishable from the legal marriage between couples of the opposite sex.

So gay marriage will be marriage? There’s a problem with this? Surely the fact that a whole section of society will go through so much pain and endure such hateful idiocy as this so they can get married is a testament to the importance of the institution. The queers aren’t tarnishing the mark, dear, they’re polishing it.

2. Similarity of products using the marks: The product will be the legal union of two people receiving all the inherent rights and benefits of a legal marriage. Admittedly, those seeking a gay marriage are not competing for a limited number of licenses nor are they competing in the same market for a spouse. Nonetheless, according to trademark law, a junior mark may dilute if it attempts to use the notoriety of another’s name, even if it does not actually compete in its market.

Errrr, what? What’s the failure rate of heterosexual marriage here and in the US? I guess a high failure rate is a certain kind of notoriety.

3. Sophistication of consumers in the targeted markets: The consumer in this case is civilized society in America. No amount of sophistication will equip the consumer to distinguish a legal gay marriage from a traditional marriage. Legal differences will not exist.

See the answer to one with added- ‘You’re calling your readers stupid!?’ Civilised society, I assume, is supposedly the God fearing, gun toting White folk this woman thinks she’s writing for. She could be right, maybe they are stupid, but she shouldn’t rub it in their faces so.

4. Predatory Intent: Gay marriage is only one part of a long-term strategy by the gay and lesbian activist community to undermine the concept of marriage and the system of family that is based upon marriage. It is not about gay rights. It’s about the destruction of the fundamental idea of marriage as a social institution. It’s about dissolution of the traditional family unit, honoring thy father and mother, becoming of one flesh through procreation. It’s about destroying natural barriers to incest through ignorance of ones sibling relationships, rejecting sexual distinction and the order that flows and is premised upon those distinctions according to natural law.

Oh right. They’re subverting from within. Of course, the Pink Menace. Perhaps you and Ann Coulter could set up some sort of McCarthy style anti-homosexualist panel. I refer you to an article by Plaid Adder for a proper example of the undermining of the institution of marriage.

And that bit equating homosexuality to incest is just lazy, stupid and evil.

5. Renown of the senior mark: Marriage between a man and a woman is, in fact, the recognition of an institution that predates civil society, government and common law. By definition, a civil society comprises voluntary associations, organizations, movements and networks that live and work in the social space outside the state and the private sector. Marriage, therefore, is the very basis on which people come into our current civil society.

Marriage, and family, has meant a variety of things across the ages and cultures. I’ll have to ask someone else to find me the best examples, but more than a few were as successful as, or better than, the current Western mode.

6. Renown of the junior mark: While practice of the gay lifestyle has been around since the dawning of man, beginning May 17, for the first time in U.S. history, a state, Massachusetts, will begin granting marriage licenses to homosexuals with the full blessing of its highest court. Unlike the flurry of marriage licenses issued to gay couples in San Francisco and other cities across America, these marriages will be fully legal and may be accepted in others states.

Don’t you just hate it when those dirty poofs get the same rights as you. They probably shouldn’t have repealed segregation or given women the vote either.

Based on this analysis, gay marriage will undoubtedly dilute the distinctive quality of traditional marriage. It provides a one-word answer to the question, “What harm can gay marriage inflict on traditional marriage in America?” Worse, diluting this fundamental institution will inevitably lead to the dissolution of our existing civil society by destroying its inherent social structure.

Oooh, dissolution! So cool.

As you can see, I don’t know enough about the legal side of the copyright fight to tear this down. I’m far better at sarcasm. I think she can keep her copyrighted marriage anyway, I’ve made up a Creative Commons licence for marriage. Feel free to use it with anyone you love.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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