December 1, 2005

T-Shirt Seller Gets “Cease and Desist” Letter

Posted by Eric Jaffa
September 15, 2005 @ 10:03 am
Filed under: Free Speech

A man was selling t-shirts with the phrase “Prarie Ho Companion.”

A lawyer for Garrison Keillor says people who see the t-shirt may be confused and thinks it’s by the people who produce the radio show, “A Prarie Home Companion.”

Keillor hosts the public radio show “A Prarie Home Companion,” which is being made into a movie.

I wouldn’t buy a t-shirt which says, “Prarie Ho Companion” but I support one’s right to try to sell such t-shirts without being stopped by the courts.

Some visitors to DailyKos.com are defending the cease-and-desist letter, saying that if companies don’t defend their trademarks with such letters, they will lose their trademarks entirely. To the extent that this is accurate, it shows that trademark law should be changed, to let companies only take action when they truly believe they’ve been harmed.

If you want to avoid getting a cease-and-desist letter from Garrison Keillor’s attorney, then don’t put these phrases (or variations thereof) on a t-shirt.