Websites that Dis Barney Safe from Barney’s Lawyers, Says Settlement in Stuart Frankel versus Barney

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“I sue you, you sue me, we are a big sue happy family…”

A settlement announced this week will protect websites that poke fun at or even talk badly about the purple dinosaur that everybody loves to hate, Barney. The settlement came in the lawsuit filed by Stuart Frankel against Barney’s law firm, Gibney, Anthony and Flaherty.


Barney’s chief harrassment lawyer, Matthew Carlin, who is with the law firm of Gibney, Anthony and Flaherty, has doggedly pursued anyone who had the nerve to dis their client online, by threatening them with copyright and trademark infringement lawsuits.

Sick and tired of the ongoing threats from Carlin on behalf of Barney, Stuart Frankel fought back, filing a lawsuit against Carlin and Gibney, Anthony and Flaherty, with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”).

Frankel’s website, DustyFeet.com, tongue-in-cheekingly identified Barney as the source of all evil in a paragraph from his site which read, in part, “I believe absolutely that evil is the product of a single, controlling malevolent force, and that this force can be checked, countered, and perhaps someday even defeated, by the combined action of people of goodwill. But this is not a job to be undertaken lightly or halfheartedly, for evil consumes all who treat it lightly. Therefore, if you are willing to confront the source of all evil, click here.”

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Clicking on the “here” takes you to his page where he makes the compelling argument that Barney (now along with his lawyers) is indeed the root of all evil. (See the website that Barney’s lawyers don’t want you to see, at Stuart Frankel’s website on how Barney is the source of all evil.)

“We wish we hadn’t had to file a lawsuit to finally get Barney’s lawyers to stop harassing a man who was just expressing his opinion about a cultural phenomenon,” explained Corynne McSherry, an attorney with the EFF.

Barney is owned by Lyons Partnership.

 

The settlement awards Frankel $5,000 in damages, and also states that Barney’s lawyers shall not “sue or otherwise make any claim” against Frankel. While the settlement is technically binding only vis Lyons and Frankel, it is expected to put a halt to further such suits againts other Barney naysayers.

“Hopefully Lyons Partnership has learned its lesson and will have more respect for fair use in the future,” said McSherry.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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