Proud Member of the “Rakofsky 74″
Rakofsky badge (by Amy Derby ©)
Subscribe via email


Technology 4 Lives

Alleged Trademark Infringement After Dark

(Just go ahead and assume this whole post is NSFW.)

Americans love basketball. Maybe not as much as football, and I have no idea where baseball fits in anymore, but they love basketball. When the Miami Heat faced off against the Oklahoma City Thunder, it inspired a couple of Miami fans to do their part to support the team and its loyal fans. Also, they are both porn stars.

Miami Heat fans celebrated in late June, as Lebron James and company brought home the 2012 NBA title after beating the OKC Thunder in five games. While many of the city’s fans rejoiced because it was the Miami’s first championship since 2006, others were ecstatic because two porn stars promised fellatio to fans if the team won.

A pair of porn stars, Sara Jay and Angelina Castro, initially made the offer to fans during the Finals, and when Miami actually won, they’ve begun revealing plans to give a “free BJ” to all their Twitter followers.

Days after the Finals ended, the duo launched a new website to make good on their promise, TeamBJNBA.com. There, fans/followers are given all the details to collect.

The Team BJ NBA includes several stipulations, such as having a “talent” STD test completed and must consent to being filmed during event, which appears to be a BJ marathon set to take place in Miami in early August.

There’s some information about how they’ll select people, which appears to be based on how long people have been paying members of their websites (membership does have its privileges). There’s also a Twitter account.

'Team BJ NBA' logo, via teambjnba.com

The NBA has an issue with this logo. Who knew?

None of this violates any laws that I know of. I’m not sure about Florida’s obscenity laws, but Miami appears to have a robust adult entertainment industry that operates somewhat openly. As long as everyone provides documentation of their age (per 18 U.S.C. 2257), everyone behaves in a consensual manner, and none of the participants pay each other (there’s a weird legal distinction ‘twixt porn and prostitution that honestly makes no sense), they ought to be on solid legal ground.

Except for that pesky trademark issue.

This time, it’s not prudish culture warriors or busybody sheriffs that are challenging Florida porn, it’s a major sports league protecting its intellectual property. People are so quick to assume the culture warrior angle, that this actually seems kind of obvious in retrospect.

It turns out the NBA is not happy with the use of its intellectual property—images of three members of the Heat and the team’s logo—by the young women, and has issued a stern C&D demanding that the sites be taken offline and turned over to the league… for what further purpose, we do not know.

This morning, Jay and Castro issued an announcement that stated, “The National Basketball Association (NBA) is trying to block use of its name and to take over the rights to the url teambjnba.com in connection with the follower Oral Sex Giveaway being set up by Miami based porn stars Sara Jay and Angelina Castro.”

According to the announcement, the NBA insists that concessions be made by Monday, July 9, regarding the following complaints and demands:

“It has come to our attention that [you] are using NBA Intellectual Property without authorization, including on the website www.teambjnba.com and Twitter page twitter.com/#!/teambjnba (collectively the “Websites”), to promote an event by including references to the Miami Heat and its players. The Websites incorporate the ‘NBA’ trademark in the domain name and account name and prominently feature NBA Intellectual Property — including the Heat team logo. Furthermore, NBAP has confirmed [you are] using a photograph depicting the likeness of Heat players Chris Bosh, Lebron James, and Dwyane Wade without their authorization and in violation of their rights. [Your] unauthorized use of NBA Intellectual Property is an attempt to capitalize on the fame and goodwill of NBA Intellectual Property and tarnishes the reputation of the NBA and the Heat. NBAP has not authorized [You] to use NBA Intellectual Property in any way and [Your] unauthorized use; therefore, constitutes among other things, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false association, and unfair competition”

In addition to the offending photo, however, the website also contains complete details about the event being planned by the performers, who have invited their twitter followers to visit the Miami adult club, Miami Velvet, on August 2, for “free no-strings-attached oral sex in honor of the Heat’s victory.” The women also have applied to the Guinness Book of World Records to set a record for oral sex in a day, and plan to stream the event live at their websites, sarajay.com and angelinacastrolive.com. (Source–quite NSFW)

Sara Jay reportedly responded by saying that it is all in good fun, and who could possibly object to 300,000 blow jobs? That’s actually a fair point, and she almost brings up some good legal points, like the infinitesimal chance that anyone would actually think the NBA endorses the event. Still, they can probably get their point across (there’s a pun in there somewhere…) without actually using the “NBA” name.

That appears to be exactly what is happening.  They are reportedly dropping the “NBA” from the name, which would make them the much more ambiguous “Team BJ.”

I’m not sure what this says about me, but once the trademark issue is resolved, almost every question I have about this event involves logistics. Will they have liability insurance for the event? How big of a venue will they need? How awkward would it be to stand in line for an event like this? How many Glade Plug-Ins would you need for a room full of hundreds or thousands of horny, possibly naked dudes? That last question may have gone too far, and may ruin the illusion of porn if you think about it too much. Sorry.

Photo credit: ‘Team BJ NBA’ logo, via teambjnba.com.

Share

Comments are closed.