Hustling for Quality Porn – Flynt Sues Chips Off the Old Block

Larry Flynt, the editor of Hustler Magazine, is suing his nephews Jimmy Flynt II and Dustin Flynt for trademark infringement, claiming that they might tarnish the Flynt franchise since their porn flicks are substandard when compared to those that have his involvement,  according to the law suit, “inferior products” and “knock-off goods.”

The full story is reported in the Los Angeles Times and may be found here: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-larry-flynt7-2009jan07,0,6802038.story

I don’t have the expertise to relate to the creative skills of the various Flynts, but apparently Jimmy and Dustin learned the business from their uncle.

Generally people are entitled to work under their own names, but this is not the first time such issues have gone to court.  For example, Yoko Ono is suing a Country and Western singer named Lennon by her parents. 

There was apparently controversy with the French mark owners regarding Israel wines sold under the Rothschild label, despite Baron Rothschild founding the Rishon-le-Zion and Zichron wineries.   

Nevertheless, if relatives trade on the family name and there is a likelihood of confusion, maybe Larry Flynt has some case. 

It is extraordinarily difficult to be objective about quality issues in creative endeavors of course. For example, despite being an avid reader of 19th century English literature, personally, I prefer Monica Dickens to her great-grandfather’s writing, which suffers from obviously being written for publishing in serial form and paid for by the word.  

Back in 1964, In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it . ..Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184, 197 (1964).
Anyway, if this case goes all the way, we should get some interesting rulings on how to judge the quality of porn, from a legal perspective. The mind boggles.

Now Larry Flynt sees himself as a crusader for Freedom of Speech and has his own blog. Since the epic decision Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988), where the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that satirizing a protestant minister and accusing him of sleeping with his mother was worth defending on the grounds of freedom of speech, and after using a Sarah Palin look-alike in a porn movie titled Nailin Pailin, presumably the naughty nephews can claim the defence of tasteless satire and parody.



Categories: Copyright, famous marks, trademarks, Uncategorized

1 reply

  1. I hope you’ll continue this,posting good and quality posts! Thanks.

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