Via Instapundit comes a link to an article about a proposed new Trademark dilution law. The law itself may or not be a good idea but the reaction of the artist interviewed in the article is interesting.
As Mr. Stewart asks rhetorically, “What is our country coming to when someone is liable for a lawsuit because they are being nice?”
Hah, hah, welcome to the world of business. I admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude when I read that. Poor, poor artist, he might get sueable even though he did nothing wrong! Wow, that never happens to anyone else!
In modern America, professions fall into two categories: the sueable and unsueable. The sueable work in areas where the law holds people and institutions rigorously responsible for their actions. Virtually every action they take can become the genesis of a lawsuit. Most businesses fall into this category. The unsueable work in areas that have no expectations of responsibility. They have to go out of their way to get sued. Artist of all types fall into this later category, so do journalist, academicians and to a lesser extent lawyers.
Not surprisingly the unsueable seldom see a problem with the contemporary tort system. Why should they? It seldom causes them any problems. Its easy for them to romanticize lawsuits because they themselves never experience the very real negatives of living under the constant and unpredictable chance they they will get sued. They don’t have to go on for months or years waiting for the outcome of a suit that could destroy everything they have worked for.
Of course, when presented with even the minor possibility that they might run the risk of being sueable, the unsueable react with hysterical outrage. How can they be held responsible for their actions? Don’t people understand how special they are! If they can’t tromp all over everyone else without consequence the heavens will fall!
I don’t know whether the new trademark law is a good idea or not on its own merits but if it provides a little education to the unsueable it would almost be worth it on that basis alone