Frugalista Fandango

I don’t know the Jackson Frugalista. In fact, I’d never heard of her until early this morning when a tweet saying “a Jackson blogger is getting beat up on by some lawyers” caught my eye. Since I’m also a Jackson blogger, my curiosity was piqued.

Why is she being “beat up on”? You can read the full C&D (linked in the quote), but the part that has pissed off a bunch of bloggers is this:

Further, please let us have your prompt written assurance that you and any affiliated companies or individuals will promptly discontinue and refrain from the use of the term “FRUGALISTA” in any form or derivation in any online blogs or journals. Please note that we will require documentation evidencing any changes or the cessation of use of any name or mark identical or similar to the Mark. —Cease and Desist Letter to JacksonFrugalista

Does the fact that both she and I live in Jackson, but are otherwise completely unknown to each other, make me an “affiliated individual”?

She posted her “Response to Cease and Desist Letter“.

I don’t know about you, but for years I’ve seen/heard words of the form whatever-ista. Michael at SoapBoxRants says

Being barred from using a WORD? It’s not even a word the trademark holder created. We’re not talking about Kleenex or Xerox here. We talking about someone [the Florida blogger] that decided to use a word that is pretty generic and existed before she got into blogging and then trying to prevent the world from using it. —I Don’t Own Words Like Frugalista

This has attracted national attention. For example, a U.S.News article, “Frugalista Debate: One Blogger Stakes Claim”“, opens with “The term ‘frugalista,’ which is so widely used that even the Oxford English Dictionary defines it, has now been trademarked …” and goes on to mention several blogs that have been hit with C&D’s. It also discusses that “[the trademark’s] legitimacy is not entirely clear”.

Unless she changes her mind, Jackson Frugalista will be renaming her blog at the end of the month, so the links to her site may be dead by the time you read this. I’ll try to remember to update the links if they change.

Michael says that he will end each of his posts with “I Am Not A Hypocritical Frugalista That Hates Freedom Of Speech.” until the trademark is revoked.

I suggest that users of *fnord* temporarily replace it with *frugalista*.

Update, 2009-10-03: the new sites are:

About hornlo

Geek. Curmudgeon
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3 Responses to Frugalista Fandango

  1. Thanks for the mention — this whole thing is ridiculous. I just want to share information with my friends about a new shoe stock at Hudson’s, or the latest consignment store. Chick in Miami is NOT making it easy.

    I had no intention of becoming a free speech advocate in this, but the nature of the trademark would turn ANYONE into such. Yes, you are right, your use of the word in this post DOES violate the trademark. Welcome to the club!

  2. Michael says:

    Nice to see another mention of this trademark atrocity. Perhaps we can get enough people aware of what is going on to get this silly thing revoked. I still haven’t gotten my own C&D and honestly, I’m not a part of the community that uses the term. But there’s no way we, as bloggers, should sit back and let something this dumb slide on by.

  3. hornlo says:

    Here are the new links:

    Frugal Mississippi

    Really Dumb Trademarks

    I also added them to the main post for those who don’t read comments.

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