Just about a year ago at church camp my son and I were targeted by a member of the group trying to sell us Xango Juice, “The Original Mangosteen Supplement”. She touted all the things it would heal. I was suspicious, as the ingredients seemed to be mostly fruit juices. I still have one of the free bottles she foisted off onto us.
I guess Xango Juice is along the same lines as MonaVie, which Lazy Man & Money talked about over at his blog. His wife got hit up to become a dealer of the product. This reminds me of a couple of decades ago when Amway was the big “get rich quick” business to get into. My sister was into it, friends, even my mother and father in law. My mother in law towed a car for us once and there she was talking up Amway to the tow truck driver. I remember my MIL telling me it was simple, all you had to do was buy $200 a month in product and then get people in line below you. At the time, my budget allowed $30 for “sundry” type items. My entire grocery bill was $200. No way could I afford to get in line under her. Yeesh. I could never get into these companies, they seemed too much like scams.
So anyway, I was over at Funny About Money’s, and she gave permission for a recent article of hers to be copied, so just in case you haven’t heard about Lazy Man’s situation, here you go:
An outfit called MonaVie, which markets exotic berry juice purported to fight aging, peel off pounds, and do wondrous unspecified things for your health, is suing Lazy Man and Money for daring to write a review questioning its product and its sales strategy. The claim the company makes is that merely typing the MonaVie company name and putting it in the post tags infringes MonaVie’s trademark.
This is clear and present intimidation and a blatant attempt on the part of a corporation, MonaVie, to harass an independent writer for exercising rights of free speech guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and, in the bargain, to cast a chill on every American’s right to comment honestly and frankly on products and on the marketing strategies used to promote them. It is not, by the way, against the law to mention a product’s name in a published work, and a strong argument can be made that placing a product name in a post’s metadata in no way infringes upon the trademark. In fact, the argument that it does so is laughable—we can be sure the first judge who sees this action will laugh it right out of court.
Here’s what we need to do, my friends, to protest this outrageous infringement on our rights as U.S. citizens and as writers.
First, please go here:
And finally, read this:
Never fear: it is not illegal to utter a brand name. MonaVie is not G-d, and even if it were, it’s still not illegal to utter the word “God.” At least, not in America. If you’re concerned that the company’s absurd claim about metadata might, by some wild stretch of the imagination, have validity, simply refrain from using the name in your title, in your post tags, and in your SEO plug-in.
Feel free to copy and paste this entire post to your site. Funny about Money hereby relinquishes all copyright to this post (”You need to know about this one: Corporation harasses blogger”) and releases it to the public domain. Splog away, everyone!
There you have it, pass it on!