Fake Drug Brings Real Takedown

My friend Charles, of wedding blog fame, informs me of a hilarious development in the paranoid world of alleged intellectual property rights infringement. It seems that a retail website, which was selling merchandise touting the fictitious drug "Panexa" (PANEXA comes complete with hilarious and fake website, with medication warnings like "PANEXA should not be used to soak up spills or remove stains. This is disrespectful to PANEXA"), believed that such sales constituted copyright and trademark infringement and removed the merchandise. Even more disturbing, this apparently occurred without notice to its creators.

The blog about this event is here. I look forward to following this thrilling saga, and to the response of the mistaken retailer. (Charles, thanks for letting me know).

This event -- even if nothing more than a minor and silly error -- signals the level to which potential copyright and trademark violations have been elevated. Respect for legitimate rights of rights holders is not to be minimalized, but where are we headed if such knee-jerk takedowns are occurring without notice? Not to sound too dramatic (OK, a little), to quote Hamilton's Federalist No. 15, "We may indeed with propriety be said to have reached almost the last stage of national humiliation."

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