Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Compromise reached in UT 'Saw 'Em Off' suit

From the Houston Chronicle:

Kalaouze had been selling sawed-off merchandise since 1997 as an ode to his alma mater's fight song, during which swaying students croon "Saw Varsity's ho-orns o-off!" as a dig at Texas A&M's archrival.

The lawsuit, filed 10 days after Texas A&M pulled a 12-7 upset of Texas in their annual football matchup, claimed the Kalaouzes infringed on the trademark.

Defense attorney Allan Van Fleet argued that Saw 'Em Off fell under traditional First Amendment protection of satire and parody.

Van Fleet estimated more than 50 hours were spent haggling a settlement that would allow the university to protect its cherished trademark and the Kalaouzes to keep selling Saw 'Em Off merchandise without paying royalties on past, present or future receipts.

Click here for the rest.

As much as this lawsuit makes me giggle, I've got to side with Van Fleet's contention that the "saw 'em off" logo is protected speech. I mean, it's obviously satire, and the First Amendment is waaaay more important than my burnt orange blood. And all a suit as ill-timed and ill-considered as this one will do is make Aggie pride shoot through the roof. Like anyone needs to deal with more Aggie pride.

Besides, the fact that dumbass Aggies can make shirts like this one...

Means that cool and sophisticated Longhorns can make shirts like this one:

As for my own tastes, I'm still holding out for my favorite anti-Aggie logo of all time being featured on a t-shirt:

Let me know if you ever see one like this. I'll buy it in a heartbeat.

Don't you just love free speech?