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Remember, Libertarians: Send Those Letters to letters@citypaper.com

I saw your article on the Libertarian Party (“Considering the Alternatives,” Feature, Oct. 26). On paper they sound good. However, looking deeper into their laissez faire view of capitalism has led me to the conclusion that Libertarians are fascists who would like to get high legally. Now mind you this is not the view that I get from the one or two candidates I have met. This is from a lot of people who call themselves members of the Libertarian Party.

I think the cartoon by Tom Tomorrow best sums up their views on the economy. Their view is that if people can’t survive on slave wages it’s their fault! I remember listing to tirades by two former disk jockeys who claimed to be members of the Libertarian Party and had links to the party from their home pages. These fellas were not only anti-minimum wage, they were anti-affirmative action and racist as the day was long. They called the Civil War “The War of Northern Aggression.” Almost every Libertarian I talk to is against “big government” and for “the free market.” This means no minimum wage, no affirmative action, no funding for public schools, and no environmental restrictions on businesses.

So what would happen if there weren’t government-funded schools and there was no minimum wage? Whole families would be forced to go to work. You would have the return of child labor! Not only that, with no environmental restrictions there would be pollution worse than we have it now.

The Libertarian philosophy boils down to the absurd notion that individual liberty is better than people uniting to free all humanity from a system that they love so much—capitalism.

They support the “right” of people to sell their own organ parts as long as it’s done in a clean matter. Yet they oppose any restrictions on businesses in third-world countries that force people to do this.

They talk of legalizing prostitution, yet they ignore the horrid conditions that force people into this trade.

Oh, and they want to legalize all drugs—instead of creating a world where people could enjoy life without clouding their brains.

Alan Barysh
Baltimore

No Oakland Here, Please

Leave Occupy Baltimore alone (“This Is What Democracy Looks Like,” Mobtown Beat, Oct. 26). So far things have gone very well down there. Let the handful of kids camp overnight and give them tents and “porta-potties” like you’ve offered, simply because that’s the right thing to do. I don’t want to see clips of riot police teargassing hippies on the national news like in Oakland. If Baltimore Police shut down Occupy Baltimore and haul a bunch of people off, there will be a whole bunch of bad press and lawsuits, and the protestors will simply multiply and start gathering outside City Hall and police headquarters too. You don’t want that. Let them be.

T. Hayden Barnes
Baltimore

Um, Good to Know

I owe City Paper a humble apology. I recently took you to task for using the ™ symbol in connection with the phrase “The City Paper Digi-Cam™” on a photograph caption on page 3 of the Oct. 19 issue (“Whatever, Hon™,” The Mail, Oct. 26). I had simultaneously made an inquiry to the United States Patent and Trademark Office seeking to clarify the appropriate and inappropriate uses of that symbol.

Having finally received a response to that inquiry, I now find that there is actually no federal policy, much less a penalty on its (inappropriate?) use, as it can be applied to any unregistered “mark” that is used in U.S. commerce. Specifically, their guidance was:

THE TM AND SM SYMBOLS: Use of the TM and SM symbols may be governed by local, state, or foreign laws. The use of these symbols is not governed by federal law. The USPTO does not determine when you can use the TM and SM symbols and cannot advise you on whether you may use these symbols. The TM is usually used to indicate an unregistered trademark, and is used on goods (physical things). The SM is usually used to indicate an unregistered service mark, and is used for services, such as accounting or hotel services. You do not need a USPTO registered trademark, or even a pending USPTO application for a trademark, to use these symbols. Both of these symbols show that you consider the word, phrase, or symbol a trademark (or service mark) and that you claim common law rights in the mark, meaning you claim rights based on your use of the trademark rather than federal statutes. If you have any further questions or if you require additional information, please contact the Trademark Assistance Center at 571-272-9250 and press “0”.

I conclude that your use of “The City Paper Digi-Cam™” was permitted under USPTO guidelines. Had you shown instead “Digi-Cam®”, then the owner of that registered trademark could have had an issue with you. However, the registration of that mark is on the basis of its being used in connection with International Class 025, US 022 039 as defined on the USPTO web site. Under IC 025, the “Goods and Services” associated with the mark are “Clothing, namely digital camouflage pants, jackets, shirts, caps, hats, banndannas, [sic] footwear and parkas.” Therefore, the likelihood of confusion between the mark’s use by Brigade Quartermasters Ltd., in connection with its clothing line and City Paper’s use of it in connection with a photographic feature is remote. That being the case, it might actually be a good idea for City Paper to apply for the trademark “Digi-Cam” under International Class 041, the definition of which follows:

CLASS 41 (Education and entertainment) Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities. Explanatory Note Class 41 covers mainly services rendered by persons or institutions in the development of the mental faculties of persons or animals, as well as services intended to entertain or to engage the attention. This Class includes, in particular: • services consisting of all forms of education of persons or training of animals; • services having the basic aim of the entertainment, amusement or recreation of people; • presentation of works of visual art or literature to the public for cultural or educational purposes.

Since such a mark would not conflict (in usage terms) with the presently registered “Digi-Cam®” mark, it seems likely it would be approved by the USPTO. Beyond that, “Digi-Cam” as a reference term is actually kind of clever and I am surprised it has not been “taken” by someone wanting to use it in association with a photographic or videographic purpose. If City Paper obtains the mark, then it could threaten other users of it with lawsuits and “cease-and-desist” orders as is common in Baltimore for Trademark scofflaws. Plus, you could make money “licensing” its use. More strategically, consider trademarking the term “Digicam” without the hyphen; Google® hits for that term in association with imaging applications abound, but be careful: “Digicam®” is a registered trademark (no. 2943417), in International Class 009, owned by Enn Yah Technologies Corp. of Taiwan in connection with their video-camera hardware line. This would not preclude the same mark being registered by City Paper in IC 041 as suggested above. It might be a good investment. Don’t forget where you got the idea, please.

John Grant
Baltimore

Corrections: Last week’s feature on Republican, Libertarian, and Green party candidates running in city elections (“Considering the Alternatives,” Feature, Oct. 26) misidentified Democratic 3rd District City Councilmember Robert Curran as a Republican and his 3rd District Republican challenger Gary Collins as a Libertarian; both were correctly affiliated with their actual parties earlier in the story.

In the same story, Green Party 14th District City Council candidate Douglas Armstrong was described as, among other job titles, a “second producer.” That should have read “first assistant director and producer.” City Paper regrets the errors.

And the film Take Shelter is set in Ohio, not Oklahoma, as was incorrectly stated in our review (Film, Oct. 26).

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