Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

How did the NFL(r) obtain that injunction, and what does the order say?

   Of the two, I do not know what I find more distressing: 1) That a Marion County Superior Court judge granted blanket powers to three corporations—the NFL®, the New York Giants®, and the New England Patriots®—to seize any item their agents or employees deem an infringement of copyright/trademark, or that the story about the issuance of the order granting that injunctive relief that appeared yesterday morning on the Indiana Law Blog was gone by last evening.

   There are procedures one must follow to obtain injunctive relief. There are statutes that govern who may enforce court orders. There is something else that is important: the notion that people subject to the order of a court receive notice that 1) an order has been issued and 2) the content of that order.

   The NFL® apparently explained that it and its minions need protection from counterfeit merchandise sold immediately prior to the Super Bowl®. Apparently, entrepreneurs have popped up right before prior Super Bowls®, hawked their jerseys, sham tickets and other such items, and then skipped town with people’s money. The NFL® referred to such merchandise as "fake."

   First, laws already are in place for nailing people who commit fraud. If someone sells a ticket that is not valid, the seller can be arrested. Second, those "fake" jerseys are real. The seller has violated laws related to copyright and trademark infringement. The remedies are written within those laws. Marion County even has set up an expedited court to process such violations. Third, the NFL®, a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit ("NFP") corporation, will be skipping town after the Super Bowl® with a whole bunch of our money anyway, so why should we—and by "we" I mean residents and taxpayers of Indianapolis—care?

    The Super Bowl® never will be played in Indianapolis again. Fans want to travel somewhere warm in February. Next year’s game is in NYC, but there’s a lot to do there. In Indy the fans can get intoxicated. Unless the Super Bowl® was played in a country governed by Islamic law (and the last time I checked there was no NFL® franchise in Iran), fans still will get intoxicated. In a warmer place, the fans also can enjoy the sun, the beach (unless the game is in Arizona), and still get intoxicated.

   By giving blanket authority to three corporations in an order for injunction—that I have not read—we have seen corrupted the very process meant to protect us—and by "us" I mean the residents and taxpayers of Indianapolis and not three corporations, friend. Will somebody like the former road manager for Led Zeppelin®—btw, he’s dead; I mean someone like him—beat the crap out of people as he takes their property without prior hearing or any due process?

   The order—from what I have heard of it, not having had the pleasure of being served with it or reading its text—is defective in a number of ways. More importantly, it is wrong that corporations obtained a blanket order from our Marion Superior Court to do their bidding.

   The Occupy Movement did not take over Indianapolis. The NFL® performed that feat. The NFL®’s goals are not stated clearly, but I think they are apparent. The goals are ironic. The NFL® is an NFP and seeks to squeeze every dollar it can out of everyone. For example, two people told me that any business within five (5) blocks of Lucas Oil Stadium®, in which ten (10) or more persons will be present, must pay $180 for security each day in the lead-up to the Super Bowl®. If that is true, it seems more like the old protection rackets than management of a sporting event.

   We have paid for this game, and will continue to pay for it for years to come. A Gulfstream IV flew over us as we walked to Broad Ripple yesterday. I wondered who was in it—celebrities, some of those 1,500 hookers people have discussed, or a combination?

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Comment by Paul K. Ogden on February 3, 2012 at 10:35pm

Mark, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.   While your average is far below that, you occasionally get things right.

Comment by Mark Small on February 3, 2012 at 1:54pm

What---so you agree with me?

Comment by Paul K. Ogden on February 3, 2012 at 1:47pm

Violation of copyright and trademark laws are already a criminal offense. There is no reaons to give the NFL and the teams the power to seize alleged violations pursuant to possible civl offenses.


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