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Occupy Chicago Fights For Publication Referencing Tribune

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Scales Of Justice

(Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Occupy Chicago is fighting an effort by the Chicago Tribune to hand over the Web domain names for its publication that references the newspaper.

As Michael Miner reported last week in the Chicago Reader, the Tribune filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization – a Geneva, Switzerland-based United Nations agency – after Occupy Chicago began publishing the “Occupied Chicago Tribune,” a print and online news publication that bills itself as “media for the 99 percent” and says it is “proud to have no affiliation whatsoever with the 1 percent Chicago Tribune or the Tribune Co.”

In an editorial back in March, the Occupied Chicago Tribune wrote that it has “contended with threats of litigation from the Tribune Company” since its first issue was released in December.

Miner wrote that the Occupied Chicago Tribune first received a polite request from a Tribune attorney that the paper change its name. In response, the occupy paper eliminated the Tribune-style Gothic typeset in its name and added the disclaimer about not being affiliated with the Tribune, the Reader wrote.

The Tribune later filed the intellectual property complaint, and called for the occupy publication to surrender its two Web domains, Miner reported.

In responding to the Tribune complaint Thursday, attorneys for Occupy called it an issue of “the fundamental human right of political speech. “

The response argued that given that the point of the Occupied Chicago Tribune was to cover groups and issues that it claims that Tribune does not, there is no way the name could cause market confusion.

“By covering many of the issues which are of concern to the poor and working people of Chicago, issues often ignored or reported with a conservative bias by the Chicago Tribune, (Occupied Chicago Tribune implicitly acts as a critique of the mainstream corporate media of the United States, including the Chicago Tribune, which operates in the interest of the 1 percent of the U.S. population,” said the legal response, which the Reader posted online.

Furthermore, the response argued, the Occupied Chicago Tribune is an all-volunteer nonprofit and “is in no way a business competitor of the Chicago Tribune.”

Miner wrote Wednesday that the World Intellectual Property Organization should rule on the domain names next month.

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