Facebook accidentally tries to kill Lamebook

By on November 23, 2010, 8:36 AM
Facebook is currently in a trademark dispute with Lamebook, a site dedicated to poking fun at the status updates, photos, and comments users post on the social networking site. It appears that Facebook bullied Lamebook recently, however, though the Palo Alto company now says that was a mistake, according to NBC.

Facebook recently shutdown Lamebook's Facebook Page and the Like buttons on Lamebook.com. "Well, Facebook didn't like us sticking up for ourselves, so they shut down our Fan Page, are preventing any users from 'liking' us, and won't even let you share URLs with your friends if they point to Lamebook," reads a message on the joke site. "In light of this, be sure to follow us on Twitter so you get updated with the latest and funniest of the lame!"

All this functionality has been restored, apparently, after Facebook realized it messed up. "This was a mistake on our part," Bret Taylor, Facebook's CTO, said in a statement. "In the process of dealing with a routine trademark violation issue regarding some links posted to Facebook, we blocked all mentions of the phrase "lamebook" on Facebook. We are committed to promoting free expression on Facebook. We apologize for our mistake in this case, and we are working to fix the process that led to this happening."

If Facebook had done this on purpose, it would have been a huge abuse of the website's power (Lamebook likely gets a fair share of traffic, and thus money from advertising, thanks to Facebook). It's therefore slightly reassuring that the company fixed the issue on its own accord.

After Facebook threatened to take the parody site to court, Lamebook filed a lawsuit earlier this month, asking the court to rule that it did not infringe upon Facebook trademarks and that it is protected by the US First Amendment. Last week, Facebook filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit against Lamebook in federal court, arguing that Lamebook is not a legally protected parody because it does not "provide any critique or comment of Facebook itself." In the meantime, Lamebook is asking its users for donations to its legal fund.


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