Facebook Moves to Block Parody Site

By Michael Preston
|  Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010  |  Updated 5:15 AM CDT
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PALO ALTO, CA - AUGUST 18: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles before speaking at a news conference at Facebook headquarters August 18, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. Zuckerberg announced the launch of Facebook Places, a new application that allows Facebook users to document places they have visited. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Apparently, Facebook doesn't find Lamebook all that funny.

The social networking behemoth is striking back at the popular parody site by blocking links to the site, disabling its fan page and preventing Lamebook users from "liking" posts, reports TechCrunch.

The move from Facebook is just the latest volley in an escalating war that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

In early November,  Lamebook launched a preemptive strike of sorts, seeking a declaratory judgment that would acknowledge that while the Austin-based startup drew inspiration from Facebook, it had not infringed on the larger site's name, logo or other branding. The two-person company is making its case on First Amendment grounds, arguing that it is legally protected because the site is a work of parody.

Facebook then retaliated with a trademark infringement lawsuit on Novermber 8, protesting that the parody is invalid because it does not "provide any critique or comment of Facebook itself."

However, Facebook admitted to an overstep on November 22, saying that its blanket removal of all references to Lamebook on its site had gone too far.

"This was a mistake on our part," wrote Facebook's CTO Bret Taylor 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."

The ad-supported Lamebook could been deeply hurt by the loss of traffic it gets from Facebook, so its creators are soliciting donations from user for its "Legal Fund." They announced the move on their website.

"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 event let you share URls with your friends if they point to Lamebook. In light of this, be sure to follow us on Twitter so you get updated with the latest and funniest of the lame!"

If the ongoing legal fights are any indication, it seems like the next chapter in this book is yet to be written.

Selected Reading: TechCrunch, Los Angeles Times,

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