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FedEx Cracks Down on Box Furniture, Citing DMCA 778

Posted by timothy
from the news-of-the-nutty dept.
nospmiS remoH writes "Wired is running an article about a guy with no money making furniture out of FedEx boxes. If that weren't strange enough, FedEx is going after him, legally citing the DMCA. Yes, the DMCA. Apparently they are not upset about the furniture itself but rather this site that he put up with pictures of his creations (pretty good work really). My favorite quote from the article, '...Avila clearly intended to operate a business from his website because he used the .com domain suffix, the "commercial level domain," rather than .net.' You just can't make this stuff up."
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FedEx Cracks Down on Box Furniture, Citing DMCA

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  • Free Boxes (Score:5, Informative)

    by dthrall (894750) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:19PM (#13295938)
    I explored both his site and the fedex site... seems to get the boxes from fedex, you need an account... the good new? the USPS will send you free shipping supplies :)
    • Re:Free Boxes (Score:5, Informative)

      by dthrall (894750) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:23PM (#13295982)
    • by pergamon (4359) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:35PM (#13296132) Homepage
      Shipping supplies from the USPS state very clearly that they're the property of the USPS. The first time you order a shipment of boxes from the USPS, they make you sign something saying that you acknowledge this fact and that those supplies are indeed only for the purpose of sending stuff by means of USPS.

      I had thought Fedex and UPS did the same, but I just examined a couple Fedex medium boxes we had laying around here and they don't say anything of the sort.
      • by shotfeel (235240) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:36PM (#13296875)
        But I don't care what agreement the shipper & shipping company may have, if its a box that's shipped to me, I consider it my property.

        Because if they do think they still own the box after the delivery has been made, they'd better get over here and pick them up or I'm sending them the bill for expenses and labor used to properly dispose of their boxes.

        Note I am talking about boxes that have been used for shipping something, not empty boxes the shipping company may have provided with the understanding that they be used in doing business with them. Its not entirely clear to me how he got his boxes.
    • Re:Free Boxes (Score:3, Informative)

      by Desert Raven (52125)
      Don't play this game with the USPS. Unlike FedEx, the USPS has very strict terms of use for their materials, printed clearly on each box/envelope. And, since they are a branch of the federal government, it's a federal offense to violate those terms.
      • by Yocto Yotta (840665) <catapults.musicNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:18PM (#13296690)
        Well, one's thing is for sure -- I won't be posting pictures on my website showing off my USPS poster tube bong (DISCLAIMER: For tobacco use only) anytime soon. My USPS "toilet" probably wouldn't go over too well either . . .
      • by Greslin (842361) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:56PM (#13297114) Homepage
        Heh.. I can imagine the cellblock conversation now:

        "Judges and juries, man. They don't get nothin'. They don't know that sometimes God wants you to kill your family and, like, do stuff with their body parts. Read the Bible, man - God's all into that. So, what you in here for, man?"

        "Eh.. I got these boxes from the Post Office.."

    • Re:Free Boxes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:52PM (#13297061)
      Why don't we let FedEx know what we think of this action?

      https://www.fedex.com/cgi-bin/qrf2.cgi?link=4&firs t=y&formpage=general [fedex.com]

      Here's the message that I sent:

      I saw this article today in Wired:

      http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68492,00. html [wired.com]

      I think it's despicable that FedEx is using the DMCA to harass a guy who can't afford furniture and is just trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation. Perhaps you have forgotten the time that the owner of FedEx gambled the company payroll in Vegas to save the company.

      As a result of this incident, I will be shipping with UPS whenever possible.

      I also know a few hundred thousand other people who feel the same way:

      http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/05/08/11/1715204.shtml ?tid=123&tid=17 [slashdot.org]
      • Re:Free Boxes (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AviLazar (741826) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @03:38PM (#13297512) Journal
        You "know a few hundred thousand other people"? Maybe you mean you saw a list of a few hundred thousand people who feel the same way as you? I don't even know a few hundred thousand other people - and I doubt I have ever met a few hundred thousand other people.

        Not to mention what this guy was wrong:
        FedEx sends these boxes under the good faith that you will use them to ship through FedEx (walk into a FedEx store and ask them for a box and they sell them...ship with the box and its free). So he is using their shipping supplies at no cost, using their name (fedexfurniture.com) and the furniture which is their name. All of this for a product. Maybe, as opposed to sitting 20 hours a day at his FedEx box, he should go out and get a job?

        Great ingenuity on his part (or I should say his friends) - if he just made this stuff for himself and a couple of friends and said "hey look at this" it would be fine...but he is making a profit on another company w/o their permission - and they are losing money. That is NOT cool.
    • by shokk (187512) <`ernieoporto' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @04:05PM (#13297794) Homepage Journal
      I think FedEx has a case here. I went to that site and thought I was at FedEx.com, no lie. For some reason it took longer to type into my browser than fedex.com, but I was still confused between the FedEx brand and this guy's attempt to make furniture.

      In other news...
      * Scotch brand tape will be suing anybody making a 3D contruct of tape similar to a ball
      * Swingline will be suing anyone who makes a CD/floppy eject tool out of a paperclip
      * International Paper will literally crucify anyone who makes paper footballs,
      * various rubber-band manufacturers have formed a consortium specifically to pursue legal action against anyone that uses a rubber-band as a device similar to a slingshot or a projectile in itself
      * the Ticonderoga pencil company will be after anyone who bundles pencils together into a tube shape to simulate a solid piece of wood

      Sounds ridiculous? Wait and see!!!
  • by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:20PM (#13295949) Homepage Journal
    Can they justifiably go after him for trademark violations? Absolutely. But copyright? You'd have to be insane.

    It's constantly amazing to see the extent to which people will abuse the DMCA to get what they want.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:23PM (#13295977)
      Tademark only applies if he is intending to sell products or pretend that he is FedEX (I saw the site, it is obviously a parody and labeled as such), as in the case of trademark dilution.

      He is doing neither, so FedEX really is just strongarming this guy because he dared to abuse their free boxes.
    • by pete6677 (681676) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:05PM (#13296529)
      Remember, this case has not gone to court or been ruled on by a judge in any way. Any stooge can send out a cease and decist order. It's not uncommon at all for corporate legal departments to try to intimidate someone for running a website which the company for some reason does not like. The DMCA simply gives them another club to swing. In this case, it seems like the only reason FedEx is even concerned is due to what he published on the internet, with their trademarked name visible. My guess is that he will make some slight changes to the site, like not prominately displaying the FedEx name, and that will settle the issue.
    • DMCA "abuse"? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bani (467531)
      "abuse" implies the DMCA wasn't created for this purpose.

      But you can bet it was designed for exactly this purpose, and more. That's why it's so frequently used to beat into submission anyone who is hosting a website that a corporation might find embarassing or offensive.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:21PM (#13295950)
    I love their generosity.

    UPS, especicially. You can get huge "25KG" boxes intended for international shipping. I have UPS drop these on my doorstep every time I move, all for free.

    • Nice. Thanks for making the rest of us pay inflated fees because you are too cheap to go to U-Haul and buy them like a normal person.

      ~S
      • by sammy baby (14909) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:35PM (#13296136) Journal
        Screw that - head to the local package store or beverage place. They have tons of boxes used to ship beer, wine, and spirits, and they often wind up just dumping them. They're happy to give them away.
      • Thanks for making the rest of us pay inflated fees because you are too cheap to go to U-Haul and buy them like a normal person.

        Ok, so "normal" means giving out money to some company when you can get the same or better for free. We're on Slashdot, go figure out the similarity of this situation on the OS front.

        • We're on Slashdot, go figure out the similarity of this situation on the OS front.

          Its reasoning like this that I find on boingboing.net, and that I don't agree with.

          TANSTAAFL. Linux Distros cost bandwidth, which can be amortized and taken care of in a cheap way (bit torrent..., etc.). Linux costs development time which many developers are willing to give up for free.

          But Companies pay for HARD GOODS. Boxes cost. That cost is rolled up into the price of service. If the cost of raw materials goes up, the
          • by phriedom (561200) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:18PM (#13296692)
            "That cost is rolled up into the price of service. If the cost of raw materials goes up, the cost of the service goes up."

            No, it isn't, and no, it doesn't. UPS and FedEx are charging as much as the market will bear. If their costs go down, they make more profit, and if their costs go up they make less. If FedEx and UPS choose to give away free boxes for their own reasons, that is between them and the people that take advantage of it. It doesn't effect other customers one bit.

            I'll give you one example: if prices were strictly linked to costs, then cans of soda-pop would cost more in states where the distributors and retailers have to take a deposit and then refund it when the customer returns the can. Clearly, it costs them something to process and keep account of those cans coming back to the retailer and then back to the distributor, but the prices are not any higher.
            • by mekkab (133181) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:43PM (#13296966) Homepage Journal
              Good counter point.

              A funny anecdote is that at work they've made 20oz sodas $1.25. Partly for ease in making change but I can't help but think its because they've got a captive audience. Same thing with most airports; despite being very thirsty I couldn't stomach paying $1.75 at BWI for a 20oz. DCA however seems to be committed to competitive pricing.

              I've seen it go both ways, I guess. I know my wife's primary care physician sent out a letter explaining why the cost of their service was going up. Our response was to drop 'em like a ton of bricks;their underlying costs rolled up into their service price, and the market (us) wouldn't bear it.
      • According to his blog [weblogswork.com], his original intention was to use the boxes for shipping, and continued to be a use for the boxes even after being assembled into furniture. To wit, "Since I frequently ship items, I ordered about 300 boxes of various sizes. I figured this would save me time, instead of walking down to the store whenever I needed to ship something, I could do it comfortably from home. Later that month I saw a picture from a friend of a desk that was made of boxes. My friend, Tom, was in a similar situ
    • by doublem (118724) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:49PM (#13296316) Homepage Journal
      The free boxes they send out are intended for customers. Instead of making money, they're subsidizing someone else's furniture needs.

      I can understand them being upset about this, and I'm hard pressed to think of an appropriate response. Updating the terms under which they ship people free boxes so this behavior is banned, and then asking the web site owner to add a highly visible notice explaining this would have been far more reasonable, and just as effective.

      Now, there will be a whole host of mirror sites. A web site that would have been a fun curiosity has now been made infamous. Many more people will now be directed to this site than would have otherwise seen it.

      This is a backfiring legal strategy if I ever saw one.
      • by Twanfox (185252) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:03PM (#13296501)
        Here's the thing. You cannot sue someone under the DMCA unless they're violating DIGITAL copyrights, most notably circumvention of a device to protect against illegal copying (or legal copying, frankly. Another debate for later).

        So, what legal leg does FedEx hope to stand on? They offered to send these boxes to people for free. Yes, they were intended for shipping, but there was no agreement made that says "You must ship with us with these supplies." End result? FedEx is going to lose this one. They offered free supplies, and someone took'm.
        • Here's the thing. You cannot sue someone under the DMCA unless they're violating DIGITAL copyrights, most notably circumvention of a device to protect against illegal copying (or legal copying, frankly. Another debate for later).

          Here's the thing. You're wrong. circumvention of copyprotection devices is but one section of the DMCA. There are others. Try reading it sometime. You might be surprised at how little you learn from /.
        • by LarsG (31008) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @04:29PM (#13298012) Journal
          most notably circumvention

          Anticircumvention is only a part of the DMCA. [wikipedia.org] FedEx tried to invoke 'notice and takedown' (see title II in the linked article).
  • by DogcowX (888899) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:21PM (#13295955)
    It's free publicity for FexEx. And now, it's all negative!
  • by The I Shing (700142) * on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:21PM (#13295960) Journal
    I think fellow used fedex.com to order a whole lot of boxes with no intention of using them to actually ship stuff in. It's a bit like someone taking an enormous number of ketchup packets from a Burger King in order to have ketchup in his house, rather than using them on the fries he didn't buy there. So I can see why FedEx would take umbrage at his using the boxes they're paying for to make furniture, and then turning around and showing everyone in the world how what a bunch of suckers FedEx is for giving boxes away for free.
    • by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:27PM (#13296029)
      But information (and shipping boxes) WANT to be free... :-)
    • by necro2607 (771790) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:31PM (#13296079)
      However, none of that even remotely justifies blatant abuse of the legal system...

      Yeah, so they don't like it... they probably don't like other people using competitors like UPS or Purolator, but that's part of doing business... and it's no grounds for legal action at all.
    • It seems like they would have come clause in their free box request thingy, to ensure you use the boxes for shipping via fedex, and not for personal use. I had no idea you could get tons of free fedex boxes, if I had known I might have gotten em last time I needed boxes. Anyways, if they don't have such a clause, they need to fix it. If they do, they need to prosecute this guy for violating that clause, in effect stealing their boxes. Otherwise they need to STFU.
    • by interiot (50685) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:32PM (#13296099) Homepage
      Oh, c'mon now...

      1) If ANY kind of lawsuit could be brought for "buying too many boxes, and then using them in an unapproved manner", it would be in small-claims court.

      2) Since they couldn't find a way to sue him for ketchup violations, they decided to sue him for trademark violations?!? And the argument involves DMCA and the .com domain name? And a lawyer gets paid far far too much to draft this lawsuit up, so they could sue a man who can't afford Ikea?? That's comedy man!

    • Then they should charge for the cost of the empty boxes. This guy showed publicly something that possibly thounsands of people do in one form or another. "Free" (as in beer) stuff tends to be abused this way. However, the guy might still have payed the few cents the boxes if it saved him the furniture.
  • by TheOtherAgentM (700696) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:23PM (#13295984)
    They put out these stupid phone directories. No one wanted them. They were the biggest waste of money, and they ended up sitting outside on huge stacks for people to grab. One night, we took a whole bunch of them, added some duct tape, and we had a couch for our dorm room. The only problem was that the covers were glossy and we would also slide off the couch.
  • by Tepshen (851674) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:23PM (#13295990)
    IANAL but after looking at the website it strikes me that on this scale the effort and pictures can almost be considered artistic. this guy did some very creative stuff with those boxes and I'm pretty impressed with the results. It seems pretty draconian even for DMCA to stifle this kind of work.
  • Full mirror here (Score:5, Informative)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:23PM (#13295991) Homepage Journal
    Weird... very weird

    Mirror [networkmirror.com].
  • by necro2607 (771790) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:23PM (#13295993)
    Aren't there laws about making absolutely unreasonable legal threats towards someone? ...

    This is wayyy over the line!

    Well, guess I won't be shipping any packages with FedEx any time soon. Knowing that "that could be me" is enough for me to boycott the company and encourage others to do so as well...
  • by fishbowl (7759) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:24PM (#13296001)
    Just because some lawyer writes you a letter doesn't mean you have to do anything asked. If that were the case, there would be pure anarchy.

    A judgement, which generally comes after a hearing, is another matter.

    There's no way they'd win any claim of damages, period. They might be able to persuade a network provider to remove a site, but that's only because the customer usually has signed a contract with the provider that waives any right to damages resulting from a site being taken down, not because lawyers get to make law merely by writing letters to people.

    If he's violating copyright and trademark law, then why can't Ford sue me for driving a Ford with Ford trademarks all over it? If I put a picture of my Ford on the the web, can they take down my site?

    Precisely how is this different?
    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:35PM (#13296134)
      If you put up a web site called myford.com with a copy of the Ford logo on every page, then yes, they probably could sue you for trademark infringement. If he had simply named the site shippingcompanyfurniture.com, then FedEx should have no legal recourse. But of course he just had to use the trademarked "FedEx" in the name, and put a copy of the FedEx logo on every page.
    • Your Ford comparison makes no reference to the fact that every person who attempts to produce their own FedEx furniture will be costing FedEx a few hundred dollars.

      The boxes themselves aren't free. FedEx pays for them.

      Shipping the boxes to the furniture maker isn't free. FedEx delivers them. Yes, it's not terribly expensive for FedEx, as they are already paying for tie delivery person, and the boxes are probably purchased at nice bulk discounts, but the fact remains that FedEx stands to lose a lot of cas
    • One thing you miss in your post is the cost associated with defending yourself against a giant company. Sure if you win you'll probably get your costs back, but high payed lawyers such as FedEx could afford would probably be able to keep a case going for a few years... Reguardless of how ridiculous the accusations.
  • by doublem (118724) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:24PM (#13296002) Homepage Journal
    Here's the real deal. FedEx doesn't want to be providing thousands to millions of boxes to people who won't be paying to use them to ship items via FedEx.

    The lawsuit is probably not expected to succeed, but to pressure the web site owner into closing up shop. If he doesn't have the cash for proper furniture, then he won't have the cash for lawyers.

    For FedEx, "winning" consists of getting the site of the Internet. The legal battle is a means to an end.

    Of course the result of all this is I'll be pressuring our shipping department to use UPS instead.
    • by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:31PM (#13296074) Homepage Journal
      And, by making sure he gets Slashdotted, they've already succeeded!
    • by ChaoticLimbs (597275) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:57PM (#13296431) Journal
      The main problem with that, of course, is that it's illegal to sue somebody to shut them up.
      It's called a SLAPP lawsuit. A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.
      Basically, using the courts to shut people up, intimidate them or harass them, without needing to win, or suing somebody for revenge after they divulged something you didn't want divulged, is a SLAPP.
      There are penalties for SLAPP lawsuits.
      This is almost certainly one. What they would be suing for if they were serious, is the use of the URL and trade name for FEDEXFURNITURE dot com.
      Especially since the guy colored FedEx the red and blue colors like the FedEx logo.
      Basically he could have said Shipping Container furniture all he wanted, but by naming his site fedexfurniture.com he is using their name.
      However, if FedEx hasn't trademarked that name for use in the furniture industry, I'd say they're SOL.
      Well, except that he is stealing his materials from their company.
    • Yeah, I'll stop using FedEx as well...

      However, instead of UPS, which charges and arm and a leg to ship, try using DHL (Formerly known as Airborne Express) - they are usually at least a day or two faster than UPS and 1/3 to 1/2 the cost.

      Plus they are a cool yellow and red, not poop brown.

  • slashdotted (Score:3, Funny)

    by BobVila (592015) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:25PM (#13296010) Homepage
    Is the server made out of fedex boxes.
  • Its common (Score:3, Funny)

    by hackstraw (262471) * on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:25PM (#13296011)
    Wired is running an article about a guy with no money making furniture out of FedEx boxes. If that weren't strange enough, FedEx is going after him, legally citing the DMCA. Yes, the DMCA.

    Its common for homeless people or people without money to commit stupid crimes in order to get locked up for a while in order to get a free place to stay and food. This guy must have been clever to be able to first get temporary free furniture and then a temporary free place to stay and free food.

    Very clever.
  • He's a geek (Score:5, Funny)

    by digitalvengeance (722523) * on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:26PM (#13296019)
    My favorite part of the site, the footer:

    If any shipping corporations have problems with our site please feel free to forward requests to /dev/null. By emailing us any questions or comments you give fedexfurniture.com the right to post any such message, and or replies on our site.
  • by Evets (629327) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:26PM (#13296025) Homepage Journal
    You have to love their claim that his building furniture with fedex boexes violates the terms of use at fedex.com.

    "fedex.com is provided solely for the use of current and potential FedEx customers to interact with FedEx and may not be used by any other person or entity, or for any other purpose."
  • Take down! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Fr05t (69968) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:27PM (#13296037)
    Fedex gave him warning, then posted a link to his site in a ./ article.
  • by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:29PM (#13296058) Homepage Journal
    I tell ya, we are rapidly approaching a time when anyone with money and power can attack anyone else, for any reason, under the guise of some byzantine law that no one understands, or agrees with, even the people who passed it.

    In many countries like Brazil, it's completely impossible to run a business and abide by the labyrinthe of complicated and conflicting laws. Is this the kind of country we want in the U.S.?

    Now, it's possible that FedEx has a case that this guy is abusing their trademark with the appropriately colored "Fed Ex" text on his site, but I can't see how he is harming them and the fact that they would... and could... cite the DMCA is just frightening. Is there no sense of perspective among these huge companies? All the guy is saying is that they make good boxes, but now they will generate not a small amount of bad will.

    Now if the guy was selling the furniture, I also think they'd have a case. As it is, maybe he'll have to spray paint or otherwise obscure the company's logo. I thought these guys paid big bucks to plaster their names on anything they could like billboards, TV commercials, stadiums, people's foreheads...

    I guess Mattel missed out by not using the DMCA when they pounded the crap out of that harmless little Barbie site several years ago. I guess the lawyers need someone to beat up or they start getting cranky.

  • WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:30PM (#13296071) Homepage
    Since a cardboard box isn't Digital, and he's not Copying anything, how is DMCA applicable?

    Illegal use of their trademark maybe, since he's got a web-page up (allegedly, the site seems slashdotted) showing their boxes with their logo on it.

    But he didn't do anything to circumvent anything resembling a copy-protection mechanism or otherwise infringe on the copyrights of FedEx.

    How in heck could the DMCA even be applicable here?
  • by VValdo (10446) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:31PM (#13296085)
    Andy Warhol would be in a lot of trouble [queensu.ca].

    W
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:32PM (#13296089) Homepage Journal
    He can afford to spend money on a laptop and orange hair dye but not necessities. Misplaced priorities? More likely a publicity stunt.
  • by DragonMagic (170846) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:33PM (#13296107) Homepage
    He can't catch a break.
  • by mark-t (151149) <`markt' `at' `lynx.bc.ca'> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:35PM (#13296127) Journal
    FTA:
    The bed can handle his 5-foot-6-inch, 165-pound frame, even when he jumps up and down on it (an experiment he tried in response to an e-mail asking if the bed could support two people).
  • by k98sven (324383) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:37PM (#13296156) Journal
    Hmm..

    1) Someone puts up a website that irritates your corporation
    2) File a frivolous lawsuit against the website
    3) Wait until Slashdot picks up the resulting story
    4) Watch the site go down in flames due to the subsequent slashdotting.
    5) Objective achived, site is offline!

    Slashdot - greater threat to free speech than the DMCA? :)
  • Obviously! (Score:5, Funny)

    by isa-kuruption (317695) <<kuruption> <at> <kuruption.net>> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @01:46PM (#13296287) Homepage
    The bed can handle his 5-foot-6-inch, 165-pound frame, even when he jumps up and down on it (an experiment he tried in response to an e-mail asking if the bed could support two people).


    And the reason he couldn't actually test his bed with two people on it obvious.... right?
  • by dgerman (78602) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:00PM (#13296461) Homepage
    According to a letter sent by Fedex layers to Ms Granick, from the Cyberlaw clinic Fedex claims copyright infringement because, I quote:

    * "Fedex owns the copyright of its packaging"

    ergo:

    * "Fedex has the exclusive right [...] to create derivative works, to distribute copies to the public by sale [...] rental, lease, or lending and to publicly display its copyrighted works".

    * "By posting photographs of works derived from Fedex packaging materials [...] Mr Avila is inducing, causing or materially contributing to the infringement conduct of others, and could be held liable as a contributory infringement".

    There are other issues, but not related to copyright (trademark, unlawful access to the packaging materials).

    I believe the fedex lawyer has a very weak argument: that the copyright of the design on the box extends to the box as a physical object. This is non-sense. If this was the case, any built product that uses material that has a copyrighted logo printed on it will become a "derivative work". That will mean that we will require a "license" from the material supplier to be able to use it. Non sense
  • by cparisi (136611) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:28PM (#13296789) Homepage
    I guess that makes slashdot.org a "non-profit" organization...

  • Trademarks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ces (119879) * <christopher@stefan#gmail@com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:34PM (#13296862) Homepage Journal
    Hmmm ... I'm guessing that FedEx mostly has a problem with his domain "fedexfurniture.com".

    If they get pushy (such as threatening to sue) I'd offer to change the domain name to something like "shippingboxfurniture" and otherwise tell them to go piss up a rope.
  • What Slashdotting? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alienfluid (677872) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @03:07PM (#13297207) Homepage
    I don't know about you guys but I don't think the website is showing any signs of being Slashdotted. It's fast and zippy even after over 300 comments - must be heck of a server.
  • by Free_Trial_Thinking (818686) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @03:20PM (#13297333)
    I'd pay this guy to replace all his furniture with UPS boxes and come out looking like a hero!

    Oh yeah, I should go into PR!
  • by cyberassasin (4943) <bmfrank@gmai l . com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @03:33PM (#13297459) Homepage
    I would offer to help him and send him all of the packaging materials he needs..... You couldn't buy that kind of advertising.

    New UPS Commercial: "What can Brown do for you? Help you stick it to FedEx and furnish your apartment...."

  • Oh snap! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @03:39PM (#13297518) Homepage
    FedEx is clearly a not for profit organization because they have fedex.org!

    Hey, FedEx, /cry about it.
  • by carrier lost (222597) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @03:40PM (#13297537) Homepage

    Can't make a raft out of 'em, either, I'll bet.

    MjM

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