MWP on Mon, 5 Aug 2002 16:56:39 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Starbucks vs. Sam Bucks - think you own your name?

Re. Starbucks vs. Sam Bucks

First of all, I have never patronized Starbucks, nor do I ever intend to.
(No taste for coffee.) I thoroughly despise with a passion large
corporations like Starbucks and Walmart, and go out of my way not to shop
there, and so far never have. But I find Samantha Buck's defense as stated
somewhat disingenuous. I obviously don't know all the facts, but this is
what stands out:

Her name is NOT Sam Bucks, but Samantha Buck. It seems to me like she most
likely changed her name to make it sound suspiciously similar to
Starbucks, especially when she removed the space between "m" and "B" in
her name (see photo), and added the totally gratuitous "s" at the end.
(Now if she had called it "Sam Buck's," with the appropriate apostrophe
insertion, she might have a better case.) The photo in the above link
shows just how close the match is.

Starbucks did not "plagiarize" anything from Melville. They took the name
fair and square - and entirely openly - from a public domain source, and
there isn't a court in the world that would say otherwise. I agree that
Starbucks is a big, ugly company and that we should stick up for the
little guy whenever we can, but let's not make up baseless charges here!

I predict Samantha Buck will lose this case, and am not entirely sure that
it is the wrong decision. Anyway, there are a lot of complications here
that make this story less cut and dry than it may seem, which is the only
point I am making. Nobody wants to see the Starbucks empire of evil
crumble into a pile of dust more than myself.


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