In a stunning move that’s shocked the NFL’s fan base, it seems the league and its teams are willing to squeeze blood from a stone when it comes to copyright infringement, this time over coffins. Yes, the league that has copyrighted the term “Super Bowl” forcing so many outlets to use phrases like “The Big Game” in their advertisements, is now going after the final resting place of the dead in New Orleans.
After a local casket shop started hawking a black-and-gold casket with a fleur de lis on it, the New Orleans Saints and the NFL have come a-callin’, telling them to cut it out and stop selling dead people Tupperware with trademark content on it. Now, could argue, hey, the fleur de lis is a traditional symbol that’s plastered on everything in New Orleans and the league can’t copyright a color scheme. But that particular fleur de lis is pretty much identical to the Saints logo so, sure.
Not helping the casket-maker’s argument: the phrase “Who Dat” plastered to the side of the casket. See, back in 2010 when the Saints won the Super Bowl and shots and artisans were cranking out “Who Dat” merchandise up to your eyeballs, the league made a play to claim copyright infringement. It took two years, but the NFL settled out of court and the lawsuit they had brought was dismissed. Until the case was brought back up again, anyway.
It’s not like the NFL is totally clean with copyright, having just recently been sued by a collection of photographers for allegedly using their images without compensation. But, in this case, it seems the league probably has something of a legitimate case for copyright infringement even if this is a pretty big thing amongst hardcore sports fans. Baseball, on the other hand, isn’t much of a problem.