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The caveat about this woeful tale of retail behemoth Forever 21 threatening to sue sassy blogger Rachel Kane for copyright infringement and defamation over her popular blog WTForever21.com is that it's one-sided: at the moment, we know Rachel's take; we're doing our due diligence and soliciting comment from Forever 21.
But her side of the story goes that in April, F21 reached out to her with a Cease and Desist letter, accusing her and her blog (which hysterically catalogs some of Forever 21's fashion foibles) of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition and dilution. Among other things, they took issue with being associated with the WTF colloquialism.
Via her lawyer, Kane and F21 engaged in a few months of legal volleying; just yesterday, Kane says, "Forever 21 has responded with a firm threat to file suit unless I take down the blog. I have ten days to decide."
It's easy to see why Forever21 would be displeased with the site: she takes 'em to the carpet on quality, their own skirmishes with copyright infringement, and she just plain calls their stuff ugly:
This bag is less Slumdog Millionaire and more shit sandwich.
I am going to have to smoke some serious sticky icky to actually put this thing around my neck and wear it in public.
Sexy Robot Baby Hooker
?and when I say that the clothes were tasteful, well made and appropriate for women of all ages I am FUCKING LYING.
Again, we don't know everything about this case, and we're not totally up-to-speed on the minutia of copyright law, but we do know that even unpopular speech (unpopular being something of a misnomer; she claims to have gotten more than 330,000 hits, it's just Forever 21 that doesn't like her) is protected by the first amendment, and this strikes us a particularly Orwellian move by Forever 21.
· WTForever 21 [Official Site]