Friday, October 23, 2009

Loose change for October 23, 2009

Economic stuff:
Other stuff:
Non-Korea-related stuff:


  1. Thanks for passing along the Hilton story. I'm going to post it in a little bit.

  2. Brian, glad you could use it.

    It's good that Hilton is taking these folks on, but it's too bad they took so long to do it. Back when Korea was an economic backwater or even a rising star that hadn't yet gained notice of the big players, naming a small-time establishment after something big was commonplace and not seen as particularly harmful to the big name (Would someone really walk into a 힐튼모텔 and go, "Wait a minute! I thought this was the Hilton!")

    But the owners of the big names didn't usually do much to defend their names, which reinforced both the practice and the sense that it was fair play (or, at least, wasn't unfair play).

    Hence you have Starpreya Coffee, which came about long before there was Starbucks Coffee in Korea so those at Starpreya obviously paying homage to Starbucks couldn't possibly see their homage as harmful to a coffee house chain that didn't even exist in Korea.

    And that's why you have (or used to have) store after store named 현대.

    I think, too, there was a sense that naming something 힐튼 or 현대 (in Han•gŭl) was not harmful to Hilton or Hyundai (in English). Sort of an inside joke rather than wholesale trademark violation.

    I'm just saying that the practice wasn't ever an evil one, and the people who did it might very well have done so playfully and out of respect (like Super-8 Motels' name following that of Motel 6), and, to some extent, it's at least a little bit of the fault of the big-name companies that control the trademark but for years and years and years do nothing to defend it (that, I believe, is related to a legal philosophy of trademarks and copyrights and it's why Fox, NBC, etc., go after those who post their stuff on YouTube or elsewhere with such diligence).

  3. Edward, a HT for which one? I got every single thing for this set from my daily news troll earlier in the day, which is usually the case.

    I do occasionally get one from the commentariat at The Marmot's Hole or some other K-blog, and I do try to give a HT in such cases, but I don't think that was the case with last night's. I'd be happy to offer a HT if I'm mistaken (and you provide a link).


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