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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Plucky '48 Hour Magazine' an Inspiration -- For CBS Lawyers' Cease-and-Desist Letter

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 8:10 AM

You know who can really hustle? TV network lawyers. - HEATHER POWAZEK CHAMP / FLICKR
  • Heather Powazek Champ / Flickr
  • You know who can really hustle? TV network lawyers.
The story of 48 Hour Magazine was the sort of thing everyone loved. Well, certainly journalists did.

But, really, what's not to like about young, creative journalistic professionals up and deciding "Let's put out a magazine!" and pulling it off in a two-day burst of sweat, creativity, and beer? SF Weekly's Lois Beckett was there during the remarkably short gestation and delivery of 48 Hour mag's "Issue Zero" -- and, frankly, it came off as downright magical.

Then the cease-and-desist letter arrived from CBS.


One thing editors Sarah Rich and Mat Honan didn't chart out was a TV network grumbling about the title of their project - HEATHER POWAZEK CHAMP / FLICKR
  • Heather Powazek Champ / Flickr
  • One thing editors Sarah Rich and Mat Honan didn't chart out was a TV network grumbling about the title of their project
The network boys are displeased about the similarity of 48 Hour Magazine's moniker to 48 Hours and 48 Hours Mystery. "Your use is unlawful and constitutes trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition ..." read the CBS missive.

Looks like you can't beat the system after all, mag editor Mat Honan told the New York Times' David Carr: "The unfortunate truth, I guess, is that unlike what we said in the

editor's letter, you can't do anything really large scale in

contemporary society without have a legal team and a corporation."

The magazine's co-founders have lawyered up and some manner of deal is being worked out. If CBS is after money, it'd probably be better off emptying out its couches. But it seems clear the mag's catchy title must go.

That's a shame. How about the editors give themselves a little downtime and launch 50 Hour Magazine?

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Photo   |   Heather Powazek Champ

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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