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Monday, February 7, 2011

The creatives' best pal

Here's a funny one. Portland's happening mayor is now the "curator," on behalf of the city, of a Kickstarter page. He's hawking everything from bamboo notebooks to a junket to Cancun to electrocute some sea creatures.

No sign of how much that is costing the city's taxpayers.

What's even more amusing is that the city is now claiming intellectual property rights on its official seal:

If anybody else uses that seal in a way that might confuse consumers, the city will sue the pants off them. But who else is sufficiently like the city that the public might be confused?

Comments (27)


I see this as another avenue for the Mayor as part of his "Kickstarter" campaign for reelection.

Further evidence that Portland has turned into another big corporate enterprise.

If it truly is a service mark, then the mayor may be misusing it. It is pretty clear that he is offering a personal endorsement, rather than a city sanctioned endorsement.

Here in the office of Portland Mayor Sam Adams, we are delighted to be able to shine a small spotlight on a rotating selection of Kickstarter projects dreamed up in our city.

In other news, I couldn't find the logo on the USPTO website, but I did find this one for Skin City Tours of Portland, which looks like it was a side project of Dan and Louis Oyster Bar.

Now I know why Jack is worried about the SM:

Meanwhile, several hundred "Portland based" small businesses that don't involve hipsters or making cute crap that nobody needs would kill for such attention and publicity.

Honestly, does Adams have no clue at all how out of touch with reality--and the vast majority of working Portlanders--he really is? Can he actually be this mediocre and clueless?

the other white meat,
Yes, it may be what Mayor is best at, using our money for his attention and publicity!

When did intellectual property rights become "amusing"? It is necessary because every Tom, Dick and BoJack may try to use the City Seal to appear as if they are endorsed, sponsored or otherwise getting City approval. The City needs to be able to control use of the Seal. How amusing is that?

What's really amusing is your IP address:

IP Location: United States United States Portland City Of Portland
Resolve Host: 142.152.ptldnet.portlandoregon.gov
IP Address: [Whois] [Reverse-Ip] [Ping] [DNS Lookup] [Traceroute]
NetRange: -
OriginAS: AS12102
NetHandle: NET-74-120-152-0-1
Parent: NET-74-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Assignment
RegDate: 2009-12-10
Updated: 2009-12-10
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-74-120-152-0-1

OrgName: City of Portland
OrgId: CITYOF-152
Address: 1120 SW 5th Ave
Address: Room 450
City: Portland
StateProv: OR
PostalCode: 97204
Country: US
RegDate: 1998-10-23
Updated: 2007-04-06
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/CITYOF-152

The City needs to be able to control use of the Seal. How amusing is that?

Very, for the obvious reason: Adams in this case--once again--makes use of the seal to endorse his own personal preferences and political agenda linchpins. Let me simplify: Adams uses the seal however it pleases him. But since he's been voted into office, he's free to abuse the privilege of public service as often as he likes (while in office).

How amusing is that?

Carrying it one step farther then Jack:

Technology Services, Bureau of
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 450, 97204
Phone: 503-823-5198

How amusing is that?

Not amusing at all to other candidates.

For a small peek into the web surfing habits of city employees, Google "ptldnet.portlandoregon.gov".

Why haven't any of the city employees not realized or cared that they will be pinged and outed on these pages?

And, ain't it grand to have city computers and city bandwidth scanning the blogosphere for dissent, no matter how petty?

I thought the city types didn't like government surveillance. Maybe Mr./Ms. Duh was on an authorized break, or perhaps Jack is on Double Secret Internet Probation, and Duh is his assigned watcher.

Is the "Kickstarter" site a joke?

Sadly, Jen, it isn't. It's become the Etsy of fundraising: some legitimate and interesting projects that can't get standard funding, alongside a gaggle of complete delusions that would never make it past a bank loan officer's initial interview. I wanted to believe that KickStarter was an interesting alternative to standard fundraising, but it's really just a slicked-up version of the old PayPal tip jar buttons you used to see on blogs back in the early Aughts. (And the projects Sam's endorsing are particularly sad. Bamboo dayplanners? REALLY?)

This is an interesting discussion.

Intellectual property rights for CoP... what's next... royalties for using the word "Portland" on mailing addresses? Has the us-versus-them disdain of City Hall for the citizens of Portland exposed itself again?

It's common for municipalities to own all sorts of copyright. The feds have different rules.

I'm stunned that the Mayor of Portland would spend time promoting a begging bowl for someone to make "bamboo notebooks", when actual, existing small businesses struggling to get by--and providing real local goods and services--can't getthe time of day on such a site.

But let's consider the source. This site's largely maintained by a sycophantic staff with minimal skills in governance, but maximum time to generate "work". Watching the Adams "policy analysts" act as press release writers has been particularly goofy. Honestly, I'm not sure how Adams keeps a straight face.

I have wondered about Mayor's staff. Several months ago, I tried to find information on the education and experience, etc. of his staff, what I found were pictures. The Commissioner sites had more information about their staff's education, etc. Mayor's staff information may be online and I may have missed it?

Also, how many people does this Mayor have on staff compared to former Mayors?

I'm still puzzled how any government is entitled to intellectual property rights in regards to content that is funded by taxpayer dollars.
Example: PortlandOnline.com is Copyright the City of Portland.

Well, Benjamin, when the city buys a car, you don't get to drive it as a taxpayer. Does that help your understanding?

When the city buys a car, it's not supposed to be used for the personal benefit of government employees,which is what Adams in essence is doing by attaching the seal and his name to a non-governmental enterprise.

I'd like to know if the city wasted money on actually registering the service mark.

I'd like to know if the city wasted money on actually registering the service mark.


And from my half-hearted search, it appears this is the first time the SM has appeared.

Maybe our mayor should change his name to ℠ Adams.

In looking at the city seal I can't help but notice how out-of-date it is...no tram, no streetcar, no bike, no tatted-up hipster creative types begging for money. Jack, I think you need to run a contest to create a NEW SEAL for the City of Portland.

Allan: Obviously I do not expect to drive a city car however many government agencies on the state and federal level make their content "public domain" for anyone to use.

I would expect the city to follow suit by allowing use of their content by the tax payers that paid for it to be created.

Isn't this site a bit like KIVA? Making micro-loans to people in the 3rd world? Fitting that Portland has adopted the same concept.....

If protecting intellectual property rights to use of the City seal is important (and I'm not saying it's not), why did it take the City so long to take this step?

My guess is that maybe someone in marketing or legal thought "Portlandia" was going to take off and all sorts of entrepreneurs would start flogging tacky t-shirts ala Times Square with the City of Portland seal or humorous variations thereof (such as Portlandia dead center astride a bicycle) before the City itself could do so.

The wagon wheel and hammer in the lower right already sort of look like the front end of a bike).

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