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StlSluggers wrote:Madison wrote:StlSluggers wrote:PlayingWithFire wrote:I can't imagine how uncomfortable it will be
Two words: Bubble wrap.
Or stolen bras and panties.
That's four words, Madison. Are you sure you shouldn't have gone to school with your boy today?
Please don't yellow card/ban me...
This table was put together realy quick as I had a friend driving out from CA to visit. It has a candle on it from one night when I had a date; however i forgot to buy a candle to light it. (NOTE: I do not reccomend fedex furniture if you are looking to impress a date.) Looks like the only action ill be seeing is with the penguin hanging from the chandalier.
Most of us have been there. You can just barely afford to pay the rent. But forget about buying furniture -- not if you want to eat, anyway.
Jose Avila recently found himself in just that predicament. Although he has a good job as a software developer, he's locked into two rents after moving to Arizona, and has no extra cash for an Ikea shopping spree. But instead of scouting street corners for a ratty, unwanted couch, Avila got creative and built an apartment full of surprisingly sturdy furniture -- out of FedEx shipping boxes.
Fanciful as his creations may seem, FedEx is not amused. The shipping giant's lawyers have sent Avila letters demanding he take down the site he created to document his project, invoking, among other things, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (.pdf), or DMCA.
Avila has outfitted his entire apartment with FedEx box designs, including a bed, a corner desk with wall shelves, a table, two chairs and a couch. Drawing from architecture and drafting classes he took in college, Avila has designed pieces that are surprisingly un-boxy.
He was blindsided by the cease-and-desist letter from the company to which he proclaims long-standing loyalty.
"I was surprised, actually," Avila said. "One thing I’ve always stood behind is I'm pro-FedEx. I ship stuff with FedEx all the time and I feel more comfortable shipping with FedEx because their boxes are stable and sturdy."
And that translates to strong furniture, Avila said. The bed can handle his 5-foot-6-inch, 165-pound frame, even when he jumps up and down on it (an experiment he tried in response to an e-mail asking if the bed could support two people).
Avila said he never intended to make money from the site, or to exploit FedEx in any way1. He said he simply wanted to spread the word that "it's OK to be ghetto."
"That's pretty much the motto of the site," he said. "When you're stuck in a bind and you're feeling down, it's not the end of the world."
But that feel-good message seems to be lost on FedEx. The company claims that Avila is infringing on its trademark and its copyright. The day after Avila launched the site in June, FedEx asked him to take it down, claiming he had violated the DMCA.
Lawyers at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, who are representing Avila, argued the company's claims don't relate to copyright and therefore the DMCA doesn't apply. Rather, the claims refer to trademark infringement and conversion. After talking with his lawyers, Avila put the site back up.
"DMCA only applies to copyrighted works, and they were basically making trademark-related claims, so it was completely outrageous," said Lauren Gelman, associate director of the Stanford center. "This is just an example of how lawyers take advantage of copyright laws to use protecting provisions like those in the DMCA to take down stuff they just don't like."
A FedEx representative did not respond to questions about the claims and whether the company planned to take legal action against Avila.
In her response to FedEx (.pdf), Granick took issue with that argument.
"Frankly, it's the most interesting of the legal claims," Gelman said. "But in this case I see nothing in the terms of service that would prevent (making furniture from FedEx boxes and displaying them on a website)."
FedEx also said in the Aug. 3 letter that Avila clearly intended to operate a business from his website because he used the .com domain suffix, the "commercial level domain," rather than .net.
"There is absolutely no rule, regulation or law that says that," Gelman replied.
1. Correction, 08/11/2005 09:40 AM: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Avila had passed out cards and T-shirts featuring his website at Black Hat. Avila tried to have the cards and shirts made, but FedEx Kinko's refused to do the job. (Return to the corrected text)
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