Will The Real Sam Adams Please Stand Up?

Apparently there's a politician named Sam Adams running for Mayor in Portland Oregon (or some office in some town of some state - the specifics aren't that important.)

So these radio guys register a couple of domains, samadamsformayor.com and mayorsamadams.com (or something like that, point is they contain "samadams".) Then the Boston Beer Company (that's really the name of Sam Adams' company) lawyers send an angry letter to the radio guys saying "you can't use that name, it's our name."

Wah. Sorry, Boston Beer Co., it is actually that guy's name. You can't stop him from using his name. In fact, he could probably stop you from using his name if you want to play like that. Once Boston Beer's lawyers found out that Sam Adams is a real guy actually running for Mayor, they will now consider if it is okay with them for him to use those web sites for the duration of the election season. That's bull. There's no way you can reasonably prevent a person from using a web site that has their name in it.

If my name was Michael Jordan, even if I wasn't a basketball player, if the site wasn't already registered, I should be allowed to take something like www.michaeljordanbasketball.com, or anything else I felt like. Then I could sell it to the real MJ if it was such a problem.

Now Sam Adams is not my favorite beer - not by a long shot - but it is still better than whatever else gets 95% of the sales in this country. But this kind of thing makes them seem a lot more like a Bud Miller Coors than what we like to think of as a craft brewer. On the other hand it is publicity. But then again it is highly negative publicity from a place that is really hip to great beer.

Boston Beer Company, please just back off and be reasonable about this. Some real guy named Sam Adams running for mayor is not competing with you.

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