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How I Got Fired From the Job I Invented 252

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-had-this-happen-too-after-i-became-king-of-the-moon dept.
New submitter frost_knight writes "Travel blogger Turner Barr discovered that his entire brand, image, and web personality has been hijacked by a multi-billion dollar company for use in a marketing campaign. 'The video for their marketing campaign was particularly creepy for me, as even my age and personality didn’t escape the level of detail spent on creating this doppelganger (they used a paid actor of course). ... I’m no longer even the first thing that comes up when you Google my brand name. I’ve turned down work opportunities and put on hold any future travel job plans to deal with lawyers, long distance phone calls, corporate executives and other such nonsense — all along feeling misled and patronized. This situation has been extremely confusing for not only myself, but also for participants in company’s marketing campaign who message me thinking that I am am part of the company.'"
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How I Got Fired From the Job I Invented

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22, 2013 @08:09PM (#44081677)

    Who are intellecutal property laws protecting again. Once again, they always protect those with enough lawyers to make them work.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22, 2013 @08:13PM (#44081697)

      Who are intellecutal property laws protecting again. Once again, they always protect those with enough lawyers to make them work.

      Of course the laws protect those who worked hard to make the laws (the layers). If they didn't, it wouldn't be fair.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22, 2013 @08:35PM (#44081823)

      It is only fair. If the citizens cared about their rights, they would hire lobbyists.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Fair is where the bus was headed when you went under it.
      • by 24-bit Voxel (672674) on Sunday June 23, 2013 @12:02AM (#44082635) Journal

        These days you only have the rights that you can afford to defend.

        • by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Sunday June 23, 2013 @01:26AM (#44082885) Journal

          Absolutely right! If you're lucky, you'll never have rights worth enough to pay a lawyer to sue you. My 70+ year old widowed mother is being sued by my money-crazy step-sister. There is zero merit to the case, but my poor mother has already had incurred over $200K in expenses, and they haven't even started the effort to go to trial. The judge couldn't throw out the case because the law says disputes of this type can only be decided at trial. The system is set up to take away your money and give it to lawyers, plain and simple. Anyone without enough money to play this game can be taken advantage of by any company that cares to, and the law is set up to benefit lawyers here as well.

          There is a defense. If you're bright, and a fast learner, you can represent yourself, and hopefully not cock it up. It will take even more of your time than hiring lawyers, but the expenses will be tiny. Naturally, judges, who all happen to be lawyers, take a dim view of this approach. It's a good thing the people passing the laws that lawyers live by aren't lawyers themselves! ... Oh, wait!

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      Powerful incumbents against competition. Laws are working as intended.

      • by cusco (717999)
        Nothing new here. Back when the Nissan car company was still called 'Datsun' a fellow named Uzi Nissan registered the domain nissan.com, ran his businees under that domain name for several years, even called his ISP that. Then the newly-renamed Nissan corporation sued him, and after forcing him to spend a huge pile of money on legal fees ended up with the domain. One of the first web commerce sites was a German artists' cooperative called Etoy, and they sold their members' work through the web site calle
    • by raymorris (2726007) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @09:08PM (#44081995)
      They are protecting Barr. Are you under the impression that just because Adecco typed TM they'll win?
      It is pretty clear that Barr's trademark has priority under law and he's virtually guaranteed to win. It seems Barr and Adecco just haven't yet agreed on how much Adecco needs to pay Barr to make up for their employee's misbehavior .
      • Adecco registered the phrase "Around the world in 80 jobs" with the uspto, and a trademark was granted on April 13th. It will be expensive and time consuming for Barr to fight them -- if he ends up tens or hundreds of thousands in debt, he loses. That said, this story is in the process of going viral, and it will make Adecco look like thieving toads. That still won't help Turner much.
        • by raymorris (2726007) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @10:25PM (#44082327)
          Adecco has publicly admitted it was "a mistake" and they want to "make it right".
          So at this point there's no question they were in the wrong. It's just a matter of figuring out what to do about it.

          * had Adecco offered a settlement WITHOUT admitting they were wrong, that offer couldn't be used against them in court .
          Here, they admitted it was a mistake to use that name, and that they need to make it right.
          • by camperdave (969942) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @10:59PM (#44082439) Journal

            Adecco has publicly admitted it was "a mistake" and they want to "make it right".

            So why is "Around the World in 80 Jobs" still plastered all over the Adecco website? Step one of "make it right" is to cease infringing.

            ... unless the "make it right" was a public outcry publicity stunt by Barr and Adecco.

            • Maybe that's a good first step, maybe not.
              Ending the contest would screw over the people already involved.
              They've spoken to Barr and it's entirely possible he indicated he would rather then not shut it down at this point.
              It's also possible that they're stupid.
              • They've spoken to Barr and it's entirely possible he indicated he would rather then not shut it down at this point.

                If that were the case, he wouldn't be ranting about it on his blog, and we wouldn't have a story.

                • by MightyYar (622222)

                  If that were the case, he wouldn't be ranting about it on his blog, and we wouldn't have a story.

                  Unless he's calculated that he can get more out of them if he turns the screws a bit.

              • by gl4ss (559668)

                Maybe that's a good first step, maybe not.
                Ending the contest would screw over the people already involved.
                They've spoken to Barr and it's entirely possible he indicated he would rather then not shut it down at this point.
                It's also possible that they're stupid.

                it's Adecco. they're both stupid and evil.

          • If they hired an actor to that looks like Barr, it seems pretty deliberate. They can truthfully say it was a mistake as long as they don't say what they were mistaken about. Whether or not they say so publicly, they probably mean they made a mistake thinking they could get away with this, without anyone noticing and without Barr making a big enough fuss to fuck up their plans. Like I said, the act of trying to steal this guy's thing wasn't a mistake; as in, "oops we didn't know someone had this name and the
        • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday June 23, 2013 @01:06AM (#44082831) Homepage

          Adecco registered the phrase "Around the world in 80 jobs" with the uspto, and a trademark was granted on April 13th.

          Nope. Adecco filed an application on April 13th. The application then has to be examined, which typically takes several months. If it gets through that and the examiner decides to allow the mark, that will be published, and then there is a 30 day period where the public is invited to submit reasons the mark should not be granted.

        • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Sunday June 23, 2013 @01:15AM (#44082857) Journal
          Wouldn't this be a good use for Kickstarter? Raise funds for fighting something like this to conclusion in order to set precedent. So Kickstarter is a way to get around traditional corporate funding. Maybe it can be a way to get around traditional corporate blackmail too!
          • by fnj (64210)

            This. Hell yes, this. It would no longer make sense to call it Kickstarter in these cases; maybe KickThecorruptSystemInThePants.

      • by fredprado (2569351) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @09:48PM (#44082179)
        What good will it do to him if he would win years after bankrupcy? Unaffordable justice is not justice at all.
    • Who are intellecutal property laws protecting again. Once again, they always protect those with enough lawyers to make them work.

      Yes... and, without the law, those with enough money still beat people with less, too. Basically, it's always an advantage to have more money. The problem isn't money, it's the willingness to be an asshole to get it, and using it to hurt people in order to preserve and increase your power.

  • funny (Score:5, Informative)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Saturday June 22, 2013 @08:12PM (#44081689) Homepage Journal

    This adecco page has twitter feed deal at the bottom and it's a riot to read right now. Apparently they haven't caught on that this story is getting a lot of attention yet.

    https://www.adeccowaytowork.com/en/career-center [adeccowaytowork.com]

    I'm gonna guess clicking through on the facebook deal next to it would lead to similar stuff.

  • by patrixmyth (167599) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @08:18PM (#44081721)

    I was so ready to side with Adecco on this. It's really not a very original twist on 'Around the world in 80 days', and it's really just a limited time use by them. Then I saw they've applied a TM to the term. They made his whole point for him.

    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @08:26PM (#44081759)

      I think the issue goes beyond them just using the same name. From the summary:

      "'The video for their marketing campaign was particularly creepy for me, as even my age and personality didn’t escape the level of detail spent on creating this doppelganger (they used a paid actor of course)."

      It sounds like they intentionally made it resemble him as closely as possible. It's sort of like those dollar store markers that are "Sharple" brand in a script that makes it look almost identical to "Sharpie", mostly just to confuse people into getting your knockoff.

    • That is interesting. The IP thief themselves trade mark it, their for admitting that what they did was theft.

    • by Marcion (876801)

      I can't see the Youtube video but it does seem a rather simple swap of "days" to "jobs" that could have been invented independently. A bit too generic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 22, 2013 @08:40PM (#44081857)

    Why is anyone surprised? Adecco's entire business model is profiting off the labor of others.

    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Saturday June 22, 2013 @10:53PM (#44082409)

      You're telling me that a company that uses more than 650,000 partially-employed associates [adecco.com] to design "creatives" satisfying 100,000 clients at any given time, is not taking a scrupulous, careful, original approach to designing marketing campaigns?!

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you. I have actually not heard of Adecco. Should I have? Should I trust an anonymous coward?

      Of course not, you posted a link so I can evaluate your statements. Oh that wasn't you, Trepidity (597) posted a link to The Adecco Group's home page. Which, as I see it, is propaganda, not truth.

      Lots of things linked to lots of stuff, by some group... What is your point?

      Honestly, this is my question. I have not heard of this company, and you posted nothing. another reply posted

  • How was he fired exactly? I totally get that he got screwed and all, but I don't see how this led to a firing in any stretch of the imagination.

    • It's a bit of hyperbole. I think he's saying he was "fired" because he's been spending so much time dealing with this that he doesn't have the time or energy left to do the job.

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        *Bit* of a hyperbole... "I haven’t been able to write a new post in over a month while dealing with this — my creative energy has been zapped."

        So, he couldn't write *anything* in an entire month because of this? I can see a couple of days, but at this point that's really his problem.

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @08:42PM (#44081863)

    I would send anyone to addeco, when I had a brief period of unemployment in 2011 I went to addeco, dream jobs? Hell you are lucky if they can find you anything even if your sitting in their office all day, saying I will do any work as long as its not against the law!

  • FYI (Score:5, Informative)

    by The Cat (19816) * on Saturday June 22, 2013 @08:47PM (#44081891)

    Willful copyright infringement for commercial gain is a criminal offense under 17 U.S.C. Â 506 and 18 U.S.C. Â 2319

    If the value of the reproduced works exceeds $2500 it is a felony.

    • by Pichu0102 (916292)

      Now who do we report this to, then?

      • by The Cat (19816) *

        The FBI or a United States Attorney.

        • by stox (131684)

          Who will tell you that they are way too busy with helping the MPAA, RIAA, and other important campaign donors.

          • by gmuslera (3436)
            If Addeco is between those donors, i know who will be in jail for terrorism after putting that complaint.
      • and some marketing intern does the time but $0.13 an hour in prison job is better then $0

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Copyright is *not* trademark. Same as trademark is not a patent.

      1. patent
      2. copyright
      3. trademark

      All are different laws. The company in question is breaking trademark laws. They are not braking copyright laws AFAIK. They are not breaking patent laws AFAIK.

      The solution is as simple as saying "Around the world in 96 jobs". But I guess the company is too cheap to pay 2 extra people?

  • by theodp (442580) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @09:24PM (#44082055)

    Contest Rules [adeccowaytowork.com]: "Participants warrant and agree that their entry, including all content of the entry will at all times be (a) the original independent creation of the participant submitting it, (b) exclusively and solely owned by the participant (including the copyright therein), and (c) free of any claims, including copyright or trademark claims by other parties. Participants further warrant and agree that their entry, including all content of the entry, in whole or in part (a) does not and will not infringe any third party rights (including intellectual property rights or rights of privacy, publicity or confidentiality), (b) has been created by the participant and if the content features a person other than the participant, the person(s) featured in the content (and their parent/legal guardian if they are under the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence) must have consented to their image being used in connection with this contest, and (c) is not unlawful, fraudulent, defamatory, obscene, profane, derogatory, pornographic, sexually inappropriate, politically incorrect, violent, abusive, insulting, scandalous, inflammatory, harassing, threatening, racist, ageist, sexist, objectionable with respect to religion, origin or gender, not suitable for children under 15, or otherwise unsuitable for publication or objectionable."

  • Send them a message (Score:4, Informative)

    by nut (19435) on Saturday June 22, 2013 @09:39PM (#44082127) Homepage

    At https://www.adeccowaytowork.com/en/contact [adeccowaytowork.com]

    For example:

    You disgust me. I expect never to make use of your services, either looking for my next position, or when I am part of the hiring process where I work.

    As an active web developer with a strong network built up over 15 years in the industry, I intend to make sure the details of your parasitic behaviour are shared as widely as possible. Everybody who works in the digital economy will see this as a crime that could have been perpetrated on themselves.

    I will encourage everyone I can to see themselves as a potential victim of such cavalier behaviour and to boycott your services therefore. I know how many of my colleagues already despise the way big business flouts IP laws, whilst simultaneously using these same laws to crush players too small to afford protracted legal battles.

    You are in a service industry and person you have just ripped off is the archetypal representative of your customer. I can only hope that the impact on your bottom line is what it deserves to be. I will do what I can to encourage everyone to make it so.

    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/06/22/2316215/how-i-got-fired-from-the-job-i-invented [slashdot.org]

    Yours sincerely,
    [name redacted]

    Incidently their twitter feed is interesting reading at the moment. As is their facebook page.

  • Dude (Score:2, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) *
    You didn't cover your flank. You're brilliant and mobile, your adversaries aren't. Pop a Molly and think of something else - and next time, get a lawyer first. It's not like millions of others haven't been hosed by megacorps before. You should have expected this. Many of us have travelled this road.
  • Do on an anti-that company PR rampage. They certainly set themselves up for that! Tear them a new ass and if they have the balls to sue you for copyright infringement, you could probably beat them lawyerless it would be so much of a joke.
  • I just sent this email to Adecco from their contact us page. " Nice work Adecco - stealing someone else's work and ideas and claiming them as your own. Shame on you! Look on the web - The Striesland Effect is alive and well on Twitter, Facebook, Slashdot and others."
  • by Anonymous Coward

    https://www.facebook.com/AdeccoWayToWork

    We have seen and heard your sincere concern about our recent youth employment initiative and take your feedback very seriously. We deeply regret if we hurt Turner Barr. This was never our intention when we set up our “Around the World in 80 Jobs” contest. We clearly see that Turner is an inspiration to many people. We feel there should be more of such initiatives that inspire people to live their dreams and achieve their ambitions. Unfortunately, we moved

    • Every Addeco post has a slew of negative comments related to the theft of Turner Barrs idea.

      I wonder how long it will take for them to figure out that the Internet won't forgive or forget until they do the right thing...

  • by david_bonn (259998) <davidbonn&mac,com> on Saturday June 22, 2013 @10:55PM (#44082423) Homepage Journal

    Their claims that "an intern did this" on their twitter feed are a laughable, bald-faced lie.

    No intern would be able to independently put together a marketing campaign like that, complete with video.

  • You're obviously no fool, and you know this is the best thing that's ever happened to your blog. Youtube videos that you posted a mere two months ago are showing less than 100 views, but your most recent one where you discuss this issue has 23,000 views. I understand why you're acting so glum -- it should sweeten the "pain and suffering" damages you'll eventually get -- but not all of us are fooled by the act.

    I'm not saying I blame you a bit, just that I'm not buying the "woe is me" schtick.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Adecco makes a majority of its money through staffing agencies it owns. There's nothing wrong with staffing agencies per se, but Adecco's outright abuse employment law in how theirs are operated. As an example, someone I know recently applied to a legal job at a law firm. They got through the interview process and were waiting for confirmation of when to start. Instead they got a call telling them the firm could not hire them because the person had worked for an Adecco owned entity within the past year, and
  • Maybe it's all part of the (Adecco) promotion. Way too much artificial drama days .
  • Corporate Personhood (Score:3, Interesting)

    by boorack (1345877) on Sunday June 23, 2013 @02:36AM (#44083101)
    IF by seeing this fiasco you don't realize that corporate "persons" are psychopaths, I don't know what will do. I'm reading their disgraceful lawyered-up damage-control non-apologies and I wonder if it is possible for them to actually take reponsiblity and fix things the way it should be done. They might be unable to do so by good will because psychopaths don't recognize good from wrong. Money is the only think they care, so asking them gently about fixing it won't work. Big enough stick is the only thing that will work. Turning their ad campaign into a messy blow by flooding their twitter/facebook/whatever with comments about them being thieves etc. is the best one we have - and I'm delighted to see it in full force. Hurting corporation's bottom line is the only way to force it to behave properly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm all for corporate personhood as long as: 1) The corporation, as an entity (without being represented by a human or collection of humans), can pass a turing test. 2) The corporation can be physically put in jail, or killed.
  • That beard.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bj00rn (1768022) on Sunday June 23, 2013 @05:11AM (#44083569)
    I don't know.. It seems to be a bit calculated and scripted to me. I mean, that "depression-beard" and those staged photos.. I bet they didn't come together "in the moment". There's some core of truth in there somewhere I'm sure, but the whole thing on top doesn't seem 100% genuine. I have a feeling most of this stems from working with his lawyer in preparation for a lawsuit. With that said, Adecco is a piece of crap unethical company. There was a social dumping scandal here in Norway a couple of years ago where they really showed their true colors. So I hope he gets them either way.

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