Hello VC Readers!

Thanks to Eugene and the rest of the gang at the Volokh Conspiracy for having me as a guest blogger. There's probably no better time to add another GMU Law Professor than now, when the school is enjoying a moment of well-deserved glory:).

Although I know many of you are hoping for more blogging about GMU basketball, I have to confess that my expertise in this area is nowhere near the level of Todd Zywicki's. My sports loyalties are more with Boston teams, especially the Red Sox. Even GMU's incredible trip to the Final Four does not - in my completely objective judgment - equal the REVERSAL OF THE CURSE in 2004, which was my personal greatest moment as a sports fan.

While I may at some point blog about sports issues, I will focus more on my actual areas of expertise in constitutional law, political participation, federalism and property rights. In the interest of shameless self-promotion, more information about my work is available here and here.

In the meantime, for all you law mavens/sports fans, here's a sports law case that involves a lone Red Sox fan going up against the Evil Empire of the Bronx!

B. B.:

BTW, there's a second big sports law case going on, with MLB suing a fantasy baseball operator regarding use of statistics without a license, or something of that nature. I'll be interested to see how MLB gets around NBA v. Motorola and STATS -- whether they can find a truly meaningful distinction or not.
3.27.2006 3:46pm
GMUSL 2L (mail):
The issue in the Yankee Hater tm case is whether YANKEES fans would likely be confused by the YH logo -- confusion among "Sux" fans is irrelevant, as they are quite obviously not the relevant market for Yankees hats or other Yankees paraphernalia. I am only talking about the interlocking YH logo, as I see no problem with any of their other logos as shown from their website.

LOC underlies what I see as a likely winner for the Yankees in court, Dilution-by-Blurring, because the Yankees logo is clearly a famous mark. Direct infringement seems a little hard to prove in this case, but the LOC analysis applies to that too.

The Y in the YH logo is indistinguishable in size and shape from that in the Yankees logo. The H is only distinguished from the N in the Yankees logo because it is purely horizontal rather than diagonal, while the outer bars of the H are curved like those of the N. The devil horns and tail attached to the H are so small that they are nearly impossible to see except within 5 feet or so of the cap. The only conclusion is that the interlocking YH logo was intended to be confusingly similar to the Yankees logo; I daresay the only ground between the YH and the Yankees logos could be (1) a YH logo without the hard-to-see horns and tail; or (2) a Yankees logo with a horns and tail.

I'm no Sux fan, but it doesn't seem like the interlocking YH has a snowball's chance in a Fenway home game of surviving a legal dilution challenge.
3.27.2006 4:12pm
Ahhh, sports and law, what could be better (and more relevant)?! Welcome!

Go GMU! Go LSU! Down with KELO!
3.27.2006 4:54pm
Kovarsky (mail):
does your left fielder know his way to fenway yet?
3.27.2006 4:56pm
Adam (mail):
Your sports loyalties should be to your undergraduate institution, which itself again made it to the Final Four this year.
3.27.2006 5:17pm
NoVa Prof:
A colleague and I were discussing this today. The reversal of the curse, while huge sports news, probably changes Boston very little. George Mason's trip to the final four conceivably changes the university significantly. The buzz in the Johnson Center on the Fairfax campus has been unlike anything I've ever experienced at Mason. For the first time, it feels like a campus and not just like a place where students take classes. The key question is will this last and will the administration be able to capitalize on this (in terms of donors, name recognition and the like).
3.27.2006 6:10pm
MadVeterinarian (mail):
Welcome, I look forward to reading your posts. Although my profession is a bit far removed from the legal world (that seems to be changing every day), I'd like to thank all the authors on providing one of the best, and most educational blogs on the net. I'm also getting the change to educate all my basketball fan friends on the outstanding faculty at GMU.
3.27.2006 8:14pm
What finally broke "the curse" was the blood sacrifice by Curt Schilling.

Trading The Babe for No No Nanette figuratively spilled the life blood of the Red Sox and thereby cursed them until it was redeemed by Schilling literally spilling his life blood to win.
3.28.2006 12:21am
The River Temoc (mail):
Prof. Somin, would you mind giving us the "elevator pitch" version of you book on Western intervention in the Russian civil war? It's a topic I find fascinating...
3.28.2006 12:27am
Ilya Somin:
The "elevator pitch" version of my book on Western Intervention in the Russian Civil War is that the West missed a big opportunity to crush Soviet Communism in its infancy at relatively low cost. The book was originally my undergraduate thesis and challenged virtually all the prior scholarly literature on the subject (which uniformly claimed that the West shouldn't have intervened at all).
3.28.2006 4:30am