Whose Wedding (Podcast) Is It Anyway?

Two wedding podcast businesses — one from Livingston, the other, Belleville — are battling it out in court. From the Star Ledger

The Wedding Podcast Network vs. Wedding Podcast Channel case is one of a growing number of website disputes ending up in the courts, said Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California-based nonprofit group that specializes in free speech on the internet.
The Ehrlichs, of Livingston [pictured], allege [Ralph] Mucci is “cyber-stalking” them. He stole their wedding podcasting idea, copied their website format, modeled his shows after theirs, called their sponsors, stole their guests and created mass confusion about which wedding podcasting website is which, according to the lawsuit.

Mucci admits the sites are similar, but he says they are not identical. He denies he has done anything wrong.
“It’s like saying Starbucks can’t sell coffee because Dunkin’ Donuts sells coffee,” Mucci said. “The ideas and the concepts that the Wedding Podcast Network displays are not unique ideas. … There is no copyright on that.”

What do you think?

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  1. I dunno. The sites don’t look anything alike, not in the least. (You need to have Java installed to see the second one). I’m with Mucci but I’m not a lawyer. I guess it needs to be determine if Mucci “stole” any ideas from the couple.

  2. There seems to be a lot of “fluff” on this site today as the economy cracks around us. House just voted no on the bailout, stocks are falling…

  3. Oh please. The market is potentially big enough for two (or more) players. The Ehrlichs need to grow a spine and accept that perhaps their business is suffering because of the state of the economy. A wedding podcast? Really? The whole idea is kind of ludicrous in itself.
    The only somewhat legit issue I see is the similarity in names, but that’s only really a legal issue of the Ehrlichs have a valid trademark for the name “Wedding Podcast” — in which they could then use to force Mucci to change his business name. But they can;t force him to go out of business. The laws simply don’t work that way.

  4. Ian: Baristanet consistently post content relevant to Montclair and its surrounding area? You’ll have to go back a year or so to find that. In the meantime, enjoy the stories about dogs, weddings, television shows, and national politics. No “hyperlocal” blogging here. Enjoy the fluff!

  5. It depends. The wedding podcast idea isn’t protectable, but it seems Mucci went out of his way to create confusion and he tried lead potential customers to believe he was associated with an established business trading under a similar name. If the details discussed in the article are true it would seem that he was trying to make money by trading on the the goodwill generated by someone else’s trademark. That’s illeagal.

  6. Ummm…wedding podcasts? Really? So the sanctity of marriage is now equal to learning what happened on “Lost” last week?
    At least its one step closer to Gay marriage being legal.

  7. This guy, Mucci, sounds like such a loser. I have a store and what this loser is doing on the internet is no different than standing outside the front door and soliciting the clients as they leave. The Ehrlichs clearly had the idea first, why can’t Mucci come up with his own ideas, why does he need to copy someone else. It causes confusion.

  8. If one owner was in china and the other in America, this would not be an issue. The fact that the only two idiots have the same idea live within 20 minutes of eachother creates the problem. now would be a good time to start a parody site, and use a search optimization program to rank higher on google

  9. In this landmark case the first of its kind a decision was handed down on 1/14/10 in the Supreme Court in the state New York Index No. 112087/07.
    Robert Allen of The Wedding Podcast Network lost his case against Ralph Mucci and The Wedding Planning Audiocast. In the complaint Plaintiff Robert Allen sued the defendant for his alleged “misappropiation of the plaintiff’s trade secrets and confidental proprietary information.” [Complaint, par.25]. The gist of the witnesses’ testimony who were Robert Allen {a.k.a.Robert Eurlich} and his wife Holly Ehrlich was that relying on the plaintiff’s website, the Wedding Planning Audiocast based his web-site logo on their logo, that he established many programs duplicative of theirs and used the same guest interviewees who had appeared on plaintiff’s programs.
    During the trial the Court never heard the words “trade secrets” or “confidental and proprietary information,” that being the essence of the plaintiff’s cause of action. No evidence was ever produced by the plaintiff’s Robert Allen of The Wedding Podcast Network on any claims that were made against Ralph Mucci of the Wedding Planning Audiocast. The plaintiff did not successfully prove their cause of action
    Robert Allen of the Wedding Podcast Network produced no evidence of any damages, and therefore was not awarded any. His injuction to shut down The Wedding Planning Audiocast was denied.
    Ralph Mucci was awarded the entitlement to the use of all information in the public domain, and all actions were dismissed without costs and disbursements against him.
    The precedence that Ralph Mucci of The Wedding Planning Audiocast has set for future podcasters on the Internet is that two individuals can in fact have a similar idea, can in fact have similar shows, can in fact have the same guests.
    The 3 year battle is finally over!

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