30 April 2008

Good luck with that.

From The Register:
Residents on the Greek island of Lesbos have declared that they alone have the right to call themselves lesbians, and yesterday launched a legal action against the Greek Gay and Lesbian Union (Olke) designed to wrest back control of the word from aficionados of Sapphic luuurv.

Local activist Dimitris Lambrou states in his complaint that the "seizure" of the island's name is responsible for the "psychological and moral rape" of true lesbians, and reckons the case will come before an Athens court in June.
Olke spokesperson Evangelia Vlam counterattacked with: "This affair is totally ridiculous. But if we are summoned by the courts, we will be heard."

UPDATE: Professor Eugene Volokh notes that he anticipated this claim in an off-the-cuff hypothetical he offered last year at The Volokh Consporacy.

Over at the Opinio Juris blog, Professor Roger Alford notes that "rules regarding geographic appellation are extremely important in the international trade context. Such rules resolve questions like what glass of bubbly can be called 'Champagne' and what mustard merits the label 'Dijon'? But I'm not aware of a similar claim that rules on geographic appellation can be used to prevent a social or political group from usurping the label."

This lawsuit has already garnered a surprising amount of attention around the legal blogosphere; if we follow Professor Volokh's suggestion and start referring to it as the "Lesbian-on-Lesbian Action", this could become the most-followed case in recent blawgosphere history.

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