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Peter Lemkin
03-29-2009, 07:14 AM
In order to keep Copyright on the game Monopoly Parker Brothers had to lobby for and get the Congress to change the copyright laws.....

Anti-Monopoly, Inc. vs. General Mills Fun Group, Inc. court case 19761985

In the mid-1970s, Parker Brothers and its then corporate parent, General Mills, attempted to suppress publication of a game called Anti-Monopoly, designed by San Francisco State University economics professor Ralph Anspach. Anspach began to research the game's history, and argued that the copyrights and trademarks held by Parker Brothers should be nullified, as the game came out of the public domain. Among other things, Anspach discovered the empty 1933 Charles B. Darrow file at the United States Copyright Office, testimony from the Inflation game case that was settled out of court, and letters from Knapp Electric challenging Parker Brothers over Monopoly. As the case went to trial in November 1976, Anspach produced testimony by many involved with the early development of the game, including Catherine and Willard Allphin, Dorothea Raiford and Charles Todd. Willard Allphin attempted to sell a version of the game to Milton Bradley in 1931, and published an article about the game's early history in the UK in 1975.[86] Raiford had helped Ruth Hoskins produce the early Atlantic City games.[87] Even Daniel Layman was interviewed, and Darrow's widow was deposed.[88] The presiding judge, Spencer Williams, originally ruled for Parker Brothers/General Mills in 1977, allowing the Monopoly trademark to stand, and allowing the companies to destroy copies of Anspach's Anti-Monopoly.[89] Anspach appealed.

In 1979, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Professor Anspach, with an opinion that agreed with the facts about the game's history and differed from Parker Brothers' "official" account. The court also upheld a "purchasing motivation" test, nullifying the Monopoly trademark, and returned the case to Judge Williams. Williams heard the case again in 1980, and in 1981 he again held for Parker Brothers.[90] Anspach appealed again, and in November 1981 the appeals court again reversed.[91] The case was then appealed by General Mills/Parker Brothers to the United States Supreme Court, which decided not to hear the case in February 1983, and denied a petition for rehearing in April.[92] This allowed the appeals court's decision to stand and further allowed Anspach to resume publication of his game.[93]

With the trademark nullified, Parker Brothers and other firms lobbied the United States Congress and got a revision of the trademark laws. The case was finally settled in 1985, with Monopoly remaining a valid trademark of Parker Brothers, and Anspach assigning the Anti-Monopoly trademark to the company but retaining the ability to use it under license.[94] Anspach received compensation for court costs and the destroyed copies of his game, as well as unspecified damages. He was allowed to resume publication with a legal disclaimer.[95] Anspach later published a book about his research and legal fights with General Mills, Kenner Parker Toys, and Hasbro.

^ Orbanes, Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game, page 121.
^ Orbanes, Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game, page 122.
^ Anspach, The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle, pages 104106 and pages 134135.
^ Anspach, The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle, page 249.
^ Anspach, pages 269271.
^ Anspach, page 273.
^ Anspach, page 286.
^ Partial scan of the United States Supreme Court decision to not hear the Anti-Monopoly, Inc. vs. General Mills Fun Group, Inc. case.

Magda Hassan
03-29-2009, 07:45 AM
I never knew any of that. I thought it would have run out of copyright by now as it is over 50 years old. We have a monopoly game at home but we have our own rules. We swap properties all the time and we don't charge each other rent. We just have fun choosing our tokens and zooming around the board collecting $200 when we pass go and collecting $10 for being runner up in a beauty contest. I'd love to see a better game than Monopoly. For most people that is as close as they'll ever get to owning a house or having money in the bank.

Peter Lemkin
03-29-2009, 09:02 AM
I never knew any of that. I thought it would have run out of copyright by now as it is over 50 years old. We have a monopoly game at home but we have our own rules. We swap properties all the time and we don't charge each other rent. We just have fun choosing our tokens and zooming around the board collecting $200 when we pass go and collecting $10 for being runner up in a beauty contest. I'd love to see a better game than Monopoly. For most people that is as close as they'll ever get to owning a house or having money in the bank.

My politically awake cousin once gave me, as a birthday present, a game - loosly based on Monopoly - called 'Class Warfare'. I liked the concept, but the game was not much fun to play. The real thing is not much fun to live, either.

Charles Drago
03-29-2009, 12:27 PM
BREAKING NEWS ...

DNA tests have revealed that the parents of Trig "Drool in the Sun" Palin are none other than Bristol "Community Chest" Palin and Rich Uncle Pennybags (shown below reacting to the news that his latest deposit was generating more than interest).

Sarah Palin, who worked the Boardwalk for years and won second prize in a beauty contest, brought the two together. "I guess Bristol really took a ride on his red thing ... er, Reading," she gushed.

Mr. Pennybags would not comment on the fee charged by Sarah for docking rights in Bristol Harbor, but inside sources assure us that the proud grandmother/pimp did not offer free parking, let alone free docking.