Artist Collective Sues Non-Profit Over ‘Booklyn’ Copyright

Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: Postdlf, via Wikimedia Commons.
Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: Postdlf, via Wikimedia Commons.

A lawsuit grows in Booklyn—no, that’s not a typo, and we’re not talking about an increasingly gentrified borough pricing out longtime residents. Two non-profit groups are set to go to court over the right to use the word “Booklyn” for their organizations.

Booklyn Artists Alliance, an artists’ collective founded in 1999 that runs the website booklyn.org, claims it has trademarked the word. Just last year, however, St. Nicks Alliance, another local non-profit just two and a half miles away, announced the creation of the Booklyn Shuttle, a mobile library for the 21st century, that has the original Booklyn up in arms.

While Booklyn Shuttle is dedicated to promoting literacy among the young people of northern Brooklyn, providing them with ready access to books and a variety of educational programming, the Artists Alliance’s stated mission is to “promote artists’ books as art and research material and to assist artists and organizations in documenting, exhibiting, and distributing their artworks and archives.”

Despite the difference in the two organization’s focus, Artists Alliance has sued St. Nicks, claiming that due to the “virtually identical and used for closely related services rendered by geographically neighboring not for profit entities, there is a strong likelihood of confusion among consumers as to the source of services provided under the marks.”

According to Courthouse News, the Artists Alliance “seeks an injunction, destruction of infringing articles, and damages for trademark infringement and unjust enrichment” in the lawsuit.


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