FILMOSOPHY® is a registered U. S. trademark owned by Valentin Stoilov (http://www.filmosophy.com) for educational services in the field of motion picture history, theory, and production. Mr. Stoilov is not the source or origin of this book and has not sponsored or endorsed its author.Wow. I suppose I can understand, on one level, the desire not to confuse "products" in the marketplace. That, after all, is precisely what trademark law is supposed to do. But I get a bit twitchy when serviceable intellectual ideas become trademarked goods. I have a vague recollection of reading somewhere, perhaps in Jane Gaines' Contested Culture, that someone trademarked the term, "semiotics." So, if I now publish a book or an essay on semiotics (or "filmosophy," for that matter), does my work have to carry a disclaimer indicating that I'm not the legally-empowered trademark holder, but rather some interloper who's using this catchy-sounding brand/term to do some other, "competing" work?
What's even more disturbing, I suppose, are the ways in which intellectual property laws--or, really, misconceptions about how IP laws work--are insinuating themselves into and beginning to constrain scholarship in the humanities. This is occurring especially in the area of popular culture studies. Almost every academic book published on Harry Potter, for example, carries some sort of disclaimer to the effect of, "This book is not endorsed by J. K. Rowling, Warner Brothers, Scholastic, or Bloomsbury." Now, I understand that there's some remote possibility that an 11 year-old might confuse, say, Andrew Blake's The Irresistible Rise of Harry Potter, which is a tiny book published by the good leftist press, Verso, with the latest installment of the HP series. (Yeah, sure....) But since when have critical academic scholars sought "endorsement" from those about whom they write anyway? And why should we feel compelled all of a sudden to position our work as, essentially, an "unauthorized" pretender to the "real thing," or accept that some individual or corporation should be able to position our work as such?