CBS Lawyers Go After 48 Hour Magazine

By kevin 

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We could have seen this one coming.

The tale spread quickly in the past few weeks of a new media-meets-old media project called “48 HR Magazine,” where a couple of west-coast journalists accepted submissions and laid out and published a 60 page magazine all in the span of two days. But now NYT’s David Carr writes that their little experiment is in jeopardy:

On May 11, Lauren Marcello, the assistant general counsel at CBS sent a cease and desist letter, noting that “CBS is the owner of the rights in the award-winning news magazine television series, ’48 Hours,’ and its companion series, including ’48 Hours Mystery,'” adding later in the letter, “your use is unlawful and constitutes trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition…” along with a lot of other complicated, vaguely threatening legalese.

One of the magazine’s founders, Mathew Honan, told the Times, “To be honest, none of us even knew that there was still a program called ’48 Hours,’ so it never crossed our mind.” Ouch.

Some might argue that the two 48 Hours are in non-overlapping mediums, but it should also be pointed out that CBS’ show is known as a “news magazine,” which could create confusion.

Still, I don’t see these two making a big stink.