Browsing through the hilarious pages of FailBlog.org during rare moments of downtime has become something of a tradition here at TechCrunch. The site, which is part of the rapidly-expanding Cheezburger Network, painstakingly chronicles some of the funniest (and bizarre) screwups from around the web and real life, ranking them according to just how badly they fare on the Fail spectrum. And today, the Guinness Book of World Records has managed to reach new levels of Epic Fail.
Earlier this week FailBlog posted a screen-grab (see below) of one of the entries on Guinness detailing the “Most Individuals Killed In A Terrorist Act”, which included a link inviting viewers to “Break this record”. It was a classic case of Fail, likely caused by either a site-wide template that included the link or an editor who fell asleep at the wheel.
But rather than just simply fixing the issue, apologizing, and moving on, Guinness has decided to dig a nice, big hole for itself by threatening FailBlog with a lawsuit for featuring the Guinness World Records logo without authorization. This morning FailBlog posted a note to its site (appropriately titled ‘OMG U FAIL SO HARD’) with a screenshot of the threat, along with the site’s response.
From the post:
Thanks for writing us an email regarding the “Record Breaking Fail”. Unfortunately, douchebaggy cyber-bullying emails will only bring upon you more shame on your house. I am also resisting the urge to write this email in ALL CAPS.
I believe it is the duty of FAIL Blog(TM) to call out organizations when they encourage the public to do such things as “Break the record” for the “Most Individuals Killed In A Terrorist Act”. We firmly believe that our publication of your fail is protected under the concepts of fair use, commentary and non-trademark use. Please RTFM and we welcome you to teh interwebs.
Since we at FAIL Blog(TM) don’t have a legal defense department, we have complied with your request to remove the trademarked term and logo from the original image. We have used the “naughty bits filter” on the image to secure your naughty, naughty, trademark assertions. However, we have posted your email so that our audience can see why we had to remove the name of the failer from the image. I hope that this is the outcome you have expected as now NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW THAT GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS LIMITED HAS FAILED.
The letter concludes by inviting Guinness to read the site’s full legal response here: http://icanhaz.com/legalresponse.
And yes, FailBlog just Rick Roll’d the Guinness Book of World Records.
Thanks to super-dev TC alum Henry Work for the tip.