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"to surf a couch": couchsurfer, etc colloquial english vs trademarks ?
Posted March 17th, 2013 - 10:53 am by from Sorum, Norway (Permalink)
I was reading the TOU page:
https://www.couchsurfing.org/terms.html

it's fun sometimes to read TOU. In the current case CS Corp. is a USA legal entity, and I'm a european national residing in Europe, so TOUs which are not from my jurisdiction are basically zero to me. Yes yanks take it often for granted that their local laws at home are valid in the whole galaxy. That's why TOU can be so funny to read.

But, there's more in the CS TOU. They put in §9 about trademarks:
""CouchSurf,"
"Couchsurfing," the Couchsurfing logos and any other
Couchsurfing service name or slogan contained on the Services are
trademarks of Couchsurfing and may not be copied, imitated or used,
in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of
Couchsurfing or the applicable trademark holder."


and the footnote:
"'Couchsurfing' and 'Couchsurfer' are registered and unregistered service marks of Couchsurfing International."

but isn't "couch surfing" an american slang, existing before CS International was incorporated?

When I registered in CS around 2005/6 the name sounded weird to me, because my english was very little. I knew "surfing" from the aquatic leisure/sport but "couch" was not clear and I had to look in a dictionary. In fact that's when I came across the site couchsurfing.com (it became and .org prior to incorporation, haha), and I had to check "couch" in the dictionary that afterwards the name "couch" stood alive in my mind as a common name for "sofa".
Some native english speakers say that "couchsurfing" was a great naming, but for the rest of us, it meant nothing, instead of something like "hospitalityclub" which is easy to get in many languages. It's also hard to figure out how to pronounce "couch" and many people says something like "coach".

Anyway, I can't remember if back then I searched the web for meanings to "couch + surf/er/ing" or only read a paper dictionary for "couch".
Here we need to be enlightened by americans, about the history of the term.
A websearch now brings for instance:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/couch+surfing:
"couch-surf
[kouch-surf]

verb
1.
to stay overnight in someone’s else’s home while traveling: He couch-surfed at the houses of strangers and friends.


verb
2.
travel through (a place) or make (one’s way) by staying overnight in other people’s homes: She spent a year couch-surfing the country.



Also, couch-hop [kouch-hop]

Origin:
2000–05; couch + surf"


see, origin: 2000.

or, when the Oxford English Dictionary added the term:
http://tinyurl.com/bvjedkr
"the practice of spending the night on other people’s couches in lieu of permanent housing"

or:
http://tinyurl.com/d7ab4yp
"Couch surfer: Formerly used to describe a trendy Generation X practice,
couch surfing has become more common thanks to sluggish economic growth."


on another link lost in my bookmarks, an american was mentioning it was originally a californian slang for "crashing at friends couches".

see the point: CS Corp./Int. puts in a TOU notice that they own a pre-existing colloquial term

I was thinking to test that by buying a domain name couchsurfing dot something. populated with shock content.
"couchsurfing.info" exists as a pathetic attempt of Veit Hospitalityklubator to world domination, and is kept there probably by pity, or because it never shows in search results...



Posted March 17th, 2013 - 12:22 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
The group "Bran Van 3000" released their single of their song "Couch Surfer" in 1997. It appeared on their album "Glee", release date April 15, 1997.

Posted March 17th, 2013 - 12:32 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
It was a Gold Album in Canada, meaning more than 50,000 were sold. It had some sucess elsewhere as well.

Posted March 17th, 2013 - 12:37 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
The song is available on YouTube, and the written lyrics can be easily found online.

Posted March 17th, 2013 - 1:37 pm by from Sorum, Norway (Permalink)
oh, thank you. So indeed couch-surfer/surfing is a colloquial term which
was just re-used by Fenton &Co. as a domain name for the original legally
fuzzy organization.
Have read the lyrics online, they have "couch surfer", "couch surfing".

Posted March 17th, 2013 - 1:37 pm from Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Posted March 17th, 2013 - 2:08 pm by from Sorum, Norway (Permalink)
yep.

and btw, about google indexing of CS forums.
I have tried right now in Google:
"colloquial english couch surf"
and see the results. Fast!



Posted March 17th, 2013 - 3:38 pm from New York, United States
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Posted March 17th, 2013 - 6:18 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Chances are they can't even prevent the use of the current logo (displayed at the top of this page) because it has no distinctive element and even the typeface isn't a creation specific to CS but readily available for anyone to use.

Posted March 17th, 2013 - 6:25 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
Quite interesting. What would the monetary damages be to a trademark that they valued at $0.00 when they acquired it?

Posted March 17th, 2013 - 6:30 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
Quite interesting. What would the monetary damages be to a trademark that they valued at $0.00 when they acquired it?

I should be clear. Not only did they evaluate its value at $0.00 when they bought it, but also when they sold it. So if in their professional opinion it had no value, how can that value be damaged?

Posted March 17th, 2013 - 6:39 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
It must be the immaterial value of their emotional attachment...

Posted March 17th, 2013 - 7:21 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted March 18th, 2013 - 6:37 pm from Banovici, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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