It's not about morals. It's not about the state of Asian America. It's just business.
There's a lot of chiming in about the legal battle between Angry Little Asian Girl and Angry Asian Man. I know both. Am I "friends" with both? After reading the rants of them being friends or "friends," I'm not so sure, but I hope so.
It starts there. Friends. There's a day when the world (in this case, the jurisdiction is the USA) housing names that are definitely too similar, became too small. That day has come and it's still here. Friends or not friends, this is business.
I'm skimmed some articles and the blog posts written about this battle and although you from a drama point of view, you can pick a side - I've already seen it. I'm not sure what credentials might be by the authors or the friends or fans, but I'm a seven time legal battler. I've engaged or been engaged about seven times. There are some that are questionable. Does it count when it ends after a few volley of letters?
I'm not lawsuit crazy - we have enough of that in the world. I do believe in creative solutions even though most attorneys would scoff at them. It seems like a few ideas were attempted and failed and now the war theater is waged in both legal and public opinion.
It's the latter that bothers me most. Since when do we air our legal battles online? I suppose it's not much different than legal battles being covered like it's reality television: think O.J., Ollie North, Menendez Brothers, Casey Anthony, etc. The reason to do it, is all about the pressure they're exerting on each other. Who'll break after an online "gang up." Legal matters actually move slowly. Most issues I've been involved with lasted over two years and nothing ever went to court. The small volleys on blogs today, mean nothing in the long run.
Maybe I'm behind for not listing the folks who did me wrong or accused me of wrong doing. If I did, you'd either side with me or side against me without knowing shit. Would some of your heroes go down in flames? I guarantee you, if I listed what's been done to me, you'd think about starting a KickStarter for me. I'm not looking for sympathy and maybe I erred for keeping my legal battles close to my side.
That said, who's right and wrong in this battle? Angry Little Asian Girl or Angry Asian Man? We don't all lose. I probably wouldn't have heard of this embroilment had I not been alerted by some close friends. It's actually great drama. Most are siding with Angry Asian Man, however I'm not so quick to judgement. From my many experiences with Trademarks, it's about confusion. In this case, is there confusion? Yes. Every time a customer stumbles across the wrong website or thinks the two entities are related is a failure. How many have wondered this? How many have bought an Angry Little Asian Girl product and think the money went to Angry Asian Man? Or vice versa? If you think this confusion happens, then you're in agreement that this battle has grounds to exist.
Did Angry Little Asian Girl - Lela Lee wait a bit too long, perhaps. Does Angry Asian Man - Phil Yu have an argument? Sure of course, that's part of the legal system. In my experience, waiting too long doesn't matter. There are some legal grounds to say it does, however this core argument will continue to no end - both have a point.
I'm willing to bet the house that this won't go to court, so throw that out. This will be settled eventually be settled behind closed doors. It could be swift and quick or it might be a couple of years of going back and forth. It's not our business and it wasn't our business until it went online.
An attorney friend used to say that if I'm able to piss off people much bigger than me, and my enemies are huge, then I'm doing something that's reaching them. I believed that for a while, but in the end, legal battles are never fun, never inexpensive, and the only winner is in the business that grows from it. I don't believe both will lose from this. There will be a winner, but probably no loser as well.
As for Asian America, I've always said that an Asian American's biggest enemy/rival/troublemaker is another Asian American. It happened with Giant Robot and the other magazines and a few other entities (thankfully I'm way over most, and it's mostly smiles at this point) and it's happening again (hopefully it'll be smiles after a long while - legal matters might be tougher to get over, but we'll see) and that's how we roll.