WaggaWagga.TV up against HBO

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In what sounds like a scene better suited to The Simpsons, community online streaming service WaggaWagga.TV has been hit with a trademark challenge by US giant HBO which claims its tagline “It’s not TV. It’s dot TV” was too similar to “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.”

The two person WaggaWagga.TV operation streams content such as What’s Up Wagga, The 5 O’Clock Wave and Brenna Obviously and its revenue is ad-generated.

“We run an online TV station with local based content where the target audience is Wagga Wagga which has about 66,000 people in it,” Adam Drummond told Mumbrella.

“I was bit horrified when I got the letter in the post and it was from the Sydney lawyer representing HBO. At first I thought it was a gag.

“Their letter was basically saying they had found the trademark application and felt our brand was too similar to theirs and people might think it was linked to HBO’s.”

WaggaWagga.TV which had 110,000 pages views from 25,000 unique browsers over six months is not budging as yet.

“‘It’s not TV. It’s dot TV’ is now synonymous with our brand,” he said. “It would have been massive to have to change everything.”

Over to you, Gruen.

10 Comments:

  1. So in the late 90s or early 2000s when Foxtel’s tagline was “it’s not TV. it’s Foxtel” did they licence that or something or did HBO just not care back then?

  2. “It’s not TV. It’s HBO” is a world famous tagline for a very well known brand, and a brilliant one at that.

    Why is this Wagga company trying to steal another company’s tagline?

    Someone else’s tagline is better than anything you could come up with – so you just steal it?

    What we should be asking is why the company is “Horrified” HBO is acting on it. Ever heard of intellectual property?

  3. what’s being forgotten in the comments is that under trademark law it needs to be shown that they are ‘actively defending” the trademark. this letter would have been sent as a matter of course to show this in case this was brought up in a different case.

  4. I live in Wagga and have never heard of Waggawagga.tv…

    And I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous as HBO coming after anything this insignificant, or anything in this town for that matter… Lol.

    • WaggaWagga.TV went through a launch campaign, including Facebook advertising, interviews on ABC Local Radio, and advertising and interviews on StarFM (and presumably 2WG). They also had a big launch party at the MCC. If you watch WIN or Prime7 Local News, you may see press events where WW.TV is involved and they have their logo on backdrops. I am not sure if they had launch campaigns (or campaigns in general) anywhere else though. I live in Wagga also.

  5. Seriously? Not too similar at all! Its just a few words and the second sentence doesn’t refer to the name of a channel – its generic in the sense it’s dot tv.

    Strictly speaking, HBO isn’t even in Australia directly as its own brand (only as “showcase the home of HBO” and that saying “its not TV…” I’ve never even noticed being used here), and I don’t think anyone outside of Wagga would be watching waggatv (although this story might bring in some interest) so it really shouldn’t be an issue at all.

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