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Sex Writer Violet Blue Sues Porn Star Violet Blue Over Name

WWW [Wired News.com]- Violet Blue, the well-known sex and sexuality writer and blogger, filed suit this week against Violet Blue, a porn actress using a stage name, alleging that Ada Mae Johnson adopted the writer’s name and distinctive black, Bettie Page bangs for performances in films such as Shut Up and Blow Me #29, Whore of the Rings and Who Violet Blew.

Journalist Violet Blue, whose actual name appears to be Violet Blue, filed suit in a San Francisco federal court Monday, accusing Johnson of trademark violation and dilution, as well as unfair business practices. Blue wants the court to stop Johnson from using her name and to force her to pay Blue damages.

Journalist Blue writes a sex-focused column for SFGate, blogs at tinynibbles.com and was recently named one of the 25 most influential people on the web by Forbes magazine. She’s also written and edited more than 15 books, ranging from Best Women’s Erotica 2008 to the Ultimate Guide to Fellatio.

violet blue actressViolet Blue the porn actress (pictured with both blond and black hair left) began making porn films in 2000, and won the emerging starlet awards from adult film industry trade mag AVN in 2002, according to the bio on her site.

The porn actress registered violetblue.org in 2001, and four years later, founded Violet Blue, Inc, which now runs the paid-subscription pornographic website on that domain, according to the lawsuit. An email request for comment sent to the Whois contact information for violetblue.org immediately bounced, and no one immediately replied to a voice message left for the company.

Blue the journalist says Johnson’s movies and her appearance at San Francisco’s Annual Exotic Erotic Ball under the name Violet Blue have damaged her reputation and caused journalists and others to confuse her for the porn actress.

Even the porn industry got confused, Blue the journalist contends. In October 2007, she got an email from “Dave Pounder,” a person who has perfomed in films with Johnson, through SFGate’s feedback mechanism, congratulating her on her column.

The email begins “What’s up, girl! I see you are writing for SFGatge.com now…. very interesting.” It continues with the plainly mistaken belief that Plaintiff Blue is in fact Defendant Johnson: “I’ll never forget you because you were my first scene ever…”

Plaintiff Blue has never met nor appeared in any film with “Dave Pounder.”

Johnson has repeatedly told Blue she would quit using the name, but has not stopped, according to the suit.

Blue the journalist says she has been using the name Violet Blue in her writings since 1999, and she registered “Violet Blue” as a trademark in March, 2007.

Update: The first graf originally used the term “nom de plume” to refer to the use of Violet Blue as a stage name for a porn actress. Given the former term usually applies to a pseudonym used by a writer, I switched the terms. Apologies if it confused anyone.

Photos: Right- Journalist Violet Blue by Joi Ito; Left: Screenshot of porn thespian Violet Blue from violetblue.org

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Whoa! The likeness is eerie, not to say uncanny.

I can totally see why someone would confuse a blogger with delusions of grandeur with a superhot uberslutty pornstar.

Posted by: Arne | Oct 24, 2007 12:21:37 PM

If the porn actress registered violetblue.org in 2001, then blogger Vilolet Blue has a problem and probably shouldn’t have been able to register the mark as it was not unique–not even unique in the sex industry–when she registered it.

This is not a cut and dried case in blogger Blue’s favor.

Posted by: scarper | Oct 24, 2007 12:56:11 PM

Actually Scarper, Ms. Blue the blogger has been using the name for quite a bit longer, the recent ‘trademark’ acquisition was probably to stop Violet Blue Inc. from gaining any extra legal ground to the name. Violet Blue the author blogger has been writing professionally under the name prior to the actress having the ‘nom de plume’ in 2000 with her first film. While the idea of ‘pior art’ usually only applies itself to patent law, in general common sense terms, it could be very easily established here. Its a common practice for actors who have similar names to change to avoid confusion, Actor Michael Keaton of Batman Fame born as Michael John Douglas for example easily confused for Michael Douglas son of Kirk Douglas. It wouldn’t be a problem so much if the two Blue’s were involved in completely different realms of endeavor, as we all have heard of someone with the same name as someone famous. This suit is to establish the right to a professional name, of two people in the same industry… something that is more than simply an identifier but something with inherent value and reputation. Thus establishing its importance enough for a suit to be put forward.

Posted by: TMF | Oct 24, 2007 1:45:27 PM

ummm.. who the fuck cares?

Posted by: chris | Oct 24, 2007 2:10:41 PM

Have them fight it out in Jello for the rights to the name. 🙂

Posted by: Mike | Oct 24, 2007 2:11:14 PM

“… adopted the writer’s name and distinctive black, Bettie Page bangs…”

So, she’s using Betty Page’s hairstyle and so is the blogger. Either they’re both allowed to do that or neither one is. I’m sure the number of women in the sex industry that have Betty Page hairstyles is pretty high, so there’s nothing “distinctive” about that.

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