Two years ago, when Los Angeles Magazine themed its February special issue the "Hidden LA" issue, W. Lynn Garrett wasn't amused. She is the founder of the astoundingly popular Facebook page called Hidden LA, and she accused the magazine of ignoring her work while trying to lure her community to the magazine. This February, when it happened again, Garrett filed a trademark infringement lawsuit. The suit was filed Wednesday in federal court against Emmis Publishing, which owns Los Angeles. The case was assigned to Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer.
Garrett sought a meeting with Los Angeles editor Mary Melton after 2011's Hidden LA issue, and apparently came away thinking the magazine would not use the label again. She has been stewing for several weeks about the latest co-opting of the Hidden LA concept. She told me:
I don't want to bad mouth LA Magazine, fact is I was a subscriber for years and many people I sincerely like and admire work for them. I've never been anything but nice to them, nor have I ever wanted to be. In my mind, we should all be on the same side.
Emmis Publishing's actions have been more disappointing to me than anything... There are just so many adjectives to choose from. They just really haven't left me much choice but to protect the community I've worked so hard to build from scratch. There comes a time where you can't just let bullies walk over you as though you have no value... Hidden LA means something to me (and fortunately to a lot of other people too). It represents more than just a simple word choice.
It's easy to see why Los Angeles would want to ride Hidden LA's media jet stream. The Facebook page has more than 270,000 likes, and in a recent week reached 195,000 users.
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