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The group of guys behind the soon-to-be-renamed CocaColla art blog in Italy (photo via CocaColla)

Getting a cease-and-desist letter from a major corporation pretty much sucks, but it can’t exactly be a huge surprise if you’ve been using, say, the name Coca-Cola, only slightly modified. Delete the dash between words, add an extra “l” and there you have it: CocaColla, an Italian art and design blog.

Well, that was its name, until the Coca-Cola Company recently threatened the site with a legal battle. The soft-drink manufacturer has demanded that the blog — a curated selection of work by artists and designers, with a focus on street art — withdraw its registration of the CocaColla brand and give up its domain name within 15 days. A press release put out by the Italian bloggers quotes a portion of Coke’s letter, which cites “a serious risk of confusion for consumers who may be led to believe that the sign and COCACOLLA domain name … are intended to distinguish goods/services delivered, organized or sponsored by our customers.”

The bloggers, who say they were actually inspired by the Coca-Cola brand, in their words “a symbol of pop culture, industrialization and advertising,” consulted with a lawyer but decided they can’t afford a legal battle. will shut down on March 5, and they’ll start up again soon under a new, as-yet-to-be-determined name.

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Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...