Thursday, August 28, 2003
Ever Wondered How they Caught You? The AP has a story detailing the methods the RIAA has used to catch online music swappers.
It's a Great Time to be an RIAA Lawyer The AP is reporting that Webcaster Alliance has sued the RIAA. The move comes after the group, which represents online music broadcasters, was unable to reach an agreement with the RIAA on Internet broadcast royalties. The suit alleges antitrust violations, and seeks an injunction prohibiting the RIAA from enforcing their IP rights and collecting royalty payments.
Wait Just a Second, Honey. I Need to Call the Karma Sutra Hotline From the "What will they think of next?" files: A Brazilian company has begun offering a service that beams animations of sexual positions from the Karma Sutra directly to a user's mobile phone. The service costs $.33. Apparently, a similar service is already in place in Europe. Wait until the Bible Belt gets a load of this one...
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 9:58 AM
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
5th Circuit: "You Gotta Suck da Head on dem der Crawfish" not Original In a decision sure to comfort Mystikal fans everywhere, Launch is reporting that the Fifth Circuit has cleared Mystikal of copyright infringement. The court ruled that Mystikal's hit "Shake Ya Ass" did not infringe on Emanation Inc.'s copyright in its handheld toy Cajun in Your Pocket, since the allegedly copyrighted phrases, including the ever-so-erudite "We gon pass a good time, yeah, cher" and "You gotta suck da head on dem der crawfish," were unoriginal, and thus not protected by copyright law.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:36 PM
DeCSS Update The California Supreme Court has ruled that a lower court's order to remove the DVD decryption code from the Internet does not violate the defendant's rights under the First Amendment. Reuters has another report here. The New York Times has an additional report here.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 10:18 AM
Monday, August 25, 2003
Surely There Was Extensive Third Party Use... The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a report on the recent decision in a trademark infringement case which held that the name EntrepreneurPR for a public relations firm infringed the trademark "Entrepreneur" for a magazine.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 7:30 PM
Franken Case Has them Laughing in the Aisles Despite the fact that Fox's lawyers judge Franken to be "increasingly unfunny," according to this New York Times report the oral argument on Fox's motion for a preliminary injunction against Franken was a lot more entertaining than most court hearings.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 2:29 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2003
Mixed Results from RIAA Crackdown The Washington Post has an article about a recent market research study which showed that, while the number of music downloaders has decreased by 28 percent since the RIAA began issuing ISP subpoenas, the average number of files downloaded by each household has actually increased by 6.7 percent.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 5:07 PM
Judge Puts the Smack Down on Fox I hope the term "Smack Down" isn't trademarked by the WWF... But E! Online is reporting that the judge in Fox's trademark infringement suit against Franken has rejected Fox's bid for a preliminary injunction, calling Fox's suit "wholly without merit, both factually and legally." Reuters has this report. Salon has a fairly extensive report here (subscription or day pass required to view the entire article).
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 12:19 PM
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Oral Arguments Scheduled in Fox v. Franken Proving that Fox really doesn't know when to call it quits, the AP is reporting that oral arguments have been scheduled for Friday in Fox's trademark infringement suit against Al Franken. It appears that Franken's lawyers have removed the case to federal district court. Reuters has this report.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:41 AM
Monday, August 18, 2003
Citigroup Victim of Phishing Scam Citigroup has become the latest victim in a series of scams seeking to trade on consumers' trust of well-known corporate entities. The e-mail, emblazoned with the Citigroup corporate logo, asks consumers to click on a link to review and agree to Citibank's terms and conditions, providing the hoaxsters with personal information in the process. You'll just have to read the article for the origin of the term "phishing." Reuters has more background here.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 8:39 PM
Saturday, August 16, 2003
Friday, August 15, 2003
Thursday, August 14, 2003
For All Those Searching the Keywords "judge rejects subpoenas music" I apparently missed this, but Infringing Actions has a post on the recent decision by a Massachusetts federal court quashing the RIAA's subpoenas to MIT and Boston College, because they were improperly issued out of a district court in Washington, DC. (It's the third post down.)
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:07 PM
Go Marty, It's Your Birthday Just getting a chance to check out The Trademark Blog for the first time in a few days. Check out his posts on the Fox v. Franken fracas here, here, and here. (Apparently, I'm not the only one to speculate on canceling Fox's FAIR AND BALANCED mark based on misdescriptiveness.) Marty also has a post about a Wall Street Journal article I missed, discussing SCO's challenge to the GPL in its case against IBM. Finally, all you Black Dog fans should check out this post.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 10:43 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
COPA, We Hardly Knew Ya... ... but the Bush administration is trying to change all of that. The AP is reporting that the government has filed a petition for cert in Ashcroft v. ACLU, after the Third Circuit ruled it unconstitutional. And it's good to see JZ making the news rounds again.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Could You Cancel on the Grounds that it Comprises Deceptive Matter Under Section 2(a)? According to Reuters, Fox is suing Al Franken for using their trademark FAIR AND BALANCED as part of the title for his new book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." Doesn't quite seem like trademark usage to me. (Of course, some of us wonder how Fox ever got a registration, since it would seem to be barred by TMEP section 1203.02.) The AP has this report.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:08 AM
More Flack for RIAA Subpoenas Reuters is reporting that NetCoalition, which represents hundreds of Internet providers, sent a letter to the RIAA regarding the latter's recent subpoena campaign. The Internet group raised the concern that small Internet providers would be forced to police their customer's online activities, and to bear the cost of tracking down those who may have violated copyright laws while using their services.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 10:32 AM
Microsoft Hit with $520 Million Verdict The AP has this report on the jury's decision in a patent infringement case brought by Eolas Technologies Inc. and the University of California against Microsoft; Reuters has this report. Finally, the Washington Post has this report, while the New York Times has this report.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 10:29 AM
Monday, August 11, 2003
Interesting UK Trademark Decision The Trademark Blog has an interesting post about a decision by the UK Trademark Office to sustain an opposition by the owners of the TOYS 'R' US mark against an application to register TOYS AREN'T US by the National Canine Defense League.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 2:20 PM
New Way to Fight Spam I remember reading about this service a while ago, and wondering whether or not it would actually work... The Register is reporting on a recent court victory won by Habeas. Habeas is a company that helps users identify spam by embedding copyrighted haikus into the headers of legitimate e-mail.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 2:16 PM
Friday, August 08, 2003
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
What Liberal Media? A new Harvard study confirms what many have long suspected: Conservative editorial pages are more partisan than "liberal" editorial pages. Not that the conservatives will ever believe it. After all, the study came from the Boston-Washington corridor.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 4:45 PM
RIAA Missing the Forest for the Trees? The BBC is reporting on the real threat to the recording industry. And no, it's not your average P2P user. Check out the Plastic thread on this issue. Finally, Forbes has an article about a recent study which found the number of downloaders to be lower than had previously been forecast.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 12:49 PM
Monday, August 04, 2003
Friday, August 01, 2003
Senator Questions RIAA Actions According to Wired, Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) wants the RIAA to answer a few questions about its recent subpoena activities. According to Coleman, "In this country, we don't chop off fingers for people who steal something. . . I think we need to have a broader discussion about how to deal with this issue. I want to be sure that any process being utilized here is fair." The New York Times has a report here.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 10:59 AM
News of the Obvious The AP has the shocking report that two-thirds of Internet users who download copyrighted songs aren't concerned about whether or not they're violating the copyright laws. And in other news: two thirds of people who rob banks don't care whether they're violating the law!
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 10:13 AM