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Knockoff News

Originally posted 2009-10-05 14:36:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Counterfeit Chic’s 69th edition of the karnival of kounterfeits was posted last week!

Welcome back to winter, confusion

Originally posted 2014-07-22 13:14:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Now that the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade ® — yes, that’s a registered trademark — has completed its mawkish coup de grâce on the warm season, perhaps in return we will merit a thaw in the stream of IP-related news that has settled over my little piece of Gotham for the last week or so. Get on a warm sweater and hunker down for the big-dog weather, and welcome back to your cubicles and corner offices.

When counterfeits are serious business

Originally posted 2010-06-25 00:38:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The New York Times writes about counterfeit drugs, the tragedies that follow in their wake and the reality of enforcement.  Via the NCPA website.

Knock it off!

Originally posted 2012-01-30 15:50:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

And if you do, you just might make the next Counterfeit Chic “Knockoff News.” (I did!)

Hard Time for the Lyrical

Originally posted 2005-12-13 17:18:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Mark Schultz writes, in an article called We Hate You, Buy Our Stuff:

It must be a badge of honor for entertainment industry trade association executives to become known for extreme statements. Lauren Keiser is president of the Music Publisher’s Association. Apparently, he hopes to make “Lauren Keiser” and “MPA” terms of obloquy and horror among bloggers and Free Culture types just like “Hillary Rosen,” “RIAA,” “Jack Valenti,” and “MPAA.” Well, why not? Rosen and Valenti have both retired, so the position of Public Domain Enemy Number One is vacant. As the BBC reports, Keiser makes his case as follows:

MPA president Lauren Keiser said he wanted site owners to be jailed.

He said unlicensed guitar tabs and song scores were widely available on the internet but were “completely illegal”.

Mr. Keiser said he did not just want to shut websites and impose fines, saying if authorities can “throw in some jail time I think we’ll be a little more effective.”

Jail? Does he know something we don’t? Are lyrics sites fronts for terrorist activities? Sarcasm aside, I’m sure Keiser as an industry insider knows some things we don’t about lyrics sites and certainly has stronger feelings than most. He should keep those differences in perspective in mind. Most people don’t get where he’s coming from. He sounds a little unhinged, which is a bad thing for one of the public faces of the music industry. Unhinged is a fine thing for a political talk radio show host, but should it be part of the job description of a trade industry executive? Unfortunately, it probably kind of is part of his job. The industry pays his salary, they’re worried, so he needs to show them he is fighting for them.

The music industry would do well to consider whether such actions and rhetoric really serve its interests.

I’ve always said these RIAA types seem mighty desperate.

Clearly Not a Trademark

Originally posted 2012-01-31 00:01:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Clear Bottle.3The glass is half-empty for Pennzoil. John Ottaviani, guest-blogging on Eric Goldman’s Technology & Marketing Law Blog, picked up a pretty interesting decision in the trade dress department (which, not surprisingly, John Welch was all over — in vivid detail — when it hit the TTAB in January):

[T]he Federal Circuit recently affirmed, per curium, the 2004 decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that Pennzoil is not entitled to register its clear plastic bottle for motor oil as a trademark. In its decision, the TTAB found that the use of the clear bottle was functional, and that, even if it was not functional, Pennzoil has not demontrated sufficent “secondary meaning” or “acquired distinctiveness” to warrant trademark protection.

In this case, the most damaging evidence to Pennzoil’s position that the clear container is not functional is that Pennzoil introduced its clear container after it determined that there was an obvious competitive advantage to displaying the colorization of its synthetic oils and blends in a transparent bottle. Because there were numerous non-reputation related reasons for adopting a clear container, and these were competitive reasons that should not be denied to Pennzoil’s competitors, the Board found that Pennzoil did not have a right to appropriate the use of a clear container exclusively for its motor oils.

Unlike Ottaviani, who says in the piece that he “tend[s] to like ‘non-traditional’ trademarks, such as color, sound, buildings, furniture designs, etc.,” I don’t. I think it’s bad enough that the lexicon is being gobbled up by trademark rent-seekers. I’m not crazy about the rest of the universe being up for grabs for the cease-and-desist bar (of which I have from time to time been a member, I must admit). On the other hand, gee, wouldn’t you think putting the motor erl in a clear bottle is a classic example of a clever package meant to establish secondary meaning, i.e., consumer identification with a single source?

Here’s the whole decision (HT to Ernest Miller).

Is the Internet replacing “journalism”?

Originally posted 2011-09-20 18:09:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Press Pass

Nicholas Lemann writes in The New Yorker:

Reporting—meaning the tradition by which a member of a distinct occupational category gets to cross the usual bounds of geography and class, to go where important things are happening, to ask powerful people blunt and impertinent questions, and to report back, reliably and in plain language, to a general audience—is a distinctive, fairly recent invention. It probably started in the United States, in the mid-nineteenth century, long after the Founders wrote the First Amendment. It has spread—and it continues to spread—around the world. It is a powerful social tool, because it provides citizens with an independent source of information about the state and other holders of power. It sounds obvious, but reporting requires reporters. They don’t have to be priests or gatekeepers or even paid professionals; they just have to go out and do the work.The Internet is not unfriendly to reporting; potentially, it is the best reporting medium ever invented. A few places, like the site on Yahoo! operated by Kevin Sites, consistently offer good journalism that has a distinctly Internet, rather than repurposed, feeling. To keep pushing in that direction, though, requires that we hold up original reporting as a virtue and use the Internet to find new ways of presenting fresh material—which, inescapably, will wind up being produced by people who do that full time, not “citizens” with day jobs.

Journalism is not in a period of maximal self-confidence right now, and the Internet’s cheerleaders are practically laboratory specimens of maximal self-confidence. They have got the rhetorical upper hand; traditional journalists answering their challenges often sound either clueless or cowed and apologetic. As of now, though, there is not much relation between claims for the possibilities inherent in journalist-free journalism and what the people engaged in that pursuit are actually producing. As journalism moves to the Internet, the main project ought to be moving reporters there, not stripping them away.

I thought journalism, as Glenn Reynolds says, was something you do, not something you are? Read More…

Towering figure

Originally posted 2011-12-23 11:45:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Bill Patry talks to Sir Hugh Laddie.

Co-opting the blogosphere

Originally posted 2011-09-13 20:43:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Glenn Reynolds has a roundup on the latest New York Times outrage regarding the phony story they ran on U.S. abuses in Iraq that, evidently, didn’t happen, as the paper now admits. Yes, we all make mistakes, but if all my mistakes were in the same direction, you’d accuse me of bias, wouldn’t you? That’s why, as Glenn has argued, journalist shield laws are such a bad idea: Journalists aren’t entitled to special rights because they’re no more accountable for, nor are they any less inclined toward, screwups than you and I.

Yet the same Instapundit joins in the chorus insisting that we support the Online Freedom of Speech Act, supposedly the epitome of the protection of free speech. And I am just putting down my marker one more time on this: Bloggers need the rights protected by this bill, but so does everyone else. The solution is no special privileges for journalists or for journalism (a distinction I have heard Glenn make — journalism is a thing you do, not a status or a “profession” in any meaningful sense); just plain old freedom of speech for everyone. And until the McCain-Feingold Anti-Sedition Act is repealed, or recognized as unconstitional by a Supreme Court that is hopefullly reinvigorated by some fresh blood, we aren’t going to have it.

Blogger? Vlogger? No, just a thug-hugger.

Originally posted 2014-02-04 11:59:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

J. Craig Williams reminds us: Blowing up a cop is still illegal, and styling yourself a “vlogger” doesn’t mean you don’t have to cough up pictures you took of some thug doing it (UPDATED AND CORRECTED)!

In case you were wondering.