Centerfield: Blog Name Theft

Very interesting brouhaha beginning over on the Center Field blog published by a group of self-described political centrists. (I had hoped it would feature commentary by Andruw Jones and Bernie Williams.) The question is the same one everyone has asked himself when registering for his first ever blog:  What if someone steals a blog name? Bob Cox of the Media Bloggers Association asked me to weigh in semi-officially on the Centerfield: Blog Name Theft colloquy. Here’s what I wrote: I am the general counsel of the new Media Bloggers Association, whose leadership has asked me to “weigh in” on this….

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See Dick Win. Pay, Defendant, Pay.

By now you must have heard about the dustup involving Yiddish with Dick and Jane. The irony for me is that not long after I was learning to read English with the original Dick and Jane at P.S. 225, I was learning Yiddish from an essentially identical book for little secular Yiddishists (it turned out handy later at the Chaim Berlin yeshiva, but I digress) with “Motl” and “Gitl” standing in for Dick and Jane. In any event, and after discussing this case with my friend, IP lawyer Ben Manevitz, this case seems to be pretty much out of the... Read more

Standing Shmoe to Shmoe

The author of this weblog was quoted in USC Annenberg’s Online Journalism Review in an article entitled “Tsunami Video Alliance Portends Future Distribution for Amateurs” last week. (It’s about the Media Bloggers Association.) I don’t mind saying that I powerfully enhanced the sterling image of attorneys as high-minded and articulate preceptors of the public with the following quote, responding to the question of blogger liability for carrying other peoples’ videos (particularly tsunami videos). Here’s the excerpt, essentially unchanged from what appears to be the original Yiddish: It’s not for nothing that they’re [i.e., other peoples’ works are] protected by copyright.... Read more

“I Have a Dream ©”

The online Globe and Mail has an important item on how documentary filmmakers and others are being slammed by the IP equity grab, called “How Copyright Could be Killing Culture”. Okay, maybe “killing culture” is a little over the top. I suppose if more rigorous enforcement of copyright would throw a speed bump in front of the likes of Michael Moore, our modern Leni Reifenstahl, that would put a little chill in the air — but is that killing “culture”? The point of the article, flagged by Tech Law Advisor, is nonetheless well taken. On the road yesterday morning, I... Read more

Brand Me Infantile

Reuters reports that U.K. regulators have once again slapped the wrist of the French Connection clothing company for their jejune FCUK ad campaign (“French Connection UK,” get it?). Last February Brand Channel reported on this business, which has managed to attract the unwelcome (or perhaps not?) attention of the American Family Association. (The AFA is no more a “self-appointed” guardian of public morality than you or I. They have a right to be offended and to act on it within the parameters of the free speech and the free market.) The fact is, it’s almost impossible to say what legal... Read more

January 28th – DC Seminar on Intellectual Property and Sovereign Immunity

Originally posted 2005-01-13 12:49:56. Republished by Blog Post PromoterIf you’re going to be in or around DC on January 28th, the Federalist Society is hosting this seminar that will examine the Supreme Court’s June 1999 rulings in a trio of cases which, taken together, articulate perhaps the broadest statement of the sovereign immunity of States in American history. Two of these cases denied relief for alleged trademark and patent infringements, respectively . . . When you consider how much of American business equity is sunk into or dependent on intellectual property, this topic is not so esoteric — especially if... Read more

More on Email Privacy for the Dead

The New York Times (linked to by Drudge) has an article entitled The Secret Lives of Just About Everybody which opens, compellingly, as follows: One mislaid credit card bill or a single dangling e-mail message on the home computer would have ended everything: the marriage, the big-time career, the reputation for decency he had built over a lifetime. So for more than 10 years, he ruthlessly kept his two identities apart: one lived in a Westchester hamlet and worked in a New York office, and the other operated mainly in clubs, airport bars and brothels. One warmly greeted clients and... Read more

Media Bloggers Legal Defense Project

Originally posted 2005-01-10 23:05:00. Republished by Blog Post PromoterThe Media Bloggers Association is setting up a stable of attorneys “to provide MBA members with first-line counsel on matters relating to the use of intellectual property, defamation and other issues arising from their weblogging.” Looks like they got a real crackerjack guy to take the laboring oar. Read more

Evel Knievel’s tarnished reputation

Yahoo! News reports that the Ninth Circuit (them again!) has ruled that an online photo caption referring to him in the presence of two women as a “pimp” means “pimp in a good way.” They must mean in the rapper vocabulary sense of “ladies’ man,” which assuredly the Bangled One is. But does Evel Knievel have any truck with the world of P. Diddy and 50 Cent? Shouldn’t that matter? It seems that the fate of per se defamation is to go the way of obscenity in the courts: There just will not be any such thing. Context and “community... Read more

Google me this

If trademark / Internet cases are not at the top of things to stay on top of in late December, you may have missed this potentially important decision giving Google an out of the box win in the battle (not, as suggested by the CNET story’s headline, the war) between its own quaint self and insurance mass-marketer GEICO. This is a case being watched by all of us practicing in this area. Indeed we have a case in our office in which we represent a California Internet-based retailer accused (quite falsely, as a fact matter) of little more than using... Read more