Culture Killers or Pains in the Neck?

Wired reports on a new book whose thrust, evidently, aligns decently well with my own little personal views (and not just mine): Brand Name Bullies. Says the review in Wired: To prove his point that the commons is under attack, Bollier has filled Bullies with example after example of how corporate lawyers have swooped in on artists and consumers who have tried to use products and logos in ways other than those prescribed by the corporations themselves. Ah, but here’s the conclusion: At 253 pages — not counting the 55 pages of additional notes and indexes in the back —…

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Wish Me Luck.

I don’t really believe in luck. Ah, but mazal — that’s different! Let’s hope our mazal is good for this one: I am beginning a trial tomorrow (Monday) morning in federal court in the District of New Jersey (Camden vicinage). So, as the Professor says, “blogging will be light.” Of course when he says it, he is saying it to stadiums full of people. Whereas me, not. But if you do pop in, have me in mind. We are for sure on the side of the angels tomorrow. UPDATE:  We won. Read more

Linker from a Grok Land

Doing my morning website traffic analysis, I noticed an extraordinary traffic spike, not to the blog, but to our firm website. What gives? Thankfully, my terrific hosting company, Capalon in Baltimore, provides great tracking tools. Turns out that we got a link from the ultra-impressive GROKLAW website. (That makes two grok-based threads this week. Grok that!) Couldn’t figure it out at first, so I searched on the site for my own painfully common last name (#82 — could be worse; my first name’s #21). No links to articles about Mr. Olympia, barbecues, blog-hating silver-spoon-in-mouth newspaper columnists, U.S. Senators, misspelled movie... Read more

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.... Read more

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