Free Expression, Internet Law

Ban that man!

London’s Times: People who illegally download films and music will be cut off from the internet under new legislative proposals to be unveiled next week.Internet service providers (ISPs) will be legally required to take action against users who access pirated material, The Times has learnt. That is certainly interesting, though hardly enforceable. Of course, the UK is the country where you need to buy a license to have a television (at least in theory). Originally…

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Perpetual perfidy

Instapundit notes an article in the New York Times arguing for the provision for more government gasoline to pour on the fire of IP-overreach — perpetual copyright. Glenn Reynolds explains why that’s an awful idea. Originally posted 2007-05-20 21:29:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter Read more

Home cookin’ a la mode, with a most undeserving dessert

From the WSJ Law Blog: A French court today cracked down on counterfeits — and an outlet that sells them — ordering eBay to pay Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands — Kenzo, Guerlain, Dior and Givenchy — $63.1 million in damages for auctioning fake goods. Here’s the early story from WSJ. . . . “I was really surprised by the number,” J. Michael Huget, the head of IP at Butzel Long, told the Law... Read more

Brann, Stitham, Swetnam

Found blogs

Bunches of new soft IP blogs have sprung up.  I’ve been adding them to the Blogroll (for civilian blogs) or the Professional Courtesy roll (for wax-stained wretches) as soon as I see them if they link to me.  It’s a nice collection over there on the left; the only categories you won’t find there are LexBlogs and other proprietary networks, which don’t link to blogs everyone else reads, and LawProf blogs, which don’t link to... Read more

Phantoms, zombies and the big problem with trademark use (Best of 2017)

Originally published May 30, 2017. I’ve got trademark use on the brain! Maybe it’s the Belmora effect — the result of living in a world in which use of a trademark in a country that is not the U.S. gets you a Lanham Act claim under 43(a) in the U.S. Who can blame me?  It’s boggling my mind and making it soft, this trademark-use business. As I mentioned in my brief appearance at INTA last week in... Read more

IP Rights Again Brandished to Silence Critics

The Associated Press reports: The distinctive chocolate bar on the dust jacket of a new book about the founder of The Hershey Co. violates its trademark, the candy maker said in a federal lawsuit. The company wants an injunction to prevent publisher Simon & Schuster Inc. from using Hershey-owned images to market “Hershey: Milton S. Hershey’s Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire and Utopian Dreams,” which is coming out next month. Hershey spokeswoman Stephanie Moritz said... Read more

Semi-monthly off the wall tweets

Here’s what I have been chirping about lately: RT @ArsLaw: Tenenbaum: $675K stat. dams absurd; I caused $21 in losses | Ok, even I don’t buy that math. RT @CopyrightLaw: Exclusive Rights: “11th Cir. finds medical forms lack sufficient originality; rejects Feist standard” RT @CopyrightLaw: Goldman: “Rare Ruling on Damages for Sending Bogus Copyright Takedown Notice–Lenz v. Universal” RT @internetcases RT @ernieattorney: Judge sides w/mom who used Prince cut in background of YouTube video /via @cyberlaw... Read more

The digital dead hand

It’s an estate planning / New York bar exam joke — it has to do with something called the Rule Against Perpetuities. Yes, of course, we know that hands are made of digits; but how hard do we have to work to form the perfectly flowing pun when we have a real point to make? I have been troubled for a while by the proposition that there is no cognizable expectation by a decedent of privacy of email or... Read more

Swan song

Someone say something about getting all introspective and stuff?  Well, the Drug and Device Law blog’s Mark Herrmann is, as he so curmudgeonfully puts it, outta here: After 20 years at Jones Day, I’ve been made an offer that I can’t refuse: I’m resigning from Jones Day’s partnership at the end of December 31 to begin work as Vice President and Chief Counsel — Litigation at Aon Corporation, the world’s largest insurance brokerage, on January... Read more

A shanda all around

We reported the Woody Allen right-o-publicity lawsuit arising from “that billboard” when it was filed in April. This billboard: Yeah, oy.  And now, it’s settled, for $5 million.  That’s not chopped liver, especially when you consider that it’s more than the lifetime gross of five of his last ten movies.  In truth, it is a compromise figure — I can hardly imagine the Wood Man taking a $5 million fee voluntarily to do a billboard... Read more

More fantasy sports litigation

We wrote in the past about the bogus “right of publicity” issue and the unsuccessful attempt by major league sports to claim ownership in statistics and grab a piece of the fantasy sports action for their fat selves. This one, reported by Andrew Braff, may be different: TEB Capital Management, “the owner of the publicity and endorsement rights to the likeness, image and identity of [Patriots quarterback] Tom Brady,” is suing Yahoo! for “knowing and... Read more

Decline and fall of the dumb copyright trick

One of the dumbest things people — overlawyered, and, sadly, mainly professionally-licensed people — have tried to do to avoid negative online reviews is to find ways of claiming some kind of copyright in any review posted by a former client, then suing the negative reviewer for copyright infringement.  Eric Goldman has a nice survey of that business here, in a post that happens to also be about the case that is the focus of... Read more

J.D. Supra, Facebook …. and the Word

Bob Ambrogi: The document-sharing site JD Supra is launching an application for Facebook today that lets its members stream their documents and professional profile information into their Facebook profiles. This means that if you contribute documents to JD Supra, you can get additional exposure by having them show up in Facebook. Sounded interesting to us!  Here it is. After some back and forth with “JD Twitt” on Twitter (oh, yeah, you can get LIKELIHOOD OF... Read more