Trademark fair use hypo time

I have to learn a whole lot of corporations law before I get around to studying for my trademark exam, but here are two fact patterns that raise issues of trademark fair use:
1. Anti-advertising activists release a sneaker called the “blackSpot”
in order to raise awareness of Nike’s use of sweatshop labor and offer an alternative made by fairly-paid, unionized workers.
They plan to use this “subvertising campaign” to promote the sneakers:

phil knight had a dream. he’d sell shows. he’d sell dreams he’d get rich. he’d use sweatshops if he had to.
then along came a new shoe. plan. simple. cheap. fair. designed for only thing:
kicking phil’s ass.
the unswoosher.

To what extent can Nike use trademark law to prevent this “un-marketing” campaign? What defenses can Adbusters offer?
(via BoingBoing.)
2. Martin Schwimmer offers another hypo for discussion at the Trademark Blog: George W. Bush on The Apprentice:

View this political video parodying The Apprentice, then read this decision in the Mastercard v. Nader2000 case.
Discuss NBC’s and Trump’s rights against TrueMajority (source of the video).

Comments are open.

Mac troubleshooting help

Recently, I have become reacquainted with my old friend Pine. Who needs fancy graphics or colors for e-mail?
I should point out that this is not a result of my choice, but rather the result of some kind of protest by my computer to running mail.app. Fortunately, I can still work in Word, OmniOutliner and Safari. But why did my computer decide that right now, on the cusp of finals season, is the best time to go crazy? No tv and no beer? The little dude didn’t enjoy the last time it went drinking
Here’s what’s happening:
Mail.app, iChat and iCal refuse to launch. They will bounce in the dock for a long time. Activity Monitor shows that they are running, but they do not show up in the command-option-esc force quit menu.
I have run fsck, repaired permissions, run DiskWarrior and cleared system caches. None of these have fixed the problem.
What’s going on here?

A New Pentagon Papers Case

Ernest Miller: A New Pentagon Papers Case – Newspapers, Blogs and the Diebold/Jones Day Memos

On April 20th, the Oakland Tribune published a story regarding Diebold’s alleged use of uncertified voting software in violation of California state law (Diebold knew of legal risks). The article cited and focused on internal legal memos from the Jones Day law firm showing that Diebold’s own lawyers had warned of some of the possible illegalities. Online, the Oakland Tribune posted the documents in addition to the article. That afternoon, the Trib’s parent company and the reporter were sued by Jones Day to have the documents returned. The judge ordered the documents returned, except for those already published on the internet

It is worthwhile to pay attention to the importance of these documents.

Congress Watch

Washington Post: A Development of High Interest for All College Students

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), chairman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, recently sent a letter to all House members in support of changing the interest rate charged to borrowers on consolidated student loans from a fixed rate to a variable rate

For those of us with student loans (and still accumulating debt), consolidating loans under the current law would lock us into the current, low, interest rate. Allowing the rate to float on consolidated loans will cost us significantly more in interest payments as rates rise.
Life, Law Libido: Life, Law: Surprise! Congress is Trying to Screw You!: “Pay attention to this ongoing debate, kids. It could have a huge impact on your future.”
Contact The Committee on Education and the Workforce and urge them to reject this reckless proposal. Local members include Brooklyn’s own Major Owens, Donald M. Payne (Hudson, Union Essex Counties in NJ) Carolyn McCarthy (Long Island), Rush Holt (Princeton, NJ) and Tim Bishop (Long Island).
More about the impact of variable rates, at BRR: A Bad Idea From Greenspan

California election panel desires to dump Diebold

AP: Panel: Don’t use Diebold touch-screen voting machines

California should ban the use of 15,000 touch-screen voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems from the Nov. 2 general election, an advisory panel to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley recommended Thursday.
By an 8-0 vote, the state’s Voting Systems and Procedures Panel recommended that Shelley cease the use of the machines, saying that Texas-based Diebold has performed poorly in California and its machines malfunctioned in the state’s March 2 primary election, turning away many voters in San Diego County.

I am the

I am far too happy with my new mobile phone. This is not because I now can actually use the phone everywhere in my apartment rather than standing right up at the window. It is not because I was able to transfer my address book and calendar quickly and easily thanks to Bluetooth and iSync. It is not because I can use it to post snazzy photos like this one:

It's Brooklyn!

Rather, what has me most excited is the fact that it can use standard MIDI files as ringtones. Why is that so exciting? Thanks to this site my phone rings “Walk- Don’t Run,” by The Ventures. Yes, I am fully aware that this is the last qualification I need to become some kind of