January 2008 Archives

It's the first annual Likelihood of Confusion SUPER BOWL® Trademark Watch and Contest: "Every year it’s the same thing: Several weeks before the Super Bowl®, people and businesses wishing to promote events related to the timing of the biggest sporting event of the season — the Super Bowl®, that is, the National Football League’s championship game — go through all sorts of contortions to avoid saying the trademark-protected words, Super Bowl."

Gawker, Scientology and Fair Use

The Church of Scientology requests that Gawker remove a clip of Tom Cruise talking about Scientology for copyright infringement, but Gawker is willing to step up and argue that its use is a fair use for the purposes of news reporting. Church of Scientology Claims Copyright Infringement

The clip in question, Exclusive: The Cruise Indoctrination Video Scientology Tried To Suppress: "if Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch was an 8 on the scale of scary, this is a 10."

Hasbro goes after Scrabulous

ISP Filtering

One of the big issues in tech and IP policy this year will be the role of ISPs. To what extent should they be common carries of information, enforcers of digital copyright, or delivery networks giving special priority to preferred media providers?

The NY Times published an AP report that the FCC will investigate complaints that Comcast blocks BitTorrent traffic on its networks, F.C.C. to Look at Complaints Comcast Interferes With Net: "The Federal Communications Commission will investigate complaints that Comcast actively interferes with Internet traffic as its subscribers try to share files online, the commission’s chairman, Kevin J. Martin, said Tuesday."

From another session at CES, the Times' Bits blog reports that AT&T is looking to act as an enforcement agent for copyright owners, AT&T and Other ISPs May Be Getting Ready to Filter

"'What we are already doing to address piracy hasn't been working. There’s no secret there,' said James Cicconi, senior vice president, external & legal affairs for AT&T.

Mr. Cicconi said that AT&T has been talking to technology companies, and members of the MPAA and RIAA, for the last six months about implementing digital fingerprinting techniques on the network level.

'We are very interested in a technology based solution and we think a network-based solution is the optimal way to approach this,' he said. 'We recognize we are not there yet but there are a lot of promising technologies. But we are having an open discussion with a number of content companies, including NBC Universal, to try to explore various technologies that are out there.'"

Reaction from David Isenberg, isen.blog: Konflating Kopyright and Kongestion: "The two issues should be separated. Network congestion has some very simple solutions."

The Center for Social Media at American University has released a study on the quoting of copyrighted material in user-generated video and fair use, Recut, Reframe, Recycle: "The study, Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video, by Center director Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, co-director of the law school's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, shows that many uses of copyrighted material in today's online videos are eligible for fair use consideration."

The study cites a number of ways in which uses of copyrighted videos could be considered as fair use:

  1. Parody and satire
  2. Negative or critical commentary
  3. Positive commentary
  4. Quoting to trigger discussion
  5. Illustration or example
  6. Incidental use
  7. Personal reportage or diaries
  8. Archiving of vulnerable or revealing materials
  9. Pastiche or collage