Author: Leo Young

UK: Digital music player ad invites piracy

According to the 1709 Blog’s coverage of the United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority’s recent ruling on the Brennan JB7 CD player, the ASA exercised its power on a topic normally reserved for the courtroom: copyright. The Brennan JB7 is a CD player with a hard drive that allows the user to rip music from a CD, record, or cassette to the hard drive. The issue was whether the advertisement encouraged users to break the law by illegally copying music. The manufacturer, 3GA Ltd., argued that the unit is similar to other types of electronics that allow users to transfer media from one form to another and that users would use this device as a regular music player. The ASA found that the text of the advertisement did encourage users to copy music illegally because the wording of the advertisement did not state that copying music without permission from the copyright owner is illegal. The punishment? The ASA “told” 3GA to change the wording of the ad to prominently explain to users that they must not break the law by unlawfully copying music. Link to...

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A campus conversation on Hollywood unions

Jonathan Handel, an attorney and author, will be the next guest of the Biederman Institute at Southwestern Law School’s “A Conversation With…” Series. His April 12 discussion will be on, “The Past, Present, and Future of  Hollywood Unions.” The event will be at the Southwestern campus starting at 7:30pm with a reception to follow. Handel is the author of “Hollywood on Strike!” and writes the Digital Media Law blog. Practitioners may earn one hour of CLE credit at the free session. Campus parking is $6. Reservations are requested and can be made through emailing institute@swlaw.edu or calling (213) 738-6602. More details here....

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Amazon takes a bite into Apple’s ‘App Store’

Soon after Amazon opened its mobile applications marketplace, Apple sued Amazon, alleging that the online retail giant’s new App Store for Android infringes on the electronic makers’ trademark for it’s own App Store. Jas Purwal of the Gamer/Law blog notes that Apple’s lawsuit seeks to protect the perceived brand value of Apple’s App Store. This brand value has been built up over the years especially with the popularity of Apple’s products. It will be noteworthy to see how trademark law applies to the mobile app market. Purwal also notes that one of the difficulties that Apple faces is that it has not completed its own trademark registration of the term ‘App Store.’ Microsoft is seeking to block the registration and this may “turn into a three-way battle between Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon.” Purwal says  Amazon likely will argue there is no chance of the app stores being mistaken for one another because the two are run on different devices and operating systems. From: Gamer/Law...

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Has Zediva found legal streaming loophole?

Update: According to Mashable – the MPAA has filed a complaint against Zediva. Startup Zediva uses an interesting twist to differentiate itself from other online streaming companies. These other companies such as Netflix have made deals with studios to hold off on streaming movies online until a certain time after the DVD is released. In contrast, Zediva rents their customers the DVD and a DVD player at Zediva’s data center. This allows the customer to stream the movie online sooner than Zediva’s competitors. Think of a giant center with multiple juke box players, all hooked up and accessible online. Problems? Tonya Gisselberg, author of the Seattle Copyright Watch blog takes a look at the arguments made by James Grimmelman of the Laboratorium blog. Grimmelman argues that the first sale doctrine that Zedvia is relying on does not apply to performances. He provides summaries of case law that distinguish between public and private performances and concludes that Zedvia’s service will constitute a public performance. Gisselberg observes that Zediva’s services may be distinguishable because the copy of the DVD that one customer rents is unavailable to another customer until the rental period ends. Gisselberg also notes that Zediva may not have done enough to prevent unlawful public performances of the movies. Lastly, in an update to Grimmelman’s blog post, he notes that although Zediva has “top notch copyright counsel,” Grimmelman is...

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In Chicago, a flap over Tweets, FB posts

Does the poster or the company own the content on social media sites? That’s the question pending before the U.S.  District Court in Chicago, which will take up interior designer Jill Maremont’s claim against Susan Fredman and her swanky company  — an action that will go on after prevailing over motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. According to Venkat Balasubramani at Eric Goldman’s Technology and Marketing Law Blog, companies should have a social media policy that designates official accounts and that specify who owns the posts on them. The policy also should clarify who “owns” the followers and fans of those accounts. Balausbramani says litigation on this issue will increase as companies see the value of social media. Maremont worked at Susan Fredman Design Group where she developed a big following on Facebook and Twitter. But she  was hurt in a car accident and was out of work for some time. While she was recuperating, she alleges that Fredman and the firm impersonated her on her Facebook and Twitter accounts. While the company’s copyright and trademark arguments were not discussed in this order, it is likely they will be discussed at trial. The first prong of Maremont’s action comes under a false endorsement claim of the Lanham Act, which covers instances in which the public is misled by an individual’s endorsement of a product or service due to...

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The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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