Wednesday, August 31, 2005

India Police OK'd to Seize Pirated Movies

Wow! That's one hell of a broad warrant power they have over there.

"A New Delhi court has issued a warrant that gives police broad powers to search for and seize pirated movies in any part of the city, an official from an association of U.S. film companies said Wednesday.

The warrant covers the entire city and was issued July 19 by a New Delhi magistrate at the request of the Motion Picture Association, the global arm of the Motion Picture Association of America, said Chander Lall, a lawyer for the group.
Cheap pirated movies made locally or smuggled in from other Asian countries, like China, are readily available in bazaars and even upscale shopping centers around the country. Some are barely watchable recordings made in theaters, others are cinema-quality rip-offs."

I hate to say it, but here in NYC pireted movies are also readily available at bazaars. If you could call Canal Street a bazaar (I'd say you could).

India Police OK'd to Seize Pirated Movies

LOTR film rights owner makes a windfall

Oops. Someone forgot to check on who owned the rights or miscalculated the royalties...BIG time.

"A movie producer earned $168m from The Lord of the Rings films even though he did not work on the trilogy, trade paper Variety has reported.

Saul Zaentz got the payout from film studio New Line because he bought the rights to JRR Tolkien's books in 1976.

The windfall is revealed in court papers after New Line settled a legal wrangle with Mr Zaentz, Variety said."

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Filmmaker 'earns 94m Pounds from Rings'

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

50 Cent lets his attorneys settle his trademark beef these days

This is classic material straight from The Smoking Gun:

Back in the day when young drug dealer 50 Cent had a beef, he'd settle it gangsta style. But the old days are long gone and now rapper Curtis Jackson has trademark attorneys do his dirty work for him. In the below complaint filed Friday in Pennsylvania federal court, 50 accuses a Philadelphia area car dealer of using a newspaper ad with a picture of him and the tagline "JUST LIKE 50 SAYS!" to shill Dodge Magnums. The 30-year-old artist, who is described in the filing as "known for his good looks, 'gangsta' image and hard knocks success story" is seeking more than $1 million for the trademark hijacking.
Via Likelihood of Confusion.

Violence & Video Games

I've posted on this several times before. Most recently railing on Hillary Clinton for caring more about a sex scene in a video game than about gaurding the subways from terrorism (here). And also giving a sigh of relief that a murderer didn't get off on some "the game made me do it defense" in a recent case (here). Here's a few others: new violent NARC game in which the player can do drugs; IL tries to outlaw violent games; & WA ct strikes down law against violent games.

Now the NYT has an article out that it seems to think will close the debate (but not all American's are people of science, as we well know). The article is titled 'The Claim: Violent Video Games Make Young People Aggressive.' Apparently some psycologist has been doing research on the violence and video games question for 20 years (have video games really been around that long?). He finds, shockingly, exectly what you would think...

THE BOTTOM LINE Studies generally show that violent video games can have short-term, or momentary, effects on children, but there is little evidence of long-term changes.

Seems pretty obvious right? That's why juries don't buy the 'game made me do it defense.' Because someone who commits violent crime does it because they have some sort of problem, not because of a game, movie, TV show, or violent book that they read. So, Jack Thompson and the like, when will you stop your moronic campaign against free speech in art? There are sooooo many better movements you could be involved in that would actually help people.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

'Terminator 2' shape-shifting copyright claim moves forward

"A copyright infringement case brought against James Cameron, director of Hollywood blockbuster 'Terminator 2; Judgment Day' can proceed, a US appeals court ruled last week, according to the Associated Press.

Cameron is accused of basing his shape-shifting T-1000, the villain of the movie, on a character created in 1987 by Australian filmmakers Filia and Constantinous Kourtis.
The couple allege that they developed a half-man, half-bull character, which could transform itself into various human and inanimate forms, for the title role of a movie project entitled 'The Minotaur'."

'Terminator 2' shape-shifting copyright claim moves forward | OUT-LAW.COM

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs

It's been looking likely, what with Mac switching to Intel chips in the near future, that Mac has plans to release its OS to run on PCs. But I wonder if they wanted this to be accomplished first by a bunch of hackers?

"Hackers and curious computer users this week have been downloading the tweaked Mac OS X for PCs, nicknamed "OSx86," from several websites connected to the BitTorrent file-distribution system. OSx86 is designed to run on Apple Computer's next generation of hardware, which some call "MacIntels" and others "MacTels" because the machines will run on Intel microprocessors rather than the PowerPC processor used in current Macs."

For some reason, the word on the web is that Mac OS X runs faster on PCs than on Macs.

Mac people can never quiet down about how incredible Macs are, it's a total cult thing. But it looks like Jobs is going to take Mac mainstream now and compete more directly with Microsoft in the PC market. I'll guess we'll all really see just how wonderful, or not, the Mac OS is. Once Mac goes Intel and allows its OS to be used on PCs, it won't be able to sell it's computers at those ridiculously inflated prices based on their "coolness" factor and design anymore. It'll be make-it or break-it go-time. I think they have a good shot at actually ending up as real competition for MS, or at least, they're the only ones that have any shot at all (except for Linux, sort of).

Here's the article: Wired News: Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs

Budweiser trademark litigation still raging across the globe

UPDATE - pic of Bud & Bud added.

Most trademark law junkies will have heard about the global Busweiser name dispute. Here's a nice article that gives a brief review.

"As some 40 lawsuits continue in various jurisdictions, it seems there will be plenty of time for another round of drinks before there's a clear, international answer to who really brews Budweiser -- if ever."

Two Beers United by One Name Europe Deutsche Welle

New Book: "Hot Property: The Stealing of ideas in an Age of Globalization"

Sounds like it may be a really great read for nerdy IP law types! It was released in April, but this is the first I've heard of it.

"According to Pat Choate, the British aristocracy once believed that 'gentlemen do not steal the ideas of others.' As the author deftly points out in his latest venture, however, that philosophy (even among Englishmen) could not be further from the truth. Choate, a political economist, radio co-host, and 1996 vice-presidential running mate of Ross Perot, tracks the evolution of the stealing of ideas and inventions, along with the development of legal mechanisms, such as patent and copyright laws, to protect (or at least attempt to protect) owners from such thievery.

Through political commentary, historical storytelling, and a plethora of statistics, Choate describes the pilfering of ideas on individual and governmental levels, and provides an in-depth account of how US and international laws have helped and hindered those seeking protection."

'Gentlemen do not steal the ideas of others.' Oh yeah? |

Here's the book on Amazon (they have $10 used hardbacks) - HOT PROPERTY: The Stealing of ideas in an Age of Globalization.

If you read it definitly come back and let me know how it is.

New film "The Island" the subject of a copyright claim

Perhaps the makers of 'The Clonus Horror' will make much more on their 1979 indy flick than they ever imagined? I'll keep you up to date on this if I hear anything.

"In The Island, released tomorrow in Britain, a man played by Ewan McGregor goes on the run after discovering that he is part of a colony of clones being kept as spare parts for the rich and ailing.

In The Clonus Horror, released in 1979, a man played by Timothy Donnelly goes on the run after discovering he is part of a colony of clones - kept as spare parts for the rich and ailing.

One film cost DreamWorks and Warner Bros $125m to make; the other cost Clonus Associates $250,000. One film has been derided by critics and has turned into the box-office flop of the year in the US. The other has been ignored by critics but become a cult classic."

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Hollywood cloned our clone movie, say cult film-makers

Friday, August 12, 2005

FedEx freaking out over box furniture

Fed Ex has threatened to bring copyright claims against a kid who built furniture out of Fed Ex boxes and posted pics of them on his website. As the article points out, they would actually be bringing trademark claims if they bring any claims at all. Anyway, it's just one of those stories that are so goofy they make the news.

Wired News: Furniture Causes FedEx Fits

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Jury convicts video game (GTA) defense killer

'The videogame made me do it.' Thank god juries don't buy such nonsense.

Defense lawyers had partly blamed Moore's actions on the hours he spent playing video games from the 'Grand Theft Auto' series, in which players shoot police officers and steal cars. While the judge barred jurors from hearing testimony linking the 2003 shootings to the game, defense lawyer Jim Standridge reminded them that Moore, after his arrest, told police 'Life is a video game; everybody has to die sometime.' Moore had pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental defect. - Jury convicts video game defense killer - Aug 10, 2005

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Darknet for all within months?

Can lawsuits or a new push for legislation be a fix for an easy to use anonymous Darknet file-sharing program? I think it will take more than Grokster or the Induce Act to deal with this...

Software that will allow people to anonymously swap music and other files on the Internet could render copyrighting of songs and movies obsolete by year's end, a creator [of Freenet] said. A test version of the "darknet" software was made available on a Freenet Project website early Wednesday and a refined edition could soon be ready "for general consumption," Ian Clarke of Freenet told AFP. The software is intended to allow computer users worldwide to exchange files online in a way that hides them from industry investigators, vindictive politicians and others, Clarke said. Music recording industry goliaths have fought to crush such renegade file sharing, which they claim fosters piracy of copyrighted material by musicians. Darknet software has so far been treated as a tolerable bane by copyright defenders because programs have been difficult to use and limited to sharing between groups of no more than five or 10 computer users. "We've devised a way you can have a darknet with potentially millions of users," Clarke said. "We hope we will have something suitable for launch this side of Christmas."

And another thing...why are people/news articles still saying things like this: "Music recording industry goliaths have fought to crush such renegade file sharing, which they claim fosters piracy of copyrighted material by musicians." Is there still really a debate about whether file sharing fosters copyright infringement? Maybe I'm missing something. There have been questions about the extent to which widespread file sharing has hurt industry profits and to what extent file sharing benefits society as opposed to how badly it damages the music & film industries, but not about whether file sharing fosters piracy. That much seems pretty clear. Let's be a little more intellectually honest people, please.

Stealth online use by Christmas: software designers - Yahoo! News

Listed on BlogShares < ? law blogs # > Listed on Blogwise Blogarama - The Blog Directory