Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

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Thad
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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Thad » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:47 am

ADDING: You know, DC and Marvel have spent decades disincentivizing the creation of original characters in their universes -- most creators save new and exciting characters for Image, Dark Horse, or other publishers that will let them keep ownership. Well, now we may be hitting a point where people don't even want to create new Kryptonians, new teenage sidekicks, or other legacy characters anymore. Which kinda stinks, because -- at least until they brought back Hal and Barry -- legacy was the defining concept of the DC universe for about 25 years and gave it something really special to set it apart.

It also occurs to me that, while DC has been better than Marvel (but still, obviously, not perfect) in its treatment of creators over the past 30-40 years, that may be changing. In a twist that, frankly, surprises the fuck out of me, Marvel has actually gotten better about recognizing and compensating creators since its acquisition by Disney. They settled with Friedrich, they settled with the Kirbys, they worked out a new deal with Starlin -- hell, even Bill Everett gets a nice prominent creator credit in the opening titles of Daredevil. (Granted, credit doesn't cost anything, especially when it's do a guy who's been dead for forty years. But it's sure a nice gesture.)

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Thad » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:47 pm

Conway adds that it's not really about the money, either, because he only gets about $50/episode for Felicity Smoak. Which is not nothin', it's over $1000 a year (and once you add in other characters he's co-created, like Firestorm, I bet he clears $2000 a year), but...it feels like it makes it even worse, somehow.

I mean, there have been guys in this industry who the publishers fucked out of tens of millions. Siegel, Shuster, Kirby. (Finger is easily in the tens of millions range too, but he was fucked over by his partner, not his publisher.) And that's absolutely atrocious.

But going out of your way to screw people out of a couple of thousand dollars a year is just so incredibly petty.

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Mongrel » Fri May 01, 2015 11:57 am

Grooveshark is gone. No real warning - just shut down overnight.

And this, my friends, is why I always download my own copies of everything. Unless the internet changes dramatically, there are few to no media sites where you can trust that uploaded media will be there years, months, or even days later.
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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Mothra » Fri May 01, 2015 12:20 pm

Sucks, because I love Grooveshark, but like, I never even remotely understood how it survived as long as it did. You could listen to literally any song by any artist, immediately, for free. How in the fuck did they get away with that for so long?

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Mongrel » Fri May 01, 2015 12:28 pm

Major artists you can at least get elsewhere. There's thousands of small-timers who uploaded a song or an album to Grooveshark and that's all just... gone now.

I always preach that websites and content on the internet are never permanent, but when a big site just vanishes or shuts down (as they like this, from time to time), it still has impact.
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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Thad » Mon May 04, 2015 6:28 pm

So remember Prenda Law? Popehat checks back in with them in a post titled Prenda Law And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Appellate Argument.

Ken White wrote:[Prenda's attorney] Voelker didn't give up. He explained he wanted the court to send the case back to the trial court and, if not dismiss it, give his clients the full criminal contempt hearing they were entitled to. The judges were openly incredulous of this strategy. "You want us to send this back for criminal contempt proceedings?" asked Judge Tallman, with the air of a parent asking a toddler whether he really wants to hurl himself down the stairs. "Do you understand that the maximum penalty for contempt is life imprisonment?" I lost a little urine at this point. "I'm amazed that you're asking for this to be sent back for a criminal proceeding given the findings here and across the country," said Judge Nguyen. But Voelker was undaunted — yes, he said, that's what his clients want.

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Friday » Tue May 05, 2015 12:57 am

Man, every time I read a Prenda article, it's like

I just imagine this gigantic juggernaut bearing down slowly but inexorably on this tiny ant who is hopping and bopping and little squiggly emote lines and shrill noises are coming out of it
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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Romosome » Tue May 05, 2015 5:37 am

I just caught up on the whole thing, having never heard of it.

I'm waiting for Alan Cooper or Salt Marsh to dramatically reveal themselves to be Andy Kaufmann or something.

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Thad » Thu May 07, 2015 11:02 pm

So it turns out nobody wants fucking DRM in their coffee makers.

Keurig says it was wrong to force users to buy single-serving pods

Stock is down 9%. Hope this sends a message to other people who have this same bright idea.

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Grath » Thu May 07, 2015 11:51 pm

Thad wrote:So it turns out nobody wants motherfucking DRM in their coffee makers.

Keurig says it was wrong to force users to buy single-serving pods

Stock is down 9%. Hope this sends a message to other people who have this same bright idea.

Best part is the workaround to pirate Keurig: "tape a valid lid to the machine, and it'll work with anything because they assumed you'd throw out the lid after use."

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Thad » Fri May 08, 2015 10:59 am

Yeah, as complex as DRM has gotten on software, people who distribute physical objects and media never really did get the hang of it. Remember the Sony rootkit and how it could be thwarted by holding down the Ctrl key to disable autoplay? And was that the same one you could stop by blacking out part of the disc with a Sharpie?

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Grath » Fri May 08, 2015 11:55 am

Thad wrote:Yeah, as complex as DRM has gotten on software, people who distribute physical objects and media never really did get the hang of it. Remember the Sony rootkit and how it could be thwarted by holding down the Ctrl key to disable autoplay? And was that the same one you could stop by blacking out part of the disc with a Sharpie?

Companies have been trying to do DRM on 3D printer filament now; so your printer will only run with filament they approve. The one that I'm at all familiar with, you can re-flash the firmware (and it's recommended because the printer company is starting to be extra dickish - they'll brick your printer remotely if they think you used pirated filament) and that removes the DRM check, or there's various chips that'll rewrite the "how much filament has been used" counter on the DRM'd spool, so that you can refill it.

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Mongrel » Sat May 09, 2015 12:43 pm

Jim Balsillie has been something of a punchline the last few years, thanks to his protracted dual with Gary Bettman and RIM's subsequent slide into irrelevance. But he's the author of what is actually a very detailed and concrete assessment of Canada's IP and innovation climate, on where the problems really lie as well as specific structural and policy initiatives to addresses this.

This will probably bore you to tears if you're not Canadian, and maybe if you are, but I thought this was a really great essay that hit a ton of points hard and well and in an intelligent and useful way.
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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby François » Sat May 09, 2015 5:24 pm

Hmm. That sort of thing is usually far from my mind, all focused on immediate survival as I am, but yeah, interesting. And certainly worrying as well, what with the current government being so rooted in ideology that it practically seems overall national prosperity ends up being more a happy accident (when it happens at all) than a genuine goal. Still, if nothing else it's good to see someone knowledgeable speak up.

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Mongrel » Sat May 09, 2015 6:15 pm

Oh, hm, I meant to post this in the Canadian thread. But it actually still works fine here!
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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Thad » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:06 am

Prenda lawyers held in contempt. Again.

New evidence has convinced US District Judge David Herndon that Steele and Hansmeier should be found in contempt, and last week he ordered them to pay $65,263. That amount will get progressively larger, the judge warned, "if they continue their misdeeds before this Court."

In addition, Steele and Duffy "engaged in unreasonable, willful obstruction of discovery in bad faith," and Herndon ordered those two to pay for the defense's discovery expenses, needed to unwind the complex financial records.

The three offending lawyers have until July 15 to pay up.

"We're ecstatic because we finally got it, and this order gives them a set date by which to pay," said defense lawyer Jason Sweet in an interview with Ars. "They didn't have to obstruct discovery. It was always in their control. As the court found, they've shown a willingness to lie, and they'll continue to do so unless they're sanctioned."

[...]

In January and February of 2014, Steele maintained that a quarter-million-dollar sanction would be a "crippling liability," but in the same months he wrote checks for nearly $300,000—"just none to the Court." He wrote $38,000 in cashier's checks made out to himself and just over $172,000 earmarked for home renovations. In late 2014, the Miami home Steele had bought outright for $766,000 was on the market with an asking price of $1.6 million.

Hansmeier, too, claimed he didn't have access to $250,000. Meanwhile, he transferred more than $500,000 to an entity called Monyet, LLC. He claimed that was a trust set up for his son, but the document trail ultimately showed that most of Monyet's assets "went towards expenses such as payment of appellate bonds and attorney’s fees, investments in Liverwire Holdings, LLC, and loans to his Class Justice LLC law firm."

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:48 am

So the MPAA has decided they want to go after Google. But, as it so happens, Google found their e-mails detailing their strategy.

Not much to see here... other than hard evidence that the WSJ editorial page and the Today Show are for sale! Whoops! Oh wait, and state Attorney Generals too! Whoops! Whoops!
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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby Thad » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:46 am

Ars: Filmmakers fighting “Happy Birthday” copyright find their “smoking gun”

The "smoking gun" is a 1927 version of the "Happy Birthday" lyrics, predating Warner/Chappell's 1935 copyright by eight years. That 1927 songbook, along with other versions located through the plaintiffs' investigations, "conclusively prove that any copyright that may have existed for the song itself... expired decades ago."

[...]

Further investigation showed that the song appeared in editions stretching back to 1922, which in the plaintiffs' view "proves conclusively" that "Happy Birthday" entered the public domain no later than that year. The song was printed without a copyright notice unlike other songs in the book.

[...]

That's critical, because under the 1909 Copyright Act which was then in force, a published work had to include the word “Copyright,” the abbreviation "Copr., " or the "©" symbol, or "the published work was interjected irrevocably into the public domain."

The plaintiffs argue that the 1922 publication without proper notice forfeited copyright in the work. Even if the judge overseeing the case doesn't agree with them, however, there's a secondary argument: the copyright for the whole 1922 songbook expired in 1949.

There's even a third line of defense: even if the work had been published in 1922 with proper notice, and even if that copyright had been renewed in 1949 (which the plaintiffs say it wasn't), the song still would have become public domain at midnight on December 31, 1997.

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Re: Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and branding irons

Postby zaratustra » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:01 am

Mongrel wrote:So the MPAA has decided they want to go after Google. But, as it so happens, Google found their e-mails detailing their strategy.

Not much to see here... other than hard evidence that the WSJ editorial page and the Today Show are for sale! Whoops! Oh wait, and state Attorney Generals too! Whoops! Whoops!


just imagine trying to build any court case against google

"does the defendant have any evidence to present"

"here" *carts piles of tape drives into the courtroom* "they're indexed by popularity to save you time"


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