France seizes France.com from man who’s had it since ‘94, so he sues

30 04 2018

Ars Technica

– 4/29/2018,

A French-born American has now sued his home country because, he claims, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has illegally seized a domain that he’s owned since 1994: France.com.

In the mid-1990s, Jean-Noël Frydman bought France.com from Web.com and set up a website to serve as a “digital kiosk” for Francophiles and Francophones in the United States.

For over 20 years, Frydman built up a business (also known as France.com), often collaborating with numerous official French agencies, including the Consulate General in Los Angeles and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Competitive Keyword Advertising Doesn’t Show Bad Intent–ONEpul v. BagSpot

30 04 2018

Technology and Marketing Law Blog

Eric Goldman

April 28, 2018

This case involves dispensers of plastic bags for picking up dogshit. The plaintiff has a registered trademark in the brand “ONEpul.” The defendant describes its bags as “one-pull” (and yet, the term “descriptive fair use” doesn’t appear in the opinion once…). It also buys Adwords on another trademark of the plaintiff, “zerowaste,” but the appellate court doesn’t discuss a trademark infringement claim over the zerowaste mark. My prior blog post on the district court ruling.

The court analyzes the ONEpul trademark claim.

The court concludes: “Taken as a whole, the evidence that ZW submitted at summary judgment showed only that ZW and PWD were in competition with one another.” Summary judgment affirmed.

Case citation: ZW USA, Inc. v. PWD Systems, LLC, 2018 WL 1956417 (8th Cir. April 26, 2018)

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House of Representatives Passes Music Modernization Act – Looking for Clarity on Mechanical Royalties, Pre-1972 Sound Recordings and Other Music Rights Issues

30 04 2018

This week, the US House of Representatives passed the Music Modernization Act. While widely supported among many digital media companies providing on-demand subscription music services as well as by many in the music industry, the bill seemingly has not received the publicity that has been afforded to past music royalty legislation. That may be, in part, because there were few who adamantly opposed the provisions of the bill, as evidenced by a unanimous House vote – something that never would have happened had any significant portion of the music industry opposed the bill. But this moment of togetherness may be, in part, due to the somewhat limited (though nevertheless very important) issues that it addresses.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.broadcastlawblog.com/2018/04/articles/house-of-representatives-passes-music-modernization-act-looking-for-clarity-on-mechanical-royalties-pre-1972-sound-recordings-and-other-music-rights-issues/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com.

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‘Worst of Both Worlds’ FOSTA Signed Into Law, Completing Section 230’s Evisceration

15 04 2018

Technology & Marketing  Law Blog

Eric Goldman

April 11, 2018

This morning, President Trump signed H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA), into law. The bill signing was anticipated, but that doesn’t make the outcome any less terrible. Today, Washington DC regulators made a major error, one that we’ll likely regret for decades.

Eventually, I plan to write an explainer about the law. In this post, I’ll highlight three developments from the past 2+ weeks since the Senate approved the bill, plus some open questions.

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How Not to Copy: What is Fair and What is Fair Use?

11 04 2018

IP Watchdog

Raymond Van Dyke
April 5, 2018

These issues of fairness and fair use are played out in the recent Oracle v. Google decision. In a convoluted case that has gone up to the Supreme Court once and will again, the Federal Circuit finally was able to make a ruling that the blatant, verbatim copying of computer code is not a fair use. At issue were the copying of 37 Oracle programs or apps, constituting over 11,500 lines of code, by Google for their use in the Android operating system for smart phones and other uses… In the Federal Circuit’s final analysis of the four factors, they again noted that Google could have written their own code or properly licensed with Oracle, but instead chose to copy. “There is nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform.” Accordingly, the Federal Circuit held that Google’s use of the Oracle code was not a fair use.

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https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/04/05/how-not-to-copy-what-is-fair-and-what-is-fair-use/id=95512/

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Patent Troll Sues Spotify, SoundCloud And Deezer Over Patent On A ‘Music Organizer And Entertainment Center’

11 04 2018

Another day, another story of another patent troll. This one is about MOAEC Technologies LLC, a “patent licensing” company that exists solely around four related patents for a “music organizer and entertainment center.” Last month, MOAEC sued Spotify, SoundCloud and Deezer over these patents. It’s interesting that the lawsuit came just a few weeks before Spotify’s IPO, as we’ve seen a bunch of companies sued for patent infringement right before their IPOs — but it didn’t prevent Spotify’s IPO from happening.

All three lawsuits focus on US Patent 6,232,539, which is described this way:

The content in this post was found at 

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https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180405/06423339567/patent-troll-sues-spotify-soundcloud-deezer-over-patent-music-organizer-entertainment-center.shtml

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Vimeo Copyright Infringement Case Still Going Nearly A Decade Later, With Another Partial Win For Vimeo

11 04 2018

tech dirt

Mike Masnick

I’ll admit that I’d forgotten this case was still going on, but after nearly a decade, there it is. The case involves record labels suing web hosting site Vimeo for copyright infringement. The case, which was first filed in 2009, initially focused on Vimeo’s promotion of so-called “lipdubs.” Vimeo is a much smaller competitor to YouTube for hosting videos, but in the 2007 to 2009 timeframe, got some attention for hosting these “lipdubs” of people singing along to famous songs. Perhaps the most famous was one done by the staff of Vimeo itself. The case has taken many, many, many twists and turns.

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https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180406/12242839584/vimeo-copyright-infringement-case-still-going-nearly-decade-later-with-another-partial-win-vimeo.shtml

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PUBG creators finally decide a copycat game has gone too far, file suit

10 04 2018

Ars Technica

– 4/5/2018

As expected, the massively popular online shooter Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has been followed by a wave of imitators, particularly on smartphones. But it has been unclear if or when the game’s creators would ever consider legal action against any of these copycats. In particular, a brief chest-puffing incident involving the similar, and hugely popular, Fortnite Battle Royale came and went last year without incident.

That changed on Monday with a suit filed against NetEase, a Chinese game publisher with two very PUBG-like games on smartphones. The suit, filed in Northern California’s US District Court by PUBG Corp (a wholly owned subsidiary of Korean game publisher Bluehole), alleges both copyright and trademark violations by NetEase’s mobile-only games Rules of Survival and Knives Out.

Much like PUBG, NetEase’s games offer 100-person online battles on an island that players parachute onto. The battles revolve around a constantly shrinking “safe zone,” a specific set of military-grade weapons and armor, and a variety of island-crossing vehicles. What’s more, NetEase’s games beat PUBG to iOS, which invited a substantial number of “PUBG on phone” comparisons before the official version finally hit mobile devices.

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https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/04/pubg-creators-finally-decide-a-copycat-game-has-gone-too-far-file-suit/

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Tom Brady and a Ruling over Embedded Tweets Could Change the Internet and Online Publishing

10 04 2018

IP Watchdog

Franco Galbo
April 6, 2018

Of all of the things NFL quarterback Tom Brady has been accused of ruining over the years, the internet is not necessarily at the top of the list, and certainly not based on an alleged copyright infringement that he had no part in perpetuating. Yet, a photograph of him and Danny Ainge, the general manager of the Boston Celtics, could in fact forever change the internet and online publishing as we know it.

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he content in this post was found at 

https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/04/06/tom-brady-embedded-tweets-online-publishing/id=95387/

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DMCA Safe Harbor Applies to Some Unfair Competition Claims–Capitol Records v. Vimeo

10 04 2018

You probably remember this case. Copyright owners sued the video hosting site Vimeo for third party uploaded videos that allegedly infringed their copyrights. Given this was the paradigmatic situation the DMCA safe harbor was designed to address, you’d think this would result in a quick-and-cheap defense win.

HA! This lawsuit was filed in December 2009, so it’s closing in on its decade anniversary. In 2013, the district court ruled that the DMCA safe harbor did not apply to state copyrighted works, including pre-1972 sound recordings. In an important ruling in 2016, the Second Circuit reversed that ruling, holding that the DMCA safe harbor did apply to state copyrights. The Second Circuit’s ruling had other provisions generally favorable to Vimeo.

Case citation: Capital Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC, 2018 WL 1634123 (SDNY March 31, 2018). [the court caption in this ruling spells it “Capital,” even though the case name is Capitol.]

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The content in this post was found at
https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2018/04/dmca-safe-harbor-applies-to-some-unfair-competition-claims-capitol-records-v-vimeo.htm
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