Posts Tagged ‘dmca’

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By Scott Nyman

Anyone following college football this past year will remember the big conference shake-up of 2010. The Big 12 lost two schools, dropping to ten schools represented. The Big Ten picked up one of those schools, the University of Nebraska, bringing the Big Ten’s total number of schools to twelve. That’s right, the Big Ten used to have eleven. The Pac-10 also picked up a former Big 12 school, the University of Colorado which, along with former Mountain West Conference University of Utah, brings the Pac 10 to twelve schools. Let’s recap. Twelve in the Pac 10. Twelve in the Big Ten. Ten in the Big 12. Got it? Okay.

After acquiring its new schools, the Pac 10 announced that it would change its name to the “Pac 12.” Through out its history, the former Pac 10 has stood out by using names that correspond with the number of teams included therein, as evidenced by prior names such as “Pacific-8” and “Big Six.” It seems, however, that the transition to Pac-12 will not be without its difficulties.

According to Whois.com, the domain www.pac12.com has already been privately registered to another party, masked through the Canadian registrant “Contactprivacy.” Fellow news postings and additional coverage of this story have stated that the website provides links to the “Tupac 12 pack,” a compilation of hits from the deceased rapper. As of the writing of this article, I was only able to find the banner title “Tupac Lives!” and a blank white page.

The lack of functionality or content for the present www.pac12.com could mean two things. First, the servers could be overloaded in light of the recent publicity and news coverage. Second, the lack of content could be due to a DMCA takedown request from soon-to-be Pac 12 Conference as it gears up for litigation to protect its trademarks and copyrights from its potentially cybersquatting opponents.

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act provides that a person shall be liable in a civil action by the owner of a mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section, if, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, that person (i) has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section; and (ii) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that in the case of a mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to that mark, or in the case of a famous mark that is famous at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to or dilutive of that mark. 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1)(A)

The ACPA continues, stating nine factors used in determining bad faith. The likely relevant factor VIII considers the person’s registration or acquisition of multiple domain names which the person knows are identical or confusingly similar to marks of others that are distinctive at the time of registration of such domain names, or dilutive of famous marks of others that are famous at the time of registration of such domain names, without regard to the goods or services of the parties.

If I were the owner of the Pac12.com domain name, I would consider a hasty settlement with the soon-to-be Pac-12 Conference. Any hopes to get rich off selling the domain name for an exorbitant amount may be crushed by the reality of legal fees incurred while defending him/herself in what looks to become a vicious litigation battle. Either way, Tupac will be watching from the afterlife. And by afterlife, I mean his new identity as Miguel Sanchez, the mysteriously wealthy gentleman with the secluded estate in Tahoe.

Update:

The website, “www.pac12.com” appears to be working again. Also, Whois is now showing that the domain information is now lists Austin Linford of Draper, UT as an administrative contact.

Edit:

PAC-12 has provided us with an updated version of their conference logo.  The current logo is below:

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By Scott Nyman

Video game systems are notoriously closed hardware and software ecosystems. With these devices, such as the Microsoft XBOX 360 or Sony Playstation 3, the manufacturers include additional components into the design of the system to prevent wide scale piracy of the software intended to run on the device. However, it seems at least one person figures out a way to circumvent these anti-piracy protections each console generation.

Recently, 21 year old George Hotz announced that he has “jailbreaked” Sony’s Playstation 3, allowing an owner of the system to install and run programs that may not have been approved by Sony. In their disapproval of the jailbreak, Sony filed suit against Hotz for, among other causes of action, violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Sony also requested a temporary retraining order prohibiting Hotz from further distributing the jailbreak, which the Court granted this past week.

Quite possibly my favorite iPhone picture ever.

This is likely to become an interesting case to follow, considering that the subject of litigation revolves around opening up a restrictive hardware and software ecosystem. This past summer, the Librarian of Congress specifically provided an exemption to the DMCA for jailbreaking Apple’s iPhone closed ecosystem. In this exemption, the Librarian stated “no basis for copyright law to assist Apple in protecting its restrictive business model.”

Time will tell if this DMCA exception will ripple though to Sony’s Playstation 3.

Credit must be given here for the amazing pirate iPhone photo.

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By Scott Nyman

Recently, U.S. governmental agencies have seized over 80 domains accused of selling copyright infringing products. The U.S. Department and Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and the U.S. Department of Justice have obtained orders from courts across nine jurisdictions to seize the allegedly infringing domains.

Some of the domains seized by the government relate to counterfeit items, including Sunglasses-Mall.com and NFLjerseysupply.com. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated, “We are cutting off funds to those looking to profit from the sale of illegal goods and exploit the ingenuity of others.” The domain of the allegedly infringing sites now point to a scary seizure page, complete with a notice threatening up to 10 years in federal prison and a $2,000,000 statutory fine for infringers that intentionally and knowingly traffic counterfeit goods.

Counterfeit items are generally defined under trademark law. As referenced in the notice displayed on the seized domains, 18 U.S.C. § 2320 (e) defines a “counterfeit mark” to include a spurious mark, or a mark that is: (i) used in connection with trafficking the related goods or services, label, packaging, or similar; (ii) identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a mark registered on the principal register in the United States Patent and Trademark Office; (iii) applied to or used in connection with the goods or services for which the mark was registered, label, packaging, or similar; and (iv) likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, or deceive.

The governmental seizures also include domains which allegedly sell or distribute copyrighted movies and music, including a number of bit-torrent directories. Some of these sites include Torrent-finder.com, DVDscollection.com, RapGodFathers.com, and OnSmash.com.  These takedowns took effect despite the protests of the website owners, some of which claim they did not host any copyright infringing content and complied with takedown requests under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Other website owners claimed that they hadn’t received any takedown demands, let alone complaints of hosting infringing materials.

In addition to those affected by the seizures, a significant number of citizens are cautious of granting governmental agencies to seize domains that are simply alleged to infringe the intellectual property rights of others.  Liberal use of domain seizures may create a slippery slope, leading to agency seizures of any unfavorable website, argues those in opposition. Alternately, those in support of the seizures feel these measures are necessary to protect the intellectual properties of U.S. citizens. Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, fully supports these seizures. He states, “We can no longer sit on the sidelines while American intellectual property is stolen and sold online using our own infrastructure. This cost American jobs, hurts our economy, and puts consumers at risk.”

So, again we reach the age old question. How much are we willing to erode our Constitutional rights in the interest of law enforcement? By allowing the governmental agencies to seize domains that are alleged to infringe the intellectual property rights of others, we are able to expedite the removal of domains and websites that violate U.S. copyright and trademark laws. On the other hand, we may consequentially be authorizing the removal of sites that, although controversial, are compliant with the laws created under the same Constitution that grants many of the freedoms we enjoy today.

What do you think? Hit up the comments with your opinions below.

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by Jason Fischer

steve-jobs-wtfA while back, attorneys for Apple concocted a creative argument for why jailbreaking your iPhone constituted an infringement of the copyrights in the device’s software, based on the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (more familiarly known as the “DMCA”).  The Library of Congress (as the body that promulgates regulations for enforcement of the Copyright Act) has today proposed an exemption to liability that specifically puts the kibosh on Apple’s legal theory.

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by Jason Fischer

The opening day of the 2010 Winter Olympics was marked with tragedy when 21-year-old Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, was involved in a fatal crash during a training run. The horrific event dampened the spirit of the international competition and colored the mood at the opening ceremonies later that night. As anyone would expect, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sprung into action, responding to the accident with a multi-point plan:

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2014

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