Parody

September Newsletter: Success stories, challenging AT&T, and Blogworld 2011

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Our September newsletter brings news of success stories fighting DMCA abuse, a grant awarded by the California Consumer Protection Foundation, and our continuing efforts to stop the AT&T-Tmobile merger. 

You can also catch us in person at Media Law in the Digital Age in October, a conference coproduced by Harvard Berkman Center's Digital Media Law Project and the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University, as well as Blogworld 2011 in LA in November.

Video Games and the law: Copyright, Trademark and Intellectual Property

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Planning on creating a video game, or created one already? Our latest guide helps you understand some the frequent questions about copyri"676 - Burning Pac-Man -- Seamless Texture" by Flickr user Patrick Hoesly used under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons License ght, trademark and intellectual property when it comes to video games.

Learn how video games are protected under copyright and trademark law, how to respond when your game is removed from the web or an mobile app store by a DMCA takedown notice, and the many ways the law affects the creative process of making a video game.

Let the Wookie Win: A Short History of Star Wars Litigation

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San Diego Comic Con has arrived again! Although New Media Rights provides assistance to creators and internet users nationally, we are firmly rooted in San Diego and supporting local San Diego arts and culture.

Every year, Comic Con brings Storm Troopers fraternizing with Bounty Hunters back to downtown San Diego, and grown women huddled up in Tauntaun sleeping bags back to the Convention Center’s hallways.

To celebrate Star Wars Day and Comic Con returning to San Diego, and to prove learning about the law can be fun (sometimes), we present to you a short history of Star Wars trademark litigation: two cases in which Lucasfilm took people to court over Star Wars and lost.

Bros Icing Bros - A Case for Copyright Bullying by Overreacting Smirnoff Lawyers

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"Smirnoff Ice" by Fernando Ariotti (Released Under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic )

On the morning of July 16, my bros on Twitter noticed something totally un-chill: BrosIcingBros.com, the epicenter of the icing phenomenon, had been taken down. Instead of user-submitted photos of young brosephs and bro-ettes, on their knees drinking bottles of Smirnoff Ice, the website displayed an unceremonious, one-sentence farewell: "We had a good run Bros..."

At NewMediaRights, our pro-bono IP attorney Art Neill regularly deals with individuals being bullied by large copyright/trademark owners into taking down their sites, even when those sites don't actually violate copyright and trademark law. To bring this practice to light, we wanted to publicly discuss how strong/weak Smirnoff's legal arguments to take down BrosIcingBros.com really are, and whether Smirnoff had good faith when chose to take the site down.

By the end of our analysis, we’ll conclude that

(A) Smirnoff’s arguments for both copyright and trademark infringement are weak at best;

(B) Even though Smirnoff did have good faith to send a cease and desist letter to BrosIcingBros for some instances of infringement, it was not within reason for Smirnoff to require that the entire site to get taken down.

(C) If BrosIcingBros was, in fact, taken down because of legal problems with Smirnoff, then this is a classic example of a large brand’s legal department overreaching with cease and desist letters and bullying individuals into compliance without sufficient legal arguments to back their claims up.

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