January 27, 2006

Ugh — Makes Me Itch [4:34 pm]

Texas A&amp:M defends their trademark — one that I can’t find in the USPTO database (just DEAD entries), but what do I know: Trademarking your territory [pdf]

The Twelfth Man may have to work overtime going back and forth between Seattle and College Station to support two football teams.

With the Super Bowl approaching, the Seattle Seahawks’ own 12th Man flag caught the attention of Texas A&M fans who watched the Seattle team advance during the NFL playoffs.

A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne said the Office of Collegiate Licensing is working on having the Seahawks cease and desist their use of the trademark.

“We had similar situations with the Buffalo Bills and the Chicago Bears, and they responded quickly with our requests to stop using our Twelfth Man trademark,” Byrne said in his weekly update address. “But Seattle has been slow-rolling us.”

“Threepeat, threepeat, threepeat.”

Whoops — there’s ser # 1948306, reg #74560726 for jewelry, and “entertainment services, namely organizing and conducting intercollegiate sporting events” — don’t see exactly where professional sporting events enters into it…”

Later, from a Seattle paper: Seahawks’ ‘12th Man’ angers A&M

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Look; Music Marketing Has Changed [4:14 pm]

My god. This is chilling — on the face of it, this is an article about how new distribution makes for reduced costs of marketing music; but the examples given are all about closed distribution architectures — who can’t make money with a monopoly channel? Music marketing gets digital tune-up [pdf]

While the music industry has suffered sales declines and been forced to reevaluate its business models, one area that has benefited is marketing, where costs have increasingly been underwritten by new partners in the technology sector.

“The overall marketing dollars may or may not be the same, but the money’s not just coming out of labels’ pockets anymore. There are many new partners who want exclusive content and are willing to pay for it,” one music executive said.

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An Election Must Be Coming Up in LA [8:24 am]

L.A. City Attorney Sues Video Game Maker [pdf]

The city attorney’s office has sued the makers of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” for allegedly hiding pornographic material inside the video game, officials said.

Rocky Delgadillo said his office sued Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive, for making misleading statements in marketing the game and engaging in unfair competition.

Later: Sex, boys and video games [pdf]

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Another Modest Proposal [8:19 am]

From Inside Higher Ed: Everything to Everyone

What I think we%u2019re after is something more straightforward, but nearly impossible to achieve. In this dream scenario, every author would make his or her work available in a digital form that is searchable but cannot be redistributed, in a widely compatible format, marked with the same kinds of metadata. We wouldn%u2019t need Google Book Search, because these book %u201Cfootprints%u201D would all be online and available for searches just as Web sites are. But this is certainly an unreasonable and prohibitive request to make of authors, at least right now. For all intents and purposes, this is what Google seems willing to provide for us, with the promise of some ad revenue in return. As a less than perfect version of that ideal, it%u2019s quite good.

Waiting for fair use to shield this expanding range of uses is slowing the innovation in information, knowledge, and culture the Internet seems ready to facilitate. And every time it does, we risk a court setting a retrograde precedent that cements digital culture into place for good. We need a new statute that acknowledges and accommodates the common sense recognition that search is good, that it requires incidental copying, and that it should not be left to individual, competing publishers to make their work part of the public trust.

In a moment when we are handing content owners much more control not only over the use of their work but over access to it, we need to make a parallel commitment to ensuring and expanding access of a different kind, as an aggregate collection of all things thought and written that can be easily explored. And, we need to let fair use protect the activities it%u2019s designed to protect, instead of letting it fray as it stands in as the only protection against a locked and licensed digital world.

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