Friday, November 24, 2006

Quick Hits

I hope that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving.

Here are some short items right now.

Other Law Blogs

You can read the New York Small Business Law blog of Imke Ratschko at


Universal Music Group has sued MySpace for copyright infringement. This is because users continuously post videos and songs on their profiles for everyone to listen and watch - for free.

How does this work? Briefly, ยง512 of the Copyright Act (more commonly known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1988) states that owners of copyrighted material must inform the owner of the website that its copyrights are being infringed when the website's material is generated by the users of the site. Then the website owner is to take down the offending material.


There is a lawsuit over the use of WSOP in the poker world. Does WSOP stand for the World Series of Poker - whith is owned by Harrah's (which bought it from Binion's - the casino host to the World Series of Poker) or does WSOP stand for the World's Standard of Online Poker, owned by Frederico Schiavo? owner, Schiavo, has updates on the case on the website.

I'd like to propose a settlement, which may or may not work here. Take a look at and see that Hasbro and Mattel have worked out their worldwide rights to the Scrabble trademark.


Andy Griffith sues Andy Griffith. The star of the old "Andy Griffith Show" has sued a man who changed his name to Andrew Jackson Griffith. According to the article, "The lawsuit, filed Nov. 3 in U.S. District Court in Madison, alleges that William Harold Fenrick, 42, violated trademark and copyright laws, as well as the privacy of actor Andy Samuel Griffith, when he used his new name to promote his candidacy for sheriff in southwestern Wisconsin."

Once again - I ask if actors have any trademark rights in their name. The lawyers reading this can find my article at 14 Seton Hall J. Sports & Ent. L. 153 (2004) where I argue that actors don't necessarily have trademark rights in their names. After all, Andy Griffith played more than one role in his life. Trademark law looks for more specifics than just "acting," it looks for a quality of the goods or services as well.

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