Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cartier goes extreme! Then it drops extremism.

In today's world, sometimes the hammer is not good to use, because all it brings is weird and strange publicity.

I think that Cartier leapt before it looked when it filed suit against Apple for apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The app were a fake watch and a fake gold watch, both with the distinct Cartier mark and look. This means that the company who made the software could have caused confusion in consumers who might have thought Cartier approved the software. Apple reviews all software for the iPhone and iPod Touch, so Apple also caused the infringement.

However, (and as we will soon see) would not a letter to Apple's internal legal department have been enough? A company with as much on its own name as Apple would know and understand the problems this software created and the app could easily be removed from Apple's iTunes store. Of course, this is exactly what Apple did, but why the lawsuit, then? It makes me wonder about the machinations - sometimes it's good to wield the hammer, but that does not mean that it always needs to be used. Did Cartier contact Apple first? Did Apple respond? I really would love to know what happened.


Is literary fan fiction copyright infringment?

Fan fiction can be classified as the stories written by the fans of a literary (or other media ) franchise. Many people write fan fiction (and it probably started with "Star Trek" and the "X-Files" back when I was in college online - but I'll accept any earlier examples). The stories are not sold and only appear as if they are written for fun.

This is the key - the stories are NOT sold. One of the guidelines to determine if a work falls under Fair Use is if it does not harm the market for any original work. Here, since those fan fiction stories are not sold, the markets for original stories are not harmed, so I would argue that fan fiction is not copyright infringement.


They are popular! Thank you all for logging on! I will have another trademark and copyright law seminar online on Friday, May 29th at 11 AM. I will send details as soon as the website URL registers. Please join then!

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