♫~Tu-tu-ru!~♫ Webmaster for @The_CBH by day ★ Actor by night ★ Singer by at Mass ★ Writer by whenever ★ Current project: Harry Potter and the Fabulous Cowpig.
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Oakland Raiders File Trademark Applications For “Las Vegas Raiders”

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Even though the Oakland Raiders have not yet received the NFL’s blessing to relocate (again), the team appears to be protecting a potential Las Vegas future from potential trademark raiders.

ESPN and Forbes.com both noticed that the Oakland team, which had recently hoped to return to Los Angeles before the league handed that honor to the Rams, had filed multiple trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in just the last week.

These trademarks cover a wide range of product lines, including… deep breath: “Clothing, footwear and headwear, namely, caps, hats, visors, headbands, ear muffs, wristbands, tops, T-shirts, tank tops, knit tops, sleepwear, golf shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, turtlenecks, jackets, neckties, bibs not of paper, jerseys, coats, robes, ponchos, sneakers, gloves, scarves, mittens, aprons, shorts, sweatpants, jeans, pants, socks, underwear, swimwear, rompers.”

Not to mention “professional football games and exhibitions; football fan club services; entertainment services, namely, musical and dance performances provided during intervals at sports events; educational services, namely, physical education programs; production of radio and television programs; live shows featuring football games, football exhibitions, and football competitions; live shows featuring music and dance performances; organizing sporting and cultural events featuring football.”

Oh, and: “Play figures; board games; balloons; toys; plush toys; stuffed animals; sporting goods; golf balls; golf bags; golf club covers; footballs; toy banks; Christmas tree ornaments; jigsaw puzzles; toy and decorative windsocks; kites; pet toys; toy vehicles; billiard balls; dart boards; miniature toy helmets; cornhole board games; playing cards; paper party hats”

There are more (a lot more), but our copy/paste keys are burning up and need to sit out the rest of this drive.

The trademark applications don’t necessarily mean the team is intent on relocating to Las Vegas. Such a move would need approval by the other NFL owners, not to mention a full-fledged plan to relocate without interruption.

As Darren Heitner points out for Forbes, the San Diego Chargers applied to trademark “L.A. Chargers” even though that move never materialized.

Instead, this looks like this is probably an attempt by the team to preempt others from trying to claim the trademark. In addition to the trio of applications filed this week by the Oakland team, there are a half-dozen lesser applications — all filed on Jan. 29 or Jan. 30 — the same time it was reported that Raiders owner Mark Davis had been talking to Vegas casino biggie Sheldon Adelson about building a stadium in the Nevada city. The individuals filing those early trademark applications don’t appear to be related in any way to the team.

If any of those applicants attempted to challenge the team’s claim to the Las Vegas Raiders trademark, they would likely face a steep uphill (and expensive) legal battle.





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Covarr
10 hours ago
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They should rename themselves to the Oakland Isotopes.
Moses Lake, WA
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Has Pokémon Go Run Its Course?

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And just like that, the uber-popular Pokémon Go game has begun to fizzle out. Or at least, that’s the takeaway from a new report that found usage of the app has dropped by tens of millions of users. 

Bloomberg, citing an analysis from Axiom Capital Management, reports that daily users and engagement has dropped from a peak of 45 million users shortly after launching in July to just about 30 million daily users last week.

The analysis, based on data from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia, shows that the game is now on a downward trend, Senior Analyst Victor Anthony says.

If usage continues to decrease, Anthony tells Bloomberg, it could put the viability and popularity of Pokémon Go — and its creator Niantic into question.

The change in daily usage — while not as reliable as looking at monthly users — should be enough to settle concerns from other social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter that users were distracted from using their products.

Still, the decreased use of the game isn’t exactly a sign the Pokémon Go is on the way out. It is still the number one free game on the Google Play store and the number two in Apple’s App Store.

Additionally, the game is still enjoying great fanfare in other parts of the world, where it has launched more recently.

Mashable reports that a vide from Taipei, Taiwan, appears to show a group of Pokémon Go players rushing to catch a Snorlax, creating a stampede while crossing the street.

These Charts Show That Pokemon Go Is Already in Decline [Bloomberg]
This ‘Pokémon Go’ stampede in Taiwan is terrifying [Mashable]





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Covarr
2 days ago
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Psh, every game ever has an early peak and drops after that. You can't come to any meaningful conclusions until it levels out.
Moses Lake, WA
dlwright
2 days ago
True. But most users were lost when the pokemon discovery tools were turned off (both in the app and 3rd party)
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Business Idea

2 Comments and 4 Shares
Then we move to phase two. Gas stations store fuel in underground tanks. Normally, these are inaccessible except via the pump. However, with hydraulic fracturing, we-- Wait! Come back!
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Covarr
9 days ago
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I genuinely want to know where he was headed with this.
Moses Lake, WA
wreichard
9 days ago
Arbitrage and drinking other people's milkshakes?
rraszews
8 days ago
Sounds like he's about to propose a gasoline version of the Salami-Slicing/Penn-Shaving fraud (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salami_slicing), a la Office Space.
coljac
8 days ago
Sounds a bit like Ponzi's original scheme. He was arbitraging postage - international reply coupons!
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Horses

4 Comments and 17 Shares
This car has 240% of a horse's decision-making ability and produces only 30% as much poop.
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Covarr
10 days ago
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"Okay, but on a scale of Apple Maps to anything else, how good is the GPS in this thing?"
Moses Lake, WA
kleer001
10 days ago
GPS should be one in a suite of mutually and massively redundant Self location systems.
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3 public comments
satadru
4 days ago
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<3
New York, NY
wreichard
10 days ago
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"I'm sorry, Wilbur, but I can't do that."
Earth
gcapell
10 days ago
That definitely should have been the alt text
wreichard
10 days ago
Thank you...I have to say, I was kind of proud of it!
WorldMaker
10 days ago
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Horseless carriages: Now with almost as much smarts as a horse.
Louisville, Kentucky

“Dancing Baby” YouTube Lawsuit May Go Before Supreme Court

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The nearly decade-long legal battle over a 29-second YouTube clip of a toddler dancing to a barely discernible Prince song may end up going before the Supreme Court after free speech advocates representing the mother who shot that video petitioned the nation’s highest court.

Those familiar with the “Dancing Baby” case can probably skim the next few paragraphs, but here’s a short history of how a silly YouTube clip became a constitutional milestone.

Back in Feb. 2007, Stepanie Lenz uploaded a short video of her baby boy enjoying himself in the kitchen while the 1984 Prince and the Revolution song “Let’s Go Crazy” played in the background.

While record companies and music publishers now use automated scanning services to check for potential copyright violations, at the time Universal Music used actual human beings to review possible infringement.

Shortly after the video was uploaded to YouTube, it came to the attention of one such flesh-and-blood being at Universal who then included it on a list of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices sent to YouTube.

The DMCA allows for websites to avoid liability for content uploaded by third parties if the site responds in a timely matter to alleged copyright violations. This is why many large sites operate under a “take down first, ask questions later” approach.

Thus, the video was initially removed by YouTube and remained down for about six weeks. After retaining an attorney, the mom convinced the Google-owned site that her video constituted a protected “fair use” of the song and it was reinstated.

Calling Foul On Fair Use

One of the reasons copyright holders can use the DMCA to easily demand the removal of allegedly infringing content is a requirement in the law that these copyright owners are not misrepresenting the nature of the alleged violation. In fact, sending a merit-less takedown demand could make Universal “liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the alleged infringer.”

The mom felt that the use of a few seconds of background music in a video with no commercial intent constituted a clear example of a protected fair use. She also believed that this would have been clear to anyone who viewed the video, and that Universal should have known its takedown demand was frivolous.

Lenz, with the assistance of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sued Universal Music in July 2007 [PDF], alleging that the publisher had failed to live up to its DMCA obligation by not considering the possibility that the short burst of music fell under the fair use umbrella.

Universal argued first that the DMCA doesn’t specifically mention fair use, so it has no obligation to consider this factor. Then it tried to convince the court that fair use is not an “authorized” use of a copyrighted work; it’s just an excusable use of that work, so it was right for Universal to file the takedown demand and then relent after considering fair use.

But the courts have disagreed. The District Court noted in 2008 that the Copyright Act’s section on Fair Use explicitly states that fair use is “not an infringement of copyright.”

Then last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided — at least on this aspect of the case — with Lenz, finding that, “Fair use is not just excused by the law, it is wholly authorized by the law.”

Sky-High Standards

The Ninth Circuit might have agreed with Lenz that Universal should have considered fair use before sending the takedown demand, but it arguably handed the case to the publisher by setting an incredibly high bar for Lenz or any other plaintiff in her situation to prove that a rights holder made a frivolous DMCA claim.

The appeals court ruled that a “copyright owner cannot be liable simply because an unknowing mistake is made, even if the copyright owner acted unreasonably in making the mistake.”

Instead, Lenz must demonstrate that Universal had “some actual knowledge of misrepresentation” when it filed that controversial takedown demand.

The appeals court says a jury in such a case would need to determine “whether Universal’s actions were sufficient to form a subjective good faith belief about the video’s fair use or lack thereof.”

More bluntly, if the rights holder can convince a jury it believed a DMCA takedown demand was sent in good faith, then it can’t be held liable — even if any reasonable person would have realized no infringement had occurred.

Ask The Supremes

And so we come to the actual new news for today. The EFF has filed a petition [PDF] with the Supreme Court on behalf of Lenz, arguing that the standard set by the Ninth Circuit has effectively rendered fair use protections against the DMCA “all but meaningless.”

Continues the petition: “Left undisturbed, the ruling in this case gives a free pass to the censorship of online speech, particularly fair uses. An author could cause a hosting service to take a critical review offline, without fear of consequence, if she held the mistaken view that the reviewer’s use of a quote was unlawful. A political candidate who thought using an excerpt of her speech in a series of videos was necessarily infringing could flood her opponent’s YouTube channel
with takedown notices and cause it to be taken offline altogether in the middle of an election season, again without consequence.”

Taking the appeals court’s logic even farther, the petition contends that there’s no reason a rights holder couldn’t defend themselves by claiming that their belief in a copyright violation was based on something told to them by a fortune teller.

By concluding that a mere belief was sufficient to evade liability for sending a DMCA claim, the petition argues that the Ninth Circuit “puts the DMCA in conflict with the First Amendment… by allowing private parties to do what no court could: Silence lawful expression, temporarily or permanently, based on nothing more than a legally baseless allegation.”

EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry the Supreme Court needs to overturn the Ninth Circuit’s ruling or risk leaving the door wide open to abuse of free expression.

Adds McSherry, “Rightsholders who force down videos and other online content for alleged infringement — based on nothing more than an unreasonable hunch, or subjective criteria they simply made up — must be held accountable.”





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Covarr
13 days ago
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Moses Lake, WA
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Superzoom

2 Comments and 6 Shares
*click* Let him know he's got a stain on his shirt, though.
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Covarr
13 days ago
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Reminds me of the Weird Al song "Melanie".
Moses Lake, WA
kleer001
12 days ago
Reminds me of the slines tech in Anathem.
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1 public comment
MaryEllenCG
10 days ago
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I desperately want one of these.
Greater Bostonia
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