On January 11, the Velvet Underground (“VU”), a business entity formed by the rock group “The Velvet Underground,” filed suit against the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. (the “Warhol Foundation”). VU alleges that the Warhol Foundation committed trademark infringement by licensing the use of the emblem the group believes is its signature, the banana. The band had used the allegedly iconic mark on its first album, The Velvet Underground and Nico, published by MGM Records in 1967. Continue reading »
Archive for January 2012
Last Wednesday’s Internet protest appears to have revolutionized the debate over the PIPA and SOPA bills in the halls of Congress. In response to Web sites’ strong opposition to the bills, important lawmakers have withdrawn their support. And Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, which is the force behind the bills, is considering meeting with the Internet and content companies to discuss a compromise. Most significantly, last Friday, Representative Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chief sponsor of the PIPA bill, pulled the bill from consideration in the House. In the Senate, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), indefinitely postponed the Senate’s cloture vote (a vote that would place a time limit on the consideration of the SOPA bill) that would have taken place today, and which has been viewed as the nail in the coffin for the current version of the law.
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Today, the Internet is on strike over two bills in Congress, the Stop Online Piracy Act (Senate bill) and the Protect IP Act (House bill), which are aimed at controlling the illegal downloading and streaming of television shows and movies online. Major media companies are backing the bills, hoping to fight piracy by implementing measures like cutting off sales of ads to piracy suspects and delisting them from search engine results. But the technology industry is concerned that the protections may go too far, imposing enormous regulatory costs, and stifling web innovation. In protest, Google and many other sites will point visitors to Web sites describing their opposition to the bills and encouraging users to support their cause by signing petitions or writing to Congressional representatives. Others, like Wired have redacted the text of their sites to make their statement. Wikipedia is going even further – the site will be dark for a full 24 hour period.
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