Saturday, March 31, 2007

Annual Spring Intellectual Property Principles and Practice Seminar

Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch (BSKB), a leading international intellectual property law firm, will be conducting its annual Spring U.S. Trademark Practice Seminar April 1-6 in the firm’s East Coast Office located in Falls Church, Virginia.

The annual seminar provides a broad range of basic trademark law with advanced topics in litigation principles and practice, according to the firm’s West Coast office managing partner Leonard Svensson. “These valuable practical training courses cannot be obtained through legal texts, and the forum includes open discussion and active participation by the attendees.”

Topics this year will include such fundamentals as the creation and maintenance of trademark rights, conducting trademark searches, proper trademark use and promotion, special procedures for intent to use applications, and preparation of declarations. Advanced topics include: practice before the trademark trial and appeal board; licensing and assignment of trademark rights; inter partes matter; litigation; and the enforcement of trademark rights in the federal and state courts.

For more information on this event and future BSKB Seminars, contact Leonard Svensson at the firm’s West Coast Office Managing Partner. The firm’s new address is Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP, 12770 High Bluff Drive, Suite 260, San Diego, California 92130, tel. (858) 792-8855, fax (858) 792-3785.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Cyber Thieves Are Hauling in More Cash Than Drug Dealers

A major worldwide malware epidemic is putting greater wealth in the hands of criminals and has prompted PC Tools to update its award-winning Spyware Doctor.

“The malware epidemic is exploding and our Malware Research Center has witnessed some disturbing trends such as blended attacks, proliferation of toxic rootkits — and worst of all — a 120-percent increase in new crime-based threats,” said Michael Greene, Vice President of Product Strategy.

“Cyber thieves are making more money than drug dealers, according to a recent global identity theft report.(1) Given the huge rise in ID theft this year, it would be safe to presume cyber thieves are now earning as much as a small country. It is a massive problem and this is why we are facing one of the most significant Internet security battles ever. Everyone is vulnerable — from those using social networking sites to individuals simply filing online taxes. Those security vendors who do not revise their Internet security technology will be ineffective.”

“We had no choice but to respond quickly. As we watched the number and complexity of these dangerous threats grow, we either had to face the problem with all guns blazing or simply exit the security field,” said Greene.

The malware epidemic is exploding, according to the PC Tools Malware Research Center that identifies these disturbing trends:

* Blending of virus and spyware attacks on users — making malware more complex and seen to be specifically targeting personal information.

* Metamorphoses of Trojans — where basic signatures of threats are constantly changing to confound anti-malware scanners.

* Proliferation of toxic rootkits that remain in stealth mode for weeks or even months before unleashing dangerous attacks on users.

Source: Spyware Doctor 5.0,

(1) This information was taken from the Security Report Online Identity Theft, February 2006.

NBC Universal and News Corp. Announce Deal with Internet Leaders

News Corporation and NBC Universal will launch the largest Internet video distribution network ever assembled with the most sought-after content from television and film. The video-rich site will debut this summer with thousands of hours of full-length programming, movies and clips, representing premium content from at least a dozen networks and two major film studios.

AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo! will be the new site’s initial distribution partners. Their users, who represent 96 percent of the monthly U.S. unique users on the Internet, will have unlimited access to the site’s vast library of content. This media alliance will offer consumers free long- and short-form video and create a compelling platform for advertisers, targeting the rapidly growing audience of online video consumers.

Stanford Scholar Wins Right to Publish Joyce Material in Copyright Suit

Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project announced today that Stanford University Acting Professor of English Carol Shloss won the right to publish her scholarship on the literary work of James Joyce online and in print based on a settlement agreement with the Joyce Estate. The landmark case Shloss v. Estate of James Joyce was filed last year on the eve of Bloomsday—the annual Joyce celebration that takes place on June 16 to memorialize the day that Leopold Bloom, the main character in Joyce's Ulysses, made his walk through Dublin. The case sought to establish Shloss’s right to use copyrighted materials in her writing under the “fair use” doctrine.

Relying on many primary sources, Shloss’s work focuses on the life of Lucia Joyce: her unacknowledged artistic talent, her tragic life spent mostly in mental institutions, and the unrecognized influence she exerted over her father’s work. Upon learning of Shloss’s scholarship, the Joyce Estate—controlled by Joyce’s grandson Stephen James Joyce—denied her permission to quote from any of the materials the Joyce Estate controlled and repeatedly threatened Shloss with a copyright infringement suit.

The Fair Use Project and Cyberlaw Clinic filed a lawsuit on behalf of Shloss in June 2006, asking a federal court to find that she has the right to use quotations from published and unpublished material relating to James and Lucia Joyce on a scholarly website.

This week, Stephen James Joyce and the Joyce Estate entered into a settlement agreement enforceable by the court that lets Shloss publish this material electronically and also publish a printed supplement to her book “Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake.”

“The Joyce Estate has been extremely aggressive in enforcing copyrights and has threatened scholars with lawsuits even though their work qualifies under the ‘fair use’ doctrine of copyright law,” explained Anthony Falzone, who is the executive director of the Fair Use Project and who led the litigation team that included lawyers from Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society and Cyberlaw Clinic, as well as the law firms of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, and Keker & Van Nest. “Our client got exactly what she asked for in her complaint, and more.”

“I am extraordinarily happy that Stanford's Fair Use Project has enabled an academic to do her work," said Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law professor and director of the Stanford Center for Information and Society (CIS). "But this is just the first of a series of cases that will be necessary to establish the reality of creative freedom that the ‘fair use’ doctrine is intended to protect in theory. We will continue to defend academics threatened by overly aggressive copyright holders, as well as other creators for whom the intended protections of ‘fair use’ do not work in practice. I am hopeful that this is the last time this defendant will be involved in an action like this. But it is only the first time that we will be defending academics in these contexts."

In 2003, prior to publishing Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake about Lucia’s influence on Finnegans Wake, Shloss was forced to delete substantial evidentiary portions of the manuscript to avoid the threat of copyright litigation from the Estate. In 2005, Shloss created a supplemental website containing the supporting material that was cut from her book, but had not made the website publicly available. In a series of letters to Shloss, the Joyce Estate threatened legal action if the website were to be made available to the public. In 2006, Shloss decided to sue to help clarify the ability of scholars to explore the personal histories of their subjects using their biographical material without threat of suit. Shloss’s claim asserted that the website uses the work in a scholarly transformative manner—a manner allowed under U.S. copyright law.

“The work of literary scholars is inherently transformative,” said Carol Shloss, acting professor of English at Stanford. “We take the writing of someone whose work we love and share it with others. We keep our human inheritance alive by making it part of a dialog with our peers, our friends, our students and the generations that follow us. When that dialog is interrupted, when we are squeezed between the aggression of literary estates and the apprehensions of publishers, something very important is lost. I fought not just for Lucia and Joyce, whose words had to be taken out of my book, but for the freedom to consider what happened to them and for the freedom of others to respond to my ideas. ‘Fair use’ exists to foster this liveliness of mind; its measure is in transformation not in a restrictive counting of words. Everyone who worked on this case understood that something far more important than my particular book was at stake in the fight. It was an honor to work with them.”

“I think we succeeded in showing the Joyce community and other scholars that they have rights and the opportunity to push back against overly aggressive copyright enforcement,” explained David Olson, a resident fellow at the Center for Internet and Society who worked on the case.

Along with Lessig, Falzone, and Olson, several lawyers played a key role in the case and provided pro bono services: Mark Lemley, Stanford Law professor and of counsel at Keker & Van Nest; Robert Spoo and Bernie Burk and their colleagues at Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, P.C.

Carol Shloss is expected to make her website live in the coming days at

About the Fair Use Project

The Stanford Center for Internet and Society's "Fair Use Project" ("the FUP") was founded in 2006. Its purpose is to provide legal support to a range of projects designed to clarify, and extend, the boundaries of "fair use" in order to enhance creative freedom. The FUP represents filmmakers, musicians, artists, writers, scholars, and other content creators in a range of disputes that raise important questions concerning fair use and the limits of intellectual property rights. In doing so, it relies on a network of talented lawyers within the Center for Internet and Society, as well as attorneys in law firms and public interest organizations that are dedicated to advancing the mission of the FUP.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

From Edison to iPod: Protect Your Ideas and Make Money

Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, a leading firm in the field of trademark, copyright, design and unfair competition law, announced today that firm partner, Larry Apolzon has co-authored with Fred Mostert,From Edison to iPod: Protect Your Ideas and Make Money,” a guide to demystifying intellectual property.

The book provides entrepreneurs, writers, artists, designers, musicians, inventors and other business professionals and creative people with practical information and tips to enable them to protect their creations. In everyday language, “From Edison to iPod” explains intellectual property including trademarks, copyrights, design patents, trade secrets and utility patents. In its review, Publishers Weekly noted, “The authors have boiled down their message so well that a single two-page chart serves as a terrific crib sheet for the entire resource.”

The publisher, DK Publishing, worked closely with the authors to present a varied and colorful display of creations that have become established icons accompanied by informative captions to inspire and guide the reader.

From Edison to iPod: Protect Your Ideas and Make Money [ISBN: 978-0-7566-2602-0] was released this month by DK Publishing, which is part of Penguin Group.

Tens of Millions of Consumers Gain Access to Copyright-Cleared Independent

Pump Audio, the leading provider of quality independent music to content creators globally, has reached an agreement with Photobucket to provide copyright-cleared, independent music to the tens of millions of Photobucket users who create and share remixes of their photos and videos using the Adobe(R) web-based video remix technology integrated on Photobucket's site. Photobucket users can now easily add music from Pump Audio to their mashups.

Photobucket is the online personal media company where over 35 million people create, manage and share their personal digital media, and is the third largest video hosting site behind YouTube and MySpace. Pump Audio provides a proven, legal music solution with original songs perfectly suited for synchronizing to online productions. Photobucket has licensed hundreds of songs across dozens of genres from Pump Audio's catalog of more than 75,000 tracks.

Photobucket recently launched a web-based video remix and editing service, powered by Adobe Systems Incorporated. Using this remix service, Photobucket users can combine images, videos, text, and music provided by Pump Audio to create content mashups from their Photobucket albums, without requiring any additional downloads.

Working together, Pump Audio and Photobucket also are creating a new venue for participating artists to gain additional exposure to Photobucket's massive user base. Pump Audio artists will receive a visual credit with information about the music being used in Photobucket mashups, creating a new promotional opportunity to directly reach potential fans. Photobucket users can embed their mashups into any web page, blog, or social network profile, and also share with family and friends, so artists will have the potential for broad exposure.

Internet Gaming Site 'Second Life' Has Become Opportunity for Litigators

Lawyers USA recently launched its new "Internet Lawyer " feature by exploring how the wildly popular Second Life website has become a land of opportunity for litigators - both real and virtual. The article may be found at

"Our goal with the 'Internet Lawyer' feature is to keep our audience informed of the most recent developments in this increasingly complex subject area, and to examine some innovative new ways in which lawyers are not only practicing law, but also how the next generation of attorneys will ultimately be promoting themselves," explains Associate Publisher/Editor Susan Bocamazo.

For the uninitiated, "Second Life" is a vast and constantly expanding virtual 3D world that is attracting a huge and growing number of participants. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people sit before their computers and enter Second Life in the form of "avatars," or virtual beings, whom they create when they join.

Using keyboard and screen commands, Second Lifers navigate their avatars through an amazingly lifelike world. Avatars can walk and run, but they also possess the superhuman abilities to fly and instantly teleport to any spot in the enormous Second Life world. They also interact with other avatars, engaging in conversations that are typed by the real people sitting at their computers who form relationships, build actual communities of like-minded souls, and now conduct business transactions - all of which have created a perfect niche for legal counsel.
Lawyers USA staff writer, Dick Dahl, traveled to Second Life to "meet" with several virtual attorneys and plans to continue to report from cyberspace while Lawyers USA establishes the first legal news publication on Second Life.

Viacom Files Federal Copyright Infringement Complaint Against YouTube and Google

Viacom Inc. has sued YouTube and Google in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for massive intentional copyright infringement of Viacom's entertainment properties. The suit seeks more than $1 billion in damages, as well as an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube from further copyright infringement. The complaint contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom's programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Digital Freedom Moves Forward

The Digital Freedom Campaign, a broad-based coalition of artists, consumers and innovators seeking balanced copyright reform for the digital world, today announced a major initiative to launch college campus chapters around the country that will promote the freedom of students to participate fully in the digital revolution. The first such chapter announced today will be established at Virginia's James Madison University.

The Digital Freedom Campaign, a broad-based coalition of artists, consumers and innovators seeking balanced copyright reform for the digital world, today announced a major initiative to launch college campus chapters around the country that will promote the freedom of students to participate fully in the digital revolution. The first such chapter announced today will be established at Virginia's James Madison University.

The Campaign, which is strongly opposed to illegal downloads and piracy, views students as an important cutting-edge audience that must be educated-not threatened. As evidenced by the explosion of social networking and digital innovation taking place on campuses across the country, the Digital Freedom Campaign believes that students deserve a role in shaping the policies of our digital future. To that end, the campaign will begin today inviting student leaders to open Digital Freedom University chapters on college campuses nationwide.

The campaign invites all interested college students to contact the Campaign by e-mail at to learn how to start a Digital Freedom college chapter on their campus. The Campaign will also reach out directly to student leaders to help organize campus activities. This opportunity will provide students with valuable leadership experience, as well as exposure to public affairs and grassroots organizing and promotion. Interested parties are encouraged to visit to learn more about the campaign.

Media Rights Technologies Enjoins RIAA to Prevent Demise of Internet Radio

The Library of Congress Copyright Royalty Board has released its decision to substantially raise royalty rates paid by Internet Radio providers. If upheld, the judgment will have devastating consequences. In many cases these new royalty rates would approximate 130% of gross revenues to companies like Pandora, Live 365, Sirius, XM Radio and The fatal effects to this nascent industry will damage even the largest of players such as iTunes and Yahoo.

In recent hearings, SoundExchange has cited stream ripping as a primary reason for the rate increase, arguing lessened CD and legal download sales. While it is true that stream ripping jeopardizes the entire music industry, increasing royalty rates will only discourage lawful webcasting while strengthening the illegal base of stream ripping software.

Proven technology exists which eradicates this epidemic and is far more profitable for the music industry than rate increases. Media Rights Technologies (MRT) has spent four years perfecting an effective solution to stream ripping that is simple and elegant to deploy. MRT's SeCure X1 technology protects all Internet streams from piracy without affecting the consumer experience. X1 has been vetted and presented to Congress by the RIAA, however the trade association has been remiss in their failure to adopt it.

Over 100 million stream ripping programs now in the public domain continue to cost the labels billions of dollars in lost annual revenues, while for a fraction of that amount a proven solution could be implemented. Since 2003, MRT has consistently demonstrated the efficacy of X1 at, which has eliminated stream ripping of its globally webcasted content.

MRT CEO Hank Risan adds, "Solving the stream ripping problem by increasing royalty rates makes no sense. A reasonable and nondiscriminatory solution has been made available to the recording industry for many years. It's time for the music community to realize revenue and stop passing the buck."


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Documentary Filmmakers Find Freedom From Clearance Hurdles

One of the most dauntingeconomic hurdles for documentary filmmakers now has a solution. Media/Professional Insurance is teaming with top intellectual propertylawyers and the Stanford Law School Fair Use Project to enable filmmakers to insure against claims arising out of "fair use" of copyrighted material.

Media/Professional Insurance, a leader in media and entertainmentliability coverage, has developed a policy endorsement that explicitly allows documentarians to rely on "fair use" without jeopardizing coverage. Insurers and film distributors typically require producers to obtain specific permission for use of copyrighted material in a film. Licensing copyrighted material, however, can be prohibitively expensive, or impossible, for new or independent filmmakers -- an economic barrier thatseriously hinders freedom of expression. The Fair Use Doctrine provides that use for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is not an infringement of copyright.

"Documentary films are an important source of education, commentary and criticism. Rigidly requiring licenses or releases in all cases does not give filmmakers the flexibility to take advantage of 'fair use' inappropriate situations," said Leib Dodell, president of Media/Professional Insurance. "This initiative makes 'fair use' work in the real world of independent filmmakers."

Scentric Launches Free Data Privacy Assessment Tool

Scentric, the provider of theworld's first universal data classification solution, today announced theavailability of the Data Privacy Assessment Tool, empowering enterpriseusers with a proactive assessment of potential data privacy risks. Available as a free download at for a 30 day periodfollowing user registration on the site, the application provides on-demand classification of files on laptops, desktops, filers and file servers.

In the last two years, over 100 million private data records have been lost or stolen, according to the Privacy Rights Clearing House. The Ponemon Institute estimates the average cost of a data breech in 2006 at $182 per record, but the impact of a privacy breech on an enterprise goes beyond the dollar costs involved to include damage to a company's brand image, potential fines, and lost customers.

Software Piracy Ringleader Extradited From Australia

In one of the first everextraditions for an intellectual property offense, the leader of one of the oldest and most renowned Internet software piracy groups was arraigned today in U.S. District Court, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher ofthe Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg for the Eastern District of Virginia announced today.

Hew Raymond Griffiths, 44, a British national living in Bateau Bay,Australia, appeared today in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., before Magistrate Judge Barry R. Poretz. The defendant was extradited from Australia and is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and one count of criminal copyright infringement. Ifconvicted on both counts, Griffiths could receive a maximum sentence of 10y ears in prison and a $500,000 fine. Prior to his arrival in the United States, he had spent nearly three years incarcerated at a detention centerin Australia while fighting his extradition in Australian court.

The indictment, which was returned in March 2003, charges Griffithswith violating the criminal copyright laws of the United States as the leader of an organized criminal group known as DrinkOrDie, which had areputation as one of the oldest security-conscious piracy groups on the Internet. Prior to its dismantling, DrinkOrDie was estimated to have caused the illegal reproduction and distribution of more than $50 million worth ofpirated software, movies, games and music.

According to the indictment, Griffiths oversaw all the illegal operations of DrinkOrDie which specialized in cracking software and distributing the cracked versions over the Internet. Once cracked, thesesoftware versions could be copied and used without limitation. Members stockpiled the illegal software on huge Internet computer storage sites that were filled with tens of thousands of individual software, game, movie and music titles worth millions of dollars. The group used encryption and an array of other sophisticated technological security measures to hide their activities from law enforcement.