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intellectual property

Pirates of the Thames

Two items from the sportsbiz world caught my eye this week, both coming from the UK.

From London's Olympic Delivery Authority comes the news that boats transporting passengers in the vicinity of London's Olympic Park will be exempt from advertising restrictions during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is despite that the fact that these waterways encroach on the "exclusion zone" for non-sponsor advertising as defined by the ODA.

Associated Press don't want you to see their content for free. Meanwhile...

As Associated Press's right hand prepares to implement something that looks suspiciously like spyware to protect their intellectual property, here's a freely-embeddable video made available by AP's left hand via their Youtube channel:

Another reason to switch to Ogg Vorbis

We all know that businesses that use MP3 encoding for commercial purposes have to pay a licence fee to Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the owners of the MP3 patent. Yesterday, a US court awarded Alcatel-Lucent SA one and a half billion American dollars in damages to be paid by Microsoft for MP3 patent violation.

Associated Press takes up the story.

Is that the cricket, or is your News Limited?

Amusing little stoush hotting up between Cricket Australia and the Murdoch Media Monolith over intellectual property rights to Test highlights.

The Murdochariat are showing three minutes of video highlights each day on the Fox Sports website, despite Cricket Australia issuing a fatwa saying they are only allowed thirty seconds. Murdochistas at News Ltd assert that they are making "fair use" of the footage for reportage of a news event.

Go Australia II

Australia is poised to become the first country to make copyright infringement a "no-fault" offence, a move aimed at broadening criminal penalties for infringement.

- Source: Intellectual Property Watch, 17.11.06

More on the potential impact of the amazing Copyright Amendment 2006, currently before the Senate, in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald.

Welcome cricket 2007

It seems that use of the phrase "Welcome cricket 2007" in public is a breach of the ICC's copyright. Well might you say, Whaaa?

Wednesday's Jamaica Gleaner reports that the local organising committee (or LOC to use its official acronym) for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 has instructed its lawyers to serve notice on the owners of a downtown Kingston property which has the words "Welcome cricket 2007" painted across the front.

The Gleaner quotes Robert Bryan, executive director of the Jamaican LOC as saying "the words Cricket World Cup 2007 used in tandem with World Cup, indicate an association with Cricket World Cup 2007."

The report does not say if Bryan was asked about the legal position when the words "World" and "Cup" are not actually used.

One has to wonder whose market was being ambushed in this case. Or is it now going to be impossible for anyone living in a World Cup host locality to display their excitement about the coming event without being sent a bill for the privilege?

The solution, of course, is to change the wording of the sign to: "Piss off cricket, welcome basketball 2007."

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