Posts Tagged ‘trademark’

FCC Adopts New Rules for Post-Incentive Auction Channel Sharing – Including Opportunities for LPTV and TV Translators to Increase Over-the-Air…

At its meeting yesterday, the FCC adopted new rules for post-auction channel sharing by broadcast television stations (see the public notice here ). Channel sharing was a concept adopted by the FCC in connection with the broadcast incentive auction, to allow two or more stations to share a single 6 MHz TV channel, while retaining separate licenses.

Court of Appeals Rules that Over-the-Top Video Service is Not a Cable System Entitled to Statutory License to Retransmit TV Station Programming

In a decision released this week , the 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a District Court decision (about which we wrote here ) that had found that a video service provided by Aereokiller was a “cable system” as defined by Section 111 of the Copyright Act. That decision had held that, as a cable system, Aereokiller was entitled to retransmit the programming broadcast by a television station under a statutory license, without specific permission from the copyright holders in that programming. The Court of Appeals, while finding that the wording of Section 111 was ambiguous, determined that the consistent position taken by the Copyright Office, finding that cable systems as defined by Section 111 had to be local services retransmitting TV programming, with some fixed facilities to a defined set of communities was determinative of the issue

New Wrinkle in Pre-1972 Sound Recording Cases – Georgia Supreme Court Holds that iHeart Streaming Does Not Violate State Criminal Statute

The Georgia Supreme Court this week issued a decision holding that the streaming of pre-1972 sound recordings by iHeart Media does not violate the state’s criminal statutes against the “transfer” of recorded sounds without the permission of the owner of the master recording. While many trade press articles have lumped this decision in with the ongoing litigation about the public performance right in pre-1972 sound recordings, this case is actually dealing with a different issue – and does not even mention the words “public performance” that were the center of debate in the Flo & Eddie cases against Sirius XM and Pandora, leading to the decisions that we wrote about in New York ( here and female viagra uk here ), California ( here ), and Florida ( here ). What is at issue in the Georgia case is a criminal statute similar to those found in many states that prohibits the unauthorized transfer of various recordings, including pre-1972 sound recordings, without permission of the owner of the master recording

More on Flo & Eddie: Federal Court Certifies to California State Court Question of Whether There is a Public Performance Right in Pre-1972 Sound…

The music battle continues over the question of whether state laws provide a public performance right in pre-1972 sound recordings . While, as we wrote here and here , the highest court in New York has determined that there is no such right in that state ending the litigation there, cases continue in other states, notably California (where a Federal Court determined that there was a state right, see our summary here ) and Florida (where the Federal Court determined that there was not, see our summary here ). The Florida case has been referred to that state’s highest court for an advisory ruling on the state of the state’s law on the issue, and earlier this week, the same thing happened in California. The US Court of Appeals for the 9 th Circuit, which was hearing an appeal of the Federal District Court decision that there was a performance right under California law, decided to turn to the experts in California state law – the California Supreme Court – and ask for an interpretation of California law to determine if there is indeed a public performance right in these pre-1972 recordings. Flo & Eddie , the performers behind the 1960s band the Turtles, stirred up a major music rights controversy several years ago by their high-profile lawsuits against music services including Sirius XM and Pandora as to whether there is a state law public performance right in pre-1972 sound recordings (see our article here on the first of these suits).

It’s March Madness! … It’s April Madness! … Be Wary of Using the NCAA’s Trademarks

Less than a week ago, the National Collegiate Athletic Association filed a trademark infringement action in federal court against a company that runs an online sports-themed promotions and contests under the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.”  The NCAA is seeking injunctive relief, damages, the defendant’s profits, punitive damages and an award of attorneys’ fees. Last year, I wrote about the risks of publishing ads or engaging in promotional activities that “play off” the NCAA Collegiate Basketball Playoffs.  Clearly, such activities continue to carry great risks.  Accordingly, I am republishing last year’s blog post on this subject: It’s March Madness!  Know the NCAA’s Rulebook or Risk A Foul Call Against the Unauthorized Use of Its Trademarks With the NCAA Basketball Tournament about to begin, broadcasters, publishers and other businesses need to be wary about potential claims arising from their use terms and logos associated with the tournament, including March Madness , ® The Big Dance , ® Final Four ® or Elite Eight , ® each of which is a federally registered trademark. The NCAA Aggressively Polices the Use of its Trademarks It has been estimated that, last year, the NCAA earned $900 million in revenue associated with the NCAA Basketball tournament.  Moreover, its returns from the tournament have historically grown each year.  Most of this income comes from broadcast licensing fees.  It also has a substantial amount of revenue from licensing March Madness ® and its other marks for use by advertisers.  As part of those licenses, the NCAA agrees to stop non-authorized parties from using any of the marks.  Indeed, if the NCAA did not actively police the use of its marks by unauthorized companies, advertisers might not feel the need to get a license or, at least, to pay as much as they do for the license.  Thus, the NCAA has a strong incentive to put on a full court press to prevent non-licensees from associating their goods and services with the NCAA tournament through unauthorized use of its trademarks.

Commissioner O’Rielly Backs Further Review of Impact of New Law Requiring the Lighting of Short Communications Towers

Last year, we wrote about legislation adopted by Congress telling the FAA to adopt rules to require the lighting of towers less than 200 feet tall located in rural areas .  That legislation was designed to protect aircraft used for agricultural purposes like crop-dusting from collisions with such towers.  The law surprised most of the broadcast industry as it was slipped into legislation dealing with other issues without any real notice or debate.  Many in the communications industry wondered if the costs of implementing this rule was really justified by the harms it prevented.  The questions raised by broadcasters and other communications users received support in a blog post on the FCC blog, here , from FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who raised questions about whether the facts about communications towers had been fully considered when the legislation was adopted.

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The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ ‘Let’s Face It’ Turns 20: Why It’s Better Than You Remember

Looking back on alternative music of the late ‘90s, it’s really easy to conflate “S” words like Sugar Ray, swing, Smash Mouth…

FCC Approves Expansion of Use of FM Translators By AM Stations – But Warns Broadcasters Not to Jump the Gun and viagra order no prescription File Before New Rules Become…

As we wrote last week, the FCC approved the expanded use of FM translators by AM stations – allowing their use anywhere within a 25-mile radius of their AM transmitter site, or within the 2 mv/m contour of the AM station – whichever is greater .  The current rule restricts that will be replaced limit FM translator use to the lesser of the 2 mv/m contour or the 25-mile radius for the AM station.  We summarized the draft order here, and the final order generally tracks that draft.  While the FCC has approved the change in these rules, these changes are not yet effective.  Yesterday, the FCC warned eager AM broadcasters not to file an application in reliance on the new rules just yet , or to even file an application asking for a waiver of the current rules based on the upcoming rule change, as the rules do not become effective until they are approved by the OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act and that approval is published in the Federal Register.  To give all broadcasters an equal opportunity to take advantage of the new rules, any premature application filed in reliance on the rule change will be dismissed . However, the FCC will entertain extensions to the construction permits for unbuilt FM translators used for AM stations where the AM licensee has decided that the new rules will afford them the opportunity to move the translator to a more advantageous location.  Translator permittees must file for these extensions and have them approved by the FCC, and the extensions will last no more than 6 months past the effective date of the new rules (see footnote 22 of last week’s decision ).  The FCC also noted that, if the translator was moved using the 250-mile waiver rules (which we summarized here ), any new move of the translator allowable under the new rules must stay within the 250-mile circle – the move done in reliance on the waivers afforded to stations last year, plus the moves allowed under the current rules, cannot exceed 250 miles.  There will no doubt be many broadcasters looking to take advantage of these new rules soon.

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