On March 13, 2007, Viacom filed a copyright infringement suit against YouTube and parent company Google. Viacom, whose brands include MTV, VH1, BET, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures, and Comedy Central is asking for $1 Billion in damages and an injunction barring YouTube from future copyright infringement. Viacom claims that 160,000 unauthorized video clips have been shown on YouTube over 1.5 billion times.
Viacom also contends that YouTube gives preferential treatment to companies that have granted YouTube licenses to use their material by selectively filtering copyrighted works.Viacom’s actions diverge from other major entertainment companies, who have negotiated licenses with YouTube to allow their material to be shown on the website, pointing out that Viacom works with “legitimate licensed channels,” such as iTunes, to distribute their material. Viacom argues that the YouTube business model, based on selling advertising with unlicensed material, clearly amounts to copyright infringement, and that monitoring the material should not be the job of the copyright owners.
Fighting Words Opens in L.A.
Congratulations to our client Paul Edwards whose movie Fighting Words was held over for a second week, and received a rave review from Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times. Thomas called the film an engrossing tale about the surprisingly cutthroat world of competitive poetry.
The film stars C. Thomas Howell, Jeff Stearns, Tara D'Agostino, Fred Williamson, Michael Parks, Edward Laurence Albert, Dominic Comperatore, Val Lauren, Jen Dede and Fred Willard. It features original poetry by Thais Carmen, Mona Jean Cedar, Roxanne Hanna-Ware, Charles Ellik, Jeni Erickson, Bridget Gray, Adam Kelber, Javon Johnson, April Jones, Jasmin Jordan, Doug Knott, Gary McMahan, Jerry Quickley, Rives, G. Murray Thomas, t. thrasher, Quincy Troupe, Charles W. Webb, Conney Williams, Al Zolynas.
Thomas says of the film "Edwards brings alive this special world of competitive poetry along with creating unapologetically intelligent key characters."The film is being released by Indican Pictures with an R rating. It is playing exclusively at the Beverly Center 13, 8522 Beverly Blvd., at La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 652-7760; and at the Grande 4-Plex, 345 S. Figueroa St. at 3rd St., Los Angeles, (213) 617-0268.
LAWYERS.COM NOT TRADEMARKABLE
The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals denied registration of the mark LAWYERS.COM for providing an online interactive database featuring information exchange in the fields of law, legal news, and legal services. The court found that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board was correct in finding the mark to be generic. In re Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., No. 2006-1309, U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, April 12, 2007