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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Eircom courting trouble; Boulud Browned off in db battle

PhD candidate Smita Kheria first picked up this item here and here for the IPKat: it concerns the controversy that has been generated by Irish music industry companies EMI Records (Ireland), Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Ireland), Universal Music (Ireland) and Warner Music (Ireland) in launching High Court proceedings against Irish internet service provider Eircom.
The industry has taken the case in an effort to force the telecommunications company to prevent its network from being used to illegally download music. Figures for 2006 indicate that 20 billion music files were illegally downloaded worldwide; the music industry estimates that, for each legal downloaded, there are 20 illegal ones. The industry claims that, on account of illegal downloading and "other factors", the Irish music industry is experiencing "a dramatic and accelerating decline" in income, with the Irish market suffering a decline in total sales from €146 million in 2001 to €102 million in 2007.

Digital Rights Ireland says it is strongly opposed to the move as internet service providers like Eircom cannot be expected to monitor everything transmitted on their networks. DRI adds that ISPs are not legally responsible for the actions of internet users, in the same way as An Post (the Irish postal service) is not responsible for what people send in the mail.

Meanwhile, over in the USA, the IPKat's friend Miri Frankel has unearthed an item of local interest to her but of some wider significance to cognoscenti of restaurant names. Diner's Journal [the IPKat says, from the position of the apostrophe in the title it must be for people who dine alone ...] reports on the story of chef-restaurateur Danny Brown and his contretemps with chef-restaurateur Daniel Boulud. In brief:

"Mr Brown opened a restaurant in Forest Hills, Queens, and on the signs for it and on its menus, he alternately called it Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen and db Wine Bar & Kitchen. ... The latter name did not go over well with Mr Boulud, who has a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan called db bistro moderne. What’s more, the logo Mr Brown developed for his place had visual similarities to the logo Mr Boulud uses for his place.

Mr Boulud’s representatives threatened legal action if Mr Brown didn’t rectify what they saw as a matter of trademark infringement, and negotiations ensued.

Meanwhile, in a delicious twist first reported by the website, Mr Boulud drew the same sort of complaint from a lawyer for the downtown music club CBGB because he was reportedly contemplating the name DBGB for a burger place near the club.

The initials stood for Daniel Boulud Good Burger, and a preliminary (and, according to Mr Boulud’s representatives, unofficial) logo that was making the rounds looked an awful lot like CBGB’s logo.

Back to Mr Brown ...: he lost.

“I have changed all my logos,” he wrote me, providing photo documentation of the old awnings coming down and new ones going up.

“We are now danny brown Wine Bar & Kitchen,” he announced. And so the story, apparently, ends".

1 comment:

Peter Sykes said...

It seems difficult to see how the big four will avoid Eircom citing Article 12 of the E-Commerce Directive which provides the mere conduit defence.

If the big four are successful, it is arguable that a legitimate amount of web content contained on web pages will be inaccessible to users. What happens to the ever narrowing scope of the common law fair dealing rights for Irish broadband users?

It could be a step back for the booming telco industry in Eire.

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