Friday fantasies

Friday has come round again and, with it, a priceless moment to contemplate the array of future attractions -- so check out the IPKat's Forthcoming Events page here and see what takes your fancy!

"IPTV for You & Me" was the exciting headline of this piece that caught the eye of Dr Kate E. Macdonald. Sadly, this was an acute case of initial interest confusion: the article to which this marvellous headline was attached was all about internet protocol television after all.  Never mind the disappointment, at least it makes the French happy, according to the BBC.

Wearing red soles ...!
... and talking of initial interest confusion, the Hardwicke seminar on that very subject on 7 September has now been signed up to by 58 whole people. This is good news for everyone who enjoys half-day seminars, buffet lunches, excellent networking and a chance to see what the AmeriKat will be wearing. Programme and registration details here.

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is never out of the news these days. Its latest eye-catcher is an announcement that it is now an affiliate of Brand-i, the web-store where you can't buy fakes even if you want to, since it only lists genuine sellers and has the blessing of the Trading Standards Institute. Brand-i has that incredible Report-a-Site functionality, which enables shoppers to "shop" online sellers of counterfeits.  Customers actually have two options if they find a site offering infringing software. They can use Report-a-Site or they can tell FAST itself here. Now that's consumer choice for you, says the IPKat..

Discreet Australians do exist. One such soul has sent the IPKat this little tale and begs to be kept anonymous. And this is what she tells the Kats:
"Coles, a large Australian supermarket, has recently been going through an advertising war with its rival Woolworths. Coles' advertising campaign features a slogan and a terrible song called "Down down, our prices are down" and using giant red hands (here).  Recently a parody was made of the ad, titled "Colworths" and was placed on YouTube. The parody uses the footage from the Coles ad, with some changes (eg causing the big red hand to make a rude gesture, inserting pie charts on competition between retailers and amending the words). For instance, the parody says "Is that on special?" "Nope its down and staying down" When we say its staying down, we mean staying down long enough to lure you away from independent competitors. Then we crush them like despised $2 milk cartons. Up yours independent retail stores. As soon as we wipe out all the competition, we can give you a right royal roger." 
Dr Seuss: a leading
US authority on
parody, but the man
really could not
draw cats ...
A week or so ago, YouTube removed the video, stating that "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Limited. The parody was shown in an Australian TV show, The Gruen Transfer, and is now available on YouTube here
The ColWorths video was clearly a parody that criticised the original and would likely have been considered a fair use of the Coles Ad under the Acuff Rose, Dr Seuss and subsequent case law principles. Coles likely doesn't care about the copyright issue, but has rather removed the ad due to the criticism of its trading practices.  On receipt of a notice from a company like Coles, YouTube will automatically take down a video. It is up to the video owner to reply with an opposition notice. However, with the threat of legal proceedings, what individual is going to take on a giant supermarket chain, even if it believes that their video was a fair use? The costs could be enormous. Even though Coles would likely (at least I hope) suspect that this parody would fall under fair use, they would also know that it is highly unlikely that the video owner will argue against the removal.
I am not sure about whether US law or Australian law applies in this case. Even so, under the Australian Copyright Act 1968, s 103AA states "A fair dealing with audiovisual item does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the item or in any work or other audiovisual item included in the item if it is for the purpose of parody or satire." The legislation did not define the terms parody or satire and the Australian courts have yet to consider the exception, which was introduced in December 2006. However, including both parody and satire, the exception is notably broader than the US fair use exception".
Yesterday the Kat was bemoaning the way in which the honourable practice of ghostwriting has been besmirched by a small number of members of the medical profession and the pharma industry who have collaborated in the pretence that named authors have written articles endorsing certain medical products.   Today the very same Kat is pondering another bit of fakery, in which Damart -- the company which in his mind will ever be indissolubly linked with thermal underwear -- has been taking the finalists in a promotional prize draw.  Originally the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) condemned the company for sending out a direct mailing for a prize draw that included a list headed "official extract list of finalists". The finalists weren't real finalists at all but were "used for illustration purposes to highlight that a genuine selection process had taken place". Since the mailing falsely stated that the names on the list were those of finalists and did not make clear that fictitious names had been used to represent the names of genuine finalists, the ASA said consumers were likely to think these were the names of genuine finalists, so the advertisement was misleading under rule 3.1 (Misleading advertising) of the Code of Advertising Practice. But now the ASA has changed its mind.  In what is euphemistically described as a "revised adjudication" it now holds that, while the list falsely suggested that the names on it were real people, the real or fictitious nature of those names made no material difference to the recipient's chances of winning. Accordingly, while the mailing was false, it was not "materially misleading".
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, August 05, 2011 Rating: 5

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