There is no expiration of trademark.
First off it in a way it can "A trademark registration may remain in force indefinitely, or expire without specific regard to its age. For a trademark registration to remain valid, the owner must continue to use it. In some circumstances, such as disuse, failure to assert trademark rights, or common usage by the public without regard for its intended use, it could become generic, and therefore part of the public domain." Furthermore Universal never owned the trademark.
"First, Universal knew that it did not have trademark rights to King Kong, yet it proceeded to broadly assert such rights anyway. This amounted to a wanton and reckless disregard of Nintendo's rights. Second, Universal did not stop after it asserted its rights to Nintendo. It embarked on a deliberate, systematic campaign to coerce all of Nintendo's third party licensees to either stop marketing Donkey Kong products or pay Universal royalties. Finally, Universal's conduct amounted to an abuse of judicial process, and in that sense caused a longer harm to the public as a whole. Depending on the commercial results, Universal alternatively argued to the courts, first, that King Kong was a part of the public domain, and then second, that King Kong was not part of the public domain, and that Universal possessed exclusive trademark rights in it. Universal's assertions in court were based not on any good faith belief in their truth, but on the mistaken belief that it could use the courts to turn a profit."
Royalties on something they don't own? Sounds like thievery to me.
I honestly cannot speak to the MP3.com case as I'm unfamiliar with it.
Essentially UMG sued MP3.com for everything then bought them up at a discounted price just to bury them. It was over the my.mp3.com service which is very similar to what Amazon.com is offering today. The real reason Universal sued for so much was MP3.com was a competitor to Universal and Universal hates competition.
If an artist signs away their rights than it's a problem for the artist. No one forces them to sign. I know several bands that never signed and all of them made a good living prior to the theft of their works.
Except they renege on their contracts. They are telling their artists one thing then doing another. I do agree that artists shouldn't sign with UMG as they are not trustworthy and they are way behind the times.
P2P has done more damage to the independent artist than anything else. Stop trying to blow smoke up my ass.
Not necessarily. P2P can be useful for getting artists known. Not all artists mind that their music is shared. That doesn't detract from my main point, Universal is a bully and a thief just as it always has been. The best thing is to avoid anything by Universal rather than download or purchase anything by them.