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Comment Re:Mickey Mouse copyirght extenstions... (Score 1) 176

if they used the LEGO term, even to say they were compatible with LEGO, even with all explicit trademark acknowledgements, it would be at LEGO's discretion to either issue a C&D or not to bar them from continuing to refer to them, unless they company were somehow able to show that they were not a competitor for LEGO in any way

Sigh. I'm getting tired of having to do your homework for you:

It is the wholesale prohibition of nominative use ... that would be unfair. It would be unfair to merchants seeking to communicate the nature of the service or product offered at their sites. And it would be unfair to consumers, who would be deprived of an increasingly important means of receiving such information. As noted, this would have serious First Amendment implications. The only winners would be companies like Toyota, which would acquire greater control over the markets for goods and services related to their trademarked brands, to the detriment of competition and consumers. The nominative fair use doctrine is designed to prevent this type of abuse of the rights granted by the Lanham Act. ...

Trademarks are part of our common language, and we all have some right to use them to communicate in truthful, non-misleading ways.

That's from Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. v. Tabari, 610 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir. 2010). Hint: Toyota's LEXUS mark was at issue, and had been used by a competitor, and the court did not come down on the side of Toyota.

Nominative use is a doctrine in US trademark law by which parties other than a trademark holder can use a trademark without permission if:

1) The product is not readily identifiable without using the mark. (LEGO bricks are not readily identifiable without using the LEGO mark to refer to them; otherwise you'd have to say something stupid like 'plastic toy bricks made by a well-known Danish plastic toy brick company')

2) The defendant does not use more of the mark than necessary. (The word LEGO in an ordinary typeface would be fine; the red, yellow, black and white square-shaped LEGO mark, with its distinctive balloonish typeface, on the other hand, would be too much merely to indicate compatibility)

3) The defendant cannot falsely suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. (This is typically done by not using the mark in a way that suggests a relationship, while also disclaiming any relationship. It doesn't require not using the mark at all, however; the public recognizes that not all uses of a mark indicate endorsement)

Note, there is no requirement that the defendant claiming nominative use not compete with Lego. That's perfectly fine. If I make toy bricks and I want to say that based on a survey, children prefer my bricks 10 to 1 over LEGO brand bricks, I'm totally free to do so. (Provided, of course, that I have got such a survey; I can't just make crap up)

The decision of whether advertising should directly refer to competitors (e.g. People who took the Pepsi challenge preferred Pepsi to Coke) or whether it should not (e.g. Our dishwashing liquid works better and faster than brand X) is entirely one of the advertiser's preference. There is no legal requirement compelling one over the other, provided that the ad is truthful and (to some extent) not misleading.

I am suggesting that Steamboat Willie describes the cartoon, and Mickey Mouse describes the character.

If the MICKEY MOUSE mark describes the character, and the copyright on the Mickey Mouse character lapses such that anyone can create works featuring the Mickey Mouse character (which is a copyright issue), the MICKEY MOUSE mark no longer is capable of indicating that all such marked goods originate from a common source, which is a fundamental requirement for a trademark. Thus, the MICKEY MOUSE trademark is lost with regard to such goods, e.g. DVDs, comic books, and the like.

So if one makes an unauthorized copy of Steamboat Willie, they are not actually using the trademark in Mickey Mouse without permission

Yes, they are. "Without permission" means the same thing as "unauthorized," genius. It's no different than if I make an unauthorized copy of a Louis Vuitton purse.

Copyright and Trademark protect different things

Yes, but different aspects of a single object can be protected by different sorts of rights.

Consider a humble glass bottle of refreshing Coca-Cola. The shape of the bottle is protected by a design patent. The COCA-COLA mark is protected as a trademark. The formula for the liquid inside is protected as a trade secret. If it's a decorative bottle with a picture of Santa or a bear, or Santa Bear, the artwork is likely copyrighted. If the artwork is of a particular real person, it may also be protected by that person's right of publicity. And if they make the bottle out of some new sort of safety glass, the formula for the glass itself may be an invention protected by a patent. All this wrapped up in a single item that you can get out of a vending machine with the change in your pocket.

The Mickey Mouse character is protected, in different capacities, even in the same work, by both copyright and trademark. This is not even slightly unusual.

As I said, even though their trademark continues to be respected, the copyright on their oldest cartoons have already expired in several first-world countries with IP laws quite similar to those in the USA, and that did not extend their copyright as the US did. I live in one such country. The character was never freely copyable here even though the cartoon itself was.

I have no idea what your country is or what its laws are like, and as I said before, I really don't care. I've been discussing US law this entire time, which is reasonable on a US-based website, like this one, and that's all I'm really interested in.

Comment Re:That's Crazy Expensive (Score 1) 354

"In order to be successful, a new product has to be cheaper and better"

No it doesn't. It just needs to meet a need.

No, if it's not cheaper and better than the competition, then there needs to be no competition: it needs to fill an unmet need.

This product does not fill a significant unmet need, so it needs to be cheaper and better than the competition, which does already fill this need. Remember, there's lots of meal replacements out there.

Yes, there are a small handful of people who want this product. It's clearly not enough to make a profit on volume, because they're raising their prices.

Comment Re:Compiler optimizer bugs (Score 1) 237

I don't normally name and shame.

That's too bad, because that's the only thing that would help us, the slashdotting public. And, you know, the general public, as well.

I guess it would be more awkward for them if I informed them of this...

More than being awkward for them, it's useful for us if you inform us. I care more about moving forward than looking back, but a glance at your notes now and again can be useful. Forgive, yes. Forget, no.

Comment Re:May you (Score 1) 330

How is it censorship if a person wants to have information about themselves not be in search results?

I didn't mean to imply that wanting something could possibly be censorship. Censorship is something you might do in order to get want: do you rebut the false information (or pollute/dilute the true information) or do you point a gun at someone's face?

And escalating to violence is not always necessarily the dumbest move. Like I said, "loose lips sink ships." But c'mon, own up to censorship label whenever you do it, and understand the sword-beats-pen outlook that you're helping to re-popularize.

But more importantly: think about whether or not a policy of forceful response can work or if it really is expedient. Go through the thought experiments, where someone says something you don't like and you respond by whacking a few moles. (Or in this case, whacking an unrelated mole who is pointing at another mole.) Does this lead to a winning scenario, Ms Streisand?

If swords-over-pens still completely loses, then yes: I do think "suck it up and take it" is a superior strategy, since it's no worse for the person being maligned and has significantly less collateral damage. That doesn't mean it's the only option, but if we're going to pretend that we have only a mere two options, then it's the better of the two.

Comment Re:Startup management subsystem (Score 1) 388

IIRC, this is similar to what Linus said about systemd. He said that as a user he liked it and didn't have problems with it but he did run into problems when interacting with the systemd developers.

What he said is that he didn't personally care about it, that he understands that some people have use cases where it makes sense... and that he understands that the developers are a bit of a problem. Not that he liked it... or doesn't like it. It's unlikely to have affected him substantially yet, except for rejecting bad patches

Comment Re:Thug culture is to blame. (Score 2) 109

Literally everything you said is the moral standards of the ruling class except for 'drugs' read 'pharmaceuticals', for 'robbery' read 'arbitrage', and well, I guess nothing else need be changed.

Now, now, that's not true at all! The rich don't usually do their own dirty work. They drive other people into poverty, and then have them do it in order to try to survive. That way, they can keep the blood off of their own suit.

Comment Re:I don't think it should be fixed! (Score 2) 109

Fixing it or not fixing it has no effect on its value as a piece of artwork, or as a cultural icon. If it doesn't get a new head, that is a statement of a sort. If it does get a new head, it's a different statement, but it's no more or less valid. It's just what happened.

There's no particular reason to follow or not follow the wishes of the creators, either. They put it out in the world and left it to its own devices. It belongs to all of us now.

I say fix it, slap it on the ass, and send it on its way

Comment Re:It will never work (Score 1) 109

Try as you might you will never erase this country's image of Philly being a scum sucking cesspool of human flesh for killing the Hitchbot.

Try as you might you will never make 99.44% of the Earth's population give one tenth of one fuck about something someone left on the side of the road, when they have important things to worry about.

Comment Re:The Firefox OS project needs to be terminated. (Score 1) 85

I strongly disagree. Take a look at the video I linked earlier. I'd also recommend you take a look at the new 2.5 builds. A lot has happened since 2013. We're seeing things happen with FXOS that iOS and Android simply can't do.

If you can't explain why, and someone to whom you're trying to promote the OS has to go watch a video and actually download and trial the OS you're talking about, it's probable that none of the features are actually that compelling. If they were, you would remember what they were and you could tell us about them, or at least name them.

Don't be lazy. Tell us why we should care, or stop expecting us to.

If FXOS succeeds, everybody wins. If it fails, everyone loses.

That is FUD bullshit. What does FirefoxOS give me over a real Linux distribution running Firefox?

Comment Re:The Firefox OS project needs to be terminated. (Score 1) 85

FirefoxOS is an extremely important project, right up there with the browser at the time it was conceived.

Why? Why would I care? Why would I want FirefoxOS over a less-fucked over version of Linux running Firefox? What makes it so important? I'll let you know, and the answer is nothing. There's nothing compelling about FirefoxOS. It forgets that the whole reason that ChromeOS even exists today is that Android still isn't good enough to host full desktop Chrome. When Android Chrome reaches parity with desktop Chrome, ChromeOS is going away. And then Firefox will have doubly no reason to exist.

Comment Re:The Firefox OS project needs to be terminated. (Score 1) 85

We know that Mozilla has poured a huge amount of resources into its development. These are resources that could have been put to better use, like by improving desktop Firefox,

The problem with Mozilla is that when they put more "resources" into "improving desktop Firefox" they shit it up and make us hate it. What they really need to do is fire a few people, cut back on their mission creep problem, and focus on keeping Firefox current and not fucking it up.

Comment Re:Compiler optimizer bugs (Score 2) 237

^^^ 2015 nominee for most terrifying sentence on Slashdot :)

I don't get scared when I read that stuff. I just say, "Oh, that explains Adobe" or whatever. The truth is that the world is a fractally more fucked up place than you think it is. Most people are doing it wrong and proud, regardless of their job. Or, they're phoning it in, and they know it. But since our world is not even close to being a meritocracy, we're going to have more of that.

Comment Re:Compiler optimizer bugs (Score 1) 237

I had a fun one with a nameless companies "gateway" onto a wireless network.

How unusual! Were they simply called "Nameless, Inc."?

This is about when I learned to swear in french again.

Guess that's when you learned to surrender, huh? You left out the interesting part of the story as a result.

Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line