Copyright, trademark trip: Blow to YouTube in Germany, Australia ruling against Hollywood, Apple-Proview talks, Olympic rules

Some developments in the wide, wacky world of copyrights and trademarks.

• First stop, Germany, where a court has ruled that YouTube must install filters to do more to prevent uploading of copyrighted material without permission. The case was brought by a royalty-collection group called Gema, which represents German song writers and musicians, over seven music clips uploaded to YouTube. A Reuters article says the case could lead to operators of user-generated content having to pay royalties. But the court did say YouTube need only respond to copyright-violation complaints, not search for violations. But the ruling overall is a setback for Google‘s YouTube, which earlier this month saw the revival of Viacom’s $1 billion copyright suit against it.

• In China, Apple and Proview Technology may be attempting to reach a settlement in the iPad trademark case. That’s according to a lawyer for Proview, reports Macworld. The dispute has affected iPad sales in China, with some stores in a couple of cities there pulling the tablet from their shelves and Proview wanting a ban on all iPad sales in that nation. Apple has said it bought rights to the name from Proview.

• Australia’s top court has rejected Hollywood movie studios’ appeal of a ruling that found an Internet service provider was not responsible for its customers downloading pirated copies of movies. Among other things, reports Bloomberg, companies such as Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures and Viacom had contended that “without providing a warning of some form, [ISP Iinet was] authorizing” infringement.

• On to London. Copyright and trademark protection, the next Olympic sport? Reuters reports that advertisers have high hopes for the buzz that the Olympics’ corporate sponsors will receive via social media. The article mentions that companies such as Samsung and Coca-Cola are building “elaborate campaigns” that aim to reach users of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. But the Guardian recently put a spotlight on strict regulations designed to protect brands during the summer games. The Guardian lists some of the rules, which the Chartered Institute of Marketing calls draconian — and, might we add, some of which seem impossible to enforce: Athletes can’t blog about non-endorsed cereal. Companies that aren’t official sponsors can’t use images that suggest association with the Olympics. And members of the crowd can’t upload photos to Facebook, or videos to YouTube.


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