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First off today, a London woman known only as “Ms Marmite” on the Web received a very interesting legal threat from Warner Brothers. Marmite owns “The Underground Restaurant”, a home-based restaurant that had planned a “Harry Potter” dinner for Halloween and the night before. However, Warner took exception to this, sending a cease and desist notice, prompting Marmite to change the name of the event to “Generic Wizard Night”.
The notice cited both trademark and copyright issues with the event. But while, legally, it seems that Warner is in the right, it may be a case where the bad press and lessened exposure might do more to hurt the company and the Harry Potter brand than help it.
Marmite is going ahead with the event, but is changing the names of some of the dishes as well as the event itself.
Next up today, there’s yet another copyright tiff unfolding in Apple’s App Store for both the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The oddly-named StoneLoops! of Jurassica puzzle game has been pulled from the store, following a copyright complaint from Mumbo Jumbo.
The problem is that Stoneloops! according to Mumbo Jumbo, was too similar to their game, Luxor, which is also available in the store and it both violated their copyright and caused customer confusion.
But what makes the case so interesting is that both games are in the “marble-popping” genre of puzzle games, where marbles move down a snaky path and the player has to “burst” them by shooting marbles of the same color into them. This genre far predates the iPhone and even goes back to 1998 and a game called Puzz Loop. Also, similar games are still available in the store, including Zuma, which is one of the best known.
Finally today, officials raided the Barras market in Glasgow over the weekend and seized some £20,000 ($32,000) in fake DVDs among other counterfeit goods and resulted in some 21 arrests.
The raid involved some 80 officers and was conducted with the help of investigators from Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
Those who were arrested are currently still in custody pending further investigation.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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