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First off today, Directors U.K., a group which represents some 4,000 film and television directors in the country, has come out in support of the Hargreave’s report, especially its decision not to recommend a U.S.-style fair use provision in the country. The group also favors another proposal in the report, the addition of a central body to manage the rights clearance for film and music. The report, which was prepared by professor Ian Hargreaves, was at the request of the UK government and proposes several changes to UK copyright law, including the legalization for format shifting and a system for obtaining rights to orphan works.
Next up today, rightsholders in the classic game “Oregon Trail” have filed suit against Zynga, the makers of the “Farmville” game claiming that an expansion for the game, also entitled “Oregon Trail”, infringes on both their copyright and trademark. The lawsuit, filed by The Learning Company (TLC), which is a subsidiary of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, claims the game has many similarities to the original “Oregon Trail” and violates both their trademark and copyright protections. According to the lawsuit, TLC had approached Zynga about making a Facebook version of their game, only to have Zynga use a third-party to create the expansion, which was released in February.
Finally today, what seems to be a design error lead to controversy for Access Copyright, a Canadian non-profit organization that seeks to help artists protect copyright, by making them appear to claim trademark over the famous copyright symbol. The “C” with a circle around it was prominently displayed on their site with a “TM” next to it, indicating they were claiming the symbol was their trademark. The group has since corrected the issue, saying it was an error on their part, but not before many bloggers jumped on the controversy.
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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