Do spoilers violate copyright? And other copywright/trademark links (#SFWApro)

AMC argues that if one fan group goes ahead and releases a big spoiler for The Walking Dead, it violates copyright.

•The Navy allegedly broke copyright by installing a German company’s software on hundreds of computers without paying for it.

•Park City residents are concerned about a local resort’s proposal to trademark the name “Park City” — even though the resort denies it, what if it someday decides to ban other businesses from using the name?

•If Amazon loses the right to stream a video, even a video you’ve bought might disappear.

•A record company sued Vimeo, claiming Vimeo employees saw copyrighted music content on the site and did nothing. A judge has ruled that even if the employees watched the video, that doesn’t mean they could or should recognize the music so the plaintiffs lose.

•Google argues that by restricting search results to exclude “torrent” or “piracy”-named sites, it reduces digital piracy.

•The creator of the Iron Man theme song from the 1960s ‘toon will get his day in court: his suit charging Sony and Ghostface Killah violated his copyright on the song is moving forward.

•The Electronic Freedom Foundation is suing to challenge the legal restrictions on circumventing DRM protections that block copying DVDs and such. The gist of the lawsuit, if I’m following correctly, is that the law unfairly and irrationally restricts copyings that would qualify as fair use.

•Some recording artists aren’t happy versions of their songs were used at the Republican National Convention, but it’s legal.

•Some years back, photographer Carol Highsmith donated thousands of photographs to the Library of Congress to be freely used by the public. According to a lawsuit filed by Highsmith, Getty (one of those pay-for-photo-use websites, which offers some of her photos to customers) allegedly threatened legal action against her for using her own photos without their permission. And Zuma Press is also suing, saying Getty has posted 47,000 images it had no right to.

•McDonalds has been accused of ripping off someone’s animation work.

•In the same vein: what to do if a magazine or website swipes your work, altering it just enough to avoid copyright infringement.

•Stephen Colbert discovered recently that his on-screen personality is the intellectual property of Comedy Network. His response: create the character’s twin brother for a new gig.

•Whole Foods wanted to patent the slogan “world’s healthiest grocery store” but the Patent Office says it won’t fly.

•Proposed changes to copyright law would, for example, require that once a website receives a takedown order for alleged copyright infringement, it would have to see to it nobody reposts the material. Internet Archive says bad idea.

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