New Fronts in the IP Wars


"The Record Industry Association of America…has launched a new campaign against DJs in an attempt to control copyright infringement," reports DJMag:

They have already confiscated $100,000?s worth of mix CDs from independent record stores across the US.

DJ mix CDs, sold in almost every independent record store, are on the whole unlicensed and technically illegal to distribute. However, DJs and producers alike often rely upon these illegal mixes in order to gain credibility, and to promote themselves to the general public.

Whether or not you think that's just, it at least involves a clear-cut violation of the law. Not so with the comic book formerly known as Super Hero Happy Hour, which has changed its name following a letter of complaint from the two goliaths of the industry, Marvel and DC. Seems those companies claim a joint trademark on the word "super-hero."

Someone will inevitably write me to say that Marvel and DC must vigorously protect their trademark if they want to keep it. This, alas, ignores a salient issue: THERE IS NO GOOD REASON FOR ANYONE TO HAVE A TRADEMARK ON THIS WORD. Unless you really believe it will cause customer confusion if any publisher that wants to can use the word "super-hero."