The above screencap comes from a TUAW.com post (here: http://www.tuaw.com/…ion-cards/ ) on a lawsuit being brought against Apple Inc for violating a patent on "retail point of sale for online merchandising"--aka gift cards you buy in a store and redeem online. This is a seriously absurd idea to me--does someone own a patent on gift cards you buy in a store and use in a store? Does someone own a patent on buying things with a credit card? How can you patent a concept so common and logical that you'd expect that it's just a natural part of evolving commerce?
A few weeks back, I posted the first part of my vlog series on waiting for my XO laptop to show up (see it here: http://tv.thepete.com/…-day-4-pt1 ). I posted it to Revver who, at first, rejected it because it contained footage of me on hold. What's that got to do with anything? Well, the hold music was copyrighted. They didn't want to get sued if the copyright-holder of the crappy music got mad. Of course, my video is a documentary, technically, so the music was part of the event I was documenting--so, it falls under fair-use. Still, it was enough for Revver to be paranoid. After telling them to send any interested lawyers my way, they let the video get posted.
Then, while shooting another Vlog entry just a few weeks later, I wondered if my footage of Hollywood Boulevard would get my vlog entry rejected from Revver because of all the copyrighted logos I was capturing outside the Hillary/Obama debate that night. The vlog post didn't get rejected and you can see it here: http://tv.thepete.com/…and-barack
Still, it made me think about one of my favorite shows on TV--"Mythbusters" and how every time they have a brand name logo on a T-shirt, bucket or anywhere else, the post-production guys have to blur said logo out.
Then there was the case of the YouTube video that inspired Prince's lawyers to send a C&D letter because one of his songs played in the background of the video which featured a baby doing something cute.
It's one thing to protect yourself or your company from a genuine loss of business, revenue or reputation. However, to me, suing because of any of the above examples seems idiotic and greedy. Not EVERY use of copyrighted material or patented processes equates to lost revenue or a ruined reputation.
Remember that time Oprah said she wouldn't eat hamburgers ever again?
First off, yeah RIGHT.
Second off, she got sued by a bunch of meat industry guys.
So much for free speech, huh?
I mean, I HATE Oprah--her saying she'd never eat a hamburger again made me WANT to eat more burgers!!
Publicity is publicity, guys. Unless you're some fool who decided patenting a process as basic as selling gift cards you redeem online. That's just the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Why not patent coupons?
Here's an idea, let's patent "the process of displaying logos, products and slogans with the intent to entice monetary transfer in exchange for product or service included in display."
We'll call it "ADVERTISING!"
Sorry, I tend to be cranky in the mornings.
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