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July 2017
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IAB New Standard Ad Unit Portfolio

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Executive Summary: This document, providing the guidelines for the IAB New Standard Ad Unit Portfolio, has been developed by the IAB Tech Lab Flex Ads Committee after review of all feedback received on the draft for public comment document published in September 2016. For the full report click here and here. These guidelines are comprehensive [...]

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posted at: 12:00am on 27-Jul-2017
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Neuranet Launches Flexitive 2.0 to Help Media Companies Adapt to New IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio

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The cloud-based responsive design software company announces platform upgrade to help media companies drive growth and adapt quickly following the release of the new global IAB digital advertising guidelines. Neuranet, the technology company behind responsive design software Flexitive, today announced the next generation of its HTML5 based software, Flexitive 2.0. The platform upgrade supports more [...]

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posted at: 12:00am on 27-Jul-2017
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Titleist Tees Up Lawsuit Against Parody Clothier Because Golf Doesn't Have A Sense Of Humor

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Back in the more innocent era of the early 2010s, you may recall that we discussed a series of delightful trademark disputes between clothier North Face and a couple of guys who started a business first called South Butt (later changed to Butt Face). In those series of posts, we discussed two conflicting facts: trademark lawsuits against parody operators such as this are extremely hard to win in court... except that those same lawsuits are crazy expensive to fight, so the parody operators typically just cave and settle. It's one of those corners of the law in which the very framework of the legal system virtually ensures that the proper legal conclusion is never reached. Yay.It seems that North Face's peers in the clothing industry share its disdain for these parody companies. Titleist, for instance, recently filed a trademark and dilution lawsuit against a company called I Made Bogey, suggesting that the following example of its product both will confuse the public as to its origins and will tarnish Titleist's reputation.


Now, if you want to make the point that the hats and other items with this same branding aren't funny, go ahead. I'm right there with you. It's not even particularly clever. That said, it's also not the case that anyone is going to view this stuff as anything other than what it actually is: a parody of the notably poshly-presented golf brand. In fact, the joke only works, insofar as it does at all, if a person realizes that the parody pokes fun at the polite and often Waspy culture of golf. In other words, none of this is a thing were it not easily differentiated from Titleist's brand. For that very reason, attacks on parody like this have a heavy legal load to tow up a large mountain of precedent.
In the suit, Titleist claims both trademark infringement and dilution. For dilution to stick, it must show that I Made Bogey’s hats tarnish Titleist’s reputation or blurs its fame. For trademark infringement, however, Titleist must show that consumers would be confused by the two logos. “They would have to show that people would think Titleist is making hats” with the sexually explicit misspelling, said Tobin, the attorney. And that would be pretty difficult, she said.
And, yet, despite all of that, conventional wisdom suggests that this will all be settled out of court before the lawsuit progresses much further. The cost to fight this fight is likely to be too much for I Made Bogey to shoulder.
That doesn’t mean I Made Bogey is necessarily going to prevail, though. Trademark suits are expensive to defend, and there’s no guarantee the maker of Titties hats will come out on top. If you want a lewd golf hat, act sooner rather than later.
And, whatever your opinion of I Made Bogey's products, that's too bad. Taste is not really at issue when it comes to protecting parody, an important form of speech. Defenders of free speech need to be able to keep their spines when opportunities to defend speech they don't like arise. This is certainly one of those times. Abusing trademark law and playing pretend about public confusion to silence offensive speech is an action without any virtue.

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posted at: 12:00am on 27-Jul-2017
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CIA Helps National Archive Out By Offering To Trash Its Stash Of Leak-Related Documents

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The National Archives obviously can't be expected to store every piece of paper generated by the federal government. But it does have an obligation to preserve copies of historically-significant documents. Unfortunately, it's allowing agencies to make these decisions. While it's true some agencies may have a better grasp on a document's significance, other agencies aren't as interested in archiving historically significant documents -- especially ones that might make them look bad.Enter the CIA, which already has a significant history of burying documents it would rather not reveal.

The CIA is scheduled to begin destroying old records related to leaks of classified information in August unless critics convince the National Archives to scuttle the plan.The National Archives and Records Administration tentatively approved a CIA proposal to get rid of several types of records after 30 years. Along with leak-tied files, the record types include medical records, behavioral conduct files, security clearance information, personality files with counterintelligence interests, workers-compensation reports for employees posted overseas, and declassification and referral files.Leak-related files currently have to be saved permanently, but under this proposal they can be destroyed 30 years after a case is closed.
This is the CIA's response to the Archives' question: what documents should we not worry about keeping? This is the CIA stating none of the documents listed above have historical value. Nate Jones of the nonprofit National Security Archive points out why the CIA shouldn't be allowed to make this determination.
Jones warns that NARA and the CIA should err on the side of preservation, even if they believe the files at issue are backed up elsewhere. “History has shown that they are too eager to destroy their records,” he said of CIA officials. “The CIA does not have a lot of good will for preserving historically relevant documents.”
There's history the CIA likes -- the sort of thing that's enshrined in its public areas and featured prominently on its website. Then there's everything else. The CIA tends to move forward with document destruction without bothering to confirm backups still exist just in case.
[J]ust last month, it came to light that the spy agency chucked records about this country's secret role in the 1953 Iran coup during an office move, when it believed copies existed someplace else.
An avoidable accident, but nothing about it suggests it was an accident or that the CIA had any interest in avoiding it. History may be written by the winners, but history can be erased by even the clumsiest losers. Not only are those files gone but any record of their destruction is missing as well.
“There is no written record confirming the destruction of the 1953 microfilmed cables” because “records of such routine destruction were themselves temporary and scheduled to be destroyed.”
The CIA, meanwhile, is complaining its ample budget simply can't cover the cost of digitizing everything related to leaks or personnel issues. If this is even remotely true, it exposes a serious flaw in agency priorities. The government apparently has plenty of money available for watching others, but very little set aside for being watched by the public.
Matthew Aid, an ex-intelligence officer and historian, puzzled over the rationale behind the National Security Agency storing "several hundred times the volume of the Library of Congress every single day as part of its global eavesdropping operations," while "the CIA can't afford to scan its records."
Regrettably, the NARA is pretty much powerless. It can make recommendations and ask for proposals, but it's all held together by toothless laws which have zero deterrent effect on agencies hoping to carve holes in their sketchy history with scheduled document destruction.

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