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June 2017
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This Week In Techdirt History: June 18th - 24th

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Five Years AgoThe Charles Carreon saga continued this week in 2012, with a lawsuit against Matthew Inman and the charities he was raising money for. When the full details of the suit became public, so did all sorts of nuttiness contained therein. Inman came to the table with an open letter, telling Carreon to take some time off and cool down — but he didn't listen, and promised to subpoena Twitter and Ars Technica over a parody account mocking him. Finally, at the very end of the week, he admitted the initial lawsuit was a mistake — but kept on digging anyway with new bizarre theories and attacks.Ten Years AgoThis week in 2007, NBC was on a copyright warpath, trying to get the FCC to force ISPs to monitor traffic for infringement, and trotting out the now famously hilarious attempt to blame movie piracy for hurting corn farmers. Viacom was still going full-force against YouTube and bulldozing over fair use in the process, even as YouTube (which played a big role in ending P2P's dominance of web traffic) was unveiling its video editing tool to encourage more user-generated content. And EMI was oh-so-shockingly discovering that people responded positively to the sale of DRM-free music.Fifteen Years AgoThere are a variety of reactions I often have to these stories from these early days of Techdirt. Sometimes they include amusingly incorrect predictions or shockingly precise ones; sometimes it's simply intriguing to see the small beginnings of something that would later become a big deal. This week in 2002, there was one post that fell into that latter category in a particularly striking way that makes it very funny to read now in all its early innocence, and so I think it's worth reposting in full. In the days when the web was still fresh, before some of the bigger cyberwar panics, and long before today's perplexing geopolitical landscape, there was this small post entitled Can't Hack The Kremlin:

Apparently, since the new website of Russian President Vladimir Putin went online about 24 hours ago, more than 100 hackers have tried to break in. Putin is "excited" that the Kremlin's techies have been able to block all the hack attacks. Does anyone else think this is just begging for more hackers to hit the site until someone finds a way in? It seems odd to promote how proud you are that no one broke in after just one day.
And the rest is, as they say, history. And also current events.

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posted at: 12:00am on 25-Jun-2017
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Factual and Adform Partner to Expand Location Data Access Across Europe

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Factual has announced a new partnership with Adform, a European-based, full stack advertising technology platform, to give advertisers increased, direct access to high-quality global location data across Europe. This new partnership expands Factual's presence and capabilities across Europe and continues its investment since announcing the company's expanded European operations earlier this year. Media targeting using [...]

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posted at: 12:00am on 24-Jun-2017
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NBA Rookie Is Just So Happy To Play For 'Team Name' In The City Of 'City'

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It ain't easy being a high-profile celebrity these days. A job that once mostly involved ducking cameras and putting out the occasional press release has evolved into one where multiple social media platforms must be updated so that fans feel that real connection that can only come with a carefully managed social media message. The brand is the ultimate product rather than any athletic or artistic output. To that end, even these social media messages come with sponsorships, carefully cultivated relationships with large companies itching to attach their names to well-followed celebrities and their social media accounts.Speaking of athletes, the NBA draft just happened. Many young men realized their dream to play in the NBA after years of hard work. Because they are young, many of those athletes have social media accounts with the expected platforms. And many of them posted messages about how happy they were with the draft day results. Like Markelle Fultz, for instance, who was drafted number one overall by the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers and immediately took to Instagram to let his fans know completely, organically and authentically how pleased he was.


Oops. In case you can't read the embedded tweet, Fultz said that he was "Excited to head to (City) and join the (team name)", all while happily pointing out that the message was sponsored by watchmaker Tissot. Clearly this was a pre-written template to send out on Instagram once it had been filled in, except Fultz never filled it in. While he deleted the message shortly after, it's unclear just how (insert emotion) Tissot was with the message.More importantly, the curtain gets pulled back on Fultz's engagement with his followers. Certainly it's not the biggest deal in the world and most people are having a little light-hearted fun with Fultz's faux pas, but it does strike me that anyone that saw his Instagram account as a way to honestly engage with him likely knows better now.Fultz, meanwhile, can likely console himself with whatever insane amount of money a number one overall pick gets these days. Here's hoping the Sixers don't forget to fill in the direct deposit template.

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posted at: 12:00am on 24-Jun-2017
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King Has 'Crush' Trademark Opposed By Dr. Pepper

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App-maker King, of Candy Crush fame, has built up a reputation for itself as a trademark bully. The company has previously attempted to threaten pretty much any game or mobile app that utilizes the words "candy" or "saga." And if that sounds insane to you, you're not alone, as there have been several instances of severe backlash against how King goes about "protecting" its trademarks.As this site's version of the saying goes: live by the intellectual property, die by the intellectual property. Well, not die, perhaps, but it's slightly amusing to watch King have its "Crush" trademark opposed by Dr. Pepper.

In a bid to create a further layer of protection for their games, King.com have filed an application to protect ‘Crush’ as a trade mark in the US for confectionery. Unhappy about this application, Dr Pepper have filed an opposition claiming the ‘Crush’ trade mark will damage the goodwill of their own ‘Crush’ marks.Dr Pepper owns several trade marks for the word for a number of items including certain confectionary items and cosmetics. Dr Pepper has based their claims on the fact they believe by allowing the application by King.com, it will cause dilution of the distinctive quality of Dr Peppers marks.
Ok, let's get the obvious out of the way: this is a fairly silly opposition if its basis is to do with customer confusion. Frankly, I can't imagine how many people are even aware that the Crush mark is being used in the confections space by Dr. Pepper. I certainly can't think of a single Crush-branded candy. My quick google search didn't turn up much either. Crush is known for its soft drinks. Meanwhile, King is known for its apps, and even if it makes the move into retail in the way that Angry Birds has, and that retail business includes candies, who is going to confuse any of that with Dr. Pepper's Crush brand?That being said, this opposition is certainly more valid than King's bullying of the makers of The Banner Saga over that last word. I won't say this has reached the level of schadenfreude for me, but it is somewhat hard to get any tears to build up over King having to endure a silly opposition to its trademark.

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posted at: 12:00am on 24-Jun-2017
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