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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2019 » March » 15


The BBC cutting Late Junction is a blow for experimental music

Delivered... Luke Turner | Scene | Fri 15 Mar 2019 5:22 pm

The Radio 3 show dropping from three nights a week to one deprives audiences of musical diversity and removes a vital lifeline for left-field musicians

At the end of February, hundreds of people packed into the artfully dilapidated surroundings of Earth, a former art deco cinema in east London, for the inaugural Late Junction festival. Over two sold-out nights, it showcased exactly the kind of programming that makes BBC Radio 3’s flagship experimental music show great: a stunning set by revived post-punk pioneers This Is Not This Heat; the fractured state-of-the-nation techno of Gazelle Twin; the first ever performance by doom-jazz troupe Pulled By Magnets; and a new project featuring singer Coby Sey and Under the Skin soundtrack composer Mica Levi.

Related: Thurston Moore, Holly Herndon and more on today's musical underground

Related: Lullabies for air conditioners: the corporate bliss of Japanese ambient

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March Madness: Nothing but Net for Trademark Infringement Claims

Delivered... Mitchell Stabbe | Scene | Fri 15 Mar 2019 3:21 pm

Alternate Title: March Madness Trademarks: It’s March Spring and You Do Not Want to Make the NCAA Mad Angry at You

As we have previously reported, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is very serious about taking action against anyone who may try to trade off the goodwill in its March Madness marks — even if the NCAA’s actual marks are not used. For example:

  • Readers may recall that the NCAA filed a trademark infringement action in 2017 against a company that ran online sports-themed promotions and sweepstakes under the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.” The defendant stipulated to an order providing that it would cease using those marks at least until the end of the year, but the order did not provide for dismissal of the case. The defendant failed to file an answer to the complaint and the NCAA was granted a default judgment, after which it filed a motion requesting an award of attorneys’ fees against the defendant in the amount of $242,213.55. In May 2018, the Court awarded attorneys’ fees in the amount of $220,998.05.
  • The NCAA sued a car dealership that had registered and was using the mark “Markdown Madness” in advertising. (The case was settled.)
  • Even schools that are part of the NCAA are not immune from claims of infringement. Seven years after the Big Ten Conference started using the mark “March Is On!,” the NCAA opposed an application to have that mark federally registered. (Ultimately, the opposition was withdrawn, the mark was registered, but the registration was assigned to the NCAA.)

 

These actions illustrate the level of importance that the NCAA places on acting against the use of trademarks which seek to create an association with its annual Collegiate Basketball Tournament. Clearly, such activities continue to carry great risks. Accordingly, following is an updated version of our prior blog posts on this subject.

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With the NCAA Basketball Tournament about to begin, broadcasters, publishers and other businesses need to be wary about potential claims arising from their use terms and logos associated with the tournament, including March Madness®, The Big Dance®, Final Four® or Elite Eight,® each of which is a federally registered trademark. March Mayhem® is also registered to the NCAA, which is currently seeking to register March to the Madness.

The NCAA Aggressively Defends Against Unauthorized Use of its Trademarks

The NCAA states that $844.3M of its annual revenues derives from the licensing of television and marketing rights in the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Moreover, its returns from the tournament have historically grown each year. Most of this income comes from broadcast licensing fees. It also has a substantial amount of revenue from licensing March Madness® and its other marks for use by advertisers. As part of those licenses, the NCAA agrees to stop non-authorized parties from using any of the marks. Indeed, if the NCAA did not actively police the use of its marks by unauthorized companies, advertisers might not feel the need to get a license or, at least, to pay as much as they do for the license. Thus, the NCAA has a strong incentive to put on a full court press to prevent non-licensees from associating their goods and services with the NCAA tournament through unauthorized use of its trademarks.

Activities that May Result in a Whistle

The NCAA acknowledges that media entities can sell advertising that accompanies the entity’s coverage of the NCAA championships. Even so, as discussed in greater deal in our earlier discussions of the “Do’s and Don’ts” of Super Bowl– and Olympics-related promotions, unless authorized by the NCAA, any of the following activities may result in a cease and desist demand:

  • accepting advertising that refers to the NCAA, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, March Madness, The Big Dance, Final Four, Elite Eight or any other NCAA trademark or logo (The NCAA has posted a list of its trademarks here.)
    • Example: An ad from a retailer with the headline, “Buy A New Big Screen TV in Time to Watch March Madness.”
  • local programming that uses any NCAA trademark as part of its name
    • Example: A locally produced program previewing the tournament called “The Big Dance: Pick a Winning Bracket.”
  • selling the right to sponsor the overall coverage by a broadcaster, website or print publication of the tournament
    • Example: During the sports segment of the local news, introducing the section of the report on tournament developments as “March Madness, brought to you by [name of advertiser].”
  • sweepstakes or giveaways that include any NCAA trademark in its name
    • Example: “The Final Four Giveaway.”
  • sweepstakes or giveaways that offer tickets to a tournament game as a prize
    • Example: the sweepstakes name may not be a problem, but including game tickets as a prize will raise an objection by the NCAA.
  • events or parties that use any NCAA trademark to attract attendees
    • Example: a radio station sponsors a happy hour where fans can watch a tournament game and prominently places any of the NCAA marks on signage.
  • advertising that wishes or congratulates a team, or its coach or players, on success in the tournament
    • Example: “[Advertiser name] wishes [Name of Coach] and the 2018 [Name of Team] success in the NCAA tournament!”

There is one more common pitfall that is unique to the NCAA Basketball: tournament brackets used in office pools where participants predict the winners of each game in advance of the tournament. The NCAA’s position is that the unauthorized placement of advertising within an NCAA bracket or corporate sponsorship of a tournament bracket is misleading and constitutes an infringement of its intellectual property rights. Accordingly, it says that any advertising should be outside of the bracket space and should clearly indicate that the advertiser or its goods or services are not sponsored by, approved by or otherwise associated with the NCAA or its championship tournament.

Note that none of these restrictions prevents media companies from using any of the marks in providing customary news coverage of or commentary on the tournament. Just be sure that they are just used to identify the tournament and its stages, and don’t in any way imply that there is an association between the station itself or any sponsor who does not have the rights to claim such association and the NCAA. The NCAA’s Advertising and Promotional Guidelines are posted online.

A Surprising History of “March Madness”

The NCAA was not the first to use “March Madness” as a trademark in connection with basketball tournaments. In fact, beginning in the 1940’s, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) used it in connection with the Illinois state high school basketball championship playoffs.

The NCAA also may not have been the first to license the use of “March Madness.” Beginning in the early 1990’s, the IHSA licensed it for use by other state high school basketball tournaments and by corporations.

Moreover, the NCAA did not originate the use of “March Madness” to promote its collegiate basketball tournament. Rather, CBS broadcaster is credited with first using “March Madness” in 1982 to describe the tournament. As CBS was licensed by the NCAA to air the tournament, the NCAA apparently claims that as its date of first use.

Finally, the NCAA was not the first to register “March Madness” as a trademark. That honor went to a company called Intersport, Inc., which used the mark for sports programs it produced and registered the mark in 1989.

So, how did the NCAA get to claim ownership of the March Madness® trademark? The short answer is through litigation and negotiations over a period of many years. Although it has also been able to obtain federal registrations for Final Four® and Elite Eight,® it was late to the gate and was unable to snag “Sweet Sixteen” or “Sweet 16,” which are registered to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA). (The NCAA, however, has the KHSAA’s consent to register “NCAA Sweet Sixteen” and “NCAA Sweet 16.”)

The Final Score

Having invested so much in its trademarks, the NCAA takes policing its trademark rights very seriously. Even so, although the NCAA may send a cease-and-desist letter over the types of activities discussed above, some claims may not be a slam-dunk as there can be arguments to be made on both sides of these issues. If you plan to accept advertising incorporating an NCAA trademark or logo or plan to use an NCAA trademark or logo other than in the context of reporting on the tournament, you should consult with an experienced trademark attorney so you can make an informed decision about the level of risk that you may be taking on.

The Cinematic Orchestra: To Believe review – soundscape originators’ accomplished return

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Fri 15 Mar 2019 10:30 am

(Ninja Tune)
The sound of TCO’s tasteful electronica has become ubiquitous. This new album isn’t experimental or idiosyncratic enough to stand out

Even if you believe yourself to be unaware of the Cinematic Orchestra, the London collective formed in 1999 by Jason Swinscoe, you will more than likely be familiar with one of their songs. To Build a Home – a spare and exquisitely beautiful piano ballad featuring the Canadian musician Patrick Watson – has become a TV score standard in the decade since its release, soundtracking a slew of blockbuster dramas. Yet while the song’s ethereal melancholy has proven enduring, its makers have dipped out of view in the intervening years. To Build a Home was the opening track on the Cinematic Orchestra’s 2007 record Ma Fleur – until now, the last proper album they released.

That makes To Believe a comeback of sorts, an opportunity for the 20-year-old group to restate their relevance. To those ends, Swinscoe has described the album as a contemplation on belief in the age of Brexit. Yet while the verbose track titles hint at lofty ideas, the songs don’t so much pin down and interrogate our modern malaise as transpose it into wilful abstraction. Sonically, meanwhile, the topic leads the group to set up camp in the space between their second and third albums – the former ominous, jazzy, trip-hop-informed; the latter a prettier, more wistful collection of featured-artist crooning. At one end of the spectrum is A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life, which sees the group reunite with Roots Manuva – who guested on their edgy, expansive 2002 track All Things to All Men – for a mellower collaboration. To Believe’s titular opener, a pared-down vehicle for Moses Sumney’s soft, airy and soaring vocal, cleaves most closely to Ma Fleur’s style, but can’t quite recapture its muted majesty.

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Karen O & Danger Mouse: Lux Prima review – complex and lingering

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 15 Mar 2019 10:00 am

(BMG)
The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s frontwoman shines beyond her signature yelp on this cinematic, subtle album

After lucratively manning the boards for a series of big pop names in recent years – Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adele, Portugal, The Mancorrect et al – Danger Mouse delivers what feels like more of a passion project. It’s reminiscent of another of these, his 2011 album Rome with composer Daniele Luppi: both are heavily influenced by Ennio Morricone’s compositional style of pattering drumbeats and sweeping strings. His cinematic ambition is foregrounded in the opening title track, a nine-minute symphonic pop suite centred around a theme that is revisited on the closing Nox Lumina, and, truth be told, isn’t particularly exciting. It serviceably denotes grandeur and romance but without any real melodic invention.

Where the album comes alive is with more traditional songwriting, anchored by Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O, who co-writes throughout. Her image in the popular imagination – a makeup-smeared sex banshee – does her a disservice: she has huge emotional and textural range, something that the handsome production helps to foreground here.

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