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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2017 » January » 17


As Super Bowl Approaches, Advertisers Should Be Aware of The NFL’s Efforts to Protect Its Golden Goose – 2017 Update

Delivered... Mitchell Stabbe | Scene | Tue 17 Jan 2017 6:18 pm

Last year, we posted some guidelines about engaging in or accepting advertising or promotions that directly or indirectly alludes to the Super Bowl without a license from the NFL. We are at that time of year again, so here is an updated version of our prior post.

In addition to the monies it receives annually for the right to broadcast the Super Bowl, the NFL receives more than $1 billion in income from licensing the use of the SUPER BOWL trademark and logo. Not surprisingly, is extremely aggressive in protecting its golden goose from anything it views as unauthorized efforts to trade off the goodwill associated with the game. Accordingly, with the coin toss almost upon us, advertisers need to take special care before publishing ads or engaging in promotional activities that refer to the Super Bowl. Broadcasters and other news publishers have latitude to use the phrase “Super Bowl” in their news and other editorial content, but they need to wary of engaging in activities, particularly in advertising and promotion, that the NFL may view as trademark or copyright infringement. (These risks also apply to the use of “Final Four” or “March Madness” in connection with the upcoming NCAA Basketball Tournament.)

Simply put, the NFL views any commercial activity that uses or refers to the Super Bowl to draw attention as a violation of its trademark rights. Many of the activities challenged by the league undoubtedly deserve a yellow flag. However, the NFL’s rule book defines trademark violations very broadly. If anyone were willing to throw the red flag to challenge the league’s position, a review from the booth might reverse some of those calls.

Advertising that Refers to the Super Bowl: Under trademark law, use of a third party’s trademark is considered to be permissible “nominative fair use” if the use does not suggest a relationship between the advertiser and the trademark owner and the trademarked goods or services cannot be readily identified without using the trademark. This is why broadcasters can talk about the game in their news and other topical programming, using the words “Super Bowl.” Nevertheless, the NFL objects to any unauthorized advertising that refer to the Super Bowl. For example, the use in advertising of taglines such as “Stock Up for the Super Bowl” for beer or snacks or “Get the Best View of the Super Bowl” for big-screen TVs has routinely led to the prompt issuance of cease-and-desist letters. The claim may be made directly against the advertiser, as well as against a broadcaster or other news organization that publishes the ad. As a result, many broadcasters will not accept advertising that specifically refers to the Super Bowl unless the advertiser first shows that it has NFL approval.

Other Marks: To overcome these problems, many advertisers now replace any reference to the “Super Bowl” with “The Big Game.” When advertisers widely began using this tactic, NFL Properties tried to register THE BIG GAME as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. (The NFL also has federal trademark protection for “Super Sunday,” “Gameday” and “Back to Football,” and over a hundred other marks.) Over twenty different parties threatened to oppose the application and the NFL voluntarily abandoned the application. We are not aware of any reported claims by the NFL against advertisers based upon the use of “The Big Game.”

Following are some examples of other activities that create a significant risk of an objection by the NFL:

“Super Bowl” Events or Parties: A bar or restaurant that has a public performance license to show television programs on their premises has the right to show the Super Bowl broadcast to its patrons, but if it uses the words “Super Bowl” in its advertising to attract customers, the league will object. Similarly, a company should not be listed as the sponsor of a “Super Bowl” event or party. And, under copyright law, a fee should not be charged to watch the game.

Famously, in 2007, the NFL sent a cease and desist letter to an Indiana church group that had used “Super Bowl” to describe a viewing party for the game and would charge $3.00 per person to cover the cost of snacks. The NFL, however, will not object to a church viewing party for the Super Bowl if it is held in the church’s usual place of worship and no fee is charged for attending. In addition, the League will likely not object to religious organizations that refer to their events as a Super Bowl party, provided that no NFL logos are used.

Sweepstakes or Giveaways (Naming or Prizes): Any sweepstakes or giveaway that incorporates “Super Bowl” in its name or as a prominent feature of its advertising should be avoided. Further, the NFL takes the position that game tickets cannot be offered as a prize or award. In most situations, the “first sale” doctrine provides that the buyer of goods may do whatever it wants with its purchase, including reselling it or giving it away. Faced with this argument some years ago, the NFL (as well as the other sports leagues) now includes language on the back of tickets, prohibiting their use as part of a sweepstakes, giveaway or other promotion. It can be argued that the purchaser of a ticket will not even see this language until after the purchase is completed and therefore the terms have not been agreed to and are not binding. Tickets to an event are legally considered a license to attend the event, rather than a good that is sold, and therefore can condition entry on any basis that does not violate public policy.

Names of Programs: Even if a broadcaster is not with the network that carries the Super Bowl (this year, CBS), it may want to produce a television program about the game. In years past, the NFL has repeatedly challenged local broadcasters that include the name of a team in a weekly program dedicated to discussions about the team. Thus, it would not be surprising if the NFL similarly objected to naming a pre-Super Bowl television program about the game if it incorporated “Super Bowl” in the title. (As discussed above, there is a strong argument that such naming constitutes permissible “nominative fair use.”)

Special Advertising: Newspapers and online news providers frequently have a special “section” that is devoted to coverage of the Super Bowl. The organization should be able to solicit advertising to accompany its stories, just as it does for any of its news reporting. It would be risky, however, to have an advertiser “sponsor” the coverage, particularly if “Super Bowl” is part of the name of the section.

Disclaimers: A disclaimer such as, “Not an Official Sponsor of the Super Bowl” or “This Advertisement (or Event) Has Not Been Licensed or Authorized by the NFL” will not ward off a cease-and-desist letter. Moreover, in the event of litigation, it is unlikely to provide a defense to a claim of infringement. And, even if ultimately did so, the defendant would still incur significant attorneys’ fees and other costs of litigation.

Risk Analysis: The policy underlying protection of trademarks is to protect consumers against consumer confusion. That said, is there a meaningful difference between, for example, an ad that invites consumers to “Stock up for the Super Bowl” as opposed to one that says, “Stock up for the Big Game”? Do they convey different messages? Is one more likely than the other to confuse consumers into believing that the product being advertised is sponsored by, endorsed by, or otherwise affiliated with the NFL? Probably not.

So, why is the NFL so aggressive? The answer almost certainly lies in the fact that official “sponsors” of the Super Bowl or other licensees of the NFL would not be willing to pay for the right to do so if a competitor could freely use the Super Bowl to promote itself without also paying a license fee. This risk is particularly high for those who have been promised exclusivity in a given category and the right to promote themselves as “The Official ——– of the Super Bowl.” Thus, looking at the big picture, the NFL has a huge incentive to prevent any advertising that may cross the line.

Moreover, any news organization that wants press credentials for the game faces an additional risk. Although news organizations are not required to have permission to report on an event, as a practical matter, their ability to do so from inside the stadium will be hampered by a refusal by the NFL to issue press credentials. (And, yes, we have seen professional sports leagues make such a threat.)

For these reasons, for most broadcasters and other news organizations, the better course is to be aware of and avoid any possible pitfalls, rather than run the risk of litigation.

XLN Addictive Keys Now Bundled with Selected Focusrite & Novation Products

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Tue 17 Jan 2017 5:00 pm
The Focusrite Group Announces Addictive Keys Bundles

Why KORG Gadget on the Mac is a big deal

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 17 Jan 2017 4:57 pm

Remember when some pundits thought we were all going to dump our laptops and switch to tablets and iPads? So – not so much. But mobile platforms are having a big impact on music software – and KORG Gadget, now making the leap from iOS to Mac, may be most emblematic of that.

Who is KORG Gadget for? Well, sort of for everyone. Beginning users can find it a nice way to play around – and might well try this before desktop software. More advanced users are likely to find it an appealing set of tools, but would want to use it to extend other hardware and software – on the go, or integrated with those tools when they’re at home or in the studio ready to work.

If you haven’t tried it and you’ve got an iPad (or iPhone, even), Gadget is great – fun to play, lots of tools, and lots of great sounds. KORG also have nailed the smart approach of adding modules in a way that’s fun, so that adding additional instruments feels a bit like getting a new cartridge for your Game Boy or adding a stomp box to your pedalboard.

Gadget started on these Apple things.

Gadget started on these Apple things.

Now, adding Mac support fills in some gaps – especially because of how KORG has gone about it. This looks like a template for what software development in 2017 should be:

Social. Allihoopa is just emerging as a way of sharing music with other producers, but KORG are embracing it. (The sharing site began its life with Propellerhead before being spun off. So naturally Reason, Figure, and Take all have integration – and KORG Gadget, too.) That seems essential, given the signal-to-noise problems sharing music online.

Synced. Ableton Link support, also quickly becoming a must, means you can sync with Ableton Live, Reason, Maschine, and other apps on desktop, plus loads of apps on iOS – so, easy local sync on your computer between software tools, easy sync between computers, easy sync with mobile, whether you’re playing alone or jamming with other people.

Wireless. There’s Bluetooth MIDI support, too. For new users, this means the possibility of using hardware without thinking about wires and MIDI adapters.

It makes sense on your computer screen. Full-screen apps are a bit silly on the more generous screen real estate on your desktop, so KORG have opted for a four-app split-screen approach that makes loads of sense.

Complete plug-in support, when you want it. AU (for Logic and GarageBand), AAX (for Pro Tools), and VST (for everything else) are all supported. There’s even NKS support, which lets you integrate with Native Instruments hardware and software easily. (For instance, you’ll get physical controls on NI’s Maschine hardware and keyboards.) The upshot of this: all those clever independent instruments and effects from the iPad are now just as modular on the desktop, dropped into whatever your software of choice is.

On the go and back again. The whole point of this, of course, is the ability to complete workflows between desktop and mobile seamlessly. And that’s where a lot of conventional software from Native Instruments, Ableton, Propellerhead, and others are a little uneven (partly because they began their life on desktop). Here, you have essentially the same tools in both places.

Gadget on the Mac also brings some new devices – a 16-pad drum machine, and two new audio recording tools.

But there are two paths here – the beginner and the more advanced user. Beginners may find this a way to start to take steps from mobile to desktop tools (and hardware). Advanced users may come from the opposite direction – trying Gadget with or without an iPad, and integrating on-the-go or casual use with sitting down seriously at a computer and finishing a track.

This gets us out of a cul-de-sac in music making software that we’ve been stuck in for a few years. Desktop software has always tended to be more complex and larger, with fairly monolithic tools that try to appeal to everyone, but then tend to turn off newcomers. Mobile software may seem like a way out of that, except that the low price points users demand on the app stores make it hard to justify development costs. Innovation on both tends to be stymied by those same problems.

So, imagine instead that you combine the benefits of both.

KORG Gadget is then just one small step. And it’s also limited to Apple platforms – just as Windows gets a bunch of interesting hardware. But it could be a nice sign of things to come.

We’ll be watching closely to see how KORG prices Gadget on the Mac versus mobile, what the experience is like on desktop (since we’re judging only by iOS), and who embraces it.

But it’s very nice to see an option like this that looks friendly to beginners, without forcing advanced users to give up their way of working. We’ll be eager to test it.

Also, lest it seem like I’m waxing poetic about Gadget for no reason — I’m very much indebted to other people who have spent loads of time working out how to get the most out of it and making great music. Our friend Jakob Haq has done some nineteen videos so far for Gadget alone, and it’s chock full of tips and musical inspiration.

Have a look – as these videos might be relevant to you for the first time if you’re on the Mac but don’t have an iPad:

http://www.korg.com/us/products/software/korg_gadget/

The post Why KORG Gadget on the Mac is a big deal appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

MASSIVE UPDATES TO SXSW MUSIC 2017

Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Tue 17 Jan 2017 2:45 pm
The Radiohead tour is shaping with shows already on the books for 2017 with confirmed nine U.S. headline shows plus their headling gig at Coachella 2017. Radiohead tickets go on sale starting Jan. 20th!

RME and Synthax Announce Fireface UFX II Interface

Delivered... Emusician RSS Feed | Scene | Tue 17 Jan 2017 1:00 pm
A Rich Feature set in a Compact 1RU Form Factor

Beyond Unsound: Inside Kraków’s Blooming Techno Underground

Delivered... By Jacek Plewicki | Scene | Tue 17 Jan 2017 12:30 pm

The post Beyond Unsound: Inside Kraków’s Blooming Techno Underground appeared first on Electronic Beats.

Remembering Trash: the London club night that defined the rock’n’rave era

Delivered... Kate Hutchinson | Scene | Tue 17 Jan 2017 12:11 pm

Erol Alkan, LCD Soundsystem, 2ManyDJs and Bloc Party were all regulars at the feted Monday night party destination, which shut its doors 10 years ago this month. They recall an eclectic, eccentric event that reshaped UK nightlife

For many of the students, creatives and musical misfits bounding around London from 1997 to 2007, life revolved around Monday night. Each week a bash called Trash was a siren call for the indie glitterati (or just anyone who read the Face), a disco that defined the era’s promiscuous relationship with guitar and dance music. Its transgressive mix spanned angular indie to electro and post-punk, no wave to art-school garage-rock and practically any band boasting a bowl cut. LCD Soundsystem and Yeah Yeah Yeahs played their first UK shows on its tiny stage. Amy Winehouse was a regular. For a decade, London’s HR departments must have wondered why they had so many sick notes on Tuesday mornings.

“People still come up to me and talk about how special a time it was for them, and how nothing filled that gap that it left,” says Erol Alkan, Trash’s linchpin and now a successful DJ, producer and remixer. He started the club as an antidote to the capital’s staid post-Britpop parties – nights that were, according to Bloc Party guitarist and Trash devotee Russell Lissack, “strictly guitar music and often fairly retro, quite generic”.

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