News, Views and Muse

Canadian folk singer wins out in copyright spat with … the government mint

Because of the cover photo containing a few Canadian pennies on a countertop, Nova Scotia folk singer Dave Gunning was informed by the Royal Canadian Mint that though there would be no charge for the first 2,000 sales of his album No More Pennies, there would be a copyright charge of $1,200 for every subsequent 2,000 sales. (The Canadian government copyrights its works for 50 years.) Negative publicity forced the mint to reconsider, according to the Globe and Mail. 

Bob Dylan unconcerned about plagiarism complaints

Bob Dylan has been accused of plagiarism in his 2011 and 2006 albums, to which he responded: “wussies … complain about that stuff…In folk and jazz, quotation is a rich and enriching tradition.”

Pornographer agrees to destroy products infringing on Ben & Jerry’s trademarks

Rodax Distributors Inc. (dba Caballero Video), seller of adult films with titles and packaging borrowed from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors, including the “Ben & Cherry’s” series, has agreed to comply with a federal court order (Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. v. Rodax Distributors Inc., 12-cv-6734, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan)) to destroy all products and marketing collateral that infringe on Ben & Jerry’s trademarks.

Hot dog vendor’s name too close to icon’s

Bill Loizon was denied the trademark FRANKS ANATRA for catering food and drinks because it implied a connection with “old blue eyes.” As described in The TTA Blog, Loizon’s bizarre arguments were that FRANKS means hot dogs or frankfurters, and ANATRA means "duck" in Italian. In addition, according to the applicant, ANATRA refers to "the People's Republic of Anatra," an "island nation" that is "all about hot dogs." Right.