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« Local Programming: If the Day Ends in "Y", It Must Be Drinking Liberally | Main | Court: No Way Vaccines Cause Autism »

February 12, 2009


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Likely a violation of CBS's copyright in the image as well.

Good point.

Can I geek some more? CBS may also have a claim of trademark infringement on the ground that Hoeffer is falsely implying that CBS endorses his service. Don't quote me on that one, though; I haven't finished up my Trademark and Unfair Competition study outline yet because the exam isn't until late next week.

Hmm. I don't see CBS's trademark anywhere in the photo. Couric's face is not a CBS logo. Maybe the map is covered by trade dress? I doubt it can be copyrighted.

It's not a question of CBS's trademarked logo or its trade dress, but a question of Hoeffer implying that CBS endorses his service, or that CBS has favorably reported about his service on Couric's news show. False advertising is considered a type of trademark infringement; it's section 43-something in the Lanham Act.

As for CBS being able to copyright the map, I bet they could, because they've altered it so much. National Geographic and Rand McNally copyright their maps all the time, and they would win in court if you photocopied their maps and sold them as Mithras's Super Atlas for Road Trips. The underlying data they got it from is what is not copyrightable -- the closer you get to raw data, the less copyrightable the material is.

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