Useless (youngwilliam) wrote,

Tick in Flickerbook Animation

An interesting legal case from 2004 that was brought to my attention (this very day! By a lovely and charming person whom I shall not mention since she has enough folks randomly hitting her LiveJournal now) is "Rossi v. The Motion Picture Association of America". You can find details of it here.

I'll wait while you read that.

Done? Isn't it a shame they don't say exactly what Rossi did have on his website? Anyway.. in some ways I can agree with the ruling, in some ways I can't.

The pro-side is that yes, if Bob claims to've committed some crime, it's a pretty logical reaction for Johnny Law to treat Bob as if he committed the crime. If Bob hangs a sign on his front door claiming that he's murdered his wife, that gives the police a good reason to scope things out (since Bob's probably either a murderer or he's nuts. Either way, he's got problems), even if no-one has reported a murder.

The con-side is that "claims" is pretty vague here. If I have a sign saying that I'm selling cinnamon buns and you once lost some cinnamon buns, can you really say I'm claiming to have your lost cinnamon buns? In theory, Mr.Rossi may've had hours upon hours of home-movies of him dressing up mice in little suits and a mannequin rig, having them act out scenes from the Bible. In which case, I guess he'd only be in risk of infringing upon God's intellectual rights.

I think more internet pokery is called for, here.

Pokery Ensued!
Michael J. Rossi has owned and operated the “internetmo-” website since 1997. Rossi described his website as
an “online magazine” that provided visitors with a directory
of websites containing information about movies. Beginning
January, 2001, Rossi offered memberships to visitors to his

The MPAA is a trade association that works to prevent
unauthorized copying, transmittal, or other distribution of the
movie studios’ motion pictures. An MPAA member became
aware of Rossi’s website and notified the MPAA. A subse-
quent examination of Rossi’s website revealed the following
contents: “Join to download full length movies online now!
new movies every month
”; “Full Length Downloadable Mov-
”; and “NOW DOWNLOADABLE.” These statements
were followed by graphics for a number of the MPAA’s copy-
righted motion pictures. After viewing the website, the
MPAA believed that Rossi was illegally infringing on its
copyrighted materials.

(as taken from the court case itself. That's a .pdf so watch out if your CPU is ailing. If it is, try Foxit Reader instead of Acrobat)

So it was effectively Cheese-Its Christ movies, but Bonehead Rossi apparently thought he'd do some bait & switch by advertising corporate films for download.

PS: I was more impressed with this week's Torchwood than I thought I'd be. I was sitting with my arms crossed high on my chest, fully expecting wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff in the denouement, but it actually worked out quite logically (save for one actor's passing facial expression and a bit about emotions/mindstates)!
Tags: telemedia
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