Meet The "CCIA": Google, Microsoft's Industry Group Attacks Copyright Bullying

Google, Microsoft, and others speaking through the Computer and Communications Industry Association or CCIA, have announced their intention to file a complaint with the FCC accusing copyright holders such as Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the MPAA and the RIAA of “overstating” their rights in various consumer warnings.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The group wants the FTC to investigate and order copyright holders to stop wording warnings in what it sees as a misrepresentative way.

“We look forward to receiving their complaint and reviewing it,” said an FTC spokeswoman.

Many warnings “materially misrepresent U.S. copyright law, particularly the fundamental built-in First Amendment accommodations which serve to safeguard the public interest,” the complaint alleges. CCIA President Ed Black said the warnings create a “chilling effect,” dissuading consumers from using portions of the content in ways that are lawful.

So: “this copyrighted telecast is presented by authority of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. It may not be reproduced or retransmitted in any form, and the accounts and descriptions of this game may not be disseminated without express written consent.” really is bullsh*t? Because it always sounded like bullsh*t.

The CCIA said copyright holders should let audiences know they may have a right to reproduce some of the work. They even provide examples of how it can be done, as in this warning in the John Wiley & Son’s 2007 book “Hotel California.” The warning says, “No part of this publication may be reproduced…except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the United States Copyright Act,” referring to the sections that deal with fair use and reproduction by libraries and archives.

Go team CCIA! Somebody start making the shirts.

Google, Others Contest Copyright Warnings [Wall Street Journal] (Thanks, Roger!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Trai_Dep says:

    It’s a sad commentary on our supposed Land of the Free ™ when the only way to stop one set of venal mega-corporation’s malfeasance is to desperately hope that it gets in the way of another mega-corporation’s business model.

    That said, go evil monopolist, go!!

  2. Amy Alkon says:

    Google should spend a little more time making sure their own policies are being enforced. Somebody used my name to set up a Gmail address and blogspot site and Google refused to do a damn thing about it.

    Now, let me say that I am a staunch freedom of speech advocate, and I totally support your right to create an AmyAlkonSucks site, but what you cannot do is create an site (using just my name, as if it’s my site), and pretending to be me, and advertising your fake site as “The Official Amy Alkon weblog” on blogs all over the Internet and on the blog itself. That is precisely what a guy who had a grudge against a friend of mine who died recently of cancer did (and friends who took care of her like me). had the same problem, as have others. Again, Google is entirely unresponsive — despite the fact that I exactly followed their dictates on showing a TOS violation through impersonation, and even stated case law (Lanham Act) showing that I even have additional protections as a public figure (“right of publicity”).

    I hope somebody whose beat this is will cover this in a piece for a magazine or newspaper.

  3. misterfancypants says:

    Or at least make a shirt design and then torrent it.

  4. B says:

    @Amy Alkon: Are you the only Amy Alkon in the world? Do you own a copyright on your name?

  5. cde says:

    @Amy Alkon: According to the Copyright office, noone can copyright a name.

  6. supra606 says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  7. WNW says:

    @cde: Tell that to Tillamook Cheese


    They’ve been sending C&Ds to any business with the name “Tillamook” even though that is the town/county they are in.

  8. leftistcoast says:

    @B: Amy Alkon is not talking about copyrighting her name. What she’s getting at is a type of identity theft. A bit off topic from the lead piece but google-related…

  9. Amy Alkon says:

    You don’t copyright names, you trademark them, and a person has the right to their name. If another Amy Alkon is using it, that’s their right. The person pretending to be me was, apparently, a blubbery, middle-aged man from the SF Valley who most certainly was not born either “Amy” or “Alkon.”

  10. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    Huh? Microsoft speaking out agains IP laws? Did I wake up in Bizzaro-Earth today?

  11. Perhaps next they can attack unenforceable shrink-wrap and click-through agreements.

    Somehow I don’t see that happening with this group.

  12. Buran says:

    Yes, it is BS. They have even illegally claimed copyright over clips posted for fair-use discussion purposes, something which is explicitly legal under US law.

  13. Buran says:

    @Amy Alkon: Unfortunately, a guy named Don Henley wound up in court to another guy named Don Henley (he’s a musician) who claimed he had more rights to the name (as if being famous means everyone else with the same name has to change it). Never mind that the guy was born with said name and got to the registrar first.

    Thomas Claburn:

    I’d hate to be a guy named Billy Joel, as another musician with that name has trademarked it. Then again, it might be fun, to get sued and countersue for punitive damages — certainly the musician could afford to be slapped for baseless lawsuits.

  14. markwm says:

    @Amy Alkon: Wow, that sounds a lot like what happened to the late Cathy Seipp. She was a very entertaining writer, and some idiot teacher with a grudge against her daughter had to show how big a douche nozzle he could be, up to and including forging letters from her on her deathbed.

    On topic: I like seeing stuff like this happen. I just wonder how many of those who reflexively side against MS are going to have their heads explode when they have to choose between agreeing with MS or the RIAA. *L*

  15. cde says:

    @WNW: That’s a company trademark, not a person’s name. Different issues.

    @Amy Alkon:

    Similarly, personal names (actual names and pseudonyms) of individuals or groups function as marks only if they identify and distinguish the services recited and not merely the individual or group. In re Mancino, 219 USPQ 1047 (TTAB 1983) (holding that BOOM BOOM would be viewed by the public solely as applicant’s professional boxing nickname and not as an identifier of the service of conducting professional boxing exhibitions); In re Lee Trevino Enterprises, Inc., 182 USPQ 253 (TTAB 1974) (LEE TREVINO used merely to identify a famous professional golfer rather than as a mark to identify and distinguish any services rendered by him); In re Generation Gap Products, Inc., 170 USPQ 423 (TTAB 1971) (GORDON ROSE used only to identify a particular individual and not as a service mark to identify the services of a singing group).

    The name of a character or person is registrable as a service mark if the record shows that it is used in a manner that would be perceived by purchasers as identifying the services in addition to the character or person. In re Florida Cypress Gardens Inc., 208 USPQ 288 (TTAB 1980) (name CORKY THE CLOWN used on handbills found to function as a mark to identify live performances by a clown, where the mark was used to identify not just the character but also the act or entertainment service performed by the character); In re Carson, 197 USPQ 554 (TTAB 1977) (individual’s name held to function as mark, where specimens showed use of the name in conjunction with a reference to services and information as to the location and times of performances, costs of tickets, and places where tickets could be purchased); In re Ames, 160 USPQ 214 (TTAB 1968) (name of musical group functions as mark, where name was used on advertisements that prominently featured a photograph of the group and gave the name, address and telephone number of the group’s booking agent); In re Folk, 160 USPQ 213 (TTAB 1968) (THE LOLLIPOP PRINCESS functions as a service mark for entertainment services, namely, telling children’s stories by radio broadcasting and personal appearances).



  16. kenposan says:

    Microsoft? Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

  17. AnnC says:


    Samir: No one in this country can ever pronounce my name right. It’s not that hard: Samir Na-gheen-an-a-jar. Nagheenanajar.
    Michael Bolton: Yeah, well at least your name isn’t Michael Bolton.
    Samir: You know there’s nothing wrong with that name.
    Michael Bolton: There was nothing wrong with it… until I was about 12 years old and that no-talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammys.
    Samir: Hmm… well why don’t you just go by Mike instead of Michael?
    Michael Bolton: No way. Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks.

  18. formergr says:

    Didn’t Google’s purchase of YouTube lead to their big purge of clips that might be considered copyrighted? So how are they the ones suing now to relax those restrictions?

  19. Kaien says:

    I find this a bit ironic that microsoft is on both sides now…
    They want stronger copyright laws + their Vista innate DRM is a bitch…, and now they are suddently collaborating with Google to make something against their movements?
    Then again, I guess I can believe it, since they aren’t like Viacom and trying to take down tons of youtube videos each day.

    The info with the names being trademarked is a good read. :3 Thanks for the info fellow commenters.

  20. Trai_Dep says:

    Geez, I guess Google’s “Do No Evil” is making Microsoft – if not good – a bit more cuddly of an evil, jack-booted monopolist.

    Must. Stop. Typing. Cognitive. Dissonance. Melting. My. Synapses…

  21. WNW says:

    @cde: Place name VS person’s name.