Live Events , Trade Mark / December 2002

TRADE MARK Merchandising, The Live Concert Industry Reed -v- Arsenal FC (2002) The curious case against ‘unofficial’ merchandiser Mr Reed BY Arsenal Football Club (AFC) carries on. The initial hearing in the High Court, London, before Mr Justice Laddie resulted in an unexpected win for Mr Reed. The Court held that because Mr Reed made it quite clear that his goods were unofficial, AFC could not rely on the law of passing of or their registered trade marks for ‘Arsenal’ ‘Gunners’ (AFC’s nickname) and two logos to prevent Mr Reed selling his goods near the club’s ground. The European Court of Justice overturned this decision holding that the unauthorised use of ‘badges of allegiance’ were protected by trade mark law. Mr Reed’s use of the signs created an impression of a link between the goods he sold and AFC and AFC as the proprietor [of a registered mark] is entitled to prevent unauthorised use of their marks. See ECJ: Case C-206/01 But in an unexpected twist the High Court ‘overturned’ the ECJ’s decision allowing Mr Reed to continue selling his ‘Gunner’s’ merchandise. The UK decision has sent tremors through the world of band merchandising with fears that a properly registered trademark will not protect…


COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet Following on from the Recording Industry Association of America’s successful action against Napster (RIAA -v- Napster, Judge Marilyn Patel, July 2000) where a preliminary injunction was granted Effectively shutting Napster down, further cases have now reached the courts. In April 2001 Aimster applied to the US District Court requesting that it declare that its service was legal. A number of organisations including the RIAA reacted by filing lawsuits against Aimster alleging contributory and vicarious copyright infringements. The District Court agreed that Aimster had clear knowledge of the infringements taking place using its service and that Aimster materially contributed to these infringements, could supervise them if Aimster wanted and Aimster financially benefitted from the (infringements) on its service. A preliminary injunction was granted. A decision of the activities of KaZaA in the USA is expected soon. BUT in a Dutch decision, the activities of KaZaA were held NOT to infringe copyright in an action between KaZaA BV and the Dutch collection societies BUMA/STEMRA. The Court held that as KaZaA BV could not prevent the exchange of copyright material between its users the service itself was not unlawful although the acts carried out by some users were certainly…


COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Artists and Composers The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has announced that the total number of contracting states for the Berne Convention (which sets out and defines minimum standards of protection for economic and moral rights for authors of literary and artistic works) is now 149 nations and that the total number of contracting states to the Geneva Convention (protecting phonographic copyrights) has reached 69. Email: for further information.