Tag: Trademark

Out-of-context eavesdropping

Out-of-context eavesdropping

 

Catching something completely out of context in public.

It’s the trope that has spawned a thousand episodes of a thousand sitcoms. The Live-Action T.V. section of this fan-driven tropes wiki for out-of-context eavesdropping even suggests that the narrative device “was the plot of roughly 2/3s of the episodes of Three’s Company.”

But much like any cliché or stereotype, it is sometimes easy to forget that they exist in entertainment because they’re circumstances people see in real life.

I’ve found myself glancing over my shoulder on occasion when playing Fire Emblem Heroes, for example.

Looking at you Summer Noire.

The excuse of playing a video game somewhat mitigates that particular fear. We all know the Japanese are a special breed in that regard.

But today I had a slightly different experience in that vein, where the concern was being perceived as some kind of sociopath out of context.

So let me provide context that way you all don’t think I’m a sociopath.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time writing my novel. So much so that I skipped out on doing a blog post.

To make up for it I tried doing a silly gif thing:

Figured I should keep practicing that stuff I learned a few weeks back.

Even though I kept throughout today, I needed a change of scenery. Wound up dragging my Dad out to get coffee at a Coffee Bean in Torrance for a couple of hours.

While we were there I checked my school portal and saw the last two Comm Law assignments we needed to complete over Spring Break were finally uploaded.

I would have preferred to work on them at the beginning of the break… But I can’t force my professors to do things just for my convenience.

Luckily the assignments were quick enough to blow through that I can’t complain.

One of them just happened to come with some bizarre imagery.

For our section on copyright and trademark, a case we went over was Mattel v. Walking Mountain Productions. In which Utah artist Tom Forsythe created a number of images using frazzled Barbie dolls in domestic appliances and common food items to comment on the brand’s effect on society’s treatment of women and gender roles.

All that fun stuff.

Forsythe won the case as fair use for commentary and was later compensated for the legal fees.

A very interesting case, but one that required me to watch videos zooming in on pictures of mangled Barbie pieces in enchiladas and stir fry.

Obviously the “school assignment” excuse would have saved me from any dirty looks. Especially given my ability to at least partially explain why the court case is important in First Amendment studies.

But I definitely would have gotten some dirty looks out of context, and I couldn’t help but look over my shoulder to make sure nobody was peering over the hedges.

Even though I would have more things to worry about if a total stranger was watching me from behind a hedge in a public space, I suppose.

Coursework influences art

It’s never fun when I have to head to campus on a day where I don’t have class.

After forgetting the gift cards for my Honors networking panel game on Wednesday like a dolt, I had to make arrangements with the winners to deliver their prizes.

One of them was most available today around 12:30 p.m.

Because I was the one who fucked up, I couldn’t try to waive off their best time because it wasn’t convenient for my do-nothing day. So I went to Fullerton to deliver the card.

The whole meeting took literally two seconds. It was ostensibly just a hand-off, and they left immediately after the product was given.

So yay. An hour’s worth of a drive for two seconds of pay-off.

On days such as these I usually try to find things to do so that my time is not wasted. When my attempts to reach out to a couple local friends all ended in failures, I resigned myself to whittling time away in the Honors Center with homework.

By working on homework, I mean working on Comm Law homework. Because that stuff takes hours — and in fact I was working on it all four hours I sat in the Center until it closed at 5:00 p.m.

Then I spent even more time on it after I got home from my ~hour & fifteen minute drive.

As much as I’m enjoying the class, the sheer amount of work is absolutely killer.

Yet, the lectures we had to look over this weekend spoke to me more than usual. Our topic was the one and only:

IMG_2396

Now I know what you must be asking yourself. “You don’t have any intellectual property, Jason. Why did this speak to you?”

First off, rude.

Second, given the requirements for copyright (having an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression), I would say I have copyrighted intellectual property in both my journalism and whatever I’ve written on this blog.

Especially given the fact that copyright is written into the Constitution as pertaining to works beginning at the moment of their creation.

Unlike trademarks, which pertain to brands and aim to create an association with product quality so consumers can knowing what they’re buying. Because capitalism.

I don’t have a brand to protect, and trademarks only begin the moment they are put into commercial use. So I can’t claim I own that as easily as I do copyright to an extent.

Now. I’m sure some of you must be asking yourselves a different question. “Jason, why the hell are you spouting Comm Law nonsense at us? This isn’t a lecture.”

The point I’m aiming toward is that I’ve taken the opportunity to think about copyright further than just my journalistic writings. I’ve been thinking about a copyright that, at least to me, feels a bit more important in the moment.

I’m working on having a copyrighted work in the completely original intellectual property of my Senior Honors Project novel.

Though it’s obviously a pipe dream for a product I haven’t finished yet, something about learning the bundle of rights that come with a copyrighted work made me kind of giddy.

Five rights come with copyright that pertain to how one wants to divide up and license out their work:

  1. Distribution
  2. Display
  3. Reproduction
  4. Adaptation
  5. Performance

I’m not going to say I expect my novel to hit the same heights as, say, the Harry Potter series (which we used as an example).

A series of books which were licensed out to be reproduced and distributed by a publishing company. Then a series of movies which were adapted from those books that, in turn, had their own bundle of rights as an independent copyright.

But hey. It’s a nice dream, isn’t it?

The kind of dream that I may have more to talk about in the near future. Hint hint, wink wink.

Until then… Who would’ve guessed that Comm Law, of all classes, would help contribute to that dream in the most clinical, detached way imaginable.