The computer industry complains about over-reaching copyright warnings (about time)

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As someone who regularly watches Mariners baseball games on TV (nice win over the Red Sox last night), I am alternately bemused and outraged by the statement near the end of each game that any

accounts and descriptions of this game may not be disseminated without express written consent of Major League Baseball

That is such a blatant and illegal misinterpretation of any intellectual property law as to be completely ridiculous – “I’d tell you about last night’s game, but I have to get permission from MLB first”.

Now at last, somebody’s doing something about it:

The legitimacy of that broad claim may be determined by the Federal Trade Commission after the Computer & Communications Industry Association filed a lengthy complaint with the FTC this morning. The CCIA is a trade group with members such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, RedHat, and others that promotes “open markets, open systems, and full, fair, and open competition.” Those companies believe that the overly broad copyright claims “cast a pall” over the tech industry.
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The CCIA’s complaint fingers the NFL, Major League Baseball, NBC Universal, Morgan Creek, DreamWorks, Harcourt Inc., and Penguin Group (USA) for deceptive trade practices, accusing them of systematically mispresenting the rights of consumers to use copyrighted material. “These warnings that we have been seeing for decades are false,” CCIA spokesperson Jake Ward told Ars Technica in a Monday interview. “They are a misrepresentation of the law and a violation of consumers’ rights.”

It’s about time.

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