Monthly Archives: May 2013

Diller vs. Moonves – Media Right Meets Media Might

2007 Consumer Electronics Show Showcases Latest Tech Products

USA Networks CEO Barry Diller

By: Brian J. Meli

You’d be hard pressed to find two savvier media moguls than Barry Diller and Les Moonves. Diller, the charismatic, long-time industry heavyweight and brainchild behind the Fox Broadcasting Company has held executive posts at ABC, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures over the course his illustrious 50-year career. Among the many credits to his name: pioneering the made-for-television movie format, popularizing the QVC home shopping network and, most recently, founding IAC/InterActiveCorp, an Internet company whose properties include Vimeo and Match.com.

Leslie Moonves, meanwhile, the President and CEO of CBS, is well-credentialed in his own right, having served in executive-level roles at Warner Bros. Television, 20th Century Fox Television and Viacom.

The two men have been long-time competitors in the ratings wars, but now their rivalry has shifted from the small-screen to the courtroom.

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What The New FTC Disclosure Guidelines Mean For Your Business

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By: Brian J. Meli

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued updated disclosure guidelines for online advertisers to help ensure compliance with truth in advertising laws. The new guide, .com Disclosures – How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, is an overdue update to the agency’s initial Dot Com Disclosures guidedisseminated well before smartphones, tablets and social media came onto the scene. While advertising disclosures are, by their fact-dependent nature, hard to standardize, the new guide does an adequate job of clarifying what is and is not acceptable given all the new ways advertisers are using the Internet. The following is an overview of some of the things you need to know before advertising online.

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The World Wide What-If: How E.T. And Mickey Mouse Nearly Changed The Internet (And World) As We Know It – Part 2

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By: Brian J. Meli

This is Part 2 of a two-part article appearing in the May/June edition of IP Litigator. You can read Part 1 here.

In a temporary departure from our usual Legalmatter format, last week’s post contemplated a purely fictional hypo.

Lawyers love hypotheticals, in part because they make fertile ground for debate (and in part because it’s much easier to win an argument when it’s bring-your-own-facts). I deemed this particular hypothetical worthy of some ink however because it raises some thought-provoking questions about how IP laws have shaped our society.

The hypo involved going back in time and changing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in one of the most historic IP cases of all time, Sony v. Universal City Studios, so that plaintiffs Universal Studios and the Walt Disney Company came out on top. Such an outcome would have made Sony’s fledgling Betamax videocassette recorder (and the VCR in general) illegal due to its ability to allow users to impermissibly infringe copyrighted broadcasts. This would have had a profound affect on the evolution of consumer technology and the Internet, and fundamentally changed the ways we live, work and play today.

Last week we contemplated the online world of a parallel universe in which just such a thing happened. This week we conclude by taking a look at the equivalent off-line world.

Here’s how it might look:

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