updated 03:00 am EDT, Fri March 30, 2012
Demonstrates difficulty of copyright enforcement
Broadcaster NBC has put up a temporary "casting" and promotional web page for a forthcoming show called Home Transformers that is modelled on the current home-construction and remodeling trend in reality TV shows. In putting together the site, however, the web developer the network is using appears to have "borrowed" a graphic straight from the most valuable corporation on the planet -- Apple. The page is using the icon for Xcode as part of its layout.
The error was spotted by TheNextWeb and used as an example of the kind of problems a casual regard for copyright can create in an age where harsh penalties for exactly this kind of unauthorized web use of copyrighted artwork is being actively contemplated. NBC is not the first to run into such seeming hypocrisy -- having recently sent a letter to suppliers calling "theft" of its programming the greatest risk the company faces -- but it illustrates the complexity of copyright issues concerning art found on the Internet.
In February, music and music video copyright enforcer Vevo was accused of streaming a pirated live presentation of the Super Bowl to a private party without paying for a license. The RIAA and MPAA have both been caught downloading music torrents and fake movie torrents in an effort to track downloaders.
The contractor who developed the page for NBC will likely modify it once word gets back to the parent company, but the incident will be seen as another chink in the armor of content creators who go after casual downloaders. Given the recent court dust-up between Asus' flagship Android tablet and Hasbro's claim of trademark infringement, NBC may also want to re-think the use of the word "Transformers" in the new show as well. [via TheNextWeb]
Apple's Xcode page on the Mac App Store