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[dvd-discuss] Power Play 2

Here's another example of copyright out-of-control.  This is just the next step logical step.  The IP industry wants full control of the entire spectrum.  First it was the rf and microwave with satellite, now it's the visual spectrum.  The Stella Awards site sent this out:

Stella Awards #14: 18 December 2002                  www.StellaAwards.com

by Randy Cassingham

  The Chicago Cubs baseball team is upset with the owners of bars around
Wrigley Field, the park where the team plays home games. They say the
several businesses surrounding the stadium "unjustly enrich themselves"
by letting people sit on their private property.

  Ummmm... huh? Team management says by letting people watch the games
over the stadium walls from private buildings surrounding the park, the
bars are stealing the team's "product" by violating its copyright on the

  "You have [something] that has evolved from Weber grills and lawn
chairs into a multimillion dollar business by pirating our product,"
claims Cubs President Andy MacPhail. The team has filed a lawsuit in U.S.
District Court against a group of bars after talks with the bar owners
broke down. "They do nothing to contribute to our efforts to put a
winning team on the field," he said. "The free ride is over."

  The suit says the bars, which charge as much as $100-200 to watch a
game from their rooftops, represent themselves as "small-time friends of
the common fan ... [but] are in fact free-riders who profiteer on
plaintiff's enormous annual expenditures on, and historical investment
in, the Chicago Cubs baseball team and Wrigley Field."

  What do "enormous annual expenditures" have to do with anything?
"During the 2002 season, the Cubs spent nearly $80 million on the
salaries of the players on its major league roster," the suit says. "The
Cubs pay millions of additional dollars annually to operate and maintain
Wrigley Field, incur the team's travel and road trip costs and pay all of
the other expenses of operating a team in Major League Baseball." Thus,
the team contends, it has a right to control the view. To bolster the
copyright claim, the club contends the rooftop seating areas illegally
provide TV sets so the far-away viewers can look at game broadcasts.

  The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court order
prohibiting anyone with a private view of Wrigley Field from charging
admission to view games at the park. The lawsuit came after the team
rejected an offer from the bars to pay the Cubs $14 per patron, but only
if it was called a "marketing fee" and not a license to watch the games.

  In the old days, baseball was known as "America's Pastime". How
fitting it's so intimately involved with America's new Pastime: dragging
every silly argument into court.

1) "Cubs Sue Owners of Rooftop Bars Overlooking Wrigley", Associated
  Press, 17 December 2002

2) "Cubs Hurl Federal Suit at Rooftop Owners", Chicago Tribune, 17
  December 2002 (free registration required)