Family Named Business Can't Always Use Family Name

Dear Rich: Our family has had a restaurant business since 2003 and recently we got a letter from a large chain asking us to change it because their lawyers say it is too similar to the chain's trademark. I don't know how they found out about us. We're a pretty small operation. Can they really make us change our restaurant's name? We're sorry to report that -- depending on the circumstances -- you may have to change your name. We've written an article on the subject of family names as trademarks so check that out, first. Assuming the chain has been using the name longer than you have, the wisest course is for you to hire a business lawyer to determine your response.
P.S. Speaking of restaurants, here's an adventurous desert we recently ordered at our local seafood shack -- Chocolate ganache wrapped in filo topped off with peanut butter sauce and hot fudge. It was great!

The 23 String Band - Catch 23

The 23 String Band - Catch 23
2011, The 23 String Band

Eastern Kentucky is the home base ofThe 23 String Band, an acoustic quintet consisting of Chris Shouse (guitar,lead vocals); Curtis Wilson (banjo, vocals); David Howard (mandolin, vocals);Scott Moore (fiddle, vocals) and T. Martin Stam (bass, vocals). In spite oftheir acoustic approach, the band brings electric energy to modern songs withtraditional bluegrass stylings. A live set from The 23 String Band could easilyfollow a traditional bluegrass tune with a Beastie Boys cover; theunpredictable nature of the band has earned them a significant following in ashort time. And their "original hillbilly music" has earned them therespect of bluegrass fans both modern and traditional. The band released Catch23 earlier this year. The only surprise here is that they haven't receivedwider acclaim.

Catch 23 opens with "Fat Frankie", the frenetic tale of asmall time drug dealer. The dark and urgent modern bluegrass arrangement iscompelling, and The 23 String Band has created a classic story song. The violinwork of Scott Moore is particularly amazing. "Long Hot Summer Days"features solid, deliberate pick work. Shouse gets soulful on the lead vocal,and there's a distinct blues feel blended into the bluegrass arrangement."Catch 23" is a dynamic instrumental that breaks out into a jazzifiedbreakdown. Once again, fiddler Scott Moore is a standout. The band is forwardand fun on "Leave Everything To Me", an amusing little love song witha memorable melody.

"Listen To Her Heart" is asoliloquy sung to a romantic interloper; an attempt to hold on to the one heloves. The arrangement here is pure gold, with tremendous instrumentalinterplay and absolutely gorgeous vocal harmonies intertwining throughout. The23 String Band goes old school on "Bees Knees", getting back to deepbluegrass roots so completely you'll think you're in a time warp. "HeyPretty Mama" is a tongue-in-cheek come-on song that's fun andentertaining. It's followed by the vibrant instrumental clinic of "DeerTick". It's the barrelhouse for "Raleigh & Spencer", aprohibition era fiddle tune that's relentlessly entertaining. The band getsreal props for their original read on "Cripple Creek", in a renditionthat's vaguely reminiscent of the Grateful Dead's version, but has a more lyricfeel.
The 23 String Band are a marketer'sdream. Riding the high energy of youth, this finely tuned musical machineapproaches traditional bluegrass with great reverence, but can also kick outthe jams and update their sound to the minute. With the rise of Americana musicas an over-arching pop form, it's a matter of time before a band from its ranksbreaks out into pop-culture stardom. That band could easily be The 23 StringBand, and Catch 23 could be just the vehicle to take them there.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about The 23 String Bandat or

'Tis the Season

Unforeseen perks about living in New York City during the holidays: passing by Christmas tree stands, which virtually appeared overnight. There seems to be one every two or so blocks, and when I walk by, I'm smacked in the face with the warm, refreshing scent of fir trees. I'm that girl who stops and buries her face in the lush needles. Are you surprised? Not at all? Is that a compliment? No? Plus, at night, there are strands of bobbing lights criss-crossed over them. It's like a Christmas fairy just decided to do something about the smell of trash sitting on First Avenue.

When my family opted to buy an enormous (and fake) 12-foot tree, I insisted on getting my own real miniature tree. I just love the fragrance: inviting, a little sharp, and cozy. I get that needles make a mess and dry trees make for an unpleasant fire hazard, but I think that that's worth it. (Although I'd probably take a different stance if I, say, accidentally burned down my building). (Knock on wood). (Pun unintended but so awesome that I'm going to allow it). Real or faux, which do you prefer?

[photo cred here]

Pets: Saki

last week, our puppy was confined with Parvo :(
it was heartbreaking, knowing that 50/50 of puppies survive from the virus.

 (first day at home) 

i wasn't able to work for days... and i'm not even a dog person, but seeing this helpless creature from hyper to motionless led me to crying :(
so with tears in my eyes, i asked my dad to bring him (at 1am) to a pet hospital.

good thing there's Vets in Practice in Mandaluyong, which my cousin recommended, since all their pets go to the same place.

I just called the clinic earlier, and visited him after being confined for 5 days, he has recovered! :)
and i can bring him home tomorrow!
(here he is after days of being confined - now needle free! :)

i'm just thankful for God for helping this poor pup live a more meaningful, longer life :)
and again, i'm so thankful for all the doctors and nurses at Vets in Practice :)

now i can't help but look around for nice beds to design for him,
just in case im no longer busy :)
Voyage Pet Bed, outdoor By Kenneth Cobonpue contemporary pet accessories 
contemporary pet accessories design by Unicahome

Kenneth Cobonpue inspired bed... why not :) 

 Brian Patrick Flynn

DIY luggage bed :)

Wants to Quote Movie Dialogue in Novel

Dear Rich: I don't see anything in your Getting Permission book on getting permission to quote dialog from films. I assume that the process is similar to getting permission to quote song lyrics, but it would be better if you covered this in detail. I want to quote with attribution some movie dialog in a novel I am writing. Any suggestions? Speaking of film dialogue, we were surprised recently when reading the French classic Pere Goriot to find a line about someone "making him an offer that he cannot refuse." Did Balzac travel to the 20th Century, watch the Godfather, return to the past and copy the movie dialogue for his novel? We guess we'll never know.
Right, you had a question. The rules for using film dialogue in a novel are the same as for all text uses (explained in Chapter 2 of the book). As you're probably aware, there is no fixed amount of words that you can use without permission, although some uses are so minimal as to be considered de minimis (scroll down). The difference with using film dialogue is that it's often difficult to figure who owns the rights and even harder to get permission for the use.
Why is it difficult to get permission for movie dialogue? Generally the studio (or a producer) owns all rights to the movie including the dialogue. But in some cases, screenwriters may retain rights. In other cases, if the movie were based upon a book, the author may retain certain rights. That's the challenge when using one layer from a multi-layered work -- determining who has the right to grant permission. Even if a studio does own the rights to the dialogue, you still have the practical problem of finding the person authorized to grant permission (and convincing that person not to hang up on you).
What's a novelist to do? If you're publishing the book yourself, you're probably less at risk because you won't be indemnifying against infringement. Publishers get uptight about stuff like that and insist on some security in the form of warranties and indemnity. On the other hand, a publisher may be able to assist you with getting rights and permissions from a studio. If you're on your own and you're still concerned about getting chased, consider whether you can make a realistic fair use claim. That is, can you demonstrate that your use of the dialog is transformative -- for example, Woody Allen's use of dialogue from Casablanca in Play It Again, Sam, was transformative (though Allen likely acquired permission for that and the film clips).
Speaking of great movie dialogue ... we're partial to Things Change (Don Ameche's swan song). It's got dialogue -- written by David Mamet and Shel Silverstein -- with some serious staying power.

For the Love of Leopard

On any given day, I walk at least 44 blocks to and from work. It's actually a fantastic commute—I just stroll down First Ave, under the 59th St Bridge, and cut over to Third. I think it's very good for my temper that I don't try to squeeze into a rush-hour 6 train, but the havoc that my walk wreaks on my feet? Not so much. Pumps are out of the question, and I'll only wear wedges when I'm desperate. (I keep a pair of each under my desk). (Obviously).

I'm crushing on a good pair of flats that, comfort and endurance aside, will make an easy transition to the office. My Bensimon sneakers won't cut it (cute as they are) and my satin Marc by Marc boat shoes are already really pissed that I let them near the gritty sidewalks of Chicago. These Madewell leopard print skimmers ($118; Click to Buy) are perfect. I love the pointed toe and the honest-to-God calf hair. Bonus: they're neutral enough to match almost everything, but still add a playful touch. And it's at moments like this that I regret memorizing my credit card number. But are they worth it? Absolutely.

[photo cred to Atlantic Pacific blog, top, and here]

Is My Publisher a Piracy-Denier?

Dear Rich: I am a writer and my publisher recently sent out an email telling authors not to worry about illegal downloads. It makes me mad to see how easy it is to obtain free copies of my book. How do I tell whether piracy affects book sales? Gee, this is a tough one to answer for a few reasons: (1) Our bodies are still clogged with post-Thanksgiving metabolism-slowing leftovers. (2) Our books have been pirated so we may be too close to the issue to provide a balanced response. (3) When talking about piracy we're never sure which statistics to trust. (4) More importantly, we're not sure whether the statistics even exist currently to answer your question. In general, we don't think anyone really knows the answer, but here are some things to consider:
Using the music industry as a paradigm. One theory about illegal downloads is that the people who download them would not have bought the product in the first place. In other words, no sales are lost. Using that line of thinking, the 95% of international music fans who downloaded an illegal copy of the latest Katy Perry album would never have purchased it. Hmm. Even if that number is inflated by the music industry, it's hard to believe all these Katy Perry fans wouldn't pay for her recordings. Even a small conversion rate would double Katy's sales. Of course, book readers and music lovers are different types of consumers (like they say, we don't need to carry a copy of every book we like in our pocket) so analogizing to the music business may not be proper. But it's also possible that the book industry has not yet reached the same digital precipice (from which the music biz has already fallen).
Does DRM have an effect?  Digital rights management (DRMs) built into all eBook readers probably doesn't have too much effect on piracy (and nor will SOPA, if passed). The train has left the station, so to speak.
What about surging eBook sales? It's true that eBook sales are rising dramatically. But that's a measurement of the popularity of iPad and Kindles and only partially counterbalances the disappearing physical book (and physical bookstores). As digital devices become the choice du jour for readers, piracy will probably have an increasing impact on eBooks (just as the popularity of MP3 players triggered the end for the music biz). More importantly, even if not directly, unauthorized digital downloads will be one of the indirect forces causing legitimate revenue to diminish (see below). 
Where is the book industry headed? The content business is heading away not just from physical products, but from downloads too (both legal and illegal). The new model is to replace individual purchases with subscription/streaming services as exemplified by Spotify, Netflix, and Rdio. Of course, there will still be print books, but for the most part, consumers won't possess individual units of content; they will subscribe to a service that provides a content library. No doubt Amazon and Google will eventually drag us to library subscription models for books (though there are still piracy problems with that as well). But in any case, we may be headed for a world where all downloads, not just illegal downloads are irrelevant when offered a fulltime streaming/subscription model. 
Check's in the mail dept. Alas, all of this digital transition doesn't bode well for author revenues (musicians, take a look at a Spotify accounting statement to see the diminishing profit margin). And that's why, as authors, we admire piracy-deniers like your publisher. We may not know for sure what those diminishing royalty checks mean, but denying that the end is coming allows us to still have a nice day!

Can Photographer Control Photos From Fashion Shoot?

Dear Sir/Madam: I am a freelance photographer and I am also working on an upcoming online fashion magazine. Recently I organized a photo shoot with a few models I have founded via Internet and a designer who agreed for the models to wear his clothes for the photo shoot purposes. The designer refurbishes and sells branded clothes. Everyone agreed to the photo shoot on these terms:
  • Everyone gets the photos for their own usage 
  • I will use the pictures however I want, and also the ones I choose will be featured in the online magazine 
  • No fees charged on anyone including models, designer and myself 
It's a verbal agreement with everyone and not written. It may not have any value in the eyes of law. Now however the designer (the person who allowed us to use his clothes for the shoot) is giving me trouble setting me deadlines and choosing the pictures I can use for the magazine or anywhere else. I want to use the photos that I want to use, the way I want to use them and whenever I want to. He claims it would be illegal if I used the photos anywhere without his permission and supervision. He hasn't got any photos from me yet so he can't use any either for his own purposes. I would like to know whether I am allowed to use the photos that I took that day, the way I want to and without any restrictions. Or would I have to at least mention his name or his shop's name? We haven’t signed any copyright releases etc. Also would I need to get the models release if I want to upload the pictures? I would like to add that the photos will be used for editorial purposes only and non-commercial. We're back with the "Dear Sir/Madam" that starts your letter. What prompted your uncertainty as to gender? Can Rich be used as a woman's name? There is a female equivalent for Richard -- Richelle (and we were excited to see that a Richard and a Richelle recently married). But we're not clear whether a woman writing this column would be addressed as Dear Richelle, or Dear Rich (or perhaps the more endearing Dear Richie). As a further digression, our research unearthed some surprising data regarding the number of serial killers named Richard.*
Right, you had a question. Unless there is a written document evidencing copyright transfer, you, as photographer own copyright in the photos. You control the reproduction and distribution and you're free to choose and reproduce the photos you want for your magazine. If the verbal agreement is enforceable -- that depends whether there is sufficient evidence to prove the terms and conditions -- you would have to abide by those terms, as well. Even if the verbal agreement is valid, it doesn't preclude you from doing what you want -- choosing the photos you wish to use in the magazine. (And you would be obligated to provide copies of the photos to the other parties.)
Do you need to mention the designer? We're not sure why you have to mention the designer or the designer's store, unless you're contractually bound to do so. The designer has no copyright in clothing design unless he's stitched in some unique artwork--for example, he's added intricate needlepoints. In any case, it might be a nice professional touch to credit the designer as fashion readers expect that information.
What about model releases? Releases are needed to head off two types of problems: invasion of privacy (you may be invading the model's privacy, for example, by showing her partially nude); or violation of the right of publicity (you're using the model's image to sell something). Typically, editorial non-commercial uses wouldn't trigger the right of publicity but with Google AdSense and similar Internet schemes, it's difficult these days to tell sometimes whether an image is being used for commercial exploitation.

*Serial killers named Richard: Richard Angelo - The Angel of Death, Richard Biegenwald - The Thrill Killer, Richard Chase - The Vampire of Sacramento, Richard Cottingham - The Torso Killer, Richard Macek - The Mad Biter, Richard Ramirez - The Night Stalker (and speaking of notorious killers, there's also Richard Loeb (of Leopold and Loeb infamy).

Coffee and a Thought

I have been terrible about keeping up with blogging. I used to wake up with hours to spare, which I would then spend reading my favorite blogs and updating my own. Now, I wake up to a strict schedule. I'm too anxious to waver from it—between events and working at the office and finding time for the gym and walking everywhere in between, one misstep can throw off an entire day.

But I've realized that I make time for things I find important: a weekly hour of speaking French, boxing classes, going home a few times a month. So why does blogging get the short shrift? I have no idea, but I'm going to change that. If my blog were a kitten, the ASPCA would be hunting me down right now. I love blogging. I love to write about things other than holiday hair styles or the best fashion picks for the season (although I really enjoy that too).

So, in conclusion, I am back and less crazed. Stay tuned for a concerted effort and, in the meantime, here's a shopping list I put together for you.

[photo cred here]

Yael Meyer - Everything Will Be Alright

Yael Meyer - Everything Will Be Alright
2011, KLI Records

Santiago de Chile native Yael Meyer was drawn to music at a young age. She began studying at a classical conservatory at the age of 5, and at 18, Meyer set her sights on Boston and the Berklee College of Music. Unlike to many of her contemporaries, Meyer has always seemed to understand that the space between the notes is as important to melody and composition as the notes themselves. Meyer writes songs blending a level of complexity and subtle finesse that’s rare in modern music. Meyer recently released Everything Will Be Alight, a sometimes brilliant collection of brilliantly understated songs.

Everything Will Be Alright is as optimistic as its name. Yael Meyer has a sweet and light quality to her voice that makes it difficult not to play along. Kicking things off with "Fire", Meyer strikes a catchy, simple pop pose. It's a solid start, catchy but subtly so. "Backbone" is a love song sung with the cadence and feel of a lullaby. The all-electronic arrangement casts an ethereal cloud on which Meyer's voice simply floats, the perfect fit for the moment. "Used To Be" is a catchy and upbeat song about change and regret. The tempo and energy suggest bright intentions, but there's a quiet melancholy laced through the song that can catch you by surprise. Meyer keeps the vibe going with the soul-searcher "I Wonder How". Exploring her own inability to give her heart completely, Meyer grabs a particularly vulnerable moment, steeped in gentle neurosis, that's remarkably sweet and real.

"I Wonder How" marks the album's apex. The rest of the way it's slow and steady pop for Meyer. Songs that are pleasing in a background-music fashion but don't really grab your attention. It's as if Meyer wrote two EPs: a 5-song number with some very solid songwriting and endearing performances, and a 6-song albumette with gentle story songs that would probably play better in a house-concert or coffee shop than in the studio.

Yael Meyer spends much of Everything Will Be Alright exploring self-doubt and dysfunction as it pertains to love and relationships. Featuring supple, and occasionally overly-subtle songwriting, Meyer makes a quiet mark on each listener. At her best, Meyer's almost-shy presence is quietly engaging. Other times she fades into the background like an eternal wall-flower. There is power in this approach, but Meyer front-loads the best material on Everything Will Be Alright, giving listeners an all-or-nothing experience rather than the gentle up-and-down that so mirrors life. So if the album misses the mark, it's more a matter of song ordering than of songwriting or performance. Meyer has the fundamentals in place, and seems to know her sound and limitations well. This is a very good effort that's mildly flawed by decision making, but not fatally wounded.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Yael Meyer at or

       Amazon MP3             iTunes

Please note that the prices listed above are as of the posting date, and may have changed. Wildy's World is not responsible for price changes instituted by

What is SOPA and Should I Care?

Dear Rich: The web's buzzin about SOPA. Are you going to do a post about it? What's your opinion? The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) comprises two distinct pieces of legislation (one awaiting a vote in the House and the other already passed in the Senate) that will need to be conformed. The legislation would enable the Department of Justice (or private parties) to "blockade" pirate sites outside U.S. jurisdiction by cutting them off from search engine results and AdSense revenue, among other things. The legislation has triggered a battle between content providers -- frustrated that they can't shut down rogue pirate movie, software, ebook, and music sites  outside U.S. jurisdiction -- and content aggregators who are concerned that the broad language in the legislation would remove the safe harbors of the DMCA and make non-pirate sites (such as Yahoo, Flickr and Scribd) liable for infringement. Opponents are also concerned that SOPA will diminish investment, cause revenue losses, create unnecessary legal expenses, and send jobs overseas. (Similar arguments were made in the battle over "patent reform"). As with the DMCA, those who pursue infringers based on misrepresentations are liable for damages and attorney fees.
Will it pass? Surprisingly, for a Congress that can't seem to get traction on crucial national issues, the SOPA legislation has remarkable cross-party support and is expected to pass the House. The president is reportedly in favor of the legislation while vice-president Biden appears to be opposed.  Among those legislators lined up against SOPA are Darrell Issa, Ron Paul, and Nancy Pelosi. (Copyright battles make for strange bedfellows -- remember when Justices Blackmun, Marshall, Powell, and Rehnquist united in their Betamax dissent?)
Cutting off AdSense. Do you wonder why SOPA includes a provision cutting off ad revenue from pirate sites? That's because ad revenue is often the only source of income for the folks who post illegal content. Think about it. How else can they earn money if they're giving away stuff for free?
What's our opinion? Although we are concerned about government injustice and intellectual property (check out this example of stifling innovation), our mission at Dear Rich HQ is to provide practical information that helps readers solve problems. So, we discourage the staff from presenting opinions. Other reasons why we don't have an opinion include:
  • it takes time to come up with a logical well-thought out opinion and we're already pretty busy. 
  • in terms of human evolution, we're convinced our opinion doesn't matter
  • also, we're tired of everybody else's opinions (like they say, if I wanted your opinion, I'd give it you.)
What do we have an opinion about? We think Terrence Malick's Tree of Life would have been better without all that dinosaur stuff (although others differ).

    Romance in Retrospect

    They say that each generation thinks it invented love. But from what I can see, my generation seems to fear we’ve forgotten it. — NYT

    Do you go on dates? Or did you? My mom had a boyfriend named Pete; he wore socks with sandals. My dad won't even wear sandals, so it's clear that this wasn't meant to be. Pete happened either before or after she dated Bernie, who, she recalls, was actually attractive. There were dates, which included dinner and movies and dancing. Then my grandfather pulled up in a silver station wagon and whisked her home. There were no preliminary text messages or gin and tonics involved, so I obviously don't relate. (Just kidding). (Kind of).

    A new NYTimes essay describes the difference between the perception of love in that generation and that of ours. In high school, instead of shyly passing notes, I printed out AIM conversations. I locked text messages in my phone so that I couldn't accidentally delete them. The saved messages on my phone include voicemails from three different boyfriends. Communication and the consequential intimacy occur so fast that the gradual, step-by-step romance of the past is all but extinct.

    The organic chemistry classes at Northwestern were designed to weed out those who weren't dedicated to pre-med. (I'm Exhibit A). Maybe the dates—the coffee, the drinks, the dinner, the goodnight kiss before two people go their separate ways—are a way to weed out the boys who aren't worth it, the guys who don't deserve the goodnight kiss, the preserved conversations that you'll pore over years later, the intact text messages and voicemails. It's a slower and steadier way of developing a relationship, but don't good things come to those who wait? What are your thoughts?

    [photo cred here]

    The Good Intentions - Someone Else's Time

    The Good Intentions - Someone Else'sTime
    2011, Boronda Records
    Liverpool trio The Good Intentionsare born of the blend of folk, Americana and bluegrass. Husband and wife teamR. Peter Davies and Gabrielle Monk are joined by longtime friend FrancescoRoskell, blending their instruments and voices with the help of friends fromboth Nashville and Los Angeles on their latest album, Someone Else's Time.

    The album is a solid, lovely listenfrom start to finish. The interplay of instruments and voices on Someone Else's Time is truly worth tuning in for, yet the album is so subtlycrafted and well-blended that those who do not listen carefully will let itpass as pleasant background and nothing more. Opening with melancholy"Gone So Long", The Good Intentions paint subtle pictures with abroad musical brush. This approach continues unabated throughout the album.It's difficult to point out true highlights on the album, as the sound,approach and quality are utterly consistent throughout. The swaying feel of"Everybody Loves A Drinking Man" is notable, but otherwise you need toreally dig into the consistently excellent musicianship and gloriously blendedvoices of The Good Intentions.

    Well-written, well-played andsonically appealing, Someone Else's Time actually suffers from its ownconsistency. This is the perfect example of an album that is excellent in allaspects, but likely to be passed over by most listeners because it is what itis very quietly. If you have the time to spare to repeated careful listens, SomeoneElse's Time will bear significant rewards. Unfortunately the utter lack offlash, or even the up and down banter of The Good Intentions live performances,likely doom a really fine album to relative anonymity. And that's a shame.

    Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

    Learn more about The Good Intentionsat 

              CD                           MP3             iTunes

    Please note that the prices listed above are as of the posting date, and may have changed. Wildy's World is not responsible for price changes instituted by

    Graduation. PSID. InteriorDesign

    so Graduation officially marked my end with school-ing (again) lol, because this (Interior Design) is actually my 2nd course after college :) which took me two and half years of *&^#^%$#^%$^%t! stress challenge! but its alright, nothing's easy. and i'm soo happy i'm finally done and over with it for now *cheers*
    and sure, i do enjoy taking this course (sometimes), but i didn't expect that i would be receiving Honors too. it was really a good surprise :)
    Our booth bagged First Place, Alumni's Choice and Third Place, Faculty & Overall Best Booth Design.

    i feel so blessed :)

    Can We Sell Irish Street Art

    Dear Rich: The attached photo was taken in Dublin Ireland. Someone had added a little graffiti and the overall look was pretty cool so we took some photos. It was out on the street, no trespassing involved here. I’m wondering if we would be in the clear to publish a series of these photos to sell as open edition print reproductions? We agree; this is some pretty cool street art. As we've discussed before, art (unlike architecture) that's publicly viewable from the street is protected by the same copyright rules as art that is hanging within a museum. The only exception is that there might be a tendency for judges to be more liberal applying fair use rules. For example, reproduction of this image as one element in a Dublin street scene would probably be fine. But featuring the photo and selling individual prints would likely violate the artist's copyright (we assume the graffiti is not by the same artist and in any case, it is not protectible). We're not experts on Irish copyright law but from what we've read, it seems as if the same basic rules apply in Ireland as in the U.S. (We're also not sure whether the copyright holder is Irish (as Dublin attracts foreign street artists). But in any case, most countries including the U.S. are treaty partners meaning that foreign copyright holders can claim certain rights in the U.S. For all these reasons, resale of this artwork could make you an easy target for an infringement claim.

    Fair Isle Femme

    Remember this sweater (on the left) from Stella McCartney's Fall 2007 collection? I do. Because I loved it, saw a girl wearing it in the university library, and promptly fell out of my chair. I've since recovered, but that doesn't mean I've stopped loving the look of quirky and oh-so-cozy Fair Isle.

    My favorite part: the absence of rainbow hues means that Fair Isle can double as a versatile neutral. How genius is that? You could pair them with jeans and boots for a low-key outfit or jazz them up with a pair of brightly colored jeans. (The grey would be perfect with red, and for the pale beige on the right? Navy all the way). Steal the Joie sweater for a fraction of the Stella McCartney cost. No offense, Stella, but my wallet needs a hug.

    [photo cred to]

    Laura DiStasi - Laura DiStasi [EP]

    Laura DiStasi - Laura DiStasi [EP]
    2011, Laura DiStasi
    Laura DiStasi is a songwriter ofsubstance; the sort who makes an impression that stays with you long term.  Born of southern New Jersey and now callingNew York City home, DiStasi captures the urban landscape in song, both in the hardshipof a granite city and the loneliness of the many walls.  Her third EP, Laura DiStasi, digs at the wounds of a life spent living so closeto so many and yet so far away, ultimately closing on a moment of beauty withinthe madness.
    DiStasi opens with "Colors AndShapes", an intriguing comparison between anonymity in a large city and ina relationship. It's all about getting lost in something that distracts youfrom what you want or need to do. DiStasi shows a distinctive lyrical subtletymarried to a solid, melancholy pop arrangement. "Humming Along" is arun-on rumination on a relationship in a rut. DiStasi shares this internaldialogue in song, displaying conflicting senses of frustration and desire. Thelush, folk/pop setting is the ideal complement. "Go On" is meanderingand melancholy, a reproach of a partner who simply won't commit. DiStasi cyclesthrough disenchantment, monotony, realization that things won't change, andultimately separation. The incessant nature of the song overmatches the messagehowever, as pacing and intentions struggle to match one another. DiStasi closeswith "Covered In Snow", a musical water-color exploring the illusionof rebirth at the first snowfall of the year. DiStasi celebrates the sense thatthings might be better, even while not letting go of the reality of before.
    Laura DiStasi proves to be the realdeal on her self-titled, debut EP. With a gorgeous, dulcet voice, and a lyricalrefinement that's both intelligent and elegant, DiStasi crafts highly personalstories that are colorful and universally accessible. DiStasi does struggle abit with the pacing on one track, but otherwise delivers consistentlywell-written songs, and performances full of presence and personality. Get toknow Laura DiStasi. You're going to be hearing a lot more from her.

    Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

    Learn more about Laura DiStasi at or 

                 CD                      MP3                         iTunes

    Please note that the prices listed above are as of the posting date, and may have changed. Wildy's World is not responsible for price changes instituted by

    Alpine White - The Hale E.P.

    Alpine White - The Hale EP
    2011, Alpine White

    San Francisco rock quartet AlpineWhite is born of the road. First generation German immigrants Colin (leadvocals, guitar, piano, drums) and Ian Denker (bass, vocals) formed the core ofAlpine White, and were joined by friends Ivan Wence (guitar, vocals) and JavierBenavides (drums, percussion) in April, 2011. Songwriter Colin Denker strivesto capture feelings in song, nearly eschewing traditional storytelling stylesfor the colors and nuance of emotion. Alpine White's debut EP, The Hale,is clear evidence of this mission.

    Alpine White opens with "WhenShe Gets Home", a nice bit of low-key pop/rock songwriting. Ultimatelytuneful and driven with a solid chorus, The Hale EP gets off to asolid start. It does become evident; however, that Alpine White never reallycame to a solid conclusion to the song. The sudden cut-off chosen hear isjarring and essentially destroys the mood of the song. Alpine White strugglesto capture the same energy and panache and the three remaining songs. "TheEvidence", "Days And Nights" and "All The Weight" areunfocused musically, and never really establish premise nor presence.

    Alpine White has something, althoughit's hard to define what exactly that is on The Hale EP. Colin Denker'smiddle-of-the-road pop/rock voice is solid and engaging, but doesn't reallystand out in the crowd. Likewise, the musicianship is solid, but never reallysteps out of the safe zone on the four tracks presented here. There is acharisma that runs through The Hale EP, however, that is hard to ignore.It will keep you engage in spite of a sound that reflects a band that's stilltrying to figure out who they are. It's much too early to define Alpine White,and honestly, it was probably a bit early for an EP. A little time on the roadtogether to let the dynamic of the full band set in would season the sound andapproach. It will be interesting to see what Alpine White puts out next.

    Rating: 2 Stars (Out of 5)

    Learn more about Alpine White at or  Alpine White's website indicated The Hale E.P. will be available on November 1, 2011, but the EP appears to not yet have been released.  Keep chcking their website for more information.

    Gina Sicilia - Can't Control Myself

    Gina Sicilia - Can't Control Myself
    2011, Swingnation Records/Vizztone

    Philadelphiasinger/songwriter Gina Sicilia has been making waves in Blues, R&B, rockand country now for four years.  The25-year-old has already been nominated for a “Best New Artist Debut” at theBlue Music Awards in Memphis, Tennessee. Sicilia recently released her third album, Can’t Control Myself, showing off her distinctive voice, and ablend of original songs and classic covers.

    Sicilia kicks things off with"Addicted", showing off an impressive, deep and smooth alto voice.There's a lot of sound to hang onto here, even if Sicilia sticks to a verycompact range. A more soulful sound works its way into "Crazy Bout YouBaby", and Sicilia works the song through with good energy. There'ssomething missing here, though. Sicilia sounds great, and no one can say shedoesn't put herself into the performance, but for someone whose songs are sosteeped in the blues; you never quite get the sense that Sicilia feels thatfundamental fatalism that underlies the genre. Much the same impression is wonby "Members Only" -- once again Sicilia sounds wonderful, but shedoesn't sell the soul of the song the way she might.

    "Before The Night IsThrough" is a great vehicle for Sicilia's voice, and might just be thebest pure vocal performance of the album. "Can't Control Myself"plays in the same territory. Sicilia plays the relentless, heavy cadence of thesong well, although this is perhaps a bit overdone in the end. Listenersfinally get to hear a different dimension of Gina Sicilia on the closing track,"Once In A While". Sicilia opens up voice, showing off some wonderfultimbres in her upper range. The distinctly country feel of the song also is anice change of pace, and fitting for where Sicilia lives musically. This is themost nuanced performance of the album, and bodes well for the future.

    Gina Sicilia impresses on Can'tControl Myself. She's got a knockout voice, and a bit more range than youmight think after listening to most of the album. Her more blues and soul basedperformances have an almost academic air at times, seemingly separated from thedeep emotions that underwrite the respective genres, but Sicilia wraps hervoice around you in waves and suddenly it doesn't seem to matter quite so much.The country turn at the end of the album is a great sidebar, and shows off aslice of Sicilia's voice that might be even more intriguing than the big soundshe practices on much of Can't Control Myself. Sicilia has a real futurewith her voice, and while this is a great start, she might have a bit ofsoul-searching to do on her sound. She's definitely one to watch.

    Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

    Learn more about Gina Sicilia at or 

                  CD                    MP3                  iTunes

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    Examiner Objects to Facebook Game Trademark

    Dear Rich: I need to register a trademark, which is the title of a videogame that runs on the Facebook platform. The filing was made under IC041 (Entertainment services, namely, providing on-line computer games), but when I sent over a specimen (screenshots of the game featuring the title) I was told that such a game does not constitute a "service", but rather it constitutes "goods" (video game software), thus I should better restart the filing process under IC009 (Computer game software for use on mobile and cellular phones). Am I facing a hardball attorney or are the USPTO guys right and I should restart the process? We agree with the examiner. You would use Class 009 for registering the name for a game. (You would use 041 if you were registering a website that provides the game-related services, or if you were registering the name of the company that makes the game.) The best way to avoid problems in the future is to look up similar goods and see what classes were used for those marks (or check out our book for app developers). Use the basic Trademark Search and type in the name of a video game to see its classes. For example, scroll down to see the classes sought by the Angry Birds folks.
    More places to search. To identify the class for your goods, you can also search the USPTO’s Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual. From the Choose Field drop-down list, pick Class, and then type in a description – for example “video game”—into the Enter Search Terms field. The search results will tell you which class is recommended. Another way to figure out which class your product falls into is to check the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP).

    Arty Hill And The Long Gone Daddys - Another Lost Highway

    Arty Hill And The Long Gone Daddys -Another Lost Highway
    2011, Arty Hill

    Arty Hill is well-known insongwriting circles, with songs of his recorded by the likes of Jason & TheScorchers, the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band, Marti Brom and the Sapphires, butHill is a pure performer as well. Drawing crowds from his home base inBaltimore to Austin, Texas, Hill takes honky-tonk country to a new level. Thistranscendence is abundantly clear on the latest effort from Arty Hill And TheLong Gone Daddys, Another Lost Highway.

    Another Lost Highway soars, and the reason becomes apparent in the opening track.Hill explores the pure joy of music in "Roll Me A Song", blendingrockabilly, blues and the sort of exuberant pick work usually reserved forbluegrass circles. "Roll Me A Song" isn't just a song, but a missionstatement that describes what is to come. "Mae Dawn" is a love songto a call girl, full of the hope and tragedy that seems like it should becliché but somehow is not. Hill recounts time in detox in "OmahaICU", wrapping a nifty arrangement around a harsh subject painted insubtle undertones. Hill gets back to a love of music on "King Of ThatThing", an ode to a pedal steel man. The six-string guitar work here is sosubtle and refined you'd think that Hill was channeling Chet Atkins.

    "Another Lost Highway" isa classic-style country trucker's lament. Hill has constructed a wonderfulmelody here, and a joyously feckless violin dances and fills thecounter-melody. Rock and country blend on "Big Drops Of Trouble",featuring, once again, some seriously notable guitar work. Hill puts onsomething of a clinic here, and the guitar players out there will be dissectingthe song for hours. Hill actively works to nullify heartbreak on "12 Pack Morning",in a classic bit of country pique, before moving into "HalfwayHouse". This is a great tune that bears the essence of Johnny Cash. Anentertaining number, Hill again reminds listener of how good he is with asix-string in his hand.
    "Breaking-Up Party" is asolid bit if blue country with a healthy dose of optimism woven inside.

    Infidelity is the subject of "Victoria's Secret Is Safe With Me", asolid story song that's perhaps a bit trite, but nonetheless entertaining."Blackwater Wildlife" is a danceable honky-tonk party that breaks outinto fits of raucous rockabilly. You won't be able to get this one out of yourhead. Another Lost Highway closes with "The Last Time I'll Ever GoAway", a sad tale about a travelling man who gains the road but loses hisfamily in the process. When push comes to shove, he realizes that what he'slosing isn't worth what he's gained, and in an unlikely turn in country music,he gets a second chance. This positive lift at the end is perfect closure foran album that turns expectations on their heads.

    Arty Hill And The Long Gone Daddyshit new heights on Another Lost Highway. Rather than an apex, however,the album suggests a band continuing to rise. Hill is a masterful songwriterand storyteller, and he is surrounded by first class musicians. Another LostHighway was checked along the way by illness, death of a band member andarguments with Hill's former record label, but you'd never know it from the endproduct. Another Lost Highway is utterly brilliant.

    Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

    Learn more about Arty Hill at
               CD                        MP3                        iTunes

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    Say Yes... bringing this back. Sorry I got so lazy/busy/lazy.
    Yes to seeing 50/50 (finally!)(have you seen it?).
    Yes to warms-you-up, fills-you-up vegetable soup.
    Yes to soft slippers...
    Yes to Friiiday!

    [photo cred here]

    When is Abandoned Trademark Abandoned?

    Dear Rich: I would like to use a trademark that was first used 2/2007 and has been deemed 'abandoned' since 8/2008. On your blog you note that the trademark is deemed abandoned if the owner does not use it for an extended period of time with the intent not to resume use. How can I find out if the owner intends to use it? What did the owner do/not do that caused the trademark to be deemed 'abandoned'? Thank you for your help! And thank you for triggering an ancient memory of watching "Seduced and Abandoned" in the local art theater with my dad. What a great movie -- even though it was a comedy, it was kind of scary, too.
    Right, you had a question. There are three types of trademark abandonment:
    • an abandoned trademark -- this refers to the loss of trademark rights due to nonuse and it occurs when there is sufficient evidence that the owner intends to discontinue use of the mark. Under the Lanham Act, a mark registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is presumed abandoned if it is not used for a continuous period of three years or more.
    • an abandoned trademark application -- this refers to an application that is ditched during the application process.  We're guessing that's what your question is referring to because it fits best with your timeline. If you're wondering why a trademark application has been abandoned, you can do the detective work and find the reasons by checking the TARR status of the mark, or if necessary by reading through the documents you can access for free via the USPTO's TDR (Trademark Document Retrieval). This is accomplished by clicking around and reading the PDFs associated with the applicant's file. By reviewing the documents in the application file you can learn whether the applicant just ran out of steam at the USPTO or whether the  USPTO examiner had a good argument as to why the mark shouldn't be registered. Keep in mind that if an application was abandoned because an examiner objected to registration that could be a strong indicator that you will run into problems with the same mark.
    • an abandoned trademark registration -- this refers to a trademark registration that is canceled, usually because the owner failed to follow certain formalities such as a renewal. Again, you can find the reasons by searching trademark records. The most common reason is that the owner didn't file a statement of continued use, resulting in cancellation. Often it's okay to step in and begin a similar use but you should always check the marketplace to confirm that the previous owner is not still claiming rights even without the registration.
    As for determining whether a company abandoned its use of a trademark, you need to do old-fashioned research. Check retail stores, search online, or -- as we used to do back in the day -- call the company and asking whether you can still buy the product or acquire the service.

    Grant Atlantic - Constellations

    Grand Atlantic - Constellations
    2011, Grand Atlantic

    Brisbane, Australia rockers GrandAtlantic have big ideas. Taking their name from The Grand Atlantic Hotel, GrandAtlantic evokes thoughts of the psychedelia and shoe gaze blended in a DavidBowie meets The Dandy Warhols pastiche. All of this is rooted in a distinctmelodicism born of influences such as The Beatles, Ray Davies and Brian Wilson.After playing SXSW and Canadian Music week in 2010, Grand Atlantic touredacross North America and released the album How We Survive. The reactionfrom commercial radio was positive, with more than 50 stations picking up GrandAtlantic. The band struck gold when featured on Gossip Girl.
    Thankful for the exposure, but notwanting to lose track of their creative purpose, Grand Atlantic returned homeand undertook the writing/recording of a new album, the recently released Constellations.Recorded at the Seacliff Lunatic Asylum, an abandoned psychiatric hospital nearDunedin, New Zealand, Constellations has a sparse, psychedelic castthat's attention grabbing.

    Constellations kicks off with "Carved From Stone", featuring awall-of-sound fullness that washes over the listener. Behind this is a somewhatbland core, but the song is an effective first impression with which to open."Control Station Blues" is an intriguing juxtaposition of styles.Imagine mid-career, techno pop U2 trying to achieve the same feel as a garageband. After numerous listens it's still not entirely clear if this mix"works", but the attempt is so compelling, and the song is driven bysuch a bitter energy it stays with you. "Searchlights" is aslow-grinding monster, shoe-gaze power-pop that pulls you along in itsrelentless wake.

    This general mood of slow andinexorable music progress plays out over several tracks, including"Constellations", "Mountains Too Steep" and "Poison ToThe Vine". Grand Atlantic finally breaks out on the high-energy"Fresh Ideas In Home Security", bringing a chutzpah and charisma tomatch the big sound they convey. Things slowly settle through "Voyager"and "No Man's Land", ultimately subsiding in the dispassionate"Queenie."

    Grand Atlantic struggles to matchbig sounds, big ideas and sufficient energy on Constellations. Loadedwith talent and good intentions, Grand Atlantic seems to shoot for the stars onevery track. An admirable goal, but sometimes a softer approach can serve tohighlight the true highs.
    Constellations shows the outline of the sort of band Grand Atlantic willeventually become; with flashes of greatness visible in the clouds. As theydevelop their own path further, they'll fill in the gaps that become apparenton Constellations. In the mean time, this is a great effort, even if theband's energy and enthusiasm are ill-managed at times. A good producer whounderstands and will work with the band's vision, but also can manage theircollective vision and energies into a narrower focus would transform an albumwith great potential into a great album. That is the ultimate moral of Constellations.

    Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

    Learn more about Grand Atlantic at or 

                  CD                       MP3                        iTunes

    Please note that the prices listed above are as of the posting date, and may have changed. Wildy's World is not responsible for price changes instituted by