Most social games have perks for those at the top of the leaderboard, but USA Network may be unique in making one of those perks be the opportunity to become a murder victim. But it does suit a game based on Psych, USA Network’s drama starring two detectives known for their quirks and quips. The Psych tie-in #HashTagKiller (HTK) went live today in a seven-week game leading up to the show’s Oct. 12 season premiere.
The game immerses fans in a Psych storyline specifically created for this experience, which involves inspecting interactive crime scenes fans, deciphering crime scene clues, and following leads to catch the mysterious killer. Making the game a genuine extension of the USA Networks hit show, the integral original videos are shot in broadcast quality and feature Shawn and Gus (series stars James Roday and Dule Hill). Players can engage with them and with other fans in real time through messages on Facebook, picture messages and audio feeds, as though fans were actually helping the detective duo solve the case. Fans also can join USA’s own cross-platform Character Chatter, which pulls together live feeds from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and elsewhere, to discuss HTK clues and developments.
The Panel notes that Complainant must first make a prima facie case that Respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii), and then the burden shifts to Respondent to show it does have rights or legitimate interests. See Hanna-Barbera Prods., Inc. v. Entm’t Commentaries, FA 741828 (Nat. Arb. Forum Aug. 18, 2006) (holding that the complainant must first make a prima facie case that the respondent lacks rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under UDRP ¶ 4(a)(ii) before the burden shifts to the respondent to show that it does have rights or legitimate interests in a domain name).
The Complainant has failed to make such a prima facie case here. Although the WHOIS information for the disputed domain name identifies “oranges arecool XD” as the registrant of the disputed domain name, which the Panel finds is not similar to the domain name or mark, the Panel also notes that Respondent did not claim to be commonly known by the disputed domain name. The Panel finds that Respondent is not commonly known by the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii). See Tercent Inc. v. Lee Yi, FA 139720 (Nat. Arb. Forum Feb. 10, 2003) (stating “nothing in Respondent’s WHOIS information implies that Respondent is ‘commonly known by’ the disputed domain name” as one factor in determining that Policy ¶ 4(c)(ii) does not apply). However that finding is not dispositive in this instance.
Respondent alleges, and Complainant does not dispute, the fact that the Respondent is operating an unofficial fan site at the disputed domain name. Respondent asserts that she offers Complainant’s tour dates, photographs, video clips, a fan blog, and autobiographical information about Complainant, and that her usage of the domain name is purely non-commercial. Respondent states that she does not have any sponsored links or links to third-party websites which market and sell merchandise bearing Complainant’s trademark and Complainant has not indicated that Respondent has any links besides one to Respondent’s website designer and another to a website owned by Complainant. Respondent argues that she has not profited from any of her usage of the domain name in question and is in fact directing Internet users to a website promoting Complainant through its production company. The Respondent also states that she has not posted any other links on the website, and that she is merely using the domain name to promote Complainant through a fan website, a use which is authorized under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).
The Panel agrees and finds that Respondent’s use of the disputed domain name in conjunction with a fan website is a bona fide offering of goods or services under Policy ¶ 4(c)(i) or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use under Policy ¶ 4(c)(iii).
Hat tip to Techdirt for the story. Does anyone have links to other resolutions of these fan site vs performer cases? So often fans just take them down under pressure without seeing them through to a finding.
Here are some links to articles summarizing academic research on how the cultural sector, including the music business, has fared in the file sharing era.
First, three studies on the music business in various member states:
- Sweden 2000 – 2008: More Charts The Record Labels Don’t Want You To See: Swedish Musicians Making More Money
- Norway 1999 – 2009: Artists Make More Money in File-Sharing Age Than Before It
- UK 2004 – 2008: Record companies lose, artists gain from file sharing
The three studies all paint the same picture: The revenues for the record companies have dropped by about half in the last decade, but at the same time, revenues for artists have gone up. The links above are to short articles summarizing the studies. In each case, the article contains further links to references.
In a new research study concluded by eMusic, and administered by Insight Research Group, 92% of music fans are concluded to prefer they own their music rather than stream it, citing unlimited playback and file security as key determining factors.
However, streaming music was found to be an important gateway to music purchases. The study found that 71% of consumers use streaming to discover and listen to new music in order to gauge whether it’ll be worth purchasing. However, only 13% of the general population chooses to pay for music steaming services, while 20% of more dedicated music consumers pay to stream music.
Wilco Fan Video ProjectWilco Fans: We’re looking for video of the cities we’re playing — some of which may be projected behind the band during the show in your town. So break out your camera and show us what your city looks like to you.Please upload a DOWNLOADABLE video.
IMPORTANT: To be eligible, you must visit “Forums” and read the “Terms & Conditions” for important notes and requirements.
I’ve got a Facebook page,” says Robert Smith, “but I’ve never put anything on it. I’ve got a presence on all the social networks, in fact, but I’ve never once sent a message. I’m there because otherwise, someone’s going to pretend to be me. The idea of doing an interview nowadays … I have no interest or desire in having a conversation with anyone other than the people that I know. I’m in the strange position of the world drifting away from me, but you know what? I’m actually quite content with that. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I don’t feel like, ‘Oh God, I’m being left behind.'”