“Cocky” Trademark Rescinded!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we wrote about the author who trademarked the word “cocky” and demanded that all books that included it in the title be removed from the country’s bookshelves.  Here’s the latest on the situation and the furor it caused:

In other words, “Denied, denied, denied!”

Judge Denies Author Attempt to Trademark ‘Cocky’
by Jim Milliot

In a decision handed down late last week, Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York denied a motion by an author requesting that a preliminary injunction be issued to prevent publication a number of books that include the word “cocky” in the title.

This spring, author Faleena Hopkins obtained a trademark registration of the word “cocky” in connection with her series of self-published romance novels, each featuring one of her Cocker Brothers characters. Before filing suit, Hopkins sought to block the sale of other romance books that included “cocky” in their title, and sent letters to authors telling them to change the title of their books. Hopkins also asked Amazon to pull other books featuring “cocky” in their titles from sale.

Although Hopkins had obtained her trademark, the law only allows trademarks in limited cases. The law prevents individual titles from being trademarked, only series titles, and allows that common words cannot be trademarked at all, unless they develop an association in the minds of the public with a particular source.

Following Hopkins’ letter-writing campaign and contact with Amazon, the Authors Guild and the Romance Writers Association separately requested that Amazon place the removed books back on sale….

Read it all at publishersweekly.com

LB’s NOTE: Modern culture is saved! I feel so much more secure now. Whew.

Apple is Now a WGA Signatory Employer

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Late last week, the Writers Guild of America West made an important, even exciting announcement that has the potential of changing the balance of power in the electronic media industry.

Here it is in its entirety:

Writers Guild of America West June 2018 Calendar

Knowing what’s going on in the Writers Guild can be helpful in many, many ways, even if you aren’t a member. So, for your edification:

Sorry, this version is not clickable.

NBC’s New Unscripted Directing Initiative for Women and POC is Here.

In the grand scheme of things – much grander than showbiz – it doesn’t get much more important than this. Submissions close June 29, so this definitely is something to take advantage of ASAP:

by Rachel Montpelier

If you’re a woman or person of color trying to break into unscripted directing, take note: NBC has unveiled the new Alternative Directors Program, the entertainment industry’s first initiative for unscripted series. Designed for women and diverse helmers with at least one directing credit, the program’s goal is to “help feed the pipeline for new talent behind the camera on alternative series.”

Five directors will be selected for the Alternative Directors Program’s inaugural outing. Each will shadow an experienced director for several weeks on an NBC unscripted show — such as “The Voice” or “America’s Got Talent” — including prep, production, and post-production. The program is spearheaded by Meredith Ahr, President, Universal Television Alternative Studio, and Karen Horne, NBC’s Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion.

“The Alternative Directors Program creates a big opportunity to start changing the unscripted landscape and flip the paradigm on who calls the shots in our industry,” said Ahr. “While much of the conversation around inclusion has been focused on scripted programming, we believe that a big piece of the puzzle is missing without equal concentration on the unscripted space, which makes up a big percentage of what audiences are watching every week,” she explained. “With this program, the goal is to not only give emerging directors the extraordinary opportunity to learn from the best in the business, but also to galvanize the industry as a whole to make strides towards increasing representation behind the camera on alternative series.”…

Read it all at womenandhollywood.com

Go straight to NBC and enter


The 100 Most-Watched TV Shows of 2017-2018

Admit it. This is something you really want to know, right? Even though you aren’t an advertiser. Well, Michael Schneider’s here to tell ya!

by Michael Schneider

If there was a recurring theme during the recent broadcast network upfronts, it was this: Ratings must die. “We are in a new era of media and it’s time to retire the Nielsen television metric,” Turner president David Levy said. “While it undoubtedly served its purpose, it no longer fully captures how to successfully measure an audience in today’s landscape.”

Of course, complaining about Nielsen and traditional ratings is nothing new. And these days, virtually every outlet has embraced its own version of multi-platform program measurement — including TV, DVR, VOD and streaming viewership. Levy pointed to audience targeting and other methods as better ways of selling their wares. At the NBCUniversal upfront, ad sales chairman Linda Yaccarino pushed the company’s new “CFlight” metric.

“I still cannot believe I have to get up this stage and talk about legacy measurement,” Yaccarino said, dismissing the current “C3” standard (which measures three days worth of commercial viewing). When the C3 was introduced in 2007, she quipped, “Meghan Markle was on ‘Deal Or No Deal.’”

Nonetheless, getting everyone on the same page remains difficult. Rob Tuck, The CW’s executive vice president of national sales, notes that ad agencies are reluctant to completely get rid of tools that include Nielsen ratings.

“I have a hard time believing that the agency side and client side of this business is going to give up the currency and pricing that they’ve had for a very long time,” Tuck told reporters on an upfronts conference call. “That’s a challenge on both sides. But I don’t see that going away anytime soon.”

Tuck added: “We have been as vocal with Nielsen and the frustrations we have. We’ve been looking at the multiplatform and bringing it together for a long time… if business can figure out the ratings and currency in some form across a multi-platform distribution, you can layer on top of that all of the other stuff everyone’s been talking about.”

Ratings are also still the best way to compare the linear performance of shows both on broadcast and cable. And with another TV season drawing to a close, IndieWire looked at the Season-to-Date rankers for broadcast and cable, using the most recent Live+7 ratings (which include seven days’ worth of DVR and video on-demand usage).

Here’s a final look at some of the hits and misses of 2017–2018, followed by our complete list of the most-watched shows of the season, according to both adults 18-49 and total viewers….

Read it all at indiewire.com