Walmart gets copyright lesson

patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark Posts: 104subscriber
edited April 2008 in Protecting Your Ideas
An April 9, 2008Wall Street Journal article shows how even a big company like Walmart can have problems by not taking care of its intellectual property.  Basically, the article says that Walmart hired an outside company about thirty years ago, to document various aspects of Wal-Mart`s operations.  What’s the problem?  The company produced over 15,000 tapes and is now allowing some embarrassing Walmart content to show up on the internet.  For example, Walmart managers apparently mock foolish or dangerous use of a product sold in Walmart stores.

 

Walmart ain’t happy.  One of the problems is that Walmart apparently has no WRITTEN agreement with the company about ownership of the content of the tapes – thus it is arguable owned by the outside company, and not Walmart, under the copyright laws.  Even though Walmart paid for the service, they may not own the content and thus not be able to completely control the content.  Look for some legal fireworks on this one.  Walmart is “reviewing” its legal options.  Some of the content from the tapes is supposedly on You Tube, but I have not looked.

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