World Series of Poker. World Series of Poker. World…Whoops. Like in the movie Beetlejuice, the third time’s gonna cost ya. No. You won’t be pestered by a bio exercising Michael Keaton. But you will invoke the wrath of Harrah’s.
I’m a big advocate for the protection of intellectual property rights, so I had no truck with Harrah’s when they announced back in March that they were going to get more vigilant about protecting their “big poker tournament” trademark. But I’m afraid that their new policy seems neither measured nor effective. And in the end, that might cost ‘em on a number of fronts.
I used to work as a financial and economic consultant for commercial litigation; many of thesuits I worked on were intellectual property related. I learned early that the first thing a good lawyer will askin acase of patent/trademark infringement is “How diligent have you been in protecting your intellectual assets?”It seemsthat if you,the rights owner, haven’t been treating your intellectual property as something of value, the courts aren’t going to either.
I’m sure that’s what Harrah’s lawyers told them at the beginning of their legal dispute over http://www.wsop.com . And like all good pendulums, it seems Harrah’s has swung the other way – even trying to protect a trademark they, as yet, don’t own.
Looking at the trademark guidelines, it would appear thatpokernews portals like Card Player and PokerPages wouldn’t be able to write a news story or tournament report about the”big dance at the Rio” (unless of course they mentioned it by name twotimes or less) because these sites also have online poker affiliate programs. Does Harrah’s really not want the industry to cover the “tournament whichby any other name would smellas sweet.” And legally – the two times rulemakesthe policyalmost irrelevant. Why not say what you really mean? You can’t use the “name” or “logos”to promote a tournament event, product or service(online or B&M)unless expressly licensed by Harrah’s. Keep it simple. Simple works in court.
I’ve been having a lot of fun on the photo front; specifically playing around with PhotoShop. In a previous post Karla mentioned that she was able to makeimprovements tosome of my shots using retouching/post production. I WILL be emailing you Karla. But in the field, you really can’t do much post production.At a tournament venue, you get to shoot, crop, resize, and upload twice (once to the blog and once to the gallery).Unfortunately the gallery has a black background and the blog has a white background – so the same picture looks different in each.This takes about 3 minutes per photo – which is already too long for real time reporting.I took about 1200 pictures in LA -a little over 300 that were decent with post production- and about 150 that were passable without. When I get home from a venue, I discard myentire work product and start again from the originals. I re-crop, color correct,adjust highlight/shadow, adjust sharpness, retouch (I still am really slow in taking off the shine of bald spots). I don’t resize as I keepmy portfolioat the largest size possible and re-size later when I need them -as the end use will dictate thesize.For my LA pictures, this took me the better part of a week.
As I will be doing a lot more “real time” photo work in the coming months, I’ve been playing around with PhotoShop’s Action feature. Actions are like macros. If I canjust get a good set of commands for doinguniversal color corrections, sharpness adjustments andresizing with the push of one button, that will improve the TAT forposting”realtime” photos – and hopefully will improve the quality as well.
As an example of what you can do to a picture after the fact, I took two “bad” photos from the 2006 WSOP.The first one of Chris Ferguson isthe original. The second hasbeen color corrected andsharpened. And the last has beendone a la their Full Tilt paradigm – black and white. For the B&W Ididn’t use the grayscale option, but worked instead in the lightness layer so that I could “color correct” the grayscale. I never really liked this photo of Chris -I have many that are better – but after working with it, it became almost useable. In the second set, the firstpicture isthe original of Lacey Jones. It’s a little out offocus anda little”overexposed.”Cropped and with the necessary corrections, it is not a badpicture. Of course I think the subject matter aids and abets its appeal.