Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Regular TV watchers will be very much aware that TVNZ has become quite
aggressive in establishing its web presence (NZoom.com)
through on-air promotion.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
The URL of the TV1 and TV2 websites are regularly displayed on our screens and
some locally produced programs go to great lengths to remind us that you can
get more info on the Web.
Clearly TVNZ considers its online presence to be an important part of its
Given the effort TVNZ is putting into building its online branding, I wonder
whether competitor TV3
might not be cruising for a bruising?
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In fact, I'd say that those silly folks at TV3 have left themselves wide
open to getting their pants sued off for breaching TVNZ's trademarks.
What's more, given that it has just embarked on a vigorous campaign to reinvent
itself and establish its branding in a new (younger) segment of the marketplace,
I suspect that Prime TV
might also be lining up to fire a shot or two of its own.
So just what has TV3 done to breach the trademark of its competitors?
A visit to the TV3 website shows no indication that it is using TVNZ or prime's
trademarks without permission so what's the problem?
Well it's a little thing called a "meta-tag."
Here's the offending meta-tag being used (as of March 6, 2002) by TV3.co.nz:
<META name="keywords" content="Movies, News, Weather, Sports, TVNZ, TV3, TV, Prime, TV4, Sky, Television Programmes, Movie Stars, TV1, TV2, Television Movies, Film Stars, Competitions, TV Listings, 20/20, 2020, Entertainment, Whatson TV, Kids stuff, TV Movies, Shows, TV Shows, TV programmes, Sports news, sports coverage, streaming video, top site, downloads, canwest, above line advertising">
Spot the problem now?
Although I'm unaware of any test case here in NZ, overseas experience shows
that some plaintiffs have prevailed in law suits against others who
have used their trademarks in meta-tags without permission.
The Searchengine Watch website has
a good summary listing just some of the
actions brought by trademark owners for such infringements of their rights.
The overal consensus appears to be that including a competitor's trademarks
in your own metatags is at the very least "bad ethics." Shame on you TV3!
So just what attracted my attention to the source code for TV3's website?
Well, it seems that the web designers (ir)responsible for this site didn't
allow for visitors who might have scripting turned off on their browser. Instead
of (at the very least) displaying a nice friendly message inviting users to
turn on their scripting, the site goes into an endless loop -- reloading the
same seemingly blank page over and over again.
Other TV Trivia
But hang on -- NZoom hasn't been without problems of its own recently.
This page (screenshot) seems
to indicate that TV1 wont be broadcasting anything on Friday -- oh dear.
While I'm on this lightning tour of TV websites, I see that Prime TV has
given its site a quick face-lift to go with that new image. By the way --
I hope all Star Trek fans are aware that there are three generations of the
show (including a new prequel series "never before seen in New Zealand" called
"Enterprise" screening on Sunday nights.
And finally -- I've had some emails regarding more changes to
Sky TV's set-top box
According to readers, the latest update which provides the long-awaited email
and other interactive services is causing Zenith boxes to spit the dummy
and cry "Network Error" with monotonous regularity. I note that
the company has (once again) euphemistically attributed the growing length of
queues on its phone lines to "greater-than-expected business"
(NZ Herald report) -- hmmmm!
Reports suggest that the oldest of the Zenith boxes wont even accept the
new upgrade and the rest are beginning to suffer from worn-out power cords
as users are forced to pull the plug to force a reset at increasingly regular
DSL, digital TV, PC operating systems -- don't ya just love the service levels
provided by monopolies and defacto monopolies?
Have your say.
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