How you say!? Easy... the made a video using him as archetype of the crazy motorcyclist who likes to jump over traffic! There's gotta be some sue-money in there for him to use up drinkin' and whorin'. ;-)
The linked article is exactly the same as the press release on the MSF website. i.e. you're only getting one side of the story.
Motorcycle Consumer News did a couple articles on the current MSF training and the apparent attempt by MSF to monopolize training across the country. The same folks who are in leadership at MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council) also head up MSF. Hmmm, and MSF is truly independent and solely looking out for safety of riders??? Not to say that plenty of riders haven't benefited from MSF training, it's just good to understand the relationships.
There have been complaints about the newer Basic Rider Course copyrighted by MSF, thus some states may be developing their own training based on the old course (which I don't believe was copyrighted - not sure??).
BTW - since when is stopping a bike or negotiating a curve properly considered intellectual property. The case could be interesting.
Surely some other MOFO has quick access to MCN articles and can give us some more background.
Are there any copywrite attorney's out there? I'm not sure but I don't think you can sue someone for merely offering a similar training program to yours. If you could then every automobile driving school would be suing each other. Are they trying to say, for example, that no one can teach countersteering but them? Are we soon to see Freddie Spencer and Keith Code suing each other because they necessarily teach many of the same things? Do I have to send a royalty to the Boy Scouts because I taught my kids woodcraft and survival skills?
Before the state took over the training of bikers in Oregon, MSF got money from every motorcycle registered in the state. Now they don't. Whether you took the course or not, you paid.
MSF has no monopoly on training bikers. If more and more state start doing it themselves, MSF is out of business. They can offer the service at it's real cost (like http://ridechicago.com/), but who wants to pay $295, when it "free" somewhere else?
MSF's only legal avenue is to claim copyright infringement. But even if they win, Oregon will create a program that is different enough to pass legal muster, and the result is the same for MSF.
The way I see it MSF is screwed. State run programs are a sign of things to come. Rider deaths have to be minimized. Training is the obvious solution, short of outlawing the sport. States will want to control that process.
I thank MSF for training me every few years, but I think the free ride is over for them.
I am no copyright attorney, but I deal with copyright issues. The answer to your question is really in the details: if you offer a course that copies a particular approach, written materials, etc., from a copyrighted course, and you make people pay for that, it's a violation of copyright. Teaching your kids is not a violation in any way. However, nobody could copyright something like "We teach the riders that they need to squeeze the brake to stop..." No court would find that this is distinctive and not common knowledge. If Oregon tried a copycat approach, then they could lose to MSF, however, I agree with another writer that all Oregon would have to do is to revise the materials so that nothing is really reminiscent of MSF and MSF then could do very little. Personally, law or no law, I am in favor of more training programs, not fewer, and I am not in favor of giving anyone a monopoly.
" alleges that the defendants willfully misappropriated the MSF's motorcycle safety and training curriculum materials in connection with the development and publication of Team Oregon's Basic Rider Training (BRT) curriculum materials, and prepared derivative works based on the MSF's copyrighted curricula. It also alleges that the defendants have sought to distribute the misappropriated curriculum outside the state of Oregon.
The suit further alleges that the defendants falsely associated the MSF with, and identified the MSF as an endorser of, the Team Oregon BRT, and that, in naming the BRT, they infringed on MSF's service marks in its current curriculum, the RiderCourseSM(BRC).
The suit seeks to permanently enjoin the defendants from using the Team Oregon BRT, or any other product that infringes upon the MSF's copyrights, as well as from marketing or offering the Team Oregon BRT to other states or entities, and from making false endorsements.
"The MSF attempted on multiple occasions to resolve these issues without a lawsuit, but Oregon State University and Mr. Garets were unwilling to stop their unlawful conduct," said Stuart Philip Ross, an attorney with the law firm of Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP. "After Team Oregon began attempting to market, distribute and offer the BRT curriculum materials to motorcycle safety programs in other states, and it became clear OSU would not prohibit this activity, the MSF had no choice but to take legal action to protect its intellectual property rights.""
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is issuing the following release at the request of BikePAC of Oregon.
BikePAC of Oregon news release -- Motorcycle Safety Foundation asks to have its course certified in Oregon
Bike PAC of Oregon PAC 00019
Friday, October 21, MSFs Oregon lobbyist formally presented a report asking MSFs Beginning Rider Course (BRC) motorcycle training program to be certified by ODOT. This manuscript is a self-critique by MSF evaluating their program against Team Oregon. Team Oregon is currently the only state approved rider training which can grant DMV skills test waivers for getting drivers license motorcycle endorsements. MSF is asking to be able to issue DMV test waivers as well.
BikePAC received a copy of this book and it is currently under review. According to Ken Ray, Executive Director of BikePAC, there will be more detailed information in the future about the contents. Ken does believe there are several items in this document that bear some initial scrutiny. For example under section IV, Comparing BRC to Team Oregon, MSF believes that an acceptable training motorcycle for a first-time rider is one that is 500cc and 30 inches high at the seat. Also the MSF document has quite a bit of condemnation of Team Oregon and the methodology of Oregons study which evaluated rider training in the state. A National research group affiliated with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently declared Team Oregon as having the highest national ranking in promising practices in motorcycle safety and rider training. BikePAC therefore finds MSFs criticism out of place in a document purported to be an objective side-by-side evaluation. However, the proposal must be examined at face value and objectively assessed.
BikePAC has full confidence that the Governors Advisory Board on Motorcycle safety will evaluate this proposal thoroughly. As BikePACs primary desire is for the most effective rider training to be in place in Oregon, we welcome a fair, thorough and objective appraisal. It was made clear that there will be an opportunity for public input and the views of all of us will be taken into account. It will be crucial for every rider in Oregon to stay on top of this issue. Motorcyclists in Oregon created the Oregon motorcycle safety program from scratch some 20 years ago and we are all the caretakers of it for the future.
(c)All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom.
The MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American riders' rights movement among its leading members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists' rights organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists rights activists, as well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS."
Motorcycle Safety Foundation files lawsuit in Oregon.
December 15th, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) filed a lawsuit against Team Oregon and Oregon State University. The lawsuit claims copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property. MSF president Tim Buche called Ken Ray this afternoon to notify BikePAC that a lawsuit had been filed and served. The MSF website has a press release at http://www.msfusa.org/index_new.cfm...y&content=8795C031-9850-6162-A5A4EB0C2A502548 that confirms this information. MSF has implied or threatened legal action for several years ever since Team Oregon began phasing out the MSF curriculum and began using one developed by Steve Garets and other Team Oregon instructors. MSF has maintained that printed material dealing with motorcycle training is their intellectual property. Most recently the Motorcycle Safety Foundation attempted to have their motorcycle-training curriculum be certified to meet Oregon standards to replace a DMV skills test for motorcycle endorsements. Although a final decision has not been reached by the Oregon Traffic Safety Commission on the MSF proposal, the Governors Advisory Board on Motorcycle Safety after a year of analysis and testimony unanimously voted to recommend disapproval by OTSC.
BikePAC of Oregon Executive Director Ken Ray stated "We are disappointed that MSF has chosen to file a lawsuit after their curriculum was deemed inadequate for Oregon. Although BikePAC is not involved in this legally, all motorcyclists in Oregon will suffer when money and energy that should go to rider training is having to be used to defend Team Oregon against MSF attorneys."