The Best Legal Correspondence. Ever.

Geoffrey Mcaleenan : May 31, 2014 9:49 am : Arts & EntertainmentBeyondMediaMETAfeed

i-slip_and_fallIn law school, students are force-fed case law that is typically neither exciting nor compelling. It’s particularly awful when the literature was written in 19th century England. Today, I offer you the opportunity to read some legal correspondence that is downright hilarious. Here are a few buzzwords for you: Supreme Court, porn star, yappy dog. If the title of this post hasn’t piqued your interest, I know you’re curious now. In short, a porn star twisted her ankle during a photo shoot when she was thrown into a pool. Naturally, she hired a lawyer to contact the man that threw her into the pool demanding compensation. The response she received is simply epic. Click on the link below and have yourself a good laugh.


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Internet Fast Lane

Matthew Epstein : May 15, 2014 7:56 pm : METAfeed

With the finite amount of broadband speeds available, the FCC decided to move forward today, May 15, 2014, with a plan to allow internet service providers to charge companies such as Amazon and Netflix for prioritized access to their customers. This could possibly limit the internet speeds for smaller websites or shift the fees for higher broadband speeds for companies onto their customers. Are there any 1st amendment issues here with potentially limiting the free speech of smaller websites?

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The Olympics- Brought to You by NBC

Nichole Kazimirovicz : May 9, 2014 2:57 am : Arts & EntertainmentIntellectual PropertyMediaMETAfeed


After winning a bidding war to broadcast the Olympics, NBC will have the rights to broadcast the next four olympics until 2020.

This includes the Sochi, Russia 2014 (Winter) Games, the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2016 (Summer) Games and the 2018 (Winter) and 2020 (Summer) Games.

NBC beat out Fox and ESPN for the rights and promises to air more live footage instead of saving the best footage for Prime Time.

Read More About It Here.


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“Mockingbird” Coming to an E-reader Near You (I should tweet that)

Josh Beurer : April 30, 2014 9:12 pm : METAfeed

to_kill_a_mockingbirdHarper Lee’s seminal classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, holds a special place in many law students’ hearts. Now readers can become inspired by the moral turpitude of Atticus Finch from the glow of their iPads and E-readers because Lee has finally consented to release the electronic rights.

Mockingbird has faced its share of real-world legal drama as Lee has remained a vigilant defender of her intellectual property rights. In 2013, Lee sued a museum in her hometown for trademark infringement. Later in 2013, Lee settled another lawsuit against her former literary agent, who she claimed manipulated her into surrendering the Mockingbird copyrights. The proliferation of eBooks has subverted many of the traditional publishing models when it comes to derivative rights across different platforms. So it’s comforting to know that Mockingbird will proceed into the electronic market with minimal issues.

Lee remarked, “I’m still old fashioned. I love dusty books and libraries. This is Mockingbird for a new generation.”

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Matthew Epstein : April 8, 2014 4:13 pm : METAfeed

Megaupload, what use to be one of the largest sources of online file-sharing, was shut down in 2012 by U.S. law enforcement and responsible for $175 million in criminal proceeds while costing U.S. copyright owners more than half a billion dollars. Now, two years later, Megaupload is being sued jointly by six of the largest film production companies for copyright infringement. Kim Schmitz, founder of Megaupload, now spends his time in New Zealand fighting attempts to extradite him back to the United States to face these charges.

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Race, Color, Religion, Sex, National Origin . . . and Winter Sports Preference?

Eric Rogers : April 7, 2014 10:47 am : BeyondMETAfeed

Being a Michigan native, I have fond memories from years past of time spent learning to snowski. Though I am a skier, I hold no animosity toward snowboarders. I have attempted to snowboard several times, but spent more time on the ground than gliding down the mountain (with some great bruises to match).  Most skiers I have met share my open-mindedness about snowboarding.

Yet, there are a few resorts that still bar snowboarders from their slopes. Alta in Utah is one.

A group of snowboarders recently brought suit against the ski hill, alleging illegal discrimination in violation of several laws. This suit is complicated by the fact that Alta is operated on Federal land leased from the United States Forest Service.

Read more here.

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Finally, the Case We’ve All Been Waiting For

Matthew Peterson : April 1, 2014 1:07 pm : BeyondIntellectual PropertyMediaMETAfeedTech & Internet

In a case that will be of interest to software developers and companies around the United States, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l yesterday. After dodging the issue for years, the Court will ultimately decide whether the Patent Act authorizes patent protection for software, and if so, at what stage of development. Read the opinion below here and browse the transcript from the oral argument before the Court here. For a summary of the proceedings, click here.

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Selfie: But Whose?

Geoffrey Mcaleenan : March 31, 2014 11:44 pm : Arts & EntertainmentIntellectual PropertyMediaMETAfeed

Ellen Degeneres selfie at the OscarsI’ll begin by apologizing for using the word “selfie.” However, it is what the kids are calling it these days when somebody takes a photo of himself either alone or with a group, and there happens to be a popular celebrity “selfie” circulating around the internet.

At the Oscars, Ellen DeGeneres gathered a few famous faces together and handed her cell phone to actor Bradley Cooper. Cooper snapped the photograph, and by so doing nearly broke Twitter. Plenty of news outlets have requested Ellen’s permission to use the photo, but is she the rightful copyright owner?

The law tells us that copyright protection applies to original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression. So, let’s see: for a work to be original, it has to have a minimal degree of creativity, so we’re good there, and it has to be fixed in a tangible medium, and we know it is because the picture is a photograph. But what about who’s the author? It seems straightforward: the author is the creator of the original expression. So then it’s Cooper because he took the photo…or is it DeGeneres because she got all the celebrities together for the photo in the first place? Or is it the Academy because it hired DeGeneres, and she caused the photo to be taken during the scope of her employment? Brush up on your case law, and post your answer in the comments!




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Food Selfies v. IP Rights

Priscilla Nduro : March 31, 2014 10:50 pm : METAfeed

foodselfie It is undeniable that the advent of social media has led to an obsession with documenting and sharing our lives, especially our food, through photographs.  Food “selfies,” as they are known in social media land, are ubiquitous on applications like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  Arguably, food selfies have become an art form not just on social media, but to the chefs who create the recipes and the various foods.  But does the world’s obsession with photographing food in restaurants infringe on the intellectual property (IP) rights of the chefs who create the original recipes and original presentations of the foods? Some chefs believe that photographing their original creations infringe on certain IP rights, and some chefs have even gone as far as creating a “no camera” policy at their restaurants.  But can these chefs really claim any IP rights to food, despite the intrusive nature of food selfies? Read more about the issue here

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Championing Copyright Through Compilation – Scranton Style

Josh Beurer : March 26, 2014 3:27 pm : ARTICLEPOSTMETAfeed

Joe Sabia, a New York-based artist and copyright advocate, has come up with a novel way The-Office-nbc-324594_1280_1024_to speak out for copyright reform. Sabia took every non-fiction cultural reference made throughout all nine seasons of the award-winning NBC sitcom The Office and catalogued each reference chronologically. He then placed this compiled footage on his website, The Office Time Machine, where viewers can select any year and view all the references in one place. The point of this project is to highlight the importance of fair use by showing how pervasive such references to copyrighted works actually are. Sabia notes, “This Time Machine is intended to show how much we rely on culture. So let artists bang it out without fear of being sued. (…that’s what she said)”

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