January, 2012

What you absolutely must know before you approach investors for your film / play / musical.

Gordon P. Firemark

photo via flickr (bschmove) under Creative Commons License.

Film 91

Universal Music May Have Inadvertently Exposed a Flaw in the YouTube Takedown Process

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner One rap artist speaks out against UMG, YouTube, and SOPA. read more. THR, Esq. Music Music Tech Business Universal Music Group YouTube SOPA

Trending Sources

Legal Ethics to Go, Thanks to New Bar App

Media Law

A new mobile app introduced this week by the New York State Bar Association lets lawyers search and access ethics opinions from their mobile phones. The NYSBA Mobile Ethics App includes the state bar’s catalog of more than 900 legal ethics opinions, dating back to 1964.

Broken Windows

DealFatigue

Fred Wilson wrote a piece on his blog today complaining about the film business ’ distribution model. Fred wrote in part that: denying customers the films they want, on the devices they want to watch them, when they want to watch them is not a great business model.

Live on Larry Mantle re SAG-AFTRA Merger

Digital Media Law

I'll be live on Larry Mantle ( [link] ) this morning at about 11:05 a.m. PT for a 14 minute segment on SAG-AFTRA merger. Tune in (is that still the verb?) if you have a chance. It'll probably be available archived as well. _. Check out my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition). Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too.

More Trending

And Now for a Few of My Favorite Smartphone Apps

Media Law

Just last week, someone asked me for a list of my favorite iPhone apps. I get this question a lot, so I thought I’d talk about about a few of my favorite apps. No Angry Birds here. I will restrict myself to apps that have some application in the practice of law.

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Ron Paul Files Trademark and Defamation Lawsuit

Current Trends

This week the “Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Committee, Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming defamation of Rep. Ron Paul’s character and unauthorized use of the trademark rights in his name in a political video. The video, released by Paul advocates and not approved or authorized by Paul, makes personal attacks against fellow Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman.

What happens when idiots don’t understand torts

The Legal Satyricon

“Cafe Mom” is not a website I read very often, but it pops up in my Google News occasionally. This time, it has a complaint piece called “Dead Teen Sued for Losing Control of Flying Body Parts.“ “ The story goes this way, Hiroyuki Joho, an 18 year old kid, ran across the train tracks to catch [.].

Google Behind the Numbers Explains Opposition to Rogue Sites Legislation

Music Technology Policy

Notice that in one year Google uses 1/2 the power generated by the Hoover Dam–I wonder how much comes from its sweetheart deal on power from the Columbia River to power its data center in The Dalles, Oregon –represented by Senator Ron Wyden in the U.S. Senate.

Asked & Answered: The Wizard of Oz and the public domain.

Gordon P. Firemark

Legal Fight Brewing Over CBS' New Sherlock Holmes Adaptation (Analysis)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner The network's planned series depicting a modern-day Sherlock could be taken to court by BBC, which also has a modern Sherlock, or the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate. read more. THR, Esq. Television Television Business BBC CBS Sherlock Holmes

App Will Let Lawyers Pick Pro Bono Cases

Media Law

The Legal Services Corporation’s Technology Initiative Grants program held its annual conference last week in Albuquerque. I wasn’t there, but I wish I had been.

Ron Paul Files Trademark and Defamation Lawsuit

Current Trends

This week the “Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Committee, Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming defamation of Rep. Ron Paul’s character and unauthorized use of the trademark rights in his name in a political video. The video, released by Paul advocates and not approved or authorized by Paul, makes personal attacks against fellow Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman.

Mark Litwak Named Super Lawyer

Entertainment Law Resources Blog

I am pleased to announce that I have been named a Southern California Super Lawyer for 2012. Each year, only 5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

“Ask yourself what’s right”: The White House Wants Compromise on Rogue Sites

Music Technology Policy

By Chris Castle. Chairman Patrick Leahy made a remarkably prescient comment at the Napster hearing in 2000: “When you tell 20 million people they can’t do something, they get mad at you.” The “something” was stealing mostly music and some movies—a problem that in retrospect seems relatively simple.

Entertainment Law Update Episode 27 – Top ten stories of 2011

Gordon P. Firemark

Call us with your feedback: (310) 243-6231. In this Episode: “Santa Claus Is Coming to town” Copyright termination. 9th Circuit upholds DMCA Safe Harbor for VEOH. Our Top Ten Stories of 2011. Predictions for 2012. GET CLE CREDIT for this episode.

Veoh 28

MPAA Chief Chris Dodd 'Hurt,' Defends His Piracy Strategy, Slams Obama and Google (Q&A)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Alex Ben Block As the SOPA legislation hangs by a thread, Hollywood's top lobbyist says he's not to blame for the backlash. read more. THR, Esq. THR, Esq. Movies Movies Chris Dodd MPAA Piracy Politics

MPAA 49

Rocket Matter Releases Version 2.0; Adds Document Assembly and Custom Fields

Media Law

Assembling a document from a template in Rocket Matter 2.0. The Web-based practice management application Rocket Matter today released version 2.0 of its platform. The new version adds two notable features: document assembly and custom fields.

Yet Another Post On SOPA (Redux/Reposted)

DealFatigue

Note: Cross-posted in part from my tumblr blog. See the additional note at the bottom of this post. ]. I generally don’t blog politics. It can be bad for business. However, the SOPA/ PIPA legislation , which pitted new tech against old media, requires a response. Piracy is a serious problem that may or may not need additional attention (we already have the DMCA to protect copyright interests). However, the legislation as drafted is bad law.

Supreme Court Upholds Copyright Protection For Foreign Works

Current Trends

The U.S. Supreme Court decision released this week in Golan v Holder maintained copyright protection for millions of works created by foreign authors. Before 1989, many foreign authors’ works became public domain for not fulfilling requirements in the U.S. Copyright Act. In 1994, Congress passed the Uruguay Round Agreements Act restoring U.S. copyright protection for works published by foreign authors primarily between 1923 and 1964. The URAA brought the U.S.

Joshua Johnson’s KQED Forum on Rogue Sites

Music Technology Policy

I listened to an hour long discussion of the rogue sites legislation hosted by KQED’s Joshua Johnson today and had a few points that were not addressed directly or at all during the discussion among the host, Fred Von Lohman (who MTP readers will remember from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, now a Google employee) and Rick Cotton of NBC-Universal, with Ellen Seidler and Rep. Darryl Issa joining briefly. Nobody Died From Rogue Sites : This is actually not true.

Broadway’s Spiderman: weaving a tangled web

Gordon P. Firemark

When Spiderman:Turn Off The Dark’s original writer/director, Julie Taymor, sued the show’s producers late in 2011, nobody was particularly surprised.

Lawsuit Claims TNT's 'Falling Skies' Has a Font Problem (Exclusive)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner German designer sues TBS for using his font software allegedly wrongfully. read more. THR, Esq. Television Television Tech Business

Site Lets Lawyers Build Their Own Mobile Apps

Media Law

A sample shown on the site. I happened across a website called MyPocketAttorney that says it will let lawyers build their own smartphone apps using templates designed for law offices and legal professionals. As of this morning, a notice on the site says, “Site Under Construction!

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Egyptian Businessman On Trial for Tweet of Mickey and Minnie Mouse In Islamic Dress

Media Law Prof Blog

Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris is on trial for tweeting a comment about Islam that some allege defames the religion. Last year he sent out cartoons of Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed as Muslims, but almost immediately apologized for doing so

Supreme Court Upholds Copyright Protection For Foreign Works

Current Trends

The U.S. Supreme Court decision released this week in Golan v Holder maintained copyright protection for millions of works created by foreign authors. Before 1989, many foreign authors’ works became public domain for not fulfilling requirements in the U.S. Copyright Act. In 1994, Congress passed the Uruguay Round Agreements Act restoring U.S. copyright protection for works published by foreign authors primarily between 1923 and 1964. The URAA brought the U.S.

More Questions for Artists: Record Producer Agreements, Part 6: Subsequent Producer or Mixer Royalties

Music Technology Policy

Please note: This is an installment in a multi-part post. Each post has information relevant to prior posts, so until we get to the “Final” there will be more information to come. See also More Questions for Artists: Record Producer Agreements, Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5. Part 6 , Part 7 , Part 8 , Part 9 , Part 10 , Part 11 and Part 12. Part numbers do not correspond to paragraph numbers inside the post. Watch this space for further installments, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Distribution Windows: a broken system?

Gordon P. Firemark

Peter Kaufman. My good friend Peter Kaufman has a new piece on his blog Deal Fatigue about the broken distribution windows system, and how/whether it needs repair. read his piece here.

Deal 11

SOPA Defeat Is Not the End Of Hollywood's Ramped-Up Fight Against Piracy (Analysis)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Eriq Gardner Hollywood still needs Obama. SOPA and the Protect-IP Act could be red herrings. And bigger fights lie ahead. Time to examine the much larger picture. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Movies Tech Business Chris Dodd SOPA

Tacky Lawyer Video Du Jour: Bully Lawyer

Media Law

I don’t understand why lawyers think denigrating themselves and the profession is an effective marketing tool. Like the Nilan Johnson video I wrote about before, here is an attempt at humor that fails miserably. Lawyer as shakedown bully? Is that really the image this guy wants to present?

Cameras in the Courtroom

Media Law Prof Blog

Nancy S. Marder, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law, has published The Conundrum of Cameras in the Courtroom. In spite of a communications revolution that has given the public access to new media in new places, the revolution

U. S. Supreme Court Unanimously Rule that GPS Installation and Tracking of a Vehicle Constitutes a Search, But The Justices Disagree on Rationale - Are Lines Being Drawn on Privacy Rights and New Technology?

New Media and Technology Law

In a narrowly-drawn majority opinion, the United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Antoine Jones that the Government’s attachment of a GPS-tracking device to a vehicle, and the subsequent monitoring of the movements of that vehicle on public streets, constitutes a search.

Google-backed Group Targets “Union Thugs”

Music Technology Policy

The Google-dominated NetCoalition lobbying group is run by this man: This is Markham Erickson, who, in another life, might have auditioned for Paul Revere & The Raiders. This time, though, Markham Erickson’s NetCoalition is distributing hate pieces on ”union thugs”

Run 10

Broadway’s Spiderman: weaving a tangled web

Gordon P. Firemark

When Spiderman:Turn Off The Dark’s original writer/director ,Julie Taymor, sued the show’s producers late in 2011, nobody was particularly surprised. Taymor’s lawsuit alleged numerous counts, including the obvious breaches of contract, and the not-so-obvious copyright infringement claims.