Sunday, May 27, 2012

School's Out For Summer !!

This is not legal advice*. Leave audio feedback at (512) 686-6329.
*and not even particularly legal-related today, but keeping the boiler-plate

I've been in Baltimore for a week now (down the road from Nick in DC), which marks the true beginning of summer for me. That means the start of week-day posts on the various sites. Those sites are:

I said "week-day" above, but I am going to be moving my days around a bit based on Wendy's days off. It just so happened that she has a week off right as I get to Baltimore. Also, Wendy is a physician working at a hospital and apparently people get sick on weekends too. Who knew?  She also does not know her July schedule. If we knew her July schedule I could pick apart July and just move this next week to then, but I can't. The upshot of all of this is that things are going to be a bit chaotic next week. Don't expect a lot of posts this coming week.

If people revolt and say they want content Mon-Fri, I can make that happen, but I doubt people care that much.

For a while, Stephen of and and I have been discussing doing another show. I wanted to do a sports show, but Stephen hasn't been watching much sports since heading down to Mexico. It looks like this show is going to have a point-counterpoint nature to it. I'll give an update once we get a show title and web-site.

There has been one change for, Eric Crews has joined. We have yet to figure out how often he'll post, but he'll be covering Philley stuffs, which you can see from his Twitter feed. I might be adding others to the line-up. We are looking to have bloggers from all over the country and world, so if you want to join, let me know!

If you heard me talk about a possible human rights show, that is on hold unless Nick decides he wants to do one. Nick recently changed jobs and his legal focus is now different so that might me another show, if he has time.

Basically, not much has changed since the shows I mentioned before (unless Eric decides to be a mad man posting every day!). I am still looking for contributors, so if you want to contribute, let me know! Remember, I am looking for contributors on all three sites!

EURO 2012 (and other sporting events)
There are two basic themes to this post: scheduling and sports. In this section, they go hand-in-hand.

The European football championships will be going on from June 8th to July 1st. I will be covering the event for That means that the posting-schedule could be slightly chaotic during that time.

If you are interested in piecing together my scheduling problem, here is an interesting but slightly bizarre version of the Euro 2012 calendar. Additionally, I will be cheering for, in the following order:

...which means I will be paying particular attention to those games.

I will try to incorporate the Euros into legal work by doing pieces on image rights, sports violence, contract law, trademarks or anything else that might come up during the broadcast of the event. If that doesn't excite you, there's also a bracket challenge and fantasy football.

I briefly discuss what's coming up on at the end of a recent post.

Basically, unless I am successful in getting more help on sportazine, or at or, postings could be a little thinner this summer than I had anticipated. My hope is things will settle down once Wendy goes back to work. As I mentioned in posts last week, let us know whether you like the daily short posts or longer, more in-depth posts.

Thanks for your support of the Music Manumit Lawcast this summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Overview of State IP Law with Resources

This is not legal advice. Leave audio feedback at (512) 686-6329.

One of the things I did not mention in the short overview of VARA yesterday, was VARA-like laws in states. Many of the resources you'll find below deal with the broader issue of how state law generally falls within the US system, but there is no time for that today*. It is worth noting that California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and New Mexico have all passed some sort of statutory moral rights. In other states, any sort of moral rights issues are covered by the common law.

Today's post is short too, because I started watching MIT's 4-part series on copyright in preparation for our show on Saturday.  Essentially, only the first installment where the course discuss state protection. It is very good. Check it out, especially if you are an auditory learner. The professor does use the board some, so there are some visual aspects, but it is a classroom, not generally visually stimulating environment.

Right of Publicity

All of the various Creative Commons licenses discuss the right of publicity. The most common license for music, CC BY-NC-SA, says in relevant part, on the "human readable" version:

Publicity rights allow individuals to control how their voice, image or likeness is used for commercial purposes in public. If a CC-licensed work includes the voice or image of anyone other than the licensor, a user of the work may need to get permission from those individuals before using the work for commercial purposes.

This may be the topic of a full post later in the summer (or a full podcast at some point), but I want to mention it now because for musicians it is probably the most important state IP law.

Trade Secrets

Were this a post I was doing for, I would be focusing on this aspect of state law. This probably plays no roll for musicians, though if there were unpublished works which were stolen, it might apply. Unpublished works are protected by copyright, so that's the usual path people go. Perhaps an artist has made a pledge to never sue someone for copyright infringement, but the musician is upset that material got leaked before it was mastered. Trade secrets might apply. That's all I really want to say. More resources below. My guess is this is something that has been litigated and I just don't know about it. Remember, this is not legal advice.

*There are entire organizations dedicated to the topic of state independence, such as the Federalist Society and the 10th Amendment Center (both of which have audiocasts). I do not mean to endorse either organization, and in fact, I do often disagree with both of them, but the audiocasts the organizations provide are valuable. You need to understand (whichever side of the argument you are on) that these organizations have agendas to push.


Here's a fun one: A Short Tour of Robot Case Law

Intellectual Property: Private Rights, The Public Interest, and the Regulation of Creative Activity. Second Edition. Chapter Six: State Laws Governing Intellectual Property. Ghosh, Gruner, Kesan, Reis. (2011)

Intellectual Property & the Patchwork Right of Publicity Laws (NOTE: I could not find audio or transcripts for this. If you know where either of those can be found, please post in the comments!)


Mark A. Lemley. What the Right of Publicity Can Learn From Trademark Law, 58 Stanford Law Review 1161 (2006).


Other Podcasts

Suffolk Law - Kim Kardashian and the Right of Publicity
Suffolk Law - Lindsay Lohan v. ETrade Dispute

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Short Overview of VARA with Additional Resources

This is not legal advice. Leave audio feedback at (512) 686-6329.

On this upcoming Saturday, Nick and I are set to record an audiocast entitled "Overview of Copyright." Because Copyright is such a behemoth, both nationally and internationally, I thought I would do some quick write-ups on related topics. The first one is on the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) or 17 USC § 106A.

Like all sections of statutes, they cannot be taken in isolation. The definition for a "work of visual art" comes from 17 USC § 101.

VARA is an attempt at moral rights*, but it is not the only place where "moral rights" come up in the US. State law rights of publicity have pieces of the European conception of moral rights (not that Europe has a unified voice on the definition of moral rights).

This little write-up is so small in part because I think the Wikipedia article does a great job of summary. I wanted to spend my time looking for additional resources. I was surprised to find so few podcasts out there on this topic and more specifically on moral rights. The Legal Talk Network has zero podcasts on moral rights, but I did post one post on VARA for you you below! Feel free to add more resources via comment!

*moral rights are a subject for another day, but if you want to learn about them now, and are willing to listen to a podcast not targeted at the legal community, check out the Music Manumit Podcast's interview with Argentine lawyer Manual Godoy-Luque.

Resources From CC:

Moral Rights in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico V3.0 Creative Commons License
CC Newsletter - Issue No. 4 
CC, Open Access, and Moral Rights

Other Podcasts

Suffolk Law School - The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990

Other Resources:

Unfinished Works
Patry on Copyright (subscription only)
Intellectual Property: Private Rights, The Public Interest, and the Regulation of Creative Activity. Second Edition. Pages 192, 712, 714, 716, 1037.
I don't know if there are transcripts from this, but if someone is doing research on VARA, they had a great speaker on the topic at Santa Clara.