Your partners are all in agreement, you’ve filed your paperwork with the state, you’ve paid your fee, and you’re up and running. You’ve probably fulfilled all the technical requirements of founding an LLC, but you should still draft and sign an operating agreement (even if it’s just you). Here’s why:
Way back in November, GoldieBlox, Inc. sued the Beastie Boys and a host of others, asking a court to declare that their use of a “parodied” version of the Beastie Boys song “Girls” in their commercial was legal as a protected fair use. After some open letters back and forth, it looked like the case was going away, before the Beastie Boys fired back in December with an Answer and a whole host of counterclaims, essentially accusing GoldieBlox of shameless appropriation in the name of corporate profits (I was interviewed for my thoughts at the time, no big deal). Looked like the parties were entrenched, but now, settlement on the horizon? [Read more…]
Why should anyone form an LLC? Most people have heard of the LLC, but somewhat less than 100% of those people could tell you that it stands for limited liability company, and an even smaller percentage could tell you why to incorporate, let alone why to incorporate as an LLC. Fortunately for anyone who’s stumbled into choosing an LLC as the corporate form for their business, it’s a pretty good choice for a lot of people. Here’s why: [Read more…]
As someone who was drawn to the law and particularly the law of copyright through the file-sharing lawsuits of my formative years, I’ve heard some version of this argument a million times: “Artists should be happy when we illegally share their music, because it provides exposure and they make money through that.” Is there ever any real data to back it up? Not really. But lo! A recent viral video has propelled Kanye back into the Billboard Top 100, for a song that’s 8 years old! Does this change everything? Well, not really, but it does mean the music industry is adapting its enforcement and reaping the benefits. [Read more…]
A couple of things happened this week that got me thinking about open access to the courts, its virtues, and the ways courts have to adapt to keep realizing that goal. The first, is I listened to an NPR story that got me all riled up (happens more than I care to admit) about cameras in the courtroom. Following closely on the heels of that, I got yelled at in a clerk’s office (well, strongly questioned and admonished) for scanning documents rather than having them copied. Harrumph.
On Tuesday Radio Boston had a great segment regarding the pros and cons of video cameras in Federal Courts. Arguing for cameras was the inimitable retired Federal Court Judge Nancy Gertner, who first came to my attention while overseeing the Joel Tenenbaum litigation in U.S. District Court here in Boston. Arguing against cameras was Boston College Law School professor David Olson. The thrust of Judge Gernter’s argument was that as a country we’ve committed to the idea of courts as a public forum, and given the state of technology (and the fact that many federal cases, like the Whitey Bulger trial currently, are already recorded and live streamed to overflow courtrooms for viewers and reporters), a failure to get cameras in the court room and give judges the option to use them means we’re really only paying lip service to the idea of a public courtroom without actually living up to that ideal. [Read more…]