Every once in a while even a lawyer needs a field trip, and for a lawyer that likes to work with creative people, a sculpture park and museum is as good a place to go as any. So last week I took a break from my regularly scheduled volunteering in Boston Housing Court and made my way out to Lincoln, MA. In addition to finding out that the men and women of Lincoln are a barn-loving people, I discovered the deCordova Sculpture Park and Musuem, which is hosting the collection Drawing With Code: Works from the Anne and Michael Spalter Collection through April 24th. As part of my duties volunteering for the upcoming Boston CyberArts Festival, I did a write up on their blog detailing my experience, so go check that out here, and then get out and have your own art field trip.
A couple days ago I posted all of the appellate briefs filed by the parties and intervenors in what has surely become the most important of the file-sharing cases. By now I’m sure you’ve had the time to carefully peruse the hundreds of pages of dense legal arguments, so I’m not going to belabor the points made by rehashing them here (I swear I’ve read the briefs… well, a good chunk of them anyways).
Instead, what I’d like to do is go through and offer some commentary on the day’s proceedings, including the arguments, the attorneys, and the panel of judges. So without further ado…
This morning oral arguments in Sony BMG v. Tenenbaum took place in the First Circuit Court of Appeals. I was one of the many that braved the cold and rainy Boston morning to go watch (and I got a front row seat!), so some analysis of the proceedings will be forthcoming. For the time being, though, I thought I’d go ahead and post the appellate briefs and reply briefs from Mr. Tenenbaum, the RIAA, the United States, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. So if you really want to get into the nitty gritty of today’s arguments, or you just want to see what hundreds of hours of work looks like in written form, read on.
Today Ford Motor Company sued Ferrari in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan. I haven’t really had a chance to go through and get a handle on the case yet, but this is shaping up to be very interesting. Click through to read complaint in its entirety. Thus far, my favorite quote is, “Ferrari’s misappropriation of the F-150® trademark, or counterfeits, copies, reproductions, or colorable imitations thereof, has been, and continues to be done, with the intent to cause confusion, mistake, and to deceive consumers concerning the source and/or sponsorship of Ferrari’s products and services.” I think Ford’s come a long way over the last couple years, but something tells me Ferrari is not trying to get consumers to associate them with trucks. In any case, the complaint’s below:
So I’ve made the case for why artists should copyright their creative works, the next question is: once it’s copyrighted, what’s protected, and what can others take for themselves? Since the types of works that are subject to copyright protection are so diverse – from sculptures to songs to dance steps – the protectable elements of each type of work all have their own quirks and nuances. In the end though, it all comes back to originality. For photographers, courts have set up a system to describe the various ways a photograph can be original and therefore the various ways in which it’s protected by copyright. Who’s the pivotal figure in the whole thing? You guessed it… Frank Stallone Kevin Garnett.