In conversation: Film industry’s IP watchdog

dean marksOne of the movie industry’s top intellectual property watchdogs on Monday will join in Southwestern Law School’s  “Conversation With …” program: Dean Marks, executive vice president, deputy general counsel and chief of global content protection at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) will chat about an array of topics in the 7:30 p.m. program with Steve Krone, director of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute.

“Dean is one of the leading U.S. and international copyright experts in the entertainment industry, ” Professor Krone said. “In his work at the MPAA spearheading all content protection, I’m sure he’s bringing his deep knowledge to bear, along with his refreshingly pragmatic approach.” (more…)

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Privacy event to address celebrity issues, rights

Neville_L_Johnson_JJLLPLAW_2015DroozDeborahGary_BostwickProminent scholars, lawyers and government officials will gather on April 17 at Southwestern for the Second Annual Online Privacy Conference, presented by the law school’s Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute. Participants will explore a spectrum of privacy issues, including, notably for Entertainment Law practitioners, a session on  Celebrity and Privacy/Publicity Rights. (more…)

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Film, TV audit expert will speak at law school

SillsIf Hollywood’s all about The Deal, then understanding entertainment industry finances and especially following the money really matters. Southwestern Law School, as part of its “In Conversation” series, will feature a leading expert in this area: Steven Sills ’87, partner and motion picture and TV audit expert at Green Hasson Janks (right). He will participate in a moderated chat with Professor Steve Krone, director of the Biederman Institute, on March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Southwestern Law School. The free event will offer one hour of CLE credit and will be in the law school’s Bullocks Wilshire Building (3050 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles). Reservations are requested and can be made through the Donald E. Biderman Entertainment and Law Institute office: (more…)

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Honored, again, and asking for readers’ help

BasicIllustratorFileLetter—CSThe holiday cheer arrived early at the blog, as we got some great news for our student editors — whom we’ll ask our kind readers to assist in just a second. First this heartening information: The ABA Journal, the website of the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association, has put the Biederman Blog on its Top 100 legal sites list for a second year. The journal, seen by half the nation’s 1 million practicing lawyers each month, says it scans more than 4,000 legal blogs by attorneys and others as part of its reporting on the field, and, each year, it picks a handful of online sources that its editors say they remember, because these blogs “have tipped us off to breaking news and the bloggers who have compelled us to write about their innovative ideas.” It’s an honor to be part of this elite, whose members include top scholars, practitioners, and analysts whose names and work are instantly recognizable because they’re both cited in the law and they daily shape public opinion, especially through the news media.

Now, if you’ve generously taken the time to read this article, would you do one more thing: Would you please before Dec. 19 click on this link, take a few moments to register with the ABA (they don’t spam you or use the data — they say it is to prevent, gasp, ballot box stuffing) and to let the journal know that you, as we do, appreciate the hard, consistent, excellent work of Southwestern’s bloggers? Thank you to them and to you.

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Law School honors Entertainment Law notables

swhonoreesSouthwestern Law School has honored three attorneys for their contributions to the entertainment and media industries, the legal profession and legal education at the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute Awards Reception. Daniel M. Petrocelli ’80 received the award for Outstanding Alumnus in Entertainment and Media Law; Jared Jussim was recognized as Outstanding Adjunct Professor in Entertainment and Media Law; and the late Ed Hookstratten ‘57 received the Donald E. Biederman Legacy Award. The reception was hosted by the Biederman Institute and Southwestern’s Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association. Sponsors included O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Warner Bros., and Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae LLP and Howard Kurtzman ’79.

“This year’s slate of honorees is a testament to the superb quality and extraordinary accomplishments of our alumni and our adjunct faculty,” said Professor Steven Krone, Director of the Biederman Institute.  “Dan and Jared have both risen to the highest levels in their professional career while finding time to also contribute mightily to the profession and the community at large, as did Ed before his passing.  We are very proud to have them as members of the Southwestern family.”

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As the blog turns three, time for a refresh

Biederman Blog - Law School Online Journal 2014-09-01 11-08-54 Biederman Blog 2014-08-24 18-58-20With great thanks and appreciation to all the students, faculty, administration, and others in the community who have supported the Biederman Blog since its outset, now that the site has turned three years old and our hard-working editors have produced more than 500 posts, it was time for a refresh. This is still a work in progress. But as the blog has duly recorded, technology races ahead on us all, and our audiences may be accessing our content in evolving, robust ways — no longer just on a desktop computer, but likely on a tablet or hand-held mobile device. So the blog now incorporates responsive views, meaning this site should adjust and adapt for easy viewing on different browsers and web-enabled devices. If you detect bugs or gremlins in the site and think we may have missed them, please email us at:

Our 2014 technology upgrade also allows the blog to resume its push to provide calendar and events listings to the Entertainment Law community. The many local bar associations, schools and universities, industry groups, and others conduct many and intriguing programs, conferences, and other events about Entertainment Law matters — and the site offers a forum to let other appropriate parties know about these. If you wish your event to be considered for the Biederman Blog Entertainment Law calendar, please send complete information, especially including a contact person, with plenty of advance time to: . Keep watching this space to see how the outstanding law students who serve as the blog’s Editorial Board advance this project.

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Buzz building for a conference about drones

swdroneWhat’s that tiny buzzing? And what’s that speck way up above? For Entertainment Law practitioners, these audible and visible clues may be portents not for the need for a fast hearing or eye test but rather that clients will be calling, specifically to discuss a question once futuristic and suddenly nearer than many thought possible: So what’s the law about remotely piloted aircraft and their use in the entertainment or media industries? Huh? So you don’t think that drones of some type, imminently, may be floating above celebrity manses in one of the three B’s (Beverly Hills, Brentwood or Bel Air) or cruising aloft over crime scenes, red-carpet galas or chasing cars chock-a-block with five-star Hollywood passengers? Consider this report or this one or, of course, this one about Amazon and its Jetson-rooted vision, please. And don’t forget this potential aeronautical development also may be pertinent to those in marketing or advertising, much less one of Southern California’s longtime, major businesses — the aerospace and military-related industries. Legal issues surrounding the topic will be taken up on Friday, Feb. 7, in a ground-breaking conference at Southwestern — with more information available by clicking here or by registering here, including for 5.5 hours of available CLE credit. Holland & Knight will be the silver sponsor for the program; Wolk & Levine LLP and Metanomy also sponsoring. (Photo credit: Ars Electronica)

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Honored, thanks. An ABA shoutout, please?

1213_Blawg100250Yes, it’s one of those times of year when the blog doesn’t refresh as frequently as we might like: Our editors are buried in academic finals and we’re awaiting our next group of bloggers.

Still, we’re thrilled because the ABA Journal recently chose us as one of their favorites, part of their seventh annual Blawg 100. The journal, which says it is seen by half of the 1 million lawyers in the U.S., also notes that it routinely looks at 3,800 legal-related blogs to keep on top of developments in the field.

So to be among their picks is great — even more so because of the company we’re in: almost all are practicing lawyers, jurists, appellate judges, noted legal faculty and professional reporters or analysts, as well as legal librarians, legal foundations … well you get the picture.

Our finger- and toe-counting among the Blawg 100 may be off but we see a rare few that are law student-run, from law schools at New York University, the University of Miami. And us. We see a fair representation of Southern Californians in the mix.

A last plea on topic: If you see the Biederman Blog and would like to tell the ABA Journal (by a Dec. 20 deadline) that we’re among your favorites, too, we’d much appreciate it! You’ll find us under the IP category and you can click here on the link to give us, thank you very much, an online shout-out.

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‘Oh, Really?’ Words exchanged over lyric sites

Miley Cyrus wrecking ball 660In ‘Oh, Really?’ the Biederman Blog’s editors — voracious consumers of all matters pop culture — cast a curious, skeptical, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular productions, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise. This is a guest post by Kasia Campbell, who is taking Entertainment Law and Web 2.0, a miniterm class that’s a requirement for those who wish to join the blog’s Editorial Board.

I thought the song Apologize by One Republic keeps saying: “It’s too late to get a job,” instead of “It’s too late to apologize.”

I thought the song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons mentions “ready to rock you,” instead of “radioactive.”

I thought the song Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus refers to, “You raped me,” instead of “You wrecked me.” I mean why else is she swinging naked on a ball?

If you’re like me, blinded by the light and wrapped up like a … well, you’re a search engine devotee if for no other reason because you often find yourself racing to Google, Bing et al to determine the correct lyrics to earworms (those catchy tunes that rattle around our heads all day).

But if you pop up the full words to songs online, are the sites you’re directed to infringing on lyricists’ copyrights, perhaps even in as egregious fashion or more so than if they posted the music or recordings of it? (more…)

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On 3 different matters, it’s a naysayers’ moment

It’s not the proverbial “a thousand times ‘No,’ ” but:

  • aereoThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has rejected without discussion broadcasters’ request for reconsideration by judges en banc of a recent decision clearing copyright infringement claims against Aereo, the start-up streaming broadcaster that has gone on the offensive to assert the legality of its service;  U.S. Circuit Judges Denny Chinn and Richard C Wesley dissented from the decision, supported by ten others on the appellate bench, including Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs.
  • An investment analyst sees problems for consumers and the broadcast industry if  a la carte options advance, allowing audiences to pick and choose programming rather than paying the ever-increasing, often sports-driven costs of bundled subscription packages.
  • wrightThe lawyers at Prenda Law, chastised already by Otis Wright, a Star Trek-inspired U.S. District Judge in Los Angeles and a Southwestern Law School alum, have found the courts getting frostier, frostier and frostier to them and their mass-filings of copyright infringement actions against unnamed parties who downloaded porn that parties at the firm acquired rights to and may have posted; the evolving case files show that Prenda offered to settle its many claims if those about to be publicly shamed for downloading blue material would cough up some green — typically a few thousand dollars.

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