October 2013

I Was a Guest on URBusiness Network’s “CHAOS Tuesday” Internet Radio Show

October 3, 2013

Whew, that is a mouthful.  I was a teenage werewolf?  No, I was a guest on URBusiness Network’s CHAOS Tuesday Internet Radio Show. Here’s what it means. URBusiness Network, or “URBN,” is, in its own words, an “online radio station streaming 24/7 with business specific programing.”  This is, needless to say, not your father’s radio station. In fact, it is “radio” only by analogy. Think “entirely new business technology model made possible by increases in Internet bandwidth.” In other words, this is a relatively new industry, with minimal barriers to entry (low cost, no FCC regulation) and unlimited geographic reach. URBN is a small but serious player in this market. One of the many Internet radio shows URBN produces is “CHAOS Tuesday,” the brainchild of Jim Johnson, founder of The Standish Group.  The Standish Group is an organization with expertise in large (and I mean very large) software projects.  Many large software implementation projects to over cost or fail, and Standish’s mission is to figure out why and try to reduce the frequency of failure. One of my clients retained Standish to consult in a litigation involving a large software implementation, and I made the acquaintance of Jim Johnson. Recently, he asked me if I would be a guest on The Standish Group’s weekly Internet radio show, CHAOS Tuesday, hosted by URBN. I agreed to discuss the Communications Decency Act…

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Supreme Court to Review 9th Circuit Decision in “Raging Bull” Copyright Case

October 2, 2013

The Supreme Court accepts fewer than 1% of the requests for review submitted to it, and review of copyright cases is relatively rare.* Yesterday, the Court accepted review (or, in lawyer-speak, granted a “petition for writ of certiorari”) in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. *Based on my quick count, the Court has decided 15 copyright cases since 1985. Since 1981 Paula Petrella has been the owner (by way of copyright reversion and inheritance) of her father Frank Petrella’s copyright interest in a book and two screenplays about the life of Jake LaMotta, the central character portrayed in the film Raging Bull. She claims that Raging Bull is a derivative work of the book and screenplays, and that she is entitled to royalties based on MGM’s continuing commercial use of the film. Ms. Petrella threatened MGM with a suit for copyright infringement as far back as 1998, but she didn’t actually file suit until 2009. In fact, Raging Bull was released in 1980, and there is evidence that Ms. Petrella was aware of her copyright infringement claim as far back as 1981, in which case she delayed for almost 30 years before filing suit for copyright infringement. The U.S. Copyright Act contains a three year statute of limitations, and this has been interpreted not to mean that that a copyright owner must bring suit within three years of learning of an infringement, but…

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