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September 5, 2011

The Comprehensive Guide to Reclaiming Old Masters

By Steve Gordon, with assistance from Nari Roye

'Legacy' recordings, or reissues from the vast catalogs of Sony, EMI, Warner and Universal and their associated labels such as Epic, Columbia, Capitol, and Atlantic, are still a huge business for major labels. According to Billboard, as of the first half of 2011, sales of catalog music accounted for 47% of all album sales and 60% of track sales. Spotify's top 50 albums contain many compilations with older titles including The Essential Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, 100 Hits of the '80s, and The Essential Journey. Yet most of the income from these sales accrues to the benefit of the record companies, rather than the artists or their estates, because the labels only have to pay royalties after fully recouping production and marketing costs, and recoupment occurs at the artists' royalty rates.

This means that the labels are making money even if the artist has not earned enough to repay the labels' expenses. Sales of legacy records is a huge factor in keeping the majors afloat as they continue to suffer from competition from free music made possible by illicit websites. The demographic for legacy recordings tends to consist of older fans who are not as adept at using the internet to collect free music downloads or are more apprehensive of the legal consequences than their children.

Meanwhile, income from recorded music has plunged to approximately $6 billion from more than $14 billion over the past decade, in large part because of unauthorized downloading. As this downloading is oftentimes skewed towards newer releases, the record labels have become disproportionately dependent on sales of older recordings.

Artists' Right to Terminate

Under the Copyright Act, classic albums by Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Van Halen, Talking Heads, AC/DC, and many others will begin to be subject to 'termination'. Termination also applies to a vast number of less famous recordings, starting with those produced in 1978. This could have a significantly negative economic impact on the labels.

The 1976 Copyright Act includes a "termination right," which cannot be contractually given up, which allows the original content creator to "reclaim" the copyright on his or her works. Congress recognized the disparity in bargaining power between creators and assignees, usually corporations, and provided a practical compromise that would recognize the interests of both sides. In addition, the termination right acknowledges the impossibility of determining the value of a work until it has been exploited. Ideally, artists would have the opportunity to sign better deals after the value of their works are recognized.

What This Means to the Songwriter and Artist

In regard to the music business, this means that songwriters and artists are entitled to recapture the rights in their songs and records, even though they previously granted exclusive rights to music publishers and record labels.

Authors of songs and sound recordings produced after January 1, 1978 can terminate a transfer in two ways: (1) the sooner of 35 years after 'publication' (that is, commercial release) or (2) 40 years after the date of the contract (songs written prior to 1978 may also be subject to termination, but the rules pertaining to that are beyond scope of this blog).

The reason this issue is important now is because the 35 year period will be coming to an end in 2013, and many artists/songwriters have already given notice of termination (the law requires, as discussed in the last section of this article, authors or their successors to provide at least two years notice prior to the year of termination, but not more than 10 years.) If recording artists or their successors can recapture rights in their records, it is now easy to distribute those records at almost no cost through the internet.

Now, the Hard Part Begins

This blog focuses on the hurdles that recording artists, their successors or estates will have to jump over in order to take advantage of termination rights. It also addresses how the record companies will try to prevent the artists from doing so.

There are two major obstacles confronting artists in terminating the transfer of rights in their records to the record companies:

(1) Termination rights only apply to records that were not created as 'works for hire,' and
(2) the artist may not have been the only author of the recording.

Some Legal Nitty-Gritty: The Work for Hire Issue

Standard recording contracts almost always state that any records made pursuant to the agreement are 'work for hire.' This would make the record company the 'author' of each record and the artist would have no right to terminate his or her grant of rights to the label. However under the law, these clauses may not be valid or enforceable.

There are to date no cases on this point. Traditionally, the labels hedged their bets by inserting an additional clause that if, for any reason the recordings were not deemed to be a work for hire by a court of competent jurisdiction, then the artist agreed to assign all of his or her rights, including the copyrights in the recordings. However, under the latter provision, the artist would have the right to terminate because an assignment is considered a 'transfer' under the Copyright Act, and the termination provision applies to transfers.

Section 101 of the Copyright Act defines a work for hire as follows:

(1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or

(2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire.

In 1999, the recording industry, represented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), tried to insert sound recordings into subsection (2) by including the words "as a sound recording" after the words "audio visual work". The RIAA actually did temporarily succeed in inserting this change in a 'technical amendment' to a bill called the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999, thus conferring full authorship of those recordings on record companies rather than recording artists if the recording agreement stated that an artist's services were provided on a work for hire basis.

The amendment had no connection to the subject matter of the bill, which concerned statutory licenses applicable to retransmission of television signals. It was also not included in prior drafts of the bill, but rather crept in at the last moment. According to press reports, this amendment (which clearly served the interests of record companies) was drafted and shepherded through Congress by a particular legislative aide, who, shortly after its adoption, accepted a position as a lobbyist for the RIAA. With neither analysis nor debate, the amendment was accepted by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Clinton.

When outraged musicians and scholars discovered that the substantive law of copyright had undergone this dramatic change, the reaction was swift, loud, and overwhelmingly disapproving. Reeling from the bad press, Congress held a brief hearing, during which Sheryl Crow and Don Henley testified, and retroactively repealed the amendment.

Notwithstanding Congress' repeal of sound recordings in subsection (2), it is likely that the record companies in a court battle would still contend that sound recordings are covered by subsection (2) because each recording an artist makes can be considered to be a contribution to a collective work as a compilation, that is, an album.

In fact, many recording agreements include language describing an artist's performance "as a contribution to a collective work", one of the listed categories. Record labels would argue that each individual sound recording of a musical composition is a contribution to the collective work or compilation, that is, the finished album and, thus, a work made for hire. Artists may contend that each individual sound recording stands by itself and is only incidentally compiled into a collective work as one of its uses. They would also argue that an album is no more of a compilation than a novel with multiple chapters.

Of course they could also argue that if Congress intended to include sound recordings in subsection (2), it would have not have retroactively deleted sound recordings after inserting them in 1999. However, the RIAA was able to insert in the Copyright law that the fact of the repeal of sound recordings from subsection (2) would not establish that sound recordings were not works for hire.

Since the second part of the definition of work for hire may not include sound recordings, in order for record companies to deny artists their right to termination, they may also argue that artists were 'employees' rather than independent contracts. The determination of whether an individual is an employee for the purposes of the work made for hire doctrine is determined under the common law of agency, in which a court looks to a multitude of factors to determine whether an employer-employee relationship exists. In the Supreme Court case affirming that the common law of agency should be used to distinguish employers from independent contractors in the work for hire context, Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid, 490 U.S. 730 (1989), the Court listed some of these factors:

In determining whether a hired party is an employee under the general common law of agency, we consider the hiring party's right to control the manner and means by which the product is accomplished. Among the other factors relevant to this inquiry are the skill required; the source of the instrumentalities and tools; the location of the work; the duration of the relationship between the parties; whether the hiring party has the right to assign additional projects to the hired party; the extent of the hired party's discretion over when and how long to work; the method of payment; the hired party's role in hiring and paying assistants; whether the hiring party is in business; the provision of employee benefits; and the tax treatment of the hired party.

Under these criteria, most sound recordings would not seem to be works for hire because most record companies generally do not control artists when the latter is in the studio making a record. In addition, artists almost never receive employee benefits, don't record on company premises, and record companies generally do not withhold payroll taxes from any advances or royalties. The labels, however, may argue that the artists were in fact employees because the record companies usually have the right to approve the songs artists record, they control the studio time for the recording, have approval rights over what was recorded, and in what studios the artists could record. On the other hand, some experts contend that the labels may be reluctant to make the employee argument, because if artists were found to be employees, the labels may be responsible for paying back taxes. Indeed, most recording agreements specifically state that the artists are not employees.

Second Problem: The Artist May Not Be the Only Author

Even if the artist is not an employee and is entitled to terminate his or her grant of rights in the recordings to the label, there is another important issue that must be considered. Producers may be considered as authors too. This is because they don't necessarily act at the direction of the label or the artist (although they usually enter into work for hire agreements, in which case they would not be considered to be authors). Absent a work for hire agreement, producers are often an integral part of the creative process, and may be deemed to be "joint authors." Therefore an artist who notifies his or her record company that he or she is terminating the transfer of rights in any recording to the company may have to sort out a new deal with the producer prior to exploiting the re-captured recordings or risk a lawsuit by the producer. In addition, if an artist had to battle a record company in court, the artist may first have to seek the cooperation of the producer, as one of the issues in such a court battle would be whether the artist was the sole author.

It is also possible that audio engineers and session musicians may have a claim of authorship, but these would be harder cases to argue, as they generally work at the direction of others, taxes are usually withheld and they may well be considered to be employees. The RIAA warns on its website that if recordings are not considered to be works for hire "all collaborators on a sound recording ... would be in competition with each other and commercial exploitation ... would be impossible without the agreement of all of the collaborators, to the detriment of both artists and consumers." As we discussed, though, sound engineers and session musicians would probably not qualify as authors.

What Happens Next?

Many experts think that there will be multiple settlements between recording companies and artists, whereby the artists get additional advances for legacy recordings by waiving their rights to terminate, and the record companies try to avoid court battles that could backfire if they lose. According to the New York Times ('Record Industry Braces for Artists' Battles Over Song Rights' by Larry Rohter, August 15th, 2011), "Given the potentially huge amounts of money at stake and the delicacy of the issues, both record companies, and recording artists and their managers have been reticent in talking about termination rights."

The article quoted a record company executive as stating that there are significant differences of opinion among the big four, which has prevented them from taking a unified position. "Some of the major labels," he said, "favor a court battle, no matter how long or costly it might be, while others worry that taking an unyielding position could backfire if the case is lost, since musicians and songwriters would be so deeply alienated that they would refuse to negotiate new deals and insist on total control of all their recordings."

In the absence of a definitive court ruling, some recording artists and their lawyers are talking about issuing termination notices, eventually distributing the recording themselves, while daring the record companies to stop them. "Right now this is kind of like a game of chicken, but with a shot clock," the Times quoted Casey Rae-Hunter, deputy director of the Future of Music Coalition, which advocates for musicians and consumers. "Everyone is adopting a wait-and-see posture. But that can only be maintained for so long, because the clock is ticking."

According to noted copyright scholar David Nimmer, a legislative solution would be best solution, but until then the courts will decide on a case by case basis.

The Steps Artists Need to Take Right Now

Whatever the ultimate result, here are the actual steps that artists, their successors or estates need to take to initiate termination of transfer of rights in records:

Who Can Terminate

If the artist is deceased, his or her "statutory successor" can terminate. The statutory successor is the surviving spouse, or surviving children or grandchildren. If none of them are alive, the author's executor, administrator, personal representative, or trustee can terminate. If the artist is a band or group, termination requires a majority vote of the joint authors or their successors.

When Notice Must Be Served

The artist or statutory successor may give notice of termination no less than two years and no more than 10 years before the date that the transfer will terminate.

Content of Notice

The notice must be in writing signed by the owner(s) of the termination interests or by their duly authorized agents, and must state the effective date of the termination. The notice must also comply, in form, content, and manner of service, with requirements that the Register of Copyrights.

To Whom Should They Send Notice

The notice must be served upon the grantee (i.e., the label with whom the artist contracted) or the grantee's successor in title. A copy of the notice must also be recorded in the Copyright Office before the effective date of termination, as a condition to its taking effect.

Congressional Debates

The New York Times recently reported that John Conyers (D. Mich) is proposing legislation that would clarify that artists can terminate their grant of rights in their recordings to record labels. The Times article commented, "With years of costly litigation looming, groups that represent the interests of recording artists and songwriters said they found Mr. Conyers's remarks encouraging. But given the issue's legislative history any amendment process in Congress is likely to be long and complicated."

I agree with this and would only add that although many experts have already suggested federal legislation would be a good solution to the ambiguous state of the law as discussed above, any such legislation would have to be very delicately drafted to address the interests of possible co-authors including producers.

Steve Gordon is an entertainment attorney and author of The Future of the Music Business (Hal Leonard 3rd ed. 2011) who would like to express his appreciation to Nari Roye, Esq, who assisted in writing this article. A version of this blog was originally published by digitalmusicnews.com on Monday, August 29, 2011.

September 9, 2011

Message from EASL Chair Judith B. Prowda

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Megan Laurel Maxwell as Co-Chair of EASL's Digital Media Committee. Megan will manage EASL's social media accounts, starting with Twitter. EASL's Twitter account can be found here: http://twitter.com/#!/nysbaeasl.

Megan is the Associate General Counsel and Editor in Chief, Museum Publications at Seaport Museum New York (formerly South Street Seaport Museum). She is responsible for managing all legal matters at the museum, such as the intellectual property audit, employment and human resources, and corporate governance. In addition, Megan oversees all of the museum's publications, including the quarterly magazine Seaport and the museum's social media accounts. Megan started the museum's Twitter account (@seaportmuseumny) in 2009 and it has grown to over 1,500 followers.

Megan received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Southern California and her J.D., cum laude, from Santa Clara University. She also holds a M.A. in Art Business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art, where she is currently Adjunct Faculty. In addition, Megan's article "von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art: The Validity of Laws Affecting Holocaust-Era Looted Art and the Statute of Limitations" was published in the summer 2009 issue of New York State Bar Association Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal.

Welcome aboard Megan! We look forward to your EASL tweets.

EASL CLE: Lending in the Sports and Entertainment Industries

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Herrick Feinstein
2 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016
518.487.5591

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Pending approval, this program will earn up to 2.0 MCLE credits in Professional Practice
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

This program will cover the elements and trends of lending in the sports and entertainment industries. It will include the following topics:

Contents of credit agreements
Credit enhancement documents
Industry, league and regulatory restrictions
Other applicable topics related to this field

SPEAKERS:

Panelist and Moderators:
Stephen Brodie, Partner, Herrick Feinstein
Nick DeFabrizio, Chief Counsel Communications, Media and Entertainment Group CIT Legal Department

Panelists:
David Zimmerman, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, NHL
Bradley Rangell, Managing Director, Team Leader, Sports Advisory, Citi Private Bank
W. Wilder Knight II, Of Counsel, Pryor Cashman LLP
Lucie Guernsey, Managing Director, Woodland Bay Capital, Inc.


INFORMATION AND POLICIES

Pre-registration is Strongly Advised: You can guarantee your seat and course materials by registering early.

Seating is limited and registrations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Cancellations are easy - full refunds are given if you cancel within 48 hours of the start of the program. Your full registration fee will be refunded if you give us notice no later 48 hours before the start of the program for which you registered. To cancel, please contact Tiffany Bardwell at One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207; or fax (518) 463-8844.

If you do not cancel and do not attend the program, a complete set of materials will be forwarded to you in consideration of the registration fee.

MCLE Credit: This program is acceptable for MCLE credit in New York.

EASL Section and NYSBA members can save a substaintal amount over non-members on CLE seminars alone. Join now and take advantage of NYSBA and EASL Section membership discounts throughout the year. If you wish to join, please contact NYSBA Customer Service Center at (800) 582-2452 and an application will be sent to you.

Tape Recording of NYSBA Seminars is not permitted.


For more information, contact: tbardwell@nysba.org


The last day to pre-register online is September 21, 2011. Register online now at our website at http://www.nysba.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Entertainment_Arts_and_Sports_Law_Home1&Template=/Conference/ConferenceDescByRegClass.cfm&ConferenceID=5003.


Members, please login to get member discounts.

September 13, 2011

Copyright Trolls and the Importance of § 512(c) Protections

By William Leef

After launching its first set of lawsuits in May 2010, copyright troll Righthaven, LLC ("Righthaven") finds itself close to declaring bankruptcy. Righthaven filed a motion last week requesting that a Nevada judge not stay an order requiring it to pay $30,000 for a defendant's legal fees. Some see this turn of events as Righthaven getting its comeuppance, yet had more websites chosen to take advantage of the "safe harbor" protections, which require little more than submission of a $105 filing fee, many of these claims would not have been able to proceed.

Contracting with newspaper groups Stephens Media (publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal) and MediaNews Group (owner of The Denver Post as well as 50 other publications), Righthaven was granted the sole right to sue on these ownership groups' behalves for copyright infringement. However, the Strategic Alliance Agreement ("SAA") between Righthaven and Stephens Media stated, "Righthaven shall have no right or license to Exploit or participate in the receipt of royalties from the Exploitation of the Stephens Media Assigned Copyrights other than the right to proceeds in association with a Recovery." The ownership groups still maintained an exclusive interest to exploit, license and distribute their own protected works.

Acting under authority granted by the SAA, Righthaven has since filed approximately 275 copyright infringement claims, finding quick settlements in many actions, against websites and media organizations both large and small. However, in a key ruling, a Federal Judge for the District of Nevada recently dismissed Righthaven as a party in its case against Democratic Underground, a satirical political blog. The dismissal and sanctions that followed will likely spell the end of the remaining cases brought by Righthaven.

In the case of Righthaven v. Democratic Underground, Righthaven alleged infringement when a Democratic Underground user posted a comment containing a link and a few paragraphs from a Las Vegas Review-Journal article about Sharon Angle and the Tea Party. Contrary to the limited grant of rights pursuant to the SAA, Righthaven went on to allege in its complaint that:

Righthaven holds the exclusive right to reproduce the Work;
Righthaven holds the exclusive right to prepare derivative works based upon the Work;
Righthaven holds the exclusive right to distribute copies of the Work; and
Righthaven holds the exclusive right to publicly display the Work
Righthaven, LLC v. Democratic Underground, LLC Case No.: 2:10-cv-01356

According to Section 501(b) of the 1976 Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §101 (2010) (the "Act") only the "legal or beneficial owner of an exclusive right under a copyright is entitled...to institute an action for any infringement..." The bare right to sue, not being one of the exclusive rights defined and limited by the Act, cannot be transferred in a manner that confers standing - a crucial requirement for anyone wishing to bring a claim for copyright infringement. In a June 14, 2011 ruling on various motions for dismissal and summary judgment, Chief District Judge Roger L. Hunt went as far as to call Righthaven's interpretation of the SAA with Stephens Media "disingenuous, if not outright deceitful." Judge Hunt ordered Righthaven dismissed from the case for lack of standing, and ordered Righthaven to show cause as to why it should not be sanctioned. On July 14, 2011, Righthaven was ordered to pay $5,000 in sanctions and to file the court transcript containing the rebuke in the other copyright cases for which it was a party.

This holding came on the heels of a May 2011 order, where a Colorado Federal Judge froze 35 pending lawsuits due to lack of standing. (Righthaven, LLC v. William Sumner and Dailykix.com, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-00222-JLK.) This past week, MediaNews Group's chief executive John Paton said that the newspaper publisher would be ending its relationship with Righthaven, which was "a dumb idea from the start" (David Kravets, Newspaper Group Drops Righthaven - 'It was a Dumb Idea,' Sept, 8 2011, http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/09/medianews-righthaven-dumb-idea/). Further. Righthaven recently requested a stay of judgment pending appeal to prevent an order that it pay $30,000 in legal fees for another infringement claim where (aside from the lack of standing), the court determined that the defendant's use of third party content qualified as a proper fair use. (Righthaven, LLC v. Wayne Hoehn, Case No.: 2:11-cv-00050-PMP-RJJ.)

While it looks as though Righthaven may soon have to declare bankruptcy, many blogs and websites could have avoided the entire ordeal by registering a DMCA takedown agent with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registration under section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires the completion and submission of an Interim Designation of Agent to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement form accompanied by a $105 check or money order. In addition to these technical requirements, immunity is enjoyed so long as the website (1) does not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the alleged infringing content, (2) does not have actual knowledge of the alleged infringement; and (3) promptly removes the infringing material once notified (See 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(1)(A)(i)-(iii)).

Plagiarismtoday.com provided some factors for determining whether a website should register an agent:

For a blog that gets relatively few comments, it probably isn't worthwhile. The comments can be easily moderated and suspicious material is usually removed long before anyone else is aware of the infringement. However, a larger forum where users upload a wide variety of content that is almost impossible to moderate may want to look at designating a DMCA agent. (Jonathan Bailey, How $105 Can Help you Avoid a Copyright Lawsuit http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2011/03/28/how-105-can-help-you-avoid-a-copyright-lawsuit/.)

It appears as if Righthaven was specifically targeting websites and media organizations that lacked § 512(c) protections. Knowing that they could potentially be subject to $150,000 in liabilities, many organizations would rather settle quickly and move on. Yet in a landscape where the risk of infringement by a user is so great, and it is nearly impossible to detect each instance of infringement, it would be in the best interest of websites that see a great deal of user comments and submissions to register a DMCA agent.





September 18, 2011

EU Extension of Copyright Term to 70 Years

By Nili Wexler

On September 12th the Ministers of the European Union voted to extend copyright protection for performances of recorded music to 70 years from the date of the original recording. EU member states will have two years in which to incorporate these changes in their national legislation.

Voting with the 17- member majority were the United Kingdom, France and Spain. In a press release, the EU elaborated on its reasoning: "[p]erformers generally start their careers young and the current term of protection of 50 years often does not protect their performances for their entire lifetime. Therefore, some performers face an income gap at the end of their lifetimes." (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/business/global/eu-extends-royalty-protection-to-music-performers-and-producers.html?_r=1.)

This decision comes after a two-year long struggle by major record labels and by artists such as Paul McCartney and Cliff Richards, who sought to protect their rights in their works which would have otherwise expired in their lifetimes. These artists, along with other star artists of the 1960s, were due to lose copyright protection in their music. In the United Kingdom, the ruling is being termed "Cliff Richards' Law", as Mr. Richards led the campaign when his 1958 hit "Move It" lost its copyright protection. Joining Mr. Richards and Mr. McCartney were nearly 40,000 other musicians.

The copyright extension presents a windfall for a music industry that has faced decreasing revenues since digital music downloading, and who anticipate increased revenue from this extension. Last year, global sales of recorded music fell by nine percent to $15.9 billion. Notably, advocates of the amended law were unsuccessful in gaining an extension to the 95 year term used in the United States.

Musicians and music company executives have greeted the extension with elation. Opera singer Placido Domingo welcomed the extension as "great news for performing artists." (http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/20110912.html.) Francis Moore, the chief executive of IFPI, cited the improvement of "conditions for new investment in talent as a benefit that will accrue to both record companies and new artists who now enjoy a prolonged copyright period." (http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/20110912.html.) Supporters of the extension have expressed that it reflects a new fairness in the recognition of performers as crucial to a song's success by narrowing the gap between the protection extended to performers and the composers and authors of the songs.

IMPALA, the Independent Music Companies Association, argues that the extension will be particularly favorable for smaller record labels and artists. Helen Smith, executive chair of IMPALA claims, "Those most affected by the extension will be [the] hundreds of thousands of individual artists and performers, as well as thousands of micro, small and medium-sized companies...at a time when certain interests seek to weaken copyright for their own purposes, this sends a vital message that the right of creators to earn a living is taken seriously by the EU." (http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110912-709354.html.)

Further, the new law includes the so-called "use it or lose it clause" to afford additional protection for the artists. This clause provides a springing copyright to artists if music companies that otherwise own the copyright fail to market the recording within "a reasonable period of time."

Not everyone is thrilled about the new law. In opposing the extension, EU member state Belgium argued that the move would largely benefit music producers over struggling musicians and artists. Belgium was joined by some industry observers in questioning how widely the benefits of the extension would be distributed. For example, Steve Gordon, a music attorney in the U.S., similarly cautions that the move may benefit recording companies, "superstar" artists who own their own recordings, and those who managed to negotiate a larger than normal royalty agreement, but that "it will probably offer little help to lesser-known artists." (http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/091111eu.)

The argument that the move is simply a boon for recording companies who will not extend these benefits to artists was echoed by Shane Richmond, a writer for The Telegraph. He argues that recording companies clearly are not concerned with the best interests of their artists, and cites the U.S. termination rights issue as an example. A 1976 amendment in the U.S. (made law in 1978) allowed artists to reclaim their rights in recordings after 35 years. Some artists may begin claiming these rights in 2013, and Richmond asserts that what is expected is "that the record labels will argue that these artists were 'work for hire' and therefore not entitled to their rights back. Labels like to talk about the rights of artists until the artists' interests' conflict with their own. How will the IFPI spin this argument? We'll see soon enough." (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8759524/Will-copyright-extensions-ever-end.html.)

Some critics went so far as to attempt to block the extension. Chris Engstrom, along with 40 other members of the European Parliament asked the EU for a review of the recent decision, but their request was denied. Engstrom criticized the extension as an effort to "keep the various lobbyists for big business happy, in this case the big record companies that own the rights to 80 percent of all music that has been recorded in history. If the copyright term extension goes through this week, they will be very happy with their politicians who delivered." (http://www.pcworld.com/article/239533/pirate_politician_calls_for_block_on_eu_copyright_extension.html)


September 19, 2011

The Google Books Project: Now the Authors File a Lawsuit Against the Libraries

By Caroline Camp

Six years after filing a lawsuit against Google, the Authors Guild has taken aim at another group involved in the Google Books Project - the libraries themselves. On September 12, 2011, the Authors Guild, along with other individual authors and associations of authors, filed a complaint against HathiTrust and five American universities for copyright infringement. (Authors Guild, et al. v HathiTrust, et al., 11 Civ 6351 (S.D.N.Y., Sep. 12, 2011)).

HathiTrust is a partnership of libraries and universities that was formed in 2008 as a central repository for digitized collections. HathiTrust now has digital collection of nearly 10 million works, most of which had been scanned by Google.

As it is now commonly known, Google had contracted with several public and university libraries to create digital archives of their library collections. Under the agreements with these libraries, Google was able to reproduce and retain digital copies. Eventually, Google planned to index the archives so users could search them in its online search engine. In the 2005 complaint, the Authors Guild alleged that these acts of reproduction were in violation of the copyright holders' rights.

The Google Books lawsuit remains unsettled. After years working on the Amended Settlement Agreement [ASA], and after some 500 letters of opposition were filed against it, Judge Denny Chin finally rejected the proposed settlement on March 23, 2011 (The Authors Guild et al. v Google Inc., 05 Civ. 8136 (S.D.N.Y.)). Chin extolled the benefits of realizing the digital books project, but determined that the ASA, in granting prospective licenses, went too far. "The establishment of a mechanism exploiting unclaimed books is a matter more suited for Congress than this Court."

In response to Chin's opinion, HathiTrust issued the following statement: "Libraries are not leaving the future of digital books to Google. In light of Judge Chin's rejection of the Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement, HathiTrust will maintain our commitment to long-term digital preservation of library collections curated by generations of librarians at great research libraries around the world." (http://www.hathitrust.org/hathitrust_asa_response).

Before the next scheduled hearing for the Google Books suit had even taken place, the Authors Guild filed a complaint against HathiTrust, seeking an injunction. "These books, because of the universities' and Google's unlawful actions, are now at needless, intolerable digital risk," said Authors Guild president Scott Turow. (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/copyright/article/48739-authors-guild-sues-libraries.html). Yet why go after the libraries themselves?

Unlike Google, the libraries may have a potential safe harbor under § 108 of the Copyright Act, as modified by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. According to a statement issued on September 15, 2011, HathiTrust's primary motive has been, and remains, preservation. However, the complaint alleges that members of HathiTrust, by contributing copies of the works in their collections to its digital library, are acting outside the limited circumstances under which libraries are permitted to reproduce and distribute copyrighted works.

In addition creating digital archives of library collections, HathiTrust has also embarked upon a related Orphan Works Project. HathiTrust and its partners claim to make great efforts to locate and contact copyright holders. If researchers are unable to make contact with the rights holders, they will publicly list the works and their relevant bibliographic information as Orphan Candidates for 90 days. If no rights holder materializes, a work is made accessible to the University of Michigan community.

HathiTrust has argued that the complaint assumes that all U.S. works published between 1923 and 1963 are in copyright, but HathiTrust's Copyright Review Management System has reviewed 200,000 such works and has found that over 50% of them are in the public domain. Systematic digitization of these works is intended to support HathiTrust's mission of sharing the record of human knowledge by making these public domain works available.

However, the benefits of the Orphan Works Project are unlikely to hold sway with the court. Judge Denny Chin rejected the ASA in large part because of the Book Rights Registry, which also addressed the problem of orphan works. "The questions of who should be entrusted with guardianship over orphan books, under what terms, and with what safeguards are matters more appropriately decided by Congress than through an agreement among private, self-interested parties." Further, he pointed out that Congress has made many efforts to address the issue of orphan works.

Perhaps it is a bit optimistic to say that the legislature is handling the matter. Orphan works legislation was first introduced in 2006, and then again in April 2008. The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act passed the Senate in September 2008 and was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, but no House vote was ever taken, the Bill never came into law, and the 110th Congress ended. No new orphan works legislation has been introduced before Congress.

Google and HathiTrust could make great strides towards a solution to the problem of orphan works, without the help of Congress. In so doing, they might violate copyrights as well as gain control over a vast array of unclaimed works. This is part of the antitrust concern evinced in the initial complaint against Google.

At the latest hearing for the Google Books case on September 15th, the parties said they would continue to negotiate an agreement (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/business/media/judge-sets-schedule-in-case-over-googles-digital-library.html). According to one New York Times reporter, the negotiations have been "damped" by news of the latest lawsuit. On September 19th, HathiTrust backed down and announced that it would suspend the release of over 100 orphan works whose copyright owners cannot be found. (http://online.wsj.com/article/AP5ab1b6b427af4629908cd835590c1feb.html).

Update on Google Books Settlement

By Mary Rasenberger

In a new twist in the Google Books case, it appears that the publishers and authors may be going separate ways. The parties had a conference with Judge Denny Chin this past Thursday September 15th. Judge Chin had admonished the parties in the last conference on July 20th to hasten their settlement discussion and to come prepared on September 15th with a new settlement agreement, and if no settlement could be reached, a discovery and briefing schedule on the merits. From the start of the conference, it was clear that the parties had not come prepared to discuss a new settlement.

Michael Boni, the attorney for the Authors Guild, commenced the conference by proposing a scheduling order that provides for discovery and briefing on Summary Judgment to be completed by the end of July 2012. Judge Chin followed up with the obvious question - whether this meant they had given up on settlement. The parties indicated that settlement discussions will continue as they proceed on the merits. Bruce Keller for the publishers and Daralyn Durie for Google stated that they were close to settlement. Keller explained that the publishers believed they had made sufficient movement forward that they did not think they would need to rely on the schedule. Durie agreed that it "appears to be probable" that they will reach a settlement. The Authors Guild did not appear as optimistic about settling, although Boni conceded that the authors would like to "continue a dialogue."

Boni and Keller also indicated that they may want to separate their cases (by filing amendments to the joint third Amended Complaint); further suggesting that the publishers may settle without the authors and the Authors Guild might proceed alone with the suit on the merits. When asked if Google was agreeable to the proposed schedule, Durie stated that Google would like to see the proposed amendments to the complaint before it agrees to the schedule.

Judge Chin agreed to the scheduling order proposed by the Authors Guild. Noting that the case would then continue for almost another year, he called the schedule "generous," but agreed with Keller that the parties may need extra room in the schedule to continue settlement discussions. The schedule will have discovery completed by the end of May and all briefs on summary judgment motions submitted by the end of July 2012. Judge Chin noted that he would pick a day for a hearing, but that they will have to find another courtroom, as he will finally lose his in the Southern District (having been promoted to the Second Circuit over a year ago).

Judge Chin seemed anxious to see a settlement in the case and asked if there was anything the court could do to help the parties reach a settlement, offering first to obtain a mediator, which was rejected by Google as unhelpful, since the discussions had thus far been among principals. He then discussed finding a new magistrate judge to assist with settlement if needed, and identified Judge James Cott, the magistrate assigned to the parallel photographers' case against Google. (Judge Chin reported that Judge Eaton, the magistrate judge originally assigned to the case, has since retired - the case was originally filed in 2005 after all.) The Authors Guild is amenable to such assistance, according to Boni, who did not think the discussions necessarily had to continue between principals of the parties, rather than the attorneys.

More GBS Litigation: Authors Guild et al. v. HathiTrust et al.

Another indication of a possible rift between the publishers and authors regarding Google Books is the complaint filed last Monday in the Southern District of New York (see: http://authorsguild.org/advocacy/articles/authors-3.attachment/authors-v-hathitrust-9834/Authors%20v.%20HathiTrust%20Complaint.pdf ) by the Authors Guild --without the publishers--against the principal libraries participating in the Google Books Search case, only several days before the awaited conference in the Google Books case. The Authors Guild, together with authors' groups from Australia, Quebec, the U.K. and a small group of authors, sued HathiTrust and 5 state universities whose libraries are participating in HathiTrust's digital repository, 4 of which have also joined a consortium of HathiTrust members called the HathiTrust Orphan Works Project.

Although key participants in the Google Books Search project (as Google scanned books in the libraries' collections to create the Google Books Search database), the libraries were not part of the Google Books litigation and only participated in the periphery of settlement discussions. Pursuant to separate agreements with Google, each participating library had agreed to let Google scan the books in its library and Google in return agreed to provide the library digital copies of the scans to use for its own purposes. The HathiTrust, a partnership of more than 50 research institutions, was formed to combine the partners' digital libraries, which are comprised largely of the Google scans delivered to the libraries thus far, to create a shared digital repository. According the authors' complaint, approximately 73% of the 10 million volumes already in this digital collection, called the HathiTrust Digital Library, are protected by copyright.

Users can search bibliographic data of the scanned works in the HathiTrust Digital Library and can search the texts for the number of times a search term appears. In addition, full access to works identified as "orphaned" is provided to authorized users. The Orphan Works Project was initiated by HathiTrust to identify those works for which a copyright owner could not be found and to make those works available online through the HathiTrust Digital Library. Using a modified version of the "reasonable search" requirement outlined in the several iterations of the never-enacted orphan works legislation, the Orphan Works Project, led by the University of Michigan library, is researching the ownership status of various works. According to the HathiTrust's protocol, if a copyright owner cannot be identified through a specified multi-step diligence process, the HathiTrust will then post the work on a HathiTrust Orphan Candidates webpage for 90 days. If no copyright owner comes forward during that 90 day period, the work is made available for "full" view to authenticated users of the universities' libraries, including students, faculty, other staff and possibly alumni.

The complaint alleges infringement of the reproduction right by virtue of the various copies of copyrighted works in the HathiTrust Digital Library made in the course of scanning, ingesting, storing and preserving digital copies, providing back-ups and access to bibliographic data or search and, in the case of the designated orphans, full viewing. In addition, the complaint alleges unauthorized distribution, presumably of the designated "orphans." The authors also noted concerns with the security employed by the HathiTrust against further copying and distribution of the works in the HathiTrust repository. Wherein the proposed Google Books Settlement, rejected by Judge Chin, the authors and publishers had negotiated an agreement with Google to provide specific robust security measures; it is not clear how the works will be protected in this repository.

Oddly, the complaint also alleges violations of § 108 of the Copyright Act, which contains specific exceptions applicable to libraries and archives, including for preservation of unpublished works, making replacement copies of damaged or destroyed published works and for certain inter-library loans. One condition to the preservation and replacement exceptions is that any digital copies not be made available outside of the premises of the library or archive. While the activities of the HathiTrust alleged in the compliant are certainly outside the scope of what is permitted under § 108, it is difficult to see how those acts are "violations" of § 108 rather than violations of the § 106 reproduction, distribution and display rights that fail to qualify under the § 108 exceptions. (Section 108 sets out exceptions, not a basis for a separate cause of action.) It is all the more peculiar in that § 108(f)(4) expressly states that nothing in § 108 "in any way affects the right of fair use as provided by section 107." Fair use, of course, is the defense the HathiTrust and participating libraries are relying upon (in addition to the fact they are each state entities and so protected from damages by sovereign immunity).

In the meantime, according to the Authors Guild, it, its members, and others have identified or found leads to the owners of the literary property rights to 50 of the 167 or so books that the Orphan Books Project had already identified as orphaned and was ready to be made available next month. In a statement (located at: http://www.lib.umich.edu/news/u-m-library-statement-orphan-works-project) released last Friday by the University of Michigan Library, the Library announced the temporary suspension of the Orphan Works project due to errors that had been discovered, stating: "The close and welcome scrutiny of the list of potential orphan works has revealed a number of errors, some of them serious. This tells us that our pilot process is flawed." Michigan promised to re-examine its procedures for identifying orphans, explaining that it has no intention to make available any works that are not in fact orphaned. In the statement, the library explained: "The widespread dissemination of the list [on the HathiTrust Orphan Candidates webpage] has had the intended effect: rights holders have been identified, which is in fact the project's primary goal. And as a result of the design of our process, our mistakes have not resulted in the exposure of even one page of in-copyright material."

Stay tuned...

*Submitted by Mary Rasenberger, Partner, Cowan DeBaets Abrahams and Sheppard.

**Any views expressed in this blog are personal views of the author and not of Cowan DeBaets or any client of the firm.

September 21, 2011

Richard Prince's Appeal Allowed to Go Forward

By Judith B. Bass

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals last week refused to dismiss appropriation artist Richard Prince's appeal of the district court ruling that found that Prince had violated the copyright of photographer Patrick Cariou in using Cariou's photographs in a series of collages and paintings known as "Canal Zone."

In March, Judge Deborah A. Batts of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York found that Prince's use of 41 of Cariou's photographs was not allowable as a fair use. Specifically, she held that Prince's use was not transformative in that it did not comment on the original works. The court then ordered all unsold copies of Prince's "Canal Zone" paintings to be impounded or destroyed, as the plaintiff determined. The defendants were also required to notify current or future owners of the paintings that they could not "lawfully be displayed."

In refusing to grant Cariou's motion to dismiss Prince's appeal, the Second Circuit stated that the questions raised by the case remained "a continuing controversy capable of redress by this Court." See http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/court-allows-richard-prince-to-appeal-copyright-decision/.

September 23, 2011

Minority Attorneys: You're An Up and Coming Talent - Be More, Do More and Discover More By Reaching For The Leader Within You

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 6:00 pm-9:30 pm

Registration:
There is no charge for this program.
To Register: https://www.nycbar.org/EventsCalendar/register/?event=1707&price=1431

This seminar is aimed at enabling lawyers of color to determine effective ways to manage their career advancement and success by learning how to unlock the keys to the leader within. It can help you to tap your potential to bring more of your creativity, intelligence and ideas into your job role. Come to meet and hear how your peers in the legal community are achieving career success, satisfaction and fulfillment through their involvement and leadership in organizations, corporations, law firms, professional associations, affinity groups, academia, public interest, faith-based and civic affiliations and board membership. Learn how they use their leadership to their advantage and how their leadership activities have contributed to their career enhancement and success. Learn about the opportunities and exciting challenges in professional and civic association involvement that can and will bring you more career success. Each attendee will leave with a personalized action plan entitled Five Rules For Leadership Success that they can execute immediately. Breakout group leaders will be available to assist you in implementing your Five Rules For Leadership Success Plan.

Moderator:VERA SULLIVAN, M.A., President and Founder Diversityforce LLC

Speakers:RAKHI BAHADKAR, Senior Regulatory Services Consultant, New York Life Insurance Company; MICHAEL I. BERNSTEIN, Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC; VINCENT T.CHANG, Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch LLP; City Bar Diversity Champion 2011; MARGO G. FERRANDINO, Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC; THOMAS JACKSON, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, EdisonLearning, Inc.; STEPHEN C. ROBINSON, Skadden, Arps, Meagher, Flom & Affiliates; Chair, Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession

Sponsored by:
Committee on Minorities in the Profession, Jeanine Conley, Chair

Co-Sponsored by:
NYSBA Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section, Committee on Diversity; Asian American Bar Association of New York; Association of Black Women Attorneys; Metropolitan Black Bar Association; New York City Bar's Committee To Enhance Diversity In The Profession


September 30, 2011

Remarks from the Chair

By Judith B. Prowda

There have been several exciting new developments this spring. One of EASL's most pressing themes is diversity. In response to President Vincent Doyle's initiative, EASL was among the first Sections to form a Diversity Challenge Team, initially comprised of Anne Atkinson, Rakhi Bahadkar, Elissa Hecker, Jessica Thaler, Rosemarie Tully and myself. As a member of the House of Delegates, I was thrilled to hear our Section lauded for our commitment to diversity at the House of Delegates meeting on June 25th.

We were already focusing our attention to diversity, creating a Diversity Committee in early spring, chaired by Anne Atkinson. Anne was recently appointed as Co-Chair of the Membership & Diversity Committee, which has been split into two Committees, with Rosemarie Tully and Jessica Thaler as Co-Chairs of the Membership Committee and Anne as Chair of the Diversity Committee. Anne will be building on her experience on the Executive Committee of the NYSBA Corporate Counsel Section, where she has been involved in diversity initiatives. Rosemarie and Jessica will continue in their roles building membership, which continues to grow as attorneys recognize the enormous value of EASL in their practices. In the coming year, we will be developing a comprehensive diversity plan, including expanding diversity of Section membership through CLE programs and other events such as networking opportunities. We are committed to participating fully in President Doyle's Diversity Challenge and welcome your ideas of how we can achieve our goals. Throughout the spring, the Section has held numerous programs of importance. An excellent double-feature on entertainment law was held in May. Professor Stan Soocher of the University of Colorado, Denver, presented two informative and lively programs. On May 16th he discussed legal developments in the film and television industries in a program organized by the Motion Pictures Committee (Steve Rodner and Mary Ann Zimmer, Co-Chairs) and the Television & Radio Committee (Pamela Jones and Barry Skidelsky, Co-Chairs). The following week, Professor Soocher delivered his essential lecture, "Entertainment Law - Year in Review", at our Spring Meeting on May 24th, which was organized by EASL Program Co-Chair Tracey Greco Meyer.
Our Theatre and Performing Arts Committee (Diane Krausz and Jason Baruch, Co-Chairs) hosted a program on June 20th, entitled "Revisiting Form D - Theatrical Offerings and What You Need to know," featuring attorneys Gary Emmanuel and Mark Beigelman. This event was held at UBS.

In April, our Fine Arts Committee, which I chair, organized a behind the scenes tour of Sotheby's, Inc., where we met with auction house specialists and toured the American Art and Photography exhibits. The following month, we held a panel, entitled "Fair Use and Visual Art: Recent Developments," which I moderated. This was a lively and engaging discussion on two recent cases focusing on copyright infringement and fair use involving photographers and visual artists: Patrick Cariou v. Richard Prince, Gagosian Gallery, Inc., Lawrence Gagosian, and Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29070 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 11, 2011); and Shepard Fairey and Obey Giant Art v. The Associated Press, Civil Action No.: 09-01234, filed 2/9/09 (S.D.N.Y.). Panelists included Judith B. Bass (Law Office of Judith B. Bass), Daniel Brooks (Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP), Meir Feder (Jones Day), and Claudia Ray (Kirkland & Ellis LLP).

The following month, the EASL Lawyers in Transition Committee (Leila Amineddoleh, Stephanie Khalifa, Co-Chairs) joined forces with the Fine Arts Committee to offer an informative program on cultural heritage property, entitled "A Snapshot of Cultural Heritage Property Law." This popular event featured Evan Barr (Steptoe & Johnson), Darlene Fairman (Herrick Feinstein) James McAndrew (former Senior Special Agent with U.S. Department of Homeland Security and currently Forensic Specialist at the law firm of Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP); and Jane Levine (Senior Vice President and Worldwide Director of Compliance for Sotheby's).
In late spring we participated in a full day joint CLE program co-sponsored by EASL, the Intellectual Property Section and the NYSBA Committee on Continuing Legal Education. This program, entitled "Putting it Together: An Introduction to Entertainment Law Practice," was co-chaired by Diane Krausz and Kimberly Ayers Shariff (Chair, EASL's In-House Counsel Committee). Among the featured participants in this program were Howard Siegel (Former Chair), Stephen B. Rodner (Co-Chair, EASL's Motion Picture Committee), Marc Jacobson (Founding Chairman), Carla Miller (Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Universal Music Group), Tom Ostertag (Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Major League Baseball), Stanley Pierre-Louis (Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Intellectual Property & Content Protection, Viacom Inc. and Co-Chair, EASL Litigation Committee), Lesley Rosenthal (Vice President and General Counsel, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.), Mark Merriman (Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz, P.C.), Carter Ann McGowan (Sendroff and Baruch, LLP), and Hal Lieberman (Hinshaw and Culbertson, LP). The panels were expertly moderated by Rosemarie Tully (Vice Chair), Kimberly Ayers Shariff, Diane Krausz and Jason Baruch.

Our partnership with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) continues to blossom. On June 25th, the Pro Bono Committee provided speakers from the EASL Section for NYFA's Artist as Entrepreneur Boot Camp on copyright, contract, and trademark law, and organized breakout groups for various arts disciplines. Future collaborations between EASL and NYFA will include a program on Insurance Law Issues for NYFA's BUILD Program recipients (grant to help dance companies increase their administrative capacities) and pro bono litigations. EASL is also running a Pro Bono Clinic on August 10th for qualifying NYFA members. (Please see the Pro Bono Update for details).

On a more social note, Jessica Thaler, Co-Chair of our Membership & Diversity Committee, organized a splendid wine tasting at Villa Berulia in Manhattan in June. The restaurant paired a different wine with each of five courses. It was such a success that we will be holding similar events in the future.

It's an ongoing pleasure to welcome new liaisons from the Young Lawyers Section for the 2011-2012 term - Ethan Boardman, Jaimie Glover and Rakhi Bahadkar. This makes a grand total of five YLS liaisons, including Jason Aylesworth and Ezgi Kaya for the 2010-2011 term. Our enthusiastic Young Lawyers Liaison Committee organized a first ever Bowl and Mingle event on May 16th, which almost instantaneously sold out and was a rousing success. It was great fun, but please don't ask me my score!

Looking forward to the fall, we have a number of terrific events already in the works. A fabulous CLE program on financing in the sports and entertainment industries will be held during the week of September 19th. Speakers include a sports banker and an entertainment banker, a lender's counsel and a borrower's counsel. Jessica Thaler, who organized the outstanding panel, will also serve as Moderator.

Of course, the fall would not be complete without our Fall Program. Stay tuned for details about our events

In closing, I note several transitions in the Executive Committee. Bennett Liebman will be leaving his position as Co-Chair of the Legislation Committee in order to accept a position in State government. Bennett has been a steady and reliable EASL resource in Albany for many years, with extraordinary insight into legislative matters. Bennett has also served on the House of Delegates with distinction. Hopefully, Bennett will continue in his role as District Representative from the Third Judicial District. Tracey Greco Meyer stepped down as Program Co-Chair after five years of excellent service. We wish her well in her new position as Corporate Counsel and Director, Product Compliance at Ross Stores, Inc. I also acknowledge our outgoing Program Co-Chair Rachel DeLetto, who did such a fabulous job on the 2010 CMJ-EASL Fall Program. Our new Program Co-Chairs are Diane Krausz and our Liaison from the Young Lawyers Section, Ethan Boardman. Another wonderful addition to our Executive Committee is Judith B. Bass as Co-Chair of EASL's Literary Works Committee with Ken Swezey. In addition, our energetic and resourceful Law Student Liaison from Cardozo, Irina Tarsis, has been appointed as Litigation Coordinator for EASL's Pro Bono Committee, replacing Monica Pa, who stepped down early this year to accept a position at Disney in Los Angeles.

Finally, I thank our trusted liaisons in Albany, Dan McMahon and Leslie Scully, who have worked alongside many of us for the past year and a half. Although they are sadly leaving us as liaisons, they will fortunately continue to work with us on publications. We look forward to a productive relationship with Tiffany Bardwell, our new Section Liaison. Warm welcome to Ethan, Irina, Judy and Tiffany!

I hope to see many of you at our events in the fall! Please continue to e-mail me your ideas at judithprowda@aol.com.

About September 2011

This page contains all entries posted to The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Blog in September 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2011 is the previous archive.

October 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.