• Archive for April, 2011

    Legal Link: Prince wants to make covering songs illegal

    by  • April 25, 2011 • Faculty Commentary • 0 Comments

    By Christopher Buccafusco

    From the A/V Club:

    Prince, the world’s biggest Prince fan, has a reputation for maintaining a tyrannical hold over his music, even going so far as to sue his own devotees for using his songs and likenesses in their worshipful websites, and also take them away from toddlers. Now he’s out to extend that imperial control even further, saying during an interview on George Lopez’s Lopez Tonight that he’d like to see the laws changed to ensure that no one can cover one of his songs. Remarking on the compulsory licensing of copyright that allows artists to rework other artists’ hits, Prince said, “That doesn’t exist in any other art form, be it books, movies. There’s only one version of Law And Order. There’s several versions of ‘Kiss’ and ‘Purple Rain’.”

    Read the rest of the article, with links to the interview here.

    (h/t 3L Alex Quinn)

    New Article by Ed Lee

    by  • April 12, 2011 • Scholarship • 0 Comments

    Ed Lee just posted a new paper to SSRN, The Global Trade Mark. Here's the abstract:

    This Article offers a proposal for WTO countries to adopt global IP rights for a special class of trademarks: famous or well-known marks. Well-known marks are well-suited for greater departure from the territoriality principle, given the transnational protections for well-known marks that already exist under the Paris Convention and TRIPS Agreement. This Article proposes creating a Global Trademark (GTM) for well-known marks, to be governed by one, uniform international law. The GTM will span all countries in the WTO. The GTM is inspired, in part, by the Community Trade Mark (CTM) in the European Union, the first truly transnational IP form. While the CTM is regional in scope, the GTM will be international.

    This Article proceeds in five Parts. Part I discusses the theory behind the Global Trade Mark (GTM) and why it is worth adopting today. Part II discusses the outlines of the proposed Global Trade Mark Treaty, whose signal feature will be to establish a uniform body of international law to govern the GTM and an International Court of the GTM to resolve conflicts over its interpretation. Part III discusses the two Pathways by which a trademark can be registered as a GTM: (1) international registration of an existing famous mark that is famous in a certain threshold number of countries (here under a proposed Rule of 7 countries, the formula of which is discussed below), or (2) an "intent-to-develop" registration of a mark an owner intends to make famous under the Rule of 7 countries within a prescribed time of 10 years. Part IV discusses enforcement of GTMs in national courts and post-registration issues, including abandonment and genericide. Part V addresses objections.

    Read the full article here.

    New Article by Sheldon Nahmod

    by  • April 6, 2011 • Scholarship • 0 Comments

    Sheldon Nahmod's new article, Justice Souter on Government Speech, has been posted to SSRN. It was recently published in a 2010 volume of the Brigham Young University Law Review. Here's the abstract:

    Justice David Souter, who replaced Justice William Brennan, was seated on October 3, 1990, and retired on June 29, 2009. As it turns out, Justice Souter’s tenure coincided exactly with the birth and development of the government speech doctrine in the Supreme Court. Rust v. Sullivan was handed down in 1991, and the most recent case, Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, was handed down in 2009.

    This Article is modest in scope and primarily descriptive. I propose to address each of the nine Supreme Court decisions in which government speech is discussed either by the Court or by Justice Souter, with an emphasis on Justice Souter’s often differing and cautionary observations about the doctrine. I do not engage here at a normative level with the government speech doctrine, even though I am worried about the Court’s increasing use of the doctrine to avoid difficult First Amendment issues.

    Read the full article here.

    Oyez Project iPhone App

    by  • April 1, 2011 • Scholarship • 0 Comments

    The Oyez Project and Chicago-Kent College of Law have released a free new iPhone app, OyezToday that allows users easy access to information about the current Supreme Court docket, including opinions and oral argument audio and transcripts.  

    A press release with more information is available here – or you can go to the iPhone app store to download your own copy of the app.