This article originally appeared in the 12/12/13 issue of Metroland
Copyright issues rarely rise above
blog chatter and me bitchin’ about things here.
Rarely do they take center stage in a significant public forum.
But lookie here! Troy represents!
“A Visit From St. Nicholas”) was first published anonymously in a Troy
newspaper (The Sentinel
) in 1823.
A NYC scholar named Moore claimed credit for
writing it; then the descendants of a Hudson Valley farmer named Livingston said
no, Livingston wrote it.
The debate has
raged on ever since.
will be finally determined, sort of, at a public jury trial at the Rensselaer County
Courthouse next Wednesday, December 18, at 6 PM.
Representing Moore will be E. Stewart Jones,
who for as long as I’ve been a lawyer has been the Dean of the Bar
To hear Stu talk in a
courtroom is the lawyerly equivalent of hearing Pavarotti sing at the Met.
Representing Livingston will be lawyer,
novelist, lovable rogue, parliamentarian, and singer-songwriter Jack Casey (I
understand that he’s also quite the dancer!).
Jack will be ably assisted by his daughter Molly, who’s also a lawyer
and who probably won’t be rocking that little black dress she wears whilst
walking around to cool music on the Glenn Slingerland Situation, although hope
does spring eternal.
The trial will be held in The John T. Casey Ceremonial Court, named
after Jack’s dad, which kind of gives Livingston the home field advantage.
will be chosen from the spectators in the courtroom; the judge will be retired
judge Bud Malone, music will be provided during jury deliberations by the great
This is gonna be
Get there early.
See you there!
Last time here we were talking about
that Goldiblox / Beastie Boys brouhaha, were a little smart-girl toy company
used a parody of a Beasties song in a YouTube that went all kinds of
The same day my article ran
Goldiblox announced that it had been unaware of dead Beasties Adam Rauch’s
wishes that no Beasties song would ever be used in a commercial, and that in
deference to him it was pulling the Youtube.
Goldiblox expressed love and admiration for all things Beastie.
This week, the Beasties countersued Goldiblox
(which had run to federal court a couple weeks ago seeking a declaration that
its YouTube wasn’t infringement, but rather fair use), alleging copyright
infringement, trademark infringement, unfair business practices, and a
violation of a New York law barring the unauthorized use of someone’s name or
likeness in advertising.
It’s this last
claim that I opined could be Goldiblox’s Achilles Heel.
You’re welcome Beasties.
Beasties are asking for mountains of money, claiming that Goldiblox’s sales
have skyrocketed because of the controversy, and that the Beasties are entitled
to gazillions in profits, damages, attorneys' fees, etc. and so on.
it’s not over.
It appears that it’s just
Watch this space.
Finally, there is some
mainstream press about the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the
secret negotiations with various multi-national trade organizations like the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) and the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Area
The USTR has long been a
corporate shill who brings home onerous trade treaties that are rammed down a
willing Congress’ throat.
But it looks
like the bloom may be falling off the rose.
These negotiations are always secret, but leaks indicate that the US is
becoming increasingly isolated in its absurdly pro-corporate positions on
things like corporate sovereignty (where corporations are deemed “corporate
states” and granted equal footing with nations in trade disputes), maximalist
copyright and patent laws (where developing nations lose the right to develop
their own IP laws, and must protect corporate interests over the interests of
their own citizens), and a host of other issues.
all been under the radar since forever, but a couple of weeks ago The Holy See
(speaking more or less for the new improved Vatican at a World Trade
Organization conference) derided the entire process as tyrannical, as a driver
of growing income inequality, and of ceding control of the world economy from
countries to corporations.
Like a lot
of the wonderful things coming out of the Vatican these days (I never thought
I’d ever say anything like this!), The Holy See’s comments got a lot of
attention, to the dismay of the world fascist cabal.
negotiations continue around the world.
When queried this week
on the need for secrecy, the USTR said, essentially, that people were generally
too stupid to understand the issues or the process.
started ringing the bell on income inequality.
It’s time for him walk the walk, and end the travesty that’s being
carried out in our name.
Paul Rapp is a local
intellectual property attorney who’s not “all ready for the holidays” and never