Posts by Amber M. Burroff

Amber Burroff is a litigation associate at Greenberg Glusker with a focus in entertainment and media. Amber also specializes in business litigation and bankruptcy matters. Amber joined the firm in 2011 after serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Ernest M. Robles of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. During her tenure at the court, Judge Robles facilitated the reorganization of multiple major entertainment and real estate companies. Before her clerkship, she served on the Board of the Ecology Law Quarterly at UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). While at Boalt, Amber worked as a research assistant to Professor Peter S. Menell, Faculty Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, where she had the opportunity to assist in the preparation of articles on cutting-edge intellectual property issues. She also completed an externship with the Honorable Robin L. Riblet of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. Prior to law school, Amber earned her undergraduate degree from Western Washington University where she studied the integration of theatre performance techniques with trial skills. She spent several years performing in regional theaters and in independent films, with favorite roles including Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Denise Savage in John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo.



It’s a Merry .XXXmas for the Most Unlikely Players in the Internet’s Newly Minted Red Light District

It appears I’ve found a blogging niche:  the seedy, salacious, saucy legal topics everyone is too scared (or maybe smart) to write about.  (And this topic doubles as a nice relief from the usual “holiday shopper gets mauled in battle over the last available Let’s Rock Elmo“ headlines.)  Colleges, universities and businesses spent this holiday season shopping for a special kind of XXXmas gift — the gift of a good name.

On December 6, 2011, the new domain extension .xxx was gobbled up by the most unusual suspects, with more than 55,000 new names registered within the first 24 hours.  The .xxx top level domain (TLD) was designed — prepare to be shocked here — exclusively for adult entertainment content.  But ICM Registry, which is operating the new TLD, also opened up registrations to other organizations looking to protect their trademarks from scandalous misuse — or from those nefarious “cybersquatters” who might be looking for a buck NOT to put the domains to no good (like the brilliant entrepreneur who, in the wonder years of the Internet, operated WhiteHouse.com as a porn site (the real website is WhiteHouse.gov).

In other words, the Internet’s new red light district is open for business to those who were naughty OR nice this Christmas.  But are the nice kids who come to the new .xxx marketplace late going to be at the mercy of the fast movers on the naughty list? Continue reading the full story . . . »



Oh Dakota! Why Can’t We Keep Our Dirty Eyes Off You?

The first time I saw Dakota Fanning’s now-infamous ad for Marc Jacobs’ new Oh Lola! fragrance was on the back of a Cosmopolitan resting in the hands of my 19-year old baby sister. My immediate reaction was “OMG…is that Dakota Fanning?! No way she’s grown up that fast!” Then my gaze shifted to the circus-caliber trait that Dakota and I happen to have in common (no, it’s not our shocking good looks) — double-jointed elbows. (God, I love it when celebrities are weird like me.)

 

At no point in my perusal of the ad did it even cross my mind that it was too provocative, or, as the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (or ASA) deemed it — right before they decided to ban it altogether — “likely to cause serious offense.” Clearly, like most Americans, my virgin eyes were long ago deflowered by the ubiquitous sextravagent media, and my tolerance for the “sexually provocative” has been fully developed since adolescence. Even taking a closer gander, I’m still unsure what all the fuss is about: pretty in pink lies the acclaimed child star who grew up right before my very eyes, seductively poised with a perfume bottle sculpted in the shape of a flower perched precariously (and euphemistically) between her upper thighs. (No rhyme intended. It’s not my fault Dakota’s soothing quasi-innocence makes me wax poetic. Blame Marc Jacobs.)

Whether the Brits’ better-developed campaign for a cleaner consciousness is a product of American overexposure to a steady stream of underage girls prancing around in mini-skirts and flaunting what their mommas (very recently) gave them, or a function of their more tightly-regulated media environment, I couldn’t help but think: what would the law say if Americans decided to summon the same outrage over Dakota’s Oh Lola! pose as the British censors apparently had? Continue reading the full story . . . »



Lessons Learned as a Lawsuit Over Cult-Classic Porno-Chic Flicks Is Prematurely Evacuated

Remember the “senior superlatives” from your high school yearbook? Maybe you were voted “most likely to succeed” or “most likely to be a rock star.” Me? My dear classmates graciously awarded my best friend and me the title of “Most Likely To Be in an X-Rated Movie.” (It was unclear whether we were supposed to star in it together or what.) At the time, I pretended it was a compliment, smiled and curtseyed, and then secretly vowed to spend the rest of my life proving them wrong. Well Bellingham High School Class of 2002, now I realize what you actually meant to say: Amber M. Burroff, “Most Likely To Write a Sassy and Salacious Legal Blog About an X-Rated Movie.”

So, here’s the scoop. In April 2009, Arrow Productions, Inc., owner and distributor of Deep Throat — a tastefully-titled carnal classic whose plot (the sexual adventures of a sexually frustrated woman who is in search of the saucy secret to the female orgasm) is surpassed in greatness only by its tagline (“How far does a girl have to go to untangle her tingle?”) — filed suit against VCX Ltd. and its owner, David Sutton, alleging a variety of claims for copyright and trademark infringement arising out of VCX’s unauthorized distribution of Deep Throat. According to Arrow’s complaint, VCX and Arrow are both in the business of “selling prerecorded sexually oriented motion pictures for personal home use, presently and, in recent years, in DVD format and previously in VHS videotape format.” (Translation: “we sell porn.”) And in addition to competing for sales of Deep Throat, Arrow and VCX have both long distributed one of the other seminal classics of the “Golden Age of Porn,” Debbie Does Dallas.

Last month, though, after two and a half years of down-and-dirty legal combat, Arrow and VCX suddenly settled the lawsuit, with the parties agreeing that Arrow would hold the exclusive rights to Deep Throat, while VCX would move forward as the exclusive distributor of Debbie Does Dallas. So now that this long-running battle over two titans of adult film history has come to a sudden and anti-climactic finish, what lessons can we learn? Continue reading the full story . . . »



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