Posts by Law Law Land




The Scariest Day of the Year…for Legal Claims Too

We here at Law Law Land are big fans of Halloween, the drunkest, sluttiest, most creative and fun-loving holiday of the year.  Law Law Land HQ itself is awash in cat ears and warlock coats today, and your editor is looking forward to a heaven-vs.-hell, angel-vs.-devil ping pong grudge match of epic proportions tonight.  But if you’re looking for a real fright on Halloween night, just consider some of the following truly scary cases and claims.

If the Past Is Never Dead, Does That Mean the Past Is Undead?

William Faulkner famously wrote, “The past is never dead.  It’s not even past.”  Woody Allen-mouthpiece Owen Wilson less-famously said, in 2011’s Midnight in Paris, “The past is not dead!  Actually, it’s not even past.  You know who said that?  Faulkner.  And he was right.  And I met him, too.  I ran into him at a dinner party.”  And Faulkner’s estate is now infamously saying that, if you use Faulkner’s line (ish) in a movie, with attribution, you have broken the law.

Faulkner’s estate is suing Sony Pictures Classics for copyright infringement and trademark infringement, claiming that Midnight in Paris’s misquote of Faulkner’s famous aphorism from 1950’s Requiem for a Nun not only infringes their copyright, but also violates the federal trademark statute by deceiving viewers into believing that the movie was affiliated, endorsed, or authorized by the Faulkner estate.  So are Sony’s lawyers running scared into the night?  Not likely.  But the distant howls you might be hearing are actually the pained wails of frustrated intellectual property law professors everywhere.

(Special kudos to the usually-dry-as-a-skeleton Courthouse News Service for observing, “at risk of offending the shade, or estate, of Charles Dickens:  This is a far, far weirder thing than Sony has ever done.”) Continue reading the full story . . . »



A(nother) Law Law Land Thank You, and the Top 11 of Twenty 11

I don’t know where this “Terrible Twos” thing comes from, because here at Law Law Land, we’ve had a fantastic second year — thanks, as always, to you, our dear readers.  We’ve laughed together.  We’ve cried together.  We’ve made vaguely inappropriate pornography-related puns together.  We’ve said goodbye to some old bloggers, and hello to some new ones.  We’ve launched our new site, and made impossible promises for the next.  We’ve seen our unorthodox campaign strategy for repeating as the Blawg 100 champions — which is, the strategy of actively trying not to repeat as champions — succeed beyond our wildest dreams.  Yep, all in all, it’s been a fine year.  I think this deserves yet another round of applause, don’t you?  (As always, Corey Haim knows what to do.)

 

So we’re rewarding ourselves by taking the rest of the holiday season off, and seeing you in 2012.  But before we go, we wanted to bring back a post we enjoyed from last year (and let’s face it, it’s really about what we like, amiright?) — like our site, of course, updated for the times.  And so, we present to you the Top 11 of Twenty 11:  the eleven most popular Law Law Land posts of 2011, as chosen by you, the readers, with your browser clicks. This year’s list is the model of equanimity:  our 11 entries come from 10 authors and cover virtually the entire universe of Law Law Land content.  We are nothing if not eclectic here at Law Law Land, and apparently, that goes for our readers too.  In reverse order: Continue reading the full story . . . »



Welcome to the New Law Law Land: Same Same But Different!

“We can rebuild him.  We have the technology.” – Richard Anderson, as Oscar Goldman, The Six Million Dollar Man

“You know, let’s put it this way:  if all the people in Hollywood who have had plastic surgery, if they went on vacation, there wouldn’t be a person left in town.” – Michael Jackson

Dear readers, our first holiday gift to you of the season has arrived:  it’s the new us.  Do you like it?  We hope you do.

Like any self-respecting residents of Hollywood, we decided it was time to get a little work done.  We’ll admit it:  as we started approaching our second birthday — positively geriatric by Hollywood standards! — all those little wrinkles and pockets of flab started getting to us.  (And did you see the drop shadow on those border lines?  So 2009.)  Of course, we like to keep it tasteful here at Law Law Land, and we’re firm believers that, when you go under the knife, you want to look refreshed, not redone.  Just a little nip and tuck.  That’s why our new site retains all the classic Law Law Land charm (not to mention the “awesomely bad” humor you know and love), just in a cleaner, more contemporary format.

But as your mom always told you (probably while obsessing over her appearance), it’s what’s inside that counts, and that’s where the new site truly shines.  A more powerful and effective search engine.  Easier shareability in any social media platform you could ask for.  Smart recommendations on related content you might be interested in.  A better subscription and notification system.  A built-in barista.*  It’s like going in for a face lift, and coming out with a new and improved brain.  You know, since they were in there already.

So thanks to all of you for sticking with us long enough to make it to Law Law Land Version 2.0.  We can’t make any promises for what Version 3.0 will someday bring, but we think it’s safe to say it will involve providing each and every one of our readers with the secret to inner peace.**

 

*  Built-in barista not available on all any computer systems.

**  Law Law Land Version 3.0 will not provide any of our readers with the secret to inner peace.



BREAKING NEWS: Law Law Land Nominated for Award We’ve Totally Heard of This Time

For the second year in a row, the editors of the ABA Journal have nominated Law Law Land to their Blawg 100, the nation’s most prestigious annual list of legal blogs, which beats out such other, only slightly less prestigious annual lists of legal blogs as…okay, we are not aware of any other annual lists of legal blogs. This year, the ABA Journal says it received 1,300 nominations for the Blawg 100, so we would like to thank the 1,201 of you who nominated Law Law Land for this year’s list. As for the remaining 99 Blawg 100 nominators…really, what are you doing with your time on the Internet?

Yet again, Law Law Land has been nominated in the “For Fun” category, where we are joined by some beloved comrades from last year’s list (CorporotteLowering the BarThe Namby Pamby Attorney at LawThe Prime-Time Crime Review), our arch-enemies from last year’s list (the incorrigible rogues at That’s What She Said), and a couple of distinguished newcomers, who we just can’t wait to subject to the annual Blawg 100 rookie hazing (Law and the MultiverseConstitutional Daily). We are not, on the other hand, joined by the roughly 3,400 legal blogs we already defeated just to make it this far. (Take, that, Fordham University School of Law Intellectual Property, Media, & Entertainment Law Journal Blog!)

The way this normally works, we invite you to head over to the ABA Journal website, register, and vote for us. And those of you who followed last year’s race closely may recall how we unceremoniously crushed the competition, ringing up more votes than any other blog on the list, in any category. You may expect that we’re gearing up for a repeat run, or that we’d be out for vengeance against the ABA Journal editors, who have deemed our unique brand of humor “awesomely bad” (we prefer to think of ourselves as “badly awesome”; anyhow, the ABA editors can’t even imagine the jokes that don’t make it onto the blog).

But we’re strong believers in term limits, and besides, mailing out all those 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupons as bribes is exhausting. (Plus, last year, we couldn’t get a lousy ShoeDini for Hanukkah, while this year, we’re rolling in ill-begotten bounty from companies who don’t bother to check on the content of blogs before sending free samples to their editors — thanks, Clinique, my skin has never looked more rejuvenated!). So we heartily encourage you to find your favorite underdog and hack into the ABA Journal’s website so that you can spend all 12 of your votes on them. That way, some happy newcomer can experience the joy of victory, while we lean back and bask in our past glories. Don’t worry about us. We just discovered this video on YouTube…

 

…so we’ll be just fine.



And Now for Some Shameless Self-Promotion

Last year, you, our dear and faithful readers, not only catapulted Law Law Land to victory (not to mention glory and legend) in the “For Fun” category of the ABA Journal’s 4th Annual “Blawg 100″ awards, you made us the highest vote-getter among 100 beloved legal blogs nominated across 12 largely arbitrary categories. Remember when that happened? That was awesome.

If you want to relive the glory days of Law Law Land’s victorious 2010 Blawg 100 campaign (and if you’ve seen what the stock market, American political climate, and general quality of television programming have looked like over the last month, why wouldn’t you?), the ABA Journal is currently taking nominations for its 2011 “Blawg 100.” If you’re a lawyer or law student who enjoys our shtick and/or thinks that the site looks great with these festive-looking ABA Journal badges on the page, we would be honored by your nomination. So-called “friend-of-the-blawg briefs” are due no later than Sept. 9, 2011.

 



Law Law Land’s Aaron Moss on Barely Legal Radio

Last week, our very own Aaron Moss broke down the recent spat between Best Buy and Newegg.com, which began when Newegg ran a new TV commercial in which, as Best Buy puts it, “a fake Best Buy employee is depicted as being slovenly and uninformed about computer products.” (Scathing!) Aaron’s post caught the eye of radio host Joe Escalante, whose glittering resume also includes entries such as “bassist of punk rock group the Vandals,” “entertainment lawyer,” “network television executive,” “filmmaker,” and — most importantly, of course — “long-time Law Law Land reader.” And Joe kindly invited Aaron to discuss the issue further on last week’s episode of Barely Legal Radio. You can listen to that interview here:

Part 1 of 2:

Part 2 of 2:

If you haven’t checked it out, Barely Legal Radio is Joe’s weekly take on entertainment law issues. The show looks at hot news stories, provides free answers to live and pre-submitted viewer questions, and is the perfect airwave-based complement to the written analysis you find here at Law Law Land. Plus, Joe is clearly a man of distinguished taste and judgment, having previously invited our own Rachel Valadez on his show to discuss her post about the Mike Tyson/Hangover 2 face tattoo lawsuit.

Barely Legal Radio airs on Sundays at 5 pm on KTLK AM 1150 in Los Angeles, Fridays at 11 am PST on Indie1031.com, and Fridays at 2 pm PST on weezer.com. Continue reading the full story . . . »



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