Curiosities

The best things we found this week.

When the Virtual School Year Ends, Who Owns the Intellectual Property?

I taught Art Law at Queens University in Fall 2020. It was a wonderful experience, and I truly enjoyed the challenges presented by virtual teaching. But I had one small, engaged cohort, I’m a trained actress and laid-back teacher, and I’m an intellectual property law expert.   

In-person and recorded instruction are different. Recorded instruction feels different. It takes different skills. It’s received differently. And it’s treated differently under copyright law!

This is a great summation for non-experts. It prompts the reader with questions to consider and questions to ask when navigating this new challenge.

Therapy, Mental Health, and Death Positivity

“We live in a world where death is everywhere…”

We’ve talked about my obsession with the death positive movement and The Order of the Good Death, right? (If you’re an estate client, this will be familiar!)

The death positive movement facilitates conversations about our own deaths and the deaths of others; enables platforms for such conversations; aims to demystify death, dying, rituals, and corpses; and seeks to help us use the inevitability of death to be more present and attentive in our lives. 

Yet, not everyone is a death enthusiast. One would think a mental health provider would be the ideal interlocutor for death-positive exploration, but this isn’t always the case. How do you bring up death in therapy and cultivate a positive approach? How does one start a positive conversation about death with a therapist – one that won’t prompt one’s counselor to hit that panic button? (If you know, you know.)

Caroline Reilly is a fellow death-positive lawyer and therapy enthusiast. Here, she tells her own relatable story and succinctly explains the death-positive movement.

Supreme Court Will Take on the Copyright Case Between Fabric Maker Unicolors and Fast Fashion Giant H&M

The Supreme Court doesn’t hear copyright cases, especially fashion cases. The last SCOTUS fashion case was a big hit with my students – they found the doctrine of conceptual separability irresistible. Here’s the main issue is whether the “knowing” inclusion of inaccurate information in a copyright registration application is enough to warrant invalidation of that registration. This is a David v. Goliath situation, testing another arcane principle, and yet it’s deeply relevant to every client. 

How Do I License My Creative Design?

I spend a lot of time explaining what a license is (and isn’t.) Lawyer Kelly Trager clearly answers key questions such as “How much control do I still have over my design?”, provides points to consider when negotiating a licensing agreement, and suggests licensing opportunities you may not have considered.

That said…I do not recommend downloading agreement templates off the internet. Especially licensing agreements.

The most contentious disputes I resolve always start with downloaded agreements. In every instance, the parties didn’t really comprehend what they created or signed, they didn’t come to a mutual understanding before starting work, and their lack of connection led to a painful breakdown. You know I love a good template, but licensing agreements often require unique-to-you guidance.

Just because your early career was hell doesn’t mean others’ has to be

Anne-Helen Petersen writes something that moves my soul every week. This week was especially timely. My wonderful new assistant, Morasha, started work on Tuesday. She just graduated from college, and I am determined to make her post-graduate work experience entirely different from mine (and, likely, yours).

Last week, someone asked how I plan to “leverage” Morasha’s time. I stared blankly and said, “Could you repeat the question?” Harvard Business Review is my favorite magazine, but this is a feminist, progressive, law firm. We don’t take advice from Tim Ferriss. We take advice from Silvia Federici, Brené Brown, and Jenn Armbrust.

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