Hannah Kiddoo and Lindsay Stafford Mader 2015-04-25 04:19:14
DRONES AND PRIVACY “They are the present and are quickly becoming the future.” “When I first started working for President Obama, drones were just a blip on the radar,” said Lisa Ellman, who helped craft administration policies on the use of drones in the United States. “Now they are everywhere. They are the present and are quickly becoming the future.” Ellman spoke about what she sees as smart and nonsensical guidelines as well as the worthy and concerning usages of the flying super machines. “I believe the key to good policymaking in this area is polivation—policymakers and innovators working together,” Ellman said in the panel “Privacy in the Age of Drone Fever.” The uses for drones range from toys to tools of war, and among the possible positive functions, Ellman mentioned drones’ potential to dust crops, film movies from high vantage points, or drop medications in rural areas. But, she said, while America leads the world in producing the technology, it follows in areas of implementation. “Drones will help America hold on to our competitive advantage.” Many Americans are wary of drones’ ability to survey private areas of life. Most of the machines can photograph anything from homes to employees skipping work to shop at the mall. Ellman pointed out that when cameras were first invented, people feared that others would take their picture without consent. “It makes sense that, decades later, we worry that drones will be used to spy on us in our own backyards.” Ellman believes that smart policy should enable drones to perform beneficial services while also addressing privacy concerns. When crafting legislation, she said, it’s important to avoid duplicating laws that already guard the public, such as Fourth Amendment protections against warrantless searches as well as existing trespassing laws. Looking to the future, Ellman said that property owners could have rights to the sky above their homes, and she predicted that Congress will pass legislation allowing commercial use of drones by 2017. Another point that must be addressed, she said, is the criticism from laborers such as pilots who worry that drones will take their work. “There are drawbacks,” she said, “but we have to remember that many problems have solutions.” LSM CYBERBULLYING When Lizzie Velasquez stumbled upon a YouTube video of herself titled “The World’s Ugliest Woman,” she decided to take a stand against bullying. She made waves with an inspirational TEDx talk in 2013 and has presented her message on stages around the world. A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, which debuted at SXSW, documents Velasquez’s journey and her current discussions with lawmakers regarding the federal Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would help prohibit bullying and harassment in educational environments. HK POST-SNOWDEN “This started as a discussion about the NSA … but it has morphed into something a little bit broader and different.” The two years since Edward Snowden’s leaks on the National Security Agency have ushered in policy reports, legislative proposals, lawsuits regarding data collection, and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. But perhaps most prevailing are the conversations that everyday people continue to have about security and surveillance. During “What’s Next? Surveillance Reform Post-Snowden,” Hanni Fakhoury, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Robert Chesney, director of the University of Texas Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, examined lingering questions about the use and effectiveness of the NSA, as well as examples of government transparency, such as the Tumblr account “IC on the Record,” that have enabled informed debates about national programs. “This started as a discussion about the NSA and about that kind of surveillance, but it has morphed into something a little bit broader and different,” Fakhoury said. HK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY “Have I created a very popular film?” If you’re a filmmaker wondering if you will be sued, ask yourself, “Have I created a very popular film?” That message came off loud and clear during “Intellectual Property in Film and Interactive Media,” where Akin Gump attorneys Kellie Marie Johnson and Charles Everingham discussed the increasingly sophisticated use of marketing and product placement. Every integrated ad comes with a host of legal issues, they explained, with brands wanting exposure, producers wanting to protect content quality, and talent wanting to protect its image. But even perfectly crafted contracts can have holes or lead to unforeseen issues. HK CROWDFUNDING During “Other People’s Money: Investors and Crowdfunding,” Minnesota lawyer Dan Satorius discussed changes to the way filmmakers can receive investments. In compliance with the 2012 Jobs Act, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted an amendment to Rule 506 of Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933. The 2013 update allows general solicitation for offerings if investors can be verified as accredited. Previously, companies were not allowed to advertise offerings, including announcements in newspapers or online. HK TECH “A lot of that stuff can be automated.” According to panelists of “Will Your Next Lawyer Be a Machine?” it is a scary time for attorneys who don’t embrace a technologically driven future—but an incredible one for lawyers who do (often referred to as “legal hackers”). Nicole Bradick, chief strategy officer of CuroLegal, said the historical firm model poses a problem because inefficiencies that increase billable hours are encouraged. Bradick predicted that in a decade, most firms will likely be billing flat fees due to consumer demand. So saving time is key, and this is where technology steps in. “The recognition now is that when you break a huge matter down into all of its parts, not every part is complex. A lot of that stuff can be automated.” Co-panelist Noah Waisberg, CEO of Kira Inc., said studies have shown that his company’s system can analyze e-discovery documents “better, faster, and cheaper” for clients with up to 150,000 pages or as few as 50, which saves junior lawyers time and clients money. “This technological change is great for consumers,” Waisberg said, with Bradick echoing the sentiment by sharing her favorite legal quote: “The law doesn’t exist to employ lawyers; the focus must be on the consumer.” LSM JUSTICE SYSTEM REFORMATION “There has to be more to life than this.” Panelists of “We Deserve a Second Chance: Ex-Prisoners Speak” discussed the flaws of the country’s prison system. Shaka Senghor, who served 19 years, said that people don’t realize that “at some point these men and women will return to our community.” Senghor made the choice to educate himself, but he recognized that spaces in the corrections system that foster such transformation are rare. Yusef Shakur (above), who was incarcerated for nine years for a crime he didn’t commit, said that prison focuses on oppression and not on changing behavior. He noted the importance of defendants and prisoners having effective lawyers. “It is the only way people have a fighting chance,” Shakur said. Chris Wilson, who was 17 when he was sentenced to life, spoke of feeling that “there has to be more to life than this” and making a plan to change, which included eschewing profanity and educating himself. All panelists voiced support for removing the former-conviction question from job applications. LSM STREAMING “It’s just not right. It’s not fair. And it’s also not legal.” “Still Screaming about Streaming” panelists debated the ongoing review of consent decrees by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Jay Rosenthal, a partner in Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp in Washington, D.C., who served as general counsel to the National Music Publishers’ Association, expressed hope that the evaluation will lead to a reform of what he sees as an unfair rate structure. “We are now in a position where the value of music compositions are so low that songwriters are leaving,” he said. But Kenneth Steinthal, a partner in King & Spalding in San Francisco, California, who represented Pandora in trial court proceedings against ASCAP and BMI, said that concerns about a disparity are ironic and selfinflicted. “Publishers just rake in cash; they don’t invest,” Steinthal said. “Sound recording companies invest millions and millions of dollars in artists and everybody else. Therefore, you have to look at the sound recording performance in the broader context of our industry, which is fundamentally different than the publishing industry.” “Unhappy Together—The Turtles with Sirius XM” focused on recent courtroom battles between artists and streaming services, which do not pay for performing pre-1972 recordings due to a lack of federal statutory copyright protection. Panelist Henry Gradstein, a partner in Gradstein & Marzano in Los Angeles and lead attorney for the band the Turtles in the class actions against Sirius XM and Pandora, maintained that selling a record does not mean copyright laws are lost. “It’s just not right. It’s not fair. And it’s also not legal.” HK FOURTH AMENDMENT “Justice is just a beautifully crafted hunk of bronze.” At the panel “The Silk Road Case: Impacting Our Digital Future,” Lyn Ulbricht expressed displeasure with her son’s recent conviction for operating the online marketplace Silk Road. She said she was outraged when her son’s defense attorney was “banned” from asking a witness questions that suggested another individual was suspected to be the mastermind. She was also disappointed that the judge didn’t allow the defense to introduce expert bitcoin witnesses. Ulbricht told the audience that her son’s conviction brings up important Fourth Amendment questions concerning the extent of search warrants for computers and the government’s right to access Silk Road servers in Iceland with no warrant. She said she now thinks that “justice is just a beautifully crafted hunk of bronze,” referring to a statue outside the New York courthouse where her son’s trial took place. LSM --- Producers take audiences under the hood of the Internet with the Silk Road-centered documentary Deep Web. Interviews with everyone from professors and cybercrime investigators to open-source programmers and digital drug vendors provide a glimpse into the philosophy behind and minutiae of Silk Road, including bitcoin transactions, post-shutdown reiterations of the site, and arguments against the war on drugs. Deep Web also addresses some of the questions that surrounded the high-profile case and resulting conviction—including Ulbricht’s Fourth Amendment rights, admissible evidence, and the possibility of multiple users with the Dread Pirate Roberts moniker. The film premiers May 31 on Epix. HK LITIGATION UPDATE “When was the last copyright infringement case that got this much media attention?” D’Lesli Davis, a partner in the Dallas office of Norton Rose Fulbright, and Stan Soocher, an associate professor of music and entertainment industry studies at the University of Colorado Denver, reviewed some pressing entertainment law matters during “Litigation: The Cases We Need to Know.” Give it up. Just days before SXSW, a court awarded $7.3 million to the family of Marvin Gaye, which had sued singers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for allegedly stealing elements from one of Gaye’s classic songs. “When was the last copyright infringement case that got this much media attention?” Soocher asked. “Maybe not any because of social media.” Davis, who was previously a partner in the firm representing the Gayes, said that despite Thicke and Williams clinging to the idea that a ruling against them would squelch future creativity, an attorney for Gaye’s family maintained they had proved that the melodic elements of the 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” were copied from Gaye’s 1977 tune “Got To Give It Up.” Gaga for the law. Before Lady Gaga (right) became famous, her producer Rob Fusari made an oral agreement to split his revenues from the singer with Wendy Starland, who discovered Gaga. But according to Starland, Fusari didn’t follow through, so she sued him. A federal court granted Starland more than $7 million. Such spoken deals are common, the panelists noted, but they don’t usually have such big names behind them. “How many times do you hear from your potential clients about deals like that, and they just don’t come to fruition?” posed Davis. “But how scary is it that this $7.4 million finding was riding on that one person’s testimony of one side of a conversation?” Train to nowhere. When DVDs of the TV show Soul Train featuring Blue Notes band member Jeremiah Cummings were sold and distributed, Cummings sued, noting that he had not signed an agreement to use his likeness or identity and that the recordings had been misused. These cases are tested under state law, explained Soocher, so while Cummings filed suit in New York, as a resident of Illinois, his case was considered under the Illinois Right of Publicity Act. The court ruled that Cummings’s specific exception overrides any right of publicity and the case was dismissed. HK
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