Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Copyright Society & Network of Bar Leaders

I spent a terrific weekend at the annual meeting of the Copyright Society of the USA. On the bus ride up I got to sit next to Joyce Creidy, a classmate of mine from Fordham Law school who is the mother of twins and recently landed a job with Thomson Compumark. Joyce really knows everybody and convinced me to join the intellectual property section of the New York State Bar Association. Not like I don't have enough bar association memberships!

The most interesting presentation of the weekend was on documentary films. Check out the Center for social media's Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use. It's really tough for documentary filmmakers to get clearances when bits and pieces of copyrighted works appear naturally in their works. Fair use is a delicate and highly controversial issue. It is highly politicized and people take very extreme positions. On the political "right" of copyright, there is no "right" of fair use, it is only a defense. On the political "left" of copyright, almost every creative work should be free and communal. An attorney from Paramount Pictures characterized the above cited Statement of Best Practices as being like Winona Ryder writing a book on best practices in shoplifting. So it was a fun panel!

My partner Dan Marotta was sworn in as President of the Network of Bar Leaders last night at a ceremony at Tavern on the Green. New York State's Chief Judge Judith Kaye. United States District Judge Eric Vitaliano (EDNY) swore him in. It was amazing - about 90 people attended. Many distinguished judges and bar association presidents were there. The best part for me was being seated next to actress Linda Fiorentino who is just the most terrific person! Dan will make a great President.

On my way to the swearing in, I ran into Jonathan Tasini. He is running for US Senator for the seat occupied by Senator Hillary Clinton. We walked together for a few blocks, had a good talk, and I complimented him on his campaign's achievements and visibility. I support his position on the war.

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