Friday Links

  • Intellectual Property Examination Question: Suppose the students at Ole Miss are successful in changing their school mascot to Admiral Ackbar from Return of the Jedi. (See here for the full story, or if you’d like to see the websites of the students behind the effort, see here and here). What causes of action might George Lucas have against the school, and if he could make money selling Ole Miss toys, would he bother to assert them? Better yet: What claims would the government Mon Calamari, Admiral Ackbar’s home world, have against Ole Miss under the circumstances? The potential for speculation is endless. (We here at Abnormal Use are still contemplating our suit against Mr. Lucas for his perpetration of the alleged Star Wars prequels, which we believe were, as a matter of law, unreasonably dangerous and defective.).
  • Bruce is in legal news again. Decided: The Findlaw Noteworthy Decisions and Settlements Blog reports on the Ticketmaster settlement with the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of Bruce Springsteen concert ticket holders. The post also includes links to the FTC complaint, warning letter, and news release regarding the settlement. Can you count all the references to Springsteen songs in the piece? Surely, though, a reference to “The Price You Pay” would have been appropriate?
  • If you’re a South Carolina lawyer, and you’re a member of a rock band (or, presumably, any other type of band), here’s a unique networking opportunity for you. From this week’s South Carolina YLD Email Newsletter: “The Young Lawyers Division is calling upon talented lawyer-musicians to participate in this year’s Justice Jam, scheduled for April 30 at the Elbow Room in Columbia. Proceeds will benefit Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. Bands of all flavors are encouraged to submit a demo for consideration. The only qualification is that bands have at least one attorney member. Please send MP3s to Travis Olmert at travis.olmert@carterlawpa.com or CD demos to Travis at Carter, Smith, Merriam, Rogers & Traxler, PA, P.O. Box 10828, Greenville, SC 29603. All demos should be submitted on or before March 22. Remember, only send a MP3 or demo if your band is willing to play. The lineup will be chosen and announced by April 2.”
  • “[T]his court recognizes the ubiquity of computers today in the workplace, in schools, public institutions, and in government, and the prevalence of agreements and policies governing such use. Many of these impose unrealistic rules honored in the breach. It takes no imagination to conjure up a multitude of trivial and not so trivial violations that take place every day in the workplace. Workers use workplace computers for personal use in violation of requirements that they use their computers for business only. Workers violate policies prohibiting access to social networking sites. Reportedly, fifty-four percent of companies ban workers from accessing social networking sites like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, yet seventy-seven percent of workers with a Facebook account use it during work hours. S. Gaudin, Study: 54% of companies ban Facebook, Twitter at work, Computerworld (Oct. 6, 2009).” State v. Riley, — A.2d —-, 2009 WL 5879349, at *13 (N.J. Super. Ct. Oct 30, 2009) (but apparently released to Westlaw only this week).
  • This past Wednesday, South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean H. Toal delivered the State of the Judiciary Address. An archived video of the speech can be seen here, along with a PDF version of her PowerPoint presentation slides. News coverage of the speech focused upon Justice Toal’s statement that the South Carolina courts were running on fumes financially and that tough decisions lay ahead. (For additional news coverage of her speech, see here and here). (Hat tip: South Carolina Access to Justice Commission).

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