Friday Links

  • The image above is the cover of House of Mystery #149, published way, way back in 1965, which features a story entitled “I Was Tried By An Insect Jury.” Note that the criminal defendant, a human apparently representing himself (most certainly a bad idea in insect court, no doubt), has just been sentenced to death. Surely there was a “jury of peers” objection? (Kudos to Ryan S. of The Signal Watch for alerting us to this comic cover).

  • Jonathan Adler at The Volokh Conspiracy shares with us the books he’s planning to read in 2011. It’s mostly non-fiction, but hey, he’s a law professor, so that’s okay. We’d suggest he add George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones to the list, as HBO will be premiering an original series based on that work this coming spring. That, or World War Z.
  • Best judicial opinion ever? “The gist of the copyright dispute between the parties is whether Plaintiff’s virtual horses infringe on copyrights associated with Defendant’s virtual bunnies.” Amaretto Ranch Breedables v. Ozimals, Inc., 2010 WL 5387774 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2010). Yes, you guessed it; it’s a case involving the virtual world of Second Life. (Hat Tip: Eric Goldman of the Technology and Marketing Law Blog).
  • We’re big fans of Bob Dylan’s work (“My Back Pages” is sublime), but we must confess to enjoying this recent news which, to be honest, might have resulted in some of the most interesting litigation imaginable. Here’s the story from Stereogum: “. . . a guy with backstage credentials for a nearby Bob Dylan concert walked into Antonio’s, pizza place close to the venue, and ordered $3,900 worth of pizza. The place closed at 2 a.m. but he promised them a big tip, so they stayed until 5:30 in the jingle-jangle morning making the pizzas. But the guy never returned to pick up his order or pay for it. And it turned out he had no affiliation with Bob Dylan. The guy got away with the prank, and most of the pizza ended up in the trash after the pizza place called the police. But the paper says he later felt bad and and turned himself in, got a lawyer, and has settled with the pizza place. Since it’s not a criminal matter and he’s agreed to pay, they haven’t released his name.” Alas; the Bob Dylan Pizza Litigation That Never Came To Be. That reads like an apparent authority exam question, no? (Hat Tip: Stereogum via the Amherst Bulletin).
  • Did you know that this week marks the 32nd anniversary of the murder trial of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious? We didn’t either, until we were alerted by this piece from The Post Punk Progressive Pop Party blog which is not, by the way, a law blog. Apparently, Vicious did not live long enough to see a verdict, as he died just a month after the trial began.
  • “Why should not the hundreds of millions of Americans in 2011 have the opportunity of witnessing representations of the principals events of 1911?” – G.F. Blaisdell of Brooklyn, New York, in this letter to the editor of The New York Times, published on July 19, 1911. Mr. Blaisdell was writing in response to “Records for Posterity,” an editorial published by The Times on July 13, 1911. Both the editorial and the letter were commenting upon efforts at that time to preserve video and audio records of the day for future generations.

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