Author: Biederman Blog Editors

Biederman Blog ranks among top 50 copyright blogs

Well, that’s good news to be thankful for: The Biederman Blog has been ranked among the “best copyright law blogs on the planet” by Feedspot, a global content-sharing enterprise. Feedspot said it reviewed thousands of sites that it indexes before rating the Southwestern Law School student-run project No. 30 among its top 52 blogs focusing on copyright law, a key component of Entertainment Law practice, based on its: reputation and search ranking by Google; influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites; quality and consistency of posts; and the company’s editorial team and expert review. The...

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Ollivierra, Lind named Institute co-directors

Southwestern Law School has announced that faculty members Neil Ollivierra and Robert Lind will serve as the new co-directors of the nationally recognized Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute. Lind is a Southwestern icon, renowned entertainment law expert, prolific author of preeminent texts and treatises, and a mentor and champion of students and alums alike. Prior to his appointment at Southwestern,  Ollivierra served as in-house counsel to various motion picture and television studios at the highest level of business and legal affairs, including Lionsgate Entertainment (The Hunger Games, The Twilight franchise, Orange Is the New Black, Mad Men) and EuropaCorp (Lucy, Taken, The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita). Together, their combined expertise, experience, passion and industry affiliations will help to ensure the continued success and growth of the Institute in the spirit of its beloved namesake, Donald E. Biederman. He was a highly admired teacher, scholar, and pioneer in the world of entertainment and media law and the Institute’s founding director. Neil Ollivierra Ollivierra, who is new to the full-time faculty, is also an accomplished software developer and musical and visual artist. He has designed complex databases for creative, legal, accounting and physical production executives at film and television studios, and with respect to his musical endeavors he has toured and recorded throughout North America, Europe and Japan. His paintings have been acquired by corporate entities and private collectors...

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RIP, to a celebrated force in Entertainment Law

Let there be no doubt: the Purple Reign, which has ended tragically all too soon, affected Entertainment Law and many of its practitioners. Prince Rogers Nelson, 57, not only played the role of path-breaking artist, musician, fashionista, and trend-setter, he also was, as various media have noted, an innovator deeply concerned about intellectual property and the legal protection of creative works. He rocked the recording industry with his willingness to contest its talent representation practices and contracts, which he saw as creative constraints that kept him from controlling his own works. He fought, perhaps to excess, to ensure that his copyrights were enforced. He took a principled stand about the creator’s sovereignty, even in the face of rapidly changing technological advance, becoming one of the prominent hold-outs against what he saw as the penurious payments by online streaming services to musicians, lyricists, and composers. In doing all this and much, much more, he generated lots of work for Entertainment lawyers in Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, and elsewhere. As he a client, just as he was a giant of his craft, he was sui generis, and he will be much missed, practitioners have recalled. RIP, sweet...

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Law school Entertainment Law alum honored

Some good news for a member of Southwestern’s Entertainment Law community: Nate Hargress, LL.M. ’09, is the 2016 recipient of the Rising Star Award from the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel (AMEC). He will receive his award at the AMEC’s 11th Annual Counsel of the Year Awards. Before joining Viacom Media Networks in January 2016 as senior counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, Hargress spent five years with Discovery Communications as an attorney in Legal and Business Affairs. He also serves as chair of the AMEC Emerging Leaders Advisory Board. “Winning the award means a great deal to me, especially since I didn’t really know anyone when I first came to Los Angeles from Michigan,” Hargress explained. “My first time in Los Angeles was when I came to visit Southwestern. Now, to receive such an honor from the entertainment law community is truly humbling.” Hargress also credited Southwestern’s LL.M. program in Entertainment and Media Law for bolstering his career opportunities. “Southwestern prepared me for career success by offering a multitude of courses focusing on entertainment,” he said. “Because of my diverse coursework, I felt comfortable dealing with issues in music, television, film and new media.” AMEC was formed in late 2005 by prominent entertainment attorneys and studio executives. It is designed to support the career development and honor the achievements of in-house counsel and business affairs attorneys at major entertainment...

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‘Oh, Really?’ It’s tough to ‘Get away with murder’

  In ‘Oh, Really?’ the Biederman Blog’s editors and alumni— voracious consumers of all matters pop culture — cast a curious, skeptical, fun and smart end-of-the-week eye on popular productions, sharing their keen observations about legal matters these raise. This guest post was contributed by Sherrie Fields, a former editor of the blog and new member of the California Bar. How To Get Away With Murder is the latest prime time hit to be produced by television titan Shondra Rhimes’ and it has fast become a Thursday night staple following Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.  Similar to Rhimes’ other shows, Murder is chalk full of drama, suspense, love triangles, and sex. Viola Davis portrays Annalise Keating, an emotionally messy and conflicted but cunning lawyer, a role for which she won Best Actress at the most recent Emmy awards. In between the steamy sex scenes, Keating finds time to teach a course on criminal law, while running a highly successful criminal defense practice. Five of her students have earned coveted internships with her law firm and must assist Keating in representing clients in each episode, in which they invariably find themselves in precarious and scandalous situations. While the television series is highly entertaining, as a recent Southwestern Law School graduate,  some aspects of the show require suspending  knowledge of a true first-year law school experience. Do any 1L’s lead lives with this much drama?...

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