Where, exactly, do I get off calling my blog, Instagram, etc. “Rocklawbster”? Well, let me explain.
I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m an attorney, and that I practice in the intellectual property field (among others), which includes working with patents, trademarks, and copyrights. For most of my career to date, I’ve specifically worked as a music attorney, with an emphasis on recognizing and pursuing copyright infringement. So I guess I think I’m being pretty darn witty by working my love of music and law into the name. And then there’s that B-52’s song “Rock Lobster”, so yeah, homonyms! Extra witty.
I have a great love of intellectual property law because it requires that the practitioner understand and appreciate the balance that needs to be struck between protecting creative works in order to allow creators to make a living thereby encouraging creativity and overprotecting creative works which can stifle creativity by limiting creators and punishing them for seeking inspiration. It is a delicate system and I adore the policy arguments that can be made about the merits and demerits of our intellectual property laws. I’m a big old IP nerd.
Over the summer, I was fortunate to be asked to co-author an article on the infamous “Blurred Lines” copyright infringement ruling. When the decision came down in March 2015, people in the legal profession and music biz were up in arms. The case concerned the Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines” and its alleged unauthorized and illegal copying of the Marvin Gaye song “Got To Give It Up“. The jury found that Thicke and his co-writer Pharell Williams did infringe and they were ordered to pay $4 million in damages and $3.37 million in earned profits to Gaye’s heirs.
In the article I authored for Landslide Magazine that was just published, I got to explore the practical implications of this major ruling for the music business and for intellectual property professionals. In essence, I take the stance that the circumstances of this particular case were pretty unique and thus, so was the outcome, so there probably won’t be much effect on the world of copyright going forward. In other words, “meh”.
Read all about it here.