* Can a shoe infringe on copyright? [Fashionista]
* Maybe there IS such a thing as bad publicity. Business ain’t so hot for “TB Andy” right now. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Some Chemerinskygate updates. [TaxProf Blog; TaxProf Blog]
* Thinking of a career as a professional blogger? Read this first. [Career Journal]
* Can a shoe infringe on copyright? [Fashionista]
In case you’re not familiar with it, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is an intellectual property law firm headquartered in Chicago, with approximately 150 lawyers firmwide. A tipster recently wrote to us: “Word on the street is that Brinks no-offered half their SA class.”
Here’s the posting on Greedy Chicago cited by this source:
To confirm, I was in their 2007 summer class that included 16 people in Chicago, and at least 8 of us, perhaps more, did not get offers to come back. I’m probably biased towards myself, but I can honestly say that the other people who did not get offers are very competent people who worked very hard during the summer.
The reasons that we all received for not receiving offers were absolutely ludicrous and obviously cooked up. What’s worse is that we were all told throughout the summer that we were doing a great job (some of us did not hear a word of “constructive criticism” all summer). A lot of shady stuff took place over the summer, and I’m happy to provide more info to anybody who is interested
From our source: “I want to know what other firms are cutting back!”
You’re not alone! Here’s an open thread for discussion of firms that (1) “no-offered” sizable portions of their summer classes or (2) didn’t extend offers to summer associates for dubious reasons.
Please discuss, in the comments. But please do NOT identify any individual summer associates by name. Thanks.
Re: Brinks troubles? [Greedy Chicago / Infirmation]
- Advertising, Blog Wars, Blogging, Crime, Intellectual Property, Larry Craig, Law Schools, Non-Sequiturs
* News you can use: “Latin phrases law students should know, but likely don’t.” [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Two angry pharmacists walk into a bar. [Concurring Opinions; NY Personal Injury Law Blog]
* Methinks Senator Craig doth protest too much. [Blogonaut]
* And what about his daughter? She may have been a bad girl too. [Washington Wire and The Smoking Gun (both via Blogonaut)]
* A consumer law firm resorts to product placement. Is this better or worse than having a theme song? [National Law Journal (now registration free, thanks to yours truly)]
* Miranda Priestly at the MoMA? That’s all. [Althouse (last photo)]
* And did she mention that it’s NOT a beauty pageant? [WSJ Law Blog]
Please see the short parody video posted below. Is this a casebook-ready example of “fair use,” or what?
To ChurchHatesTucker, who produced the video: You are a genius and a god.
(Please note that we had no hand in making this video. ChurchHatesTucker acted sua sponte, after reading this Techdirt story.)
Update: Blawg Review, quoting from Nixon Peabody’s own Copyright & Internet Law Glossary, explains why the video is fair use over here.
Re. Nixon Peabody [YouTube]
- Bad Ideas, Blogging, Copyright, Intellectual Property, Music, Nixon Peabody, Rank Stupidity, Ridiculousness, YouTube
Sadly, the humorless crew over at Nixon Peabody has had their fabulous law firm song — which, mind you, is NOT a theme song — pulled from YouTube. See here.
Even if it’s gone from YouTube, you can still access “Everyone’s A Winner” as a plain-vanilla MP3 file. Just click here. We incorporate by reference all of our prior commentary on the song.
This memorable tune will also live on in the blogosphere. Numerous fine websites and blogs picked up on the story of the Nixon Peabody song controversy. Here are a few links:
1. Law Firms, the Blogosphere, and Unexpected Attention [Volokh Conspiracy (Orin Kerr)]
2. That ridiculous Nixon Peabody “theme song” was for real [Daily Intelligencer / New York Magazine]
3. Wow. Big law is so lame. With a capital “L” [Legal Antics (Nicole Black)]
4. Nixon Peabody Throws Fantastic Tantrum: Threatens Blogger Over Leaked Song [Keeping Up With Jonas]
5. Blogger contends posting silly leaked law firm song is fair use [ZDNet (Denise Howell)]
6. Everyone’s a Winner (or, Friday Music Blog) [PrawfsBlawg (Liz Glazer)]
7. Sorry, but no one involved is a winner [IPTAblog (Andrew Raff)]
8. Best/Worst Law Firm Song. Ever. [the (non)billable hour (Matt Homann)]
9. OMG…The Worst Song Ever [Two Guitar Heroes and a Cat]
10. Everyone Is A Winner At Nixon Peabody [The Dish Daily]
11. Nobody Is Above the Law [Galley Slaves (Jonathan Last)]
If you know of a link that’s missing, feel free to email us, and we can add it. Thanks!
Update: Additional links:
12. Sure, your firm just gave you a $25k raise, but do you have a theme song? [Sophistic Miltonian Serbonian Blog]
13. Law Firm Going Crazy to Keep Its Corporate Song Off the Internet [The Startup Lawyer]
14. Law Firm Freaks Out That Ridiculous Corporate Song Leaked Out To Blogs [Techdirt]
15. Re. Nixon Peabody [YouTube (ChurchHatesTucker)]
Everyone’s A Winner at Nixon Peabody (mp3 file)
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Nixon Peabody (scroll down)
- Advertising, Bad Ideas, Copyright, Intellectual Property, Music, Nixon Peabody, Rank Stupidity, YouTube
“This song was put together in celebration of Nixon Peabody’s Fortune 100 ‘Best Places to Work’ recognition. Nixon Peabody aims to be the best law firm to work with and the best law firm to work for. Fun is not prohibited here.”
Fair enough. But then we spoke with two firm spokespersons by telephone. They called us.
It wasn’t a very “[f]un” conversation. They weren’t happy campers. Even if they may be winners, since “everyone’s a winner at Nixon Peabody.”
They emphasized that the song was internal to the firm and is protected by copyright. They also insisted that it is NOT a “theme song” — in any way, shape or form.
They demanded to know who sent the song to us. We informed them that we don’t reveal our sources, unless served with a subpoena (and maybe not even then — a Judy Miller-style jail stint might be good publicity for ATL).
They asserted copyright over the song and asked us to take it down, from our site and from YouTube. We stated our view that posting and commenting on the song constitutes fair use. It also falls within our newsgathering mission as a media organization.
We explained that our site is all about law firms and the legal profession. They said: “We know what you’re about.”
They claimed the person who leaked this song is “in a fight” with Nixon Peabody, and menacingly stated that they (meaning NP) “don’t intend to let this thing lie.” We informed them that we have no desire to get involved in the firm’s purported dispute with this unnamed individual. And that’s where we left things.
More thoughts after the jump.
As law firms around the country raise associate starting salaries to $160,000, some people are wondering: What about intellectual property shops?
We don’t think there’s much to this story. It’s our understanding that most top IP firms are already at $160K (and have been there for quite some time). As everyone knows, IP is hot these days.
But it appears that some IP firms are just arriving at the party (even if the biggies have been there for a while). For example:
As far as I know, it is the first Chicago IP firm to raise to 160k.
Feel free to discuss associate compensation at IP firms in the comments. Thanks.
We received an interesting email about a month ago. We meant to write about it back then, but never got around to it. But since we haven’t read about it elsewhere (please correct us if we’re wrong), we figure it’s still fair game for discussion.
Here’s the start of the email. It’s from John Quinn, name partner of litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel.
From: John Quinn
we have a possible solution to a problem that we want to run by all of you. its controversial–or has the potential to be such–so we don’t want to consider it further if it will be a problem.
our firm desparately needs more patent litigators with electrical engineering degrees. its not just that we have more and more cases calling for that expertise. we also have clients who insist on staffing their cases with electrical engineers. we are beyond capacity limited in this area. its to the point that we are being instructed to off load some work to other firms that have ee degrees. the truth of the matter is that we could probably put a dozen of these people to work right now if we had them.
we have constantly been looking for people with this credential. unfortunately, so are alot of other firms. the demand clearly exceeds the supply.
You can probably guess where this is going. Read the rest of John Quinn’s email, after the jump.
From Vulture / NYM:
Seventies power-pop band the Rubinoos sues Avril Lavigne, claiming her cheerleader-rock song “Girlfriend” sounds like their 1978 track “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” Curiously, neither Toni Basil nor the Ramones, both of whom the song gloriously does rip off, are party to the suit.
Wondering if the Rubinoos’ suit has merit? You be the judge:
In our opinion, other than the “hey hey you you” part — words that, of course, appear in 27 percent of all pop songs — we don’t think the two works sound that similar. But that’s just our opinion.
Avril Lavigne’s Music Sounds Likes Other People’s Music [Vulture / New York Magazine]
Seventies Band Sues Lavigne Over ‘Girlfriend’ [Billboard.com]
AVRIL LAVIGNE GETS SUED! SONG COMPARISON! [YouTube]
- Celebrities, Copyright, Intellectual Property, Lawsuit of the Day, Lunacy, Madonna, Music, Pro Se Litigants
In addition to handing down some big opinions, yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a number of cases. As noted by SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston, the Court denied certiorari in a significant antitrust case, as well as a pair of test cases raising constitutional issues in the immigration context.
But the most important cert denial was surely Aisha v. Madonna, No. 06-1389. A blurb about this battle of the mono-monikered musicians, from a reader:
Aisha Goodison seems right up your alley. She’s more than a little nutty, “strong,” fearless, and with a bad attitude. (Gotta love the pictures of Madonna and Gwen Stefani on her website).
I glanced over her cert petition and she’s pro se. Does that mean she wrote her own complaint? If not, who is helping her out? Just how crazy is she?
Plenty crazy. More discussion, after the jump.