Archive for the Law School Category

X-Men’s Wolverine is the latest target of pirates

Posted in Breaking News, editorial, Education, entertainment, government, Law School, Legal, News, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

In recent weeks, the attacks of overseas ‘pirates’ has been one of the top news story on every international media source. Unfortunately, the latest victim of these vicious pirate attacks is Hollywood. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was leaked online a month before its official release. ”It’s a serious crime and there’s no doubt it’s very disappointing – I was heartbroken by it,” says Hugh Jackman, star of the leaked movie. Jackman continues voicing his displeasure by saying, “Obviously people are seeing an unfinished film. It’s like a Ferrari without a paint job.”

Hugh Jackman’s words and displeasure did not unnoticed the perpetrators of this crime, the founders of Pirate Bay (an illegal file sharing site), are on their way to prison for copyright infringement.

For years there has been disagreement between copyright enforcement agencies, artists, legislatures, and consumers as to the root cause of copyright infringement, how to stop copyright infringement, and whether violation of U.S. Copyright Law infringement should be punished the same as any other violation of federal law.

This case does nothing to swing the pendulum to one side or another.  If anything it deepens the rift between the consumers, and the creators of intellectual property, their respective enforcement organizations, and the legal community. Peter Sunde’s (one of the founders of Pirate Bay) lawyer describes the judge’s decision to send his client to prison for copyright infringement as “a battle between the corporate world and a generation of young people who want to take part in new technology…”

Although Mr. Sunde’s lawyer’s statement may be true for some of the past cases in recent years where private individuals have been convicted for copyright infringement or because they owned the computer the copyright infringement occurred on, it is not true for this particular case.

In this case, the statement made by Sunde’s lawyer reiterating the rift between corporate America and the younger generation and using it to defend his client’s actions is a reckless statement…at best. I believe that the younger generation should be able to learn about technology and have the opportunity to advance it; however, not at the expense of the law.

Mr. Sunde’s lawyer fails to mention the doctrine ‘fair use’ in his statement. A doctrine which was created to allow the limited use of copyrighted material for scholarship or review without permission from the copyright owner. Under the doctrine of ‘fair use’ young adults or anyone for that matter who wishes to learn more about technology, and be included in the development of new technology may do so, legally.

It seems to me that Mr. Sunde along with his Pirate Bay co-founders, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström did not create Pirate Bay for the sole purpose of  ensuring youth inclusion in new technology, or for purposes covered under the doctrine of ‘fair use’. Instead, The Pirate Bay boasts that it is “the world’s largest Bit Torrent tracker.” It is funded by advertisements shown next to torrent listings; therefore, it is a for-profit enterprise.

More importantly, the LA Times reports that The Pirate Bay is “one of the world’s largest facilitators of illegal downloading.” The aforementioned facts do not do much to support Mr. Sunde’s lawyer’s assertion the decision to send his client and his business partners to jail is politically motivated and initiated by Corporate America. Much of this is because Mr. Sunde and his business partners are a part of Corporate America…that is the illegal members of Corporate America.

Additionally, The Pirate Bay does not publicize a mission statement of being created to include young adults in new technology. In fact, it does not state the age range of the majority of its’ members anywhere. I would think if Mr. Sunde were truly passionate about the inclusion of youth in new technology The Pirate Bay would closely monitor the age of its’ users, and ensure that the audience it is reaching is the younger generation.

The unfortunate thing about both sides’ arguments is that neither side offers a sustainable plan on how to include young adults in new technology while educating and promoting respect for the law. It is true that a large amount of online copyright infringers are members of the younger generations. However, it is my belief that the infringement arises because of a lack of education on copyright law; as opposed to the infringement being a malicious intent to illegally obtain and share copyrighted material. Therefore, I believe moving forward the focus of both sides should not be recovering lost profits and damages or the right to operate file sharing websites. Instead, the focus should be copyright law education along with the inclusion of young adults in the development of new technology.


Harvard Law School Hip Hop panel is a HIT

Posted in Breaking News, editorial, Education, entertainment, hip hop, Law School, Legal, Music, News, rap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

Ryan Leslie, Sid the Kid, Tone Capone, Conrad 'Rad' Dimanche

Ryan Leslie, Sid the Kid, Tone Capone, Conrad 'Rad' Dimanche

Cambridge, MA, 3/27/09 – On March 14, 2009 Harvard Law School’s Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and The Hip Hop Entertainment Law Project (HHELP) hosted a mini-music seminar featuring music’s Renaissance man, Ryan Leslie; Conrad Dimanche former Senior Director of A & R, Bad Boy Ent.; Tone Capone, Producer Hot97 NYC, EVP Universal/Motown/CMG; Adrian ‘607’ Tillman, Independent Artist and Activist; Najja Campbell M.A. Juvenile Re-Entry Associate. The seminar titled “The Bizness behind The Business!” was held at Harvard Law School.

The panel received rave reviews from the panelists, the Harvard community, and attendees. Panelists discussed the importance of staying in school, staying out of trouble, and how to pursue a career in the music business. Attendees were able to ask panelists questions about how to obtain internships in the business, the best way to go about pursuing specific careers in music, and how to maximize their exposure to the general public and major labels. One of the major topics of the panel discussion was the important role the internet plays in helping individuals with entertainment industry career aspirations. Of course that is in addition to hard work and education. Over 150 students attended the event including, Harvard alum, Singer and Actress Tatiana Ali, from the long-running hit show, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Attendees were from various public schools in the Boston area as well as Berklee College of Music, Boston College , Northeastern University , and Boston University . Check out video from the event at and

For more information about the panelists please visit their websites:

Conrad Dimanche:

Ryan Leslie:

Tone Capone:

Adrian ‘607’ Tillman:

Also, if you would like to find out more about the state of the recording industry and how you can still be a successful artist during these difficult economic times please visit:

The event was co-sponsored by The Hip Hop Entertainment Law Project. The HHELP was created to combat the devastating effects the School to Prison Pipeline has on inner-city youth. The HHELP uses the music industry and hip hop music to motivate students in school. The HHELP was also created to give minority law students the opportunity to pursue careers in the music industry.  For regular twitter updates please add: For more information on the music seminar or the HHELP please visit: ,or <!– p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:”Times New Roman”;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue;text-decoration:underline;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple;text-decoration:underline;} _filtered {margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;} div.Section1 {} –>

Russell Simmons Rallies for Drug Sentencing Reform

Posted in Breaking News, editorial, Education, entertainment, government, hip hop, Law School, Legal, Music, News, Politics, rap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

Hip-hop mogul, Russell Simmons, joined hundreds of protesters outside the Manhattan office of Governor David Paterson in hopes to end the controversial Rockefeller Drug Law.

Simmons marched alongside a mass of local community organizations such as Families Rally for Emancipation and Empowerment (also known as FREE), the New York Civil Liberties Union, and the Correctional Association of New York. Director of the board of directors for the Correctional Association of New York and granddaughter of Nelson D. Rockefeller, Meile Rockefeller, is also planning to rally.

According to, Paterson, then a state senator, and Meile were arrested in 2002 for civil disobedience for their involvement in the “Drop the Rock” crusade disputing the same Rockefeller Drug Laws that are presently under scrutiny.

Executive Director to the Corrections Association of New York, Bob Gangi, argues that Paterson has abandoned his position on drug reform since he was elected Governor. “He is not exercising his power; we urge him to embrace his better political self, restate past issues, and help the legislature to move toward the drug law reform,” Gangi said.

Simmons told, “We are at the pivotal point where our hard work pays off. But we can’t let up now. The fact is the Governor and State Senator both fought for the changes that the assembly has proposed to them. But both the Governor Patterson and the State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith need to hear your voices. They are being pushed by forces that are not interested in changing this horrible law which has devastated black and brown communities for two generations.”

In 1973, the Rockefeller Drug Law was passed and initiated extreme mandatory sentencing of 15 to 25 years imprisonment for anyone attempting to sell more than 56 grams of narcotics or marijuana. The bill sparked criticism by those who have been affected claiming that law unfairly imprisons non-violent, minority offenders mostly in possession of small amounts of crack cocaine. It is estimated that 90% of the 12,000 offenders convicted under Rockefeller laws are African American and Latino.

Simmons also urged the community and anyone who has been a witness to unjust imprisonment to get involved and inspire change. He concluded, “Call or write Governor Paterson or State Senate Majority Leader Smith and push them to be true to the communities that made them. Tell them now that they are in power they can make the difference.”

T.I. to be sentenced to prison Friday

Posted in Breaking News, editorial, Education, entertainment, hip hop, Law School, Legal, Music, News, rap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

Prayers going out to T.I. tonight….Stay strong!


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Federal weapons charges, with their accompanying harsh sentences, are enough to take anyone down. Yet since his guilty plea a year ago, Atlanta rapper T.I. has enjoyed the greatest success of his career.

His CD, “Paper Trail,” debuted atop the Billboard charts in October. He produced two No. 1 singles, including “Live Your Life,” featuring Rihanna. Last month, he appeared at the Grammys, where he won an award for best rap performance by a duo or group.

Enlarge this image

File photo
T.I. pleaded guilty to illegal firearms possession and being a convicted felon with a firearm.
Related links:

* Photos: T.I.’s guns
* Timeline leading to arrest
* Letters of support sent to court (pdf)
* Complete coverage of T.I.

Recent headlines:

* Technology helps Central Parking drive profit
* Design for civil rights museum will make statement
* Lawyer for fired 911 operator points at troubled system

• Atlanta and Fulton County news

But T.I., one of the world’s best-known rap artists, is about to take a one-year hiatus at a federal detention facility. On Friday, as part of his extraordinary deal with federal prosecutors, T.I. will be sentenced a year after his guilty plea.

According to the plea agreement, T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., will be sentenced to one year and a day.

The extra day means T.I. can carve 15 percent off of his sentence with good behavior. Under U.S. Bureau of Prison rules, inmates can earn such credit only if they are sentenced to longer than a year in prison. T.I. should serve an estimated 298 days — or a little less than 10 months. He is expected to get credit for the two weeks he sat in jail after his arrest and before posting a $3 million bond.

T.I.’s troubles began Oct. 13, 2007, just hours before he was to receive two awards at the BET Hip-Hop Awards ceremony in Atlanta. He was arrested in a Midtown parking lot by federal agents for trying to buy machine guns and silencers. A search of his car and home yielded a number of handguns and rifles, a problem because T.I. had a prior felony conviction for cocaine distribution.

T.I. pleaded guilty to illegal firearms possession and being a convicted felon with a firearm.

Federal sentencing guidelines recommended T.I. serve at least four years and nine months behind bars.

But T.I.’s defense team worked out an unheard-of deal with federal prosecutors: If T.I. would perform at least 1,000 hours of community service, telling kids about the pitfalls of crime, drugs and gangs and encouraging them to respect the law, he could surrender to the Bureau of Prisons a year later and get a reduced sentence.

Area criminal defense lawyers howled in protest, saying T.I. traded his celebrity for leniency. Federal prosecutors countered the rapper’s influential message would help prevent crime.

T.I. has fulfilled his part of the bargain, Steve Sadow, one of the rapper’s lawyers, said.

“T.I. took this opportunity and ran with it beyond anyone’s expectations.”

A sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday by T.I.’s defense team says the rapper has complied with all the requirements of his plea agreement. This includes serving 300 days of home confinement, attending more than 260 events and earning 1,006 hours of community service credit.

T.I. has been to 25 states and spoken to tens of thousands of teens and adults.

Over the past year, he went to 58 schools, 12 Boys and Girls Clubs, nine churches and other community functions. He was visited two Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice facilities, one in Columbus and another in DeKalb County.

After T.I. spoke to 160 high school teenagers at the Georgia Supreme Court, Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears called the rapper’s presentation “outstanding.”

“You have the courage to carefully search your soul, oftentimes wrestling with demons that the rest of us are terrified to disturb,” Sears wrote in a letter attached to the sentencing memo. “I am sure that you have touched many young lives.”

Check out the video from The Bizness behind The Business panel @ Harvard Law School

Posted in Breaking News, Education, entertainment, hip hop, Law School, Legal, Music, News, rap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

Big thanks to Sid the Kid for doing the video and passing it along!!!!

Ryan Leslie & Hot 97’s Tone Capone Drop Knowledge on the Music Business at Harvard University

* Posted by G-Unit Promotions on March 26, 2009 at 3:48pm
* View G-Unit Promotions’s blog

Sid the Kid hits up Harvard University where Ryan Leslie and Tone Capone gave advice to students interested in the various aspects of the music industry.

Visit To check out video from The Bizness behind The Business at Harvard Law School! The panel was a MUST attend event for anyone interested in a career in the music business!

Featured Blogger: Tone Capone of Hot 97FM

Posted in Breaking News, editorial, Education, entertainment, hip hop, Law School, Legal, Music, News, rap with tags , , , , , , , on March 19, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

I was invited to come speak at Harvard University… Yes, “The” Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts on Saturday March, 14th 2009! Thank you Licia Harper and the Harvard Law School (BSLA) Black Students Law Association; for bringing me out there, it was an Honor to speak in front of our future lawyers, politicians, executives, teachers, entertainers and entrepreneurs’, that this ICONIC institution pumps out every so often. I’m glad I got the opportunity to inspire and share my story with these students, that were so engaged and interested in what I, and other panelist, singer, songwriter and producer Ryan Leslie as well as my good friend and and Danity Kane, Co-Exec. Producer and former Bad Boy Entertainment executive Conrad Dimanche had to say and share with them; about our journey and success in the Music Business. I met a lot of wonderful, enthusiastic and motivated young visionaries who share, some of the same dreams and hopes we all have in life. To be happy doing something me, we and you love! A lot of these students thanked me for coming to there school and speaking to them… but I want to let them know that, I thank them for showing me that our future is going to be a better place for the sacrifices they are making in empowering themselves with KNOWLEDGE.


My friend Kevin Powell gave me a book, when he came on our Hot 97FM Street Soldiers, radio show on Friday 3/13/09, which he wrote with some other prominent authors, activist and friends called the “Black Male Handbook”. And below is an excerpt… APPLY IT TO YOUR LIFE!

Please believe there is nothing you cannot do.

Remember you are the architect of your life.

The possibilities are limitless.

You are magnificent.

You are brilliant.

You are already wealthy beyond measure.

You don’t ever have to quit – because there is nothing you cant do.

You can take risks relentlessly to create the life you design. The only thing that will limit you is the capacity of your imagination.

Carlos “Tone Capone” Acosta
Taken from: The AMAZA Show!

‘The Bizness behind The Business’ Seminar is a HIT!

Posted in Breaking News, editorial, Education, entertainment, hip hop, Law School, Legal, Music, News, rap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject
Ryan Leslie, Sid The Kid, Tone Capone, and Conrad Dimanche

Ryan Leslie, Sid The Kid, Tone Capone, and Conrad Dimanche

The Hip Hop Entertainment Law Project (HHELP) would like to thank everyone who attended Saturday’s ‘The Bizness behind The Business’ music seminar at Harvard Law School. The event was a definite ‘must’ attend for anyone interested in having a career in the music industry. For those of you who were unable to attend the event we are going to try and get a synopsis up on the website in the next few days!

I would like to thank the following people for playing a major role in making this event so successful:

Amia Trigg
Randall Clark
Dominique Winters
Nicole Thompson
Katrina Copney
Bridgette Hylton
Sam Kochman
Tone Capone
Ryan Leslie
Conrad Dimanche
Adrian Tillman
Najja Campbell
Hip Hop Press
Daniel Laurent