Archive for the Legal 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.

Advertisements

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 www.thisis50.com and www.amazashow.com

For more information about the panelists please visit their websites:

Conrad Dimanche: www.pmpworldwide.com

Ryan Leslie: www.ryanleslie.com

Tone Capone: www.musicindustryonline.info

Adrian ‘607’ Tillman: www.myspace.com/607

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: www.amazashow.com

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: http://twitter.com/LiciatheHHELP For more information on the music seminar or the HHELP please visit: www.thehhelp.com ,or https://thehiphopentertainmentlawproject.wordpress.com <!– 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 {} –>


Things that make you go hmmmmmm…….

Posted in Breaking News, editorial, entertainment, Legal, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

Ok so it has come to my attention that Kim Kardashian is having a yard sale on ebay…..4 pages worth. I know celebritantes have a gang of close, however, this seems a bit much! I could be overreacting, so why don’t you check it out and tell me what you think!!!!! If the money is going to charity like it says on the listing then big ups to Kim K for giving back when many people have stopped!!!!!

Kim Kardashian’s Ebay sale

METHOD MAN: I HAVEN’T PAID MY TAXES FOR THE LAST 7 YEARS BECAUSE I’VE BEEN CONTINUOUSLY HIGH ON WEED … AND I FORGOT!!!

Posted in Breaking News, editorial, Education, entertainment, government, hip hop, Legal, Music, News, Politics, rap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

Taken from Mediatakeout.com

Add me on Twitter

March 27, 2009. MediaTakeOut.com told you a few days ago that the tax man paid a visit to rapper Method Man’s house and repo’d his brand new Lincoln Navigator. Well according to the NY rapper there’s a perfectly good explanation for what happened.

Meth claims that he would have paid the tax money … but he was consistently high for the last 5 years … and so he forgot.

Here’s what he told the NY Daily News:

“Myself, I’m a pothead … It’s no secret. Everyone knows that. I go on the road and forget everything else. Sure, [the tax department] sent letters to my house saying, ‘We need this money.’ They started sending them in 2002.

Here it is, 2009, and I never paid this s— because I don’t think like that!

I could have easily just written them a check for whatever amount, but no — I waited until they knocked on this door and were like, ‘We got your truck and we outta here,’ ”

And he continued:

I’ve found checks from 2005 that have never been opened yet. And we’re talking a significant amount of money! But I never opened [the tax department’s] letters … so this is how the tax man came to Meth’s house and took his truck. Not because I was broke! I got plenty of money!”

Sounds like a good defense to us ….

Wow….isn’t that what accountants, lawyers and business managers are for? Kids pay attention….first, drugs are bad. However, if you know that you plan on partaking in a little herbal relaxation on the regular…GET A LAWYER or a business manager! Better yet get both!!!!!!! Let this be a lesson in what NOT to do!

T.I. Upbeat As He Enters Atlanta Courtroom For Sentencing

Posted in Breaking News, editorial, Education, entertainment, government, hip hop, Legal, Music, News, Politics, rap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

Tip smiles and waves to people in courtroom.

Tip

Tip

ATLANTA — It was a dreary, warm and wet morning in Atlanta as T.I. prepared for his sentencing on felony weapons charges at the Richard B. Russell Federal Courthouse Friday morning (March 27).

Shortly before 9:30 a.m., the rapper arrived at the 23rd-floor chamber, where he would appear before Judge Charles Pannell Jr. His manager, Jason Geter, was present beforehand. The sterile building was largely quiet as federal workers, lawyers and citizens slowly filed in. In the courtroom, there was a mix of teens, curious employees from the building, and the rapper’s family, including his longtime partner, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle. A hushed tone overtook the room with T.I.’s entrance. Lawyers were still entering.

T.I. was greeted warmly by his legal team. He was wearing a charcoal gray suit, dark dress shirt and matching tie. His spirits appeared up as he flashed a smile to different people as he scanned the room. Outside, a number of media outlets awaited word, just like T.I., on whether the rapper’s plea deal would be honored or not.

The rapper, who was arrested in 2007 after trying to illegally purchase firearms, had previously worked out a plea deal that significantly cut down his jail time. T.I. — who will discuss how he feels about his upcoming jail time on “T.I.’s Road to Redemption: The Reckoning,” airing Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on MTV — made a plea deal last March that suggested if he completed 1,000 hours of community service before sentencing, paid a $100,000 fine and agreed to complete another 500 hours of community service after his time behind bars, he would be sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

The sentence is notable, according to legal experts, because of the specific length. If T.I. were to be sentenced to one year in prison, for example, he would be required to complete the entire sentence. The sentence of one year and one day could allow T.I. to be released earlier for good behavior, if warranted.

Don’t miss “T.I.’s Road to Redemption: The Reckoning,” airing Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.

T.I. Prepares For Prison Sentence

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

POSTED BY: Jaye Watson

Add me on twitter: LiciatheHHELP

ATLANTA — Rapper Clifford “T.I.” Harris will be sentenced in federal court at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Don Samuel, Harris’s defense attorney, says his client will be sentenced to 12 months and one day per a binding agreement with the court. Adding the one day to Harris’s sentence allows for 15 percent of the time to be served to be shaved off.

Samuel says Harris will spend approximately ten months behind bars, in a federal prison yet to be determined.

In October of 2007, federal agents arrested T.I. in a midtown parking lot as he was trying to buy machine guns and silencers. He pled guilty and received the one year sentence in exchange for one year of community service.

T.I. has spent the past year on a nationwide odyssey, trekking through 25 states, speaking to thousands of teens, telling them how not to wind up like him. One of T.I.’s last speaking engagements was at Georgia’s Supreme Court last month.

During his talk he told teens, “I know what’s it’s like to walk outside your house and on the way to the bus stop you see six drug dealers, seven robbers, three or four prostitites, a hundred junkies, all on the way to school. I know what’s it’s like to walk outside your house and look around and say well how am I supposed to be any better than what’s around me. I answer that question by saying you become better than what’s around you by believing you can be better than what’s around you.”

He urged the teens to stay in school so they can eventually have everything they want.

“Those of you who ain’t found out how to sacrifice a good time now for a great time later, you ain’t going to never have nothin’ period,” he said.

Asked what his greatest regret was he said, “If it wasn’t for all the things I’d done I wouldn’t have went through the experiences and I wouldn’t have gained the knowledge that I have right now that allows me to stand up here in front of you and tell you what not to do.”

Samuel says T.I. went way above and beyond what the court required of him this past year, but that he didn’t do it hoping for a reduced sentence. Samuel says the sentence was binding and that there was never any chance it would be reduced. T.I. will report to a federal prison, yet to be determined, in the middle of May.

Taken from: http://www.11alive.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=128438&catid=3

Russell Simmons Rallies for Drug Sentencing Reform @livesteez.com

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 Legislativegazzette.com, 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 Allhiphop.com, “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.”