Archive for Education

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.

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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.”

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 thisis50.com 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!

About the Hip Hop Entertainment Law Project

Posted in Education, Law School, Legal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2009 by thehiphopentertainmentlawproject

The Hip Hop Entertainment Law Project (HHELP) was created to:

1.  Stop the School to Prison Pipeline using the music industry to motivate high-risk teens to do well in school.

2.  Provide minority law students with opportunities to pursue careers in the music industry through artist education and empowerment.

HHELP Goals:

  1. Educating inner-city youth on the business behind the Entertainment Industry
  2. Introducing high-risk inner-city youth to careers in the music industry
  3. Providing a realistic career track program for teens who want a career in the music industry.
  4. Motivating students in school.
  5. Closing the generational gap controversial music has created to form a collective fight against the gap between generations to create a collective fight against the School to Prison Pipeline.
  6. Providing career opportunities for underrepresented law students in the Music Industry.
  7. Assisting artists and groups that find themselves in precarious business situations while simultaneously showing them the key role their knowledge of the business plays in whether or not they succeed in the music business.
  8. Using seminars, symposiums, and clinics to teach artists the importance of implementing and maintaining ethics along with integrity in their business dealings.
  9. Educating artists on the important role an understanding of legal contract terms plays in their ability to properly develop a viable financial plan during and after their career.
  10. Stressing to artists the importance of seeking legal counsel before signing contracts or making any agreements.

  11. For more information about HHELP please visit www.thehhelp.com