Dec 10, 2020
Casey is an entertainment and
digital media law attorney who helps influencers and creative
entrepreneurs who struggle with navigating the legal side of their
businesses and brands, specifically as it relates to contracts. She
prides herself on helping creatives negotiate fair deals with
Fortune 500 companies and leading entertainment brands, all while
helping them build legally sound businesses that are built for
generational wealth and impact. Here on the podcast, she normally
does that through sharing the stories of successful entrepreneurs
and influencers to help you learn from their mistakes. But
occasionally, like today, switches things up and highlights popular
- Politics matter to everyone, including
entrepreneurs. You may think that things like the supreme court
justices have nothing to do with your business, but the Supreme
court’s rulings set the precedent for the lower courts, so it
matters who sits in that highest seat of justice. So,
- Copyrights matter! If huge, long standing,
companies like Google and Oracle can have disputes over copyrights,
then no one is safe, and everyone is on the same level when it
comes to copyright protections and laws. So, be wise about your
intellectual property. It can be the difference between losing a
ton of cash and being able to protect your business even when
dealing with big brands.
- Educate yourself. You’re doing that now by
listening to this podcast. The truth is that the legal landscape is
always evolving as new cases are heard and new precedents are set
by the rulings. That information is vital when navigating the legal
side of business even when you are just starting out. The more you
educate yourself on industry standards, practices, and laws, the
better equipped you’ll be to do business and scale without fear of
losing everything over common mistakes that can be
[1:50] – Why we
talk about Copyright Law.
[10:00] – A
brief background of RBG and the Supreme Court on Copyright
story of the "Notorious R.B.G.," the Supreme Court's second female
justice, has been told repeatedly in media, books, and films
including RBG and On the Basis of Sex. From being an architect of
the women's rights movement in the 1970s to spending her later
years on the high court fighting for the rights of the less
advantaged (see for example her concurring opinion just months ago
in Comcast v. NAAAOM), her lifetime of service will deservedly be
lionized. But there was a less noticed aspect of Ginsburg — and her
untimely loss will influence the course of industry.
- Ginsburg gravitated to intellectual property
disputes almost from the moment the Brooklyn, NY-born attorney was
appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
More often than not, when a big ruling on the subject was on the
table, it was she who carried the big pen.
- Ginsburg was certainly hawkish when it came to
copyright. And her view can be most sharply contrasted with those
of Justice Stephen Breyer, demonstrating that there's more to
judicial philosophy than a conservative-liberal divide.
Background of the dispute:
Google implemented its Android Operating System (Android OS), it
wrote its own programming language based on Java, which is owned by
Oracle. To facilitate developers writing their own programs for
Android OS, Google’s version used the same names, organization, and
functionality as Java's Application Programming Interfaces
- Oracle sued Google for copyright infringement,
but the federal district judge held that APIs are not subject to
copyright because permitting a private entity to own the copyright
to a programming language would stifle innovation and
collaboration, contrary to the goals of copyright.
remand to the district court, a jury found that Google's use of the
Java API was fair use. Oracle appealed, and the Federal Circuit
again reversed the lower court. The Federal Circuit held that
Google's use was not fair as a matter of law.
absence of RBG may also impact which future copyright cases the
Supreme Court decides to take up. Currently, for example, the
Supreme Court is currently being asked to review a 9th Circuit win
for Led Zeppelin over "Stairway to Heaven," alleged to be an
infringement of Spirit's "Taurus." Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin looked
to be a quintessential Ginsburg case. It's a dispute that not only
tackles the scope of copyright but also social inequities in the
system, making it within her zone on double grounds. Her departure
likely dampens the prospects of high court review.
same is probably true of Steinbeck v. Kaffaga, which concerns movie
rights to the works of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck
and a subject (copyright termination) that has been the focus of
increasing litigation over the years.
[15:38] – Key
- Politics matter to everyone, including
- Copyrights matter!
- Educate yourself.
Resources mentioned during this episode:
Protect Your Assets: A Legal Guide
for Online Entrepreneurs