If intellectual property had a theme song it would have to be "Like a Virgin."
Because IP is all about "the very first time," the "aha" moment, the creative spark that gives rise to previously undreamed imaginings.The restrictions of "how we've always done things" fall away and the numbing repetition of days become vibrant. The rest, of course, is work. Trial and error. Success. Failure. Rearranging the disaligned. Completion.
Then the suits arrive. That's us, the lawyers.
In honor of the moment of creation at the root of every intellectual property dispute, this week's Blawg Review No. 171 gives you the great virgins of history.
Touched for the very first time...
It’s all about virginity loss. Or is it?
. . . . I love listening to the episodes in people’s lives that are imprinted into our psyches like hot wax into a seal. The moment itself could be as dull as dishwater but it doesn’t matter because the beauty is in the detail and the connective tissue of emotions that frame this unique story.
‘You never fall in love like you do when you’re eighteen. Shot though the heart. I’ll have that again, any day of the week.’ Russell, lost virginity aged 17
Virginity loss is the backdrop to a thousand visceral teenage moments…
‘For me, the first hands-down-the-pants experience was far more significant. That was earth shattering. I mean, there is a hole there. How bizarre is that?’ Tim, lost virginity aged 16
Virginity loss is the swing door between child and adulthood. A door that we all want to push…even if we’re unsure of what we may find on the other side….
‘It was a pivotal moment, not only because I lost my virginity but also because it was a first taste of freedom, of what life could be like out in the big wide world and it was totally thrilling’. Heidi, lost virginity aged 15
When I asked Kate if she could address the Blawg Review's readers, she graciously and immediately accepted my invitation as follows:
Bad hair, the contents of a vicar’s cassock and toxic contamination coverage litigation. These are just a few of the subjects turned back and forth between Ms Pynchon and myself this last week. A very good email correspondent she is too. Not only that, but she’s a blogger with heart. I know, tell you something you don’t know…..
O.K. I will. I’ve spent the past two years travelling Britain and collecting virginity loss stories from an amazing cross section of people. The oldest was 101, the youngest was 17. Yes, it’s been quite the journey. Next up, I plan to come to America and do just the same. If you are game, I would love to hear from you. Anonymity guaranteed, I promise.
Either way, I hope you enjoy stepping onto virgin territory with the lady of the law…
Wikiality claims that the The Virgin Mary was "a Republican . . . against abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage and women in the workplace." We believe she's ecummenical and inter-religious. Whatever her American political party, in her honor, we give you the best law and religion posts of the week, including the Florida Employment and Immigration Law Blog's announcement that the EEOC has issued new guidelines on religious discrimination and the suggestion by Thoughts in a Haystack that Religious Intolerance is Good for You. The Legal Theory Blog takes religion head on in its post on negotiating meaning with Islam while MacLeans.CA Blog (So Much Bigger than Ezra) frets about the globalization of anti-blasphemy laws (whose first target could easily be this Blawg Review). We don't know what the Virgin Mother would think about Shari-ah and Mediation but you can catch Geoff Sharp riding the far edges of possibility on that topic at Mediator blah blah . . . . We do believe the Virgin Mary does not like divorce. But if you really Agree on Everything, you not only don't need a mediator, we wonder why you're asking for a divorce. Finally, though Marc Randazza has a pledge of allegiance he could get behind, we're placing no bets on Mary agreeing with him.
Ken ("I am Not Gay") Mehlman is the former Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Wikiality annointed him the "world's oldest virgin" "[a]s the result of his religious piousness and his not being married." Pretty flimsy evidence but it gives us an excuse to cover sex and sexuality in an IP ADR Blog. It doesn't look like the Indiana Law Blog is having any sex whatsoever, pulling out that old "I have a headache" chestnut and blaming it on Conflicting Gay Marriage Laws. A Florida Court has required one of its state's high schools to permit a Gay-straight alliance on campus ( School Law Blog); the Sexual Orientation and the Law Blog sees the light at the end of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell tunnel; and, the Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog reports on legislation that would permit children of gay and lesbian parents to be treated as -- what else? -- their children for purposes of the Family Law Act. Speaking of bi-sexuality, check out Bob Ambrogi's post at Legal Blog Watch about a bi-"sexual attorney predator" who stalked men and women as well as once trying to convince an employee to "go to the hotel room of a highly paid expert witness who was faring poorly in a deposition [with] instructions . . . to "take care" of him in order to improve his mood." Finally, we all just say "no" to accusing a Judge of pedophilia while attempting to prove your legal point, noting the the four month contempt sentence covered over at QuizLaw.
Jesus, far and away the world's most famous virgin, has been imagined as lusting in his heart (cf. the Jimmy Carter Playboy interview), having a wife and family (D.H. Lawrence, The Man Who Died) and, you got it, being gay. For this last sacrilege, check out the Pink Triangle's post Gutless Grovelers Have Bowed to Religion Again. WWJD? Because he hung with an odd assortment of tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, and the undead (cf. Lazarus) we assume he'd agree with Eugene Volokh that the usual "best interests" analysis would fall short in custody decisions for parents with unusual or nontraditional friends and associates. Volokh's thoughts on the issue as well as those of his readers here. Finally, Sarah Lawsky considers the outcome of "Mamma Mia!" -- a "division" of a daughter by three putative fathers -- in light of the seminal Summers v. Tice decision concerning injury and probability. Hint: it's not any of the members of the troika formerly known as the Blessed Trinity.
Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and democratic presidential spoiler has not, according to Wikiality, ever even dated, let alone gone 'all the way.' Because Nadar is famous with law students for having said that legal scholarship is "mental gymnastics in an iron cage," we dedicate his virginity to legal practice. We think Ralph would like Dan Hull's post at What About Clients? commenting on Gerry Spence's post that "Law Education is a Fraud" (followed by a spirited debate between Dan and yours truly on the subject -- are we really all crashing bores?). See also f/k/a's Law Blogging and the Cult of Gerry Spence. For tips on social networking, check out Kevin O'Keefe's LexBlog post and for a more theoretical legal practice post, see Ken Adams' thoughts on whether Law Firm Contract Drafting Services are a Commodity? If it really is all about the client, ask your local GC what s/he really wants. We regularly check in on the Wired GC who last week posted on Virtual Law Partners. Big firm practice is always in the news because we're naturally competitive and want to catch of peek of the Masters of the Universe in their underwear. In Laid Off By Cadwalader? My Shingle asks Why Not Go Solo by Choice? The Cadwalader lay-offs give Jordan Furlong at Law 21 the opportunity to give us the year's best post on retaining and training associates, caring for clients and benefiting the law firm while you're at it in Associates and the bad table. For the small fry among us, Susan Carter Liebel's Build a Solo Practice recommends ways to avoid our personal Brain Drain while The Greatest American Lawyer challenges lawyers to offer Money Back Guarantees! Holden Oliver advises us to take care of our clients by keeping them informed. Finally, Madeleine Begun Kane offers an Ode To Judge Ronald Leighton, quoted in full below.
Attorneys are often verbose,
Penning legal complaints grandiose,
Writing hundreds pages
And setting off rages
From those who find wordiness gross.
But Judge Leighton showed major restraint
When he ruled on an endless complaint.
In a limerick poem
He said, redo this tome
Cuz in 8(a) compliance it ain’t!
Joan of Arc. Virgin. Martyr. Warrior. We dedicate the week's consumer rights post to a woman who dressed like a man to protect her virginity and died at the stake for saving her country. Before rushing to legal or Ecclesiastical authorities -- both of which are historically and notoriously unreliable (right Joan?) -- take simple steps to protect your own welfare by subscribing to Michael Webster's Bizop News, which this week warns us about our inclination to follow our first instincts. Drug and Device Law links us to Pharma-Free Doctors for Journalists where you can presumably find that rare physician who is untainted by free drug samples. From the other side of the consumer/provider aisle we hear from Overlawyered (Drunk Driving for Profit) that an insurance company was sandbagged to the tune of $5.8 million in compensatory and and $10.5 million in punitive damages. We think that's karmic or at least levelling the playing field. Meanwhile, the Public Citizen Law and Policy Consumer Blog alerts us to the FDA's decision to finally begin regulating tobacco, which does not remind us of virginity, but of cigarettes, particularly the best ones memorialized by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins in The Best Cigarette. (and if you don't like Billy Collins, the IP ADR Bloggers will sentence you to a term of emotiona labor at Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyer Camp).
We devote disability law to The Elephant Man -- who suffered from neurofibromatosis -- and who presumably died a virgin. No, Pain, Depression and Anxiety is not the name of a law firm, but a post on obtaining social security benefits from the Maryland Injury and Disability Law Blog. Disability Law 2.0 - Tan * Rested and Ready covers the new California appellate decision on aisle space while the New York Disability Law Blog cheers the SSA Commissioner's exhortation that "eliminating the backlog of Social Security Disability claims is a moral imperative." Randy Chapman's Ability Law Blog gives advice to parents about how to find "related services" for their school-age children. Though not a disability, age itself tends to create the type of obstacles the disabled face. To prove the truism that its best not to let your children become writers, I offer a conversation with my mother when she was in her early 80's.
After exchanging the usual telephone pleasantries, mom began to stutter and giggle in a way I'd never heard before. Finally, she got her question out past the hilarity -- "honey, do you think I need to worry about safe sex?" Go mom! But let's talk about what kind of sex is really unsafe for the Greatest Generation -- intimacies that end in the looting of trust assets as described by Estate of Denial in "Dear Candidate." (cf. That's not the sound of one hand clapping . . . . ) Think you'll find sexual safety among the widows in nursing homes? Think again and read Sex Offenders Living in U.S. Nursing Homes from the Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect blog.
Emily Dickinson is famous for being a true American virgin. But as this week's New Yorker reminds us, the "theory that Dickinson was a lesbian shares a Dewey-decimal classification with a raft of other case studies -- Emily the sufferer, performer, healer, seducer, victim, hysteric, dog lover, mystic, feminist paradigm, vestal daughter, consumptive, agoraphobic." (cf. Vagabond). Emily's presence here gives us the opportunity to report on law and the arts. The Art Law Blog discovers yet another Pollack find in It's Not About the Money (cf. Who the $#%$ is Jackson Pollack). Over at Empowering Thoughts for Dancers there's a short song of praise for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and at Stephanie West Allen's Brains on Purpose, there's a post on legal practice and the art of Improvisation. Why did Emily avoid the great mass of humanity? Maybe she didn't know what The Divorce Coach knows -- people who blame others for everything can be managed. See "It's All Your Fault! (12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything)." . Speaking of American women poets ( a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose) at least one California lawyer muses on whether a contract is a contract is a contract. Finally, Counterfeit Chic asks an IP-Art cross-over question -- is it more subversive to create countercultural clothing or to undercut its now-iconic status by flooding the market with fakes? In legal terms, a trademark is a trademark -- but the ingenuous invocation of law to protect Seditionaries is a ironic twist.
Diogenes of Sinope spent so much time wandering around in search of an honest man that he apparently never got laid. Michele at the University of Oregon Student Law Blog believes she's found the honest, or at least the greenest law school in the nation while Will Li (2L) at the Situationist has a few caustic words for BigLaw's Summer Camp Sleep Over Programs. Three years of answering Socratic questions followed by a three day bar exam. Yup, it's over. To renew the feeling of relief that once was, read Peanut Butter Burrito's -- Done. I read a lot of law student blogs for this Blawg Review and can only report that most of them don't seem much interested in the law. Not true, however, of Nuts and Boalts. I really enjoyed reading Don't You Ever Get Tired of Being Wrong? (re Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers). Oh yeah. It's not always a feeling of relief, the bar exam being over. Check out Ouch at Think Like a Woman, Act Like a Man. (relax; it's the people who don't know they missed the hearsay question who are in danger of failing). Its not only law students who are looking for a few good lawyers -- David Lat is kicking out the jams by letting Ann Althouse, Tom Goldstein, and Dahlia Lithwick choose his new co-blogger by juding six candidates in an "American Idol"-style competition See update here. Finally, next year's bar examinees should check out May it Please the Court's post on Handwriting.
Virgin Immanuel Kant -- the orignal moral reasoning guy -- prompts us to bring you Moral Grammar and Intuitive Jurisprudence from the Neuroethics & Law Blog; and, to remind everyone that mustangs do not need birth control from this week's Animal Ethics. Finally, we think Kant might have been intrigued by Why We are Too Rational to Stop Polluting from Amateur Economists.
Isaac Newton. The Straight Dope thinks the virginity of this octogenerian scientist and mathematician is less surprising that the fact that the math gene somehow keeps perpetuating itself. We consecrate Newton's virginity to this week's best IP and IT posts. William ("I am virginal") Patry is asking questions about the government's engagement in copyright infringement but it is Patry's final blog post that we celebrate as a true virginal moment. Pause here.
My late mother, aleha ha-shalom, told me repeatedly that I had a religious obligation to learn every day, and I have honored her memory by doing exactly that. Learning also involves changing how you think about things; it doesn't only mean reinforcing the existing views you already have. In this respect, Second Circuit Judge Pierre Leval once said that the best way to know you have a mind is to change it, and I have tried to live by that wisdom too. There are positions I have taken in the past I no longer hold, and some that I continue to hold. I have tried to be honest with myself: if you are not genuinely honest with yourself, you can't learn, and if you worry about what others think of you, you will be living their version of your life and not yours.
Back in the worldly word, Patently O -- which promiscuously shares itself with millions of readers every year -- turns its pen over to David McGowan who discusses why we should not interpret the recent Quanta decision too broadly.
Lou Michels suggests we be the masters of our own domains, using the the recent San Francisco IT fiasco as a cautionary tale -- don't let a single person have control of all the keys to your kingdom.
If you're reading this on your iPhone, good for you! Brett Trout at BlawgIT suggests that you might soon be watching television from that device. Protection, protection, protection. In a software license, boilerplate integration and non-reliance terms might not insulate a firm from claims based upon its salesfolks "over"promises but blog content licensing might be dying for lack of buyers?
The IP Dispute of the Week, of course, is Hasbro's suit against Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla for their Facebook hit Scrabulous. Scrabble itself was invented during the Depression by Alfred Mosher Butts, an out-of-work architect. How did he do it? As the New York Times explained in its review of Steve Fastis book, Word Freak (Zo. Qi. Doh. Hoo. Qursh) Scrabble's inventor assumed that the game would work best if the game letters "appear[ed] in the same frequency as in the language itself." So he
counted letters in The New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune and The Saturday Evening Post to calculate letter frequencies for various word lengths. Playing the game with his wife, Nina, and experimenting as he went along, Butts carefully worked out the size of the playing grid (225 squares, or 15 by 15), the number of tiles (100), point values for the letters, the placement of double- and triple-score squares, the distribution of vowels and consonants, and so on.
In response to the Hasbro lawsuit Ron Coleman at Likelihood of Confusion asks "How Many Points is Infringement?" -- one of those rare legal questions that actually has an answer rather than 20 more questions.
If Player 1 opens with "fringe" (double word) for 24 points; Player 2 follows by slapping an "i" on the triple word score followed by an "n" for "infringe" and 33 points; and, Player 1 responds with "ment" for 19 points, the combined score for "infringement" is 75 points. Our readers can do the math and moves on "trademark" and copyright." On the matter of greater moment -- Will the ax fall on Scrabulous -- Jonathan Zittrain at The Future of the Internet answers his own question in the affirmative based on the name alone, opining that by calling it "rainbows and buttercups” instead of “Scrabulous” there’d be little claim of brand confusion but noting the "residual claim that the Scrabulous game board infringes the copyright held in the Scrabble game board." More on Scrabulous and its replacement with Word Scraper at the Video Game Law Blog here. (Mr. Thrifty's and my first game of Word Scraper here!)
Has anyone recently said God bless the best IP aggregator in the universe -- the IP Think Tank's Global Week in Review? This week IPTT points to the following posts on the Hasbro Scrabble debacle -- (Spicy IP), (Techdirt), (The Trademark Blog), (Out-Law), (Law360). While we're talking IP aggregation, check out Patent Baristas' regular Friday IP Round-up. All around aggregators include Anne Reed's (Deliberations) reading list and Kevin O'Keefe's LexMonitor.
Both Geoff Sharp and I picked up 8 impediments to settling patent cases on appeal (a desire for "justice" is not an impediment but a means to settlement). While we're taking an ADR angle, Virtually Blind's post Second Life Lawsuit Avoided; Law is Cool's Love, Actionable; and, Slashdot's recommend reading of the week (The Pragmatic CSO) are all well worth a look.
Slashdot also reminds us that IP prevention is worth a pound of IP litigation with the post WB Took Pains to "Delay" Pirating of the Dark Knight as follows:
"a new studio tactic [is] not to prevent piracy, but to delay it . . . Warner Bros. executives said [they] prevent[ed] camcorded copies of the reported $180-million [Dark Knight] film from reaching Internet file-sharing sites for about 38 hours. Although that doesn't sound like much progress, it was enough time to keep bootleg DVDs off the streets as the film racked up a record-breaking $158.4 million on opening weekend. . . The success of an anti-piracy campaign is measured in the number of hours it buys before the digital dam breaks.'"
The Law and Magic Law Blog announces the dismissal of the defamation lawsuit against Magic Mag on the ground that its a protected opinion while Ernie the Attorney has a way to make your iPhone magic here.
Meanwhile, the Legal Talk Network gathers together bloggers and co-hosts, J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi to welcome Attorney Kevin A. Thompson from the firm Davis McGrath LLC, and Lauren Gelman, Executive Director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society to discuss Viacom's suit against Google's YouTube for the violation of its copyrights in a $1 billion lawsuit.
Because I used to type patent applications for Uniroyal (IBM Selectric - 5 carbon copies) I get a sweet whiff of nostalgia from Wiki Patents -- like this one -- Flexible Row Redundancy System 7404113 -- a row redundancy system is provided for replacing faulty wordlines of a memory array having a plurality of banks. The row redundancy system includes a remote fuse bay storing at least one faulty address corresponding to a faulty wordline of the memory array . . . . Another available data base for the engineering-attorney crowd is the subject of Securing Innovations post IBM Technical Disclosures' Prior Art Data Base. Concurring Opinions covers IP in the News this week, Peter Zura's 271 Patent Blog considers a patent that was a "Colossal Waste of Time" and IP Kat curls up with Small and Sole.
J. Edgar (I am not a perv) Hoover is yet another iconic American virgin (cf. Don DeLillo's masterpiece Underworld and the front page that inspired it). In honor of crime fighting, we bring you Religion Clause's post on the RICO action just filed agains the Church of Scientology and Tom (I'll sue if you say I'm gay) Cruise. Serving the needy prison population might get more economical according to a post over at Amateur Economists -- How Telemedicine Can Actually Work. What better way to celebrate a Virgin Blawg Review than posting a link to Courtroom Casanova where Mr. Big(Crime) "hits on" the prosecutor. Closer to home the L.A. Police Deparment has captured 43,000 counterfeit sunglasses -- you weren't expecting snow shoes -- with a street value of $8.5 million (Blogging Shades, My Authentics.com Counterfeiting News). After a Portland, Oregon policeman was convicted in traffic court following a citizen's complaint that he used a no parking zone to grab take-out, Scott Greenfield proclaimed a "Cop Love Sunday"; Seth Freilich was somewhat less charitable. Should misinformation about people's conviction records be placed online? Check out Concurring Opinion's post The Problems of More Accessible Criminal Conviction Information. For more IP Crime news, see Copyright Law and Information Blog's post E-Bay Sofware Pirate Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison.
Lewis Carroll "Some writers . . . who have fallen short of accepting Dodgson as a paedophile, have tended to concur that he had a passion for small female children and next to no interest in the adult world." Wikipedia. 'But I don't want to go among mad people,' said Alice. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here." Alice's Adventures in Wonderland These two quotes are as good a lead-in as any to the law of Hollywood. While you're in a fanciful state of mind, check out the Digital Media Law blog's analysis of the current state of the SAG negotiations. And remember, Sharon Stone left Los Angeles for San Francisco because the daily Hollywood beauty contest at Bristol Farms was "too much competition." (cf. Last Action Hero) So it's no surprise that here in botoxed fantasy-land, its not just your enthnicity, but the tone of your skin that can get you booted off camera -- The Entertainment and Media Law Blog.
Mother Teresa Hooray!! There is a Pro Bono Legal Blog. This week, PB blogger Aaron Hurst is thinking about using google alerts to identify people or communities in need. See Pro Bono Junkie's Blog post Customer Service is One Blog Away. Some of the most important pro bono work being done today is off-shore at Guantánamo. Check out the Show and Tell Trial over at the American Constitution Society Blog. Elsewhere, the Attig Law Firm, PLLC rightly touts its own horn for its success in its pro bono efforts to assist a U.S. Veteran in securing disability benefits.
The Virgin Queen Elizabeth I Elizabeth is acknowledged by historians as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor, in an age when government was ramshackle and limited and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones. What did Elizabeth do right? Neutralize, negotiate and resolve conflict by "uniting the body natural with the body politic" as she proclaimed at 25 years of age when she ascended to the throne:
And as I am but one body naturally considered, though by His permission a body politic to govern, so shall I desire you all...to be assistant to me, that I with my ruling and you with your service may make a good account to Almighty God and leave some comfort to our posterity on earth. I mean to direct all my actions by good advice and counsel.
In honor of Elizabeth, I give you posts from my own ADR blog posse this week. First, we honor the newest member, Nancy Hudgins of Civil Negotiation and Mediation who has proven her bargaining cajones by negotiating the price of a bottle of "Old Raj, a distinctive gin . . . distilled with saffron [that has] a slightly orange-ish color and a different subtle but piquant taste." WWED -- What Would Elizabeth do? I think she'd negotiate with terrorists but not without first consulting Andrea Schneider at the ADR Prof Blog. If you read any Blawg Review post this week, let it be Diane Levin's Mediation Channel post All Gardeners are Optimists: What Squirrels Reminded Me about Conflict Resolution. Poetry. (cf. the summer issue of the r.kv.r.y. quarterly literary journal). Gini Nelson offers us wisdom on the Myers Briggs Indicator that will tell you everything you need to know about your "type" other than your sexual preferences. (cf. her ABA article on the same topic here). Are you a Virtual Virgin? Then run right over to Mediation Mensch's post on "Getting Virtual." Though Stephanie West Allen hails from the Renaissance rather then the Elizebethean era, anyone worried about the well-being of their parents should check out her Idealawg post Mediation Can Work in Many Elder Care Situations. We hope Justin Patten won't mind our making him an honorary ADR British Queen by linking to Human Law's post from last week: As we head into recession and a wave of redundancies does the Human Resources profession have some flair and imagination? We do have an American ADR "Queen" -- Chris Annunziata -- who will hopefully forgive me for giving him honorary ADR Queen status. Our academic readers could benefit themselves and our "on the ground" professionals by reading this week's CKA post Why Nobody Really Reads Law Review Notes here. My high school French is bad, but it looks like French mediator Dominique Lopez-Eyechenie is reporting that mediators have been deployed to the Metro to referee disputes there -- is that right Dominique? Finally, the Health Care Neutral (our last honorary male ADR Queen) talks about immunity and couldn't we all use just a little of that?
Below: Madonna and Friends -- Like a Virgin for your listening pleasure while reading this week's Blawg Review.
Next week, the Blawg Review will be hosted by the Ohio Employer's Law Blog which we expect will be far more respectful of BR's readers' political, religious and sexual sensitivities than this one was. Thanks for letting us play. And a very, very, very good night!