JLA Beat

JLA Beat is a regularly-updated online resource written entirely by the Journal’s editorial staff. Launched in 2015, the Beat features recent legal developments in the topics discussed in our print edition and beyond, including the art, entertainment, sports, intellectual property, and communications industries. JLA Beat publishes at least once weekly.

Monkey See, Monkey Type: Considering The Infinite Monkey Theorem and The Future of Copyright

Published Nov 30, 2018

Indulge me, for a moment, in a thought experiment based on a famous thought experiment:   You may, through your various literary or philosophical exploits (or perhaps, a dalliance with the work of Douglas Adams), have come across something known as the Infinite Monkey Theorem.  There are all sorts of mathematical proofs and statistics and theories of… Read more

Moral of the Stories? Hire a Lawyer.

Published Nov 25, 2018

The context may differ, but the joke is always the same: there are too many lawyers, and what are they good for, anyway? After all, lawyers are nothing more than ambulance chasers and sharks and defenders of multi-billion-dollar corporations…right? Well, maybe there’s more to lawyering than that. For eons, humans have told stories to create… Read more

Jim Acosta’s First Amendment Defense

Published Nov 16, 2018

On November 7, the day after the midterm elections, the President held a press conference. In an average administration, that statement could evince a real snoozer. The press conference could yield a few interesting tidbits, but it would more likely be filled with carefully-calibrated, spin-doctored gobbledygook that would attract the considered attention of self-described “politics… Read more

We Swear This Is The Legal History of Halloween

Published Oct 31, 2018

Halloween is here, and it’s one of our favorite holidays at JLA. So, in order to celebrate we thought we’d take you back to where it all began, and tell the fascinating story of…The Legal History of Halloween. The Magna Carta Back in 1215, King John of England agreed to the charter of rights known… Read more

Assessing the Music Modernization Act

Published Oct 19, 2018

In the current digital age, the way we create and consume content is quickly changing, so much so that the law at times has a hard time keeping up. Recent developments have helped to bring some more balance between the service providers and the artists, but there is still much work to be done. The… Read more

Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale” Steals Souls at Carnegie Hall

Published Oct 15, 2018

Stravinsky is perhaps classical music’s most celebrated stylistic chameleon. Whether it be revolutionary modernism in The Rite of Spring, sweeping romanticism in The Firebird, or sparkling neo-classicism in The Rake’s Progress, every genre Stravinsky touched, he mastered. It is in his smaller works, however, where Stravinsky demonstrates a subtler, but equally virtuosic, ability to exploit… Read more

“Capturing the Flag” Shows Just How Hard Voting Can Be

Published Oct 9, 2018

“Capturing the Flag” is an enlightening and inspiring new documentary from Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Anne de Mare that illustrates some of the ways in which voter suppression occurs in America and how the efforts of ordinary citizens can make a difference in ensuring that people are able to vote. In response to the Supreme Court’s… Read more

A Gamer’s Review of CryptoKitties

Published Sep 28, 2018

  “Bonjour! I’m x66x. All you need to know about me is I hate macaroni casserole with a passion. I’m on a new diet that consists of salad and sausage links,” reads my kitten’s profile. Fortunately for “x66x”, it inherited its likeness from one of its androgynous parents “10”, from whom it inherited its love… Read more

A Chat with RBG Director/Producer Betsy West

Published Sep 19, 2018

At age 85, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is ready for her closeup. It’s probably safe to say that never in history has a sitting member of the Supreme Court become so ingrained in the popular zeitgeist. “It’s completely ludicrous!” says Betsy West. West co-directed and co-produced the documentary RBG, which tells the story of Justice… Read more

Critical Corner — CANDY JAR Teaches Robots To Love

Published Apr 28, 2018

[Note: This review contains heavy spoilers for the Netflix original film Candy Jar.] I’ve often mused that Columbia Law School feels more like high school than college. We have lockers; there’s an annual basketball game in a gym with a pep band; we go to Law Prom each March; there are few enough people that there… Read more

New York Judge Tosses Dealer’s Lawsuit Against Agnes Martin Authenticators

Published Apr 16, 2018

On April 5, a New York State Supreme Court judge dismissed an art dealer’s lawsuit against authenticators of the works of the abstract painter Agnes Martin, rejecting claims that the defendants’ authentication decisions intentionally sought to cause the dealer harm. Agnes Martin, who died in 2004, was an American abstract painter known for spare canvases… Read more

Battle over Anastasia Continues in SDNY

Published Apr 16, 2018

On April 3, United States District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York denied summary judgment moved for by the creators of the Broadway musical Anastasia. This is the most recent step toward trial in this copyright dispute over the musical, which is based on the rumored life of Anastasia, daughter… Read more

Critical Corner – #ShutUpAndDribble

Published Apr 4, 2018

Fireworks, barbecue, red, white, blue, stars, stripes – many things have long been emblematic of the Fourth of July; for basketball fans everywhere, however, Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors in free agency, penned in a now infamous article for The Players’ Tribune entitled My Next Chapter on July 4, 2016, is perhaps equally… Read more

Critical Corner – “What Do You Meme?”: A Fair Use Analysis

Published Apr 2, 2018

On my first night home for spring break I was hanging out with my siblings and one of them brought out a game I hadn’t played before called, “What Do You Meme?” Seeking to combine the gameplay of the popular party game “Card’s Against Humanity,” with the Internet sensation of memes, “What Do You Meme?”… Read more

PASPA: Awaiting the Supreme Court Decision on Sports Betting

Published Mar 25, 2018

Much to the disappointment of many in the sports and wagering industries, the Supreme Court failed to issue a decision regarding New Jersey’s appeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) this month. Passed in 1992, PASPA bans sports gambling in the United States by prohibiting state governmental entities from sponsoring, advertising, operating,… Read more

‘The Shape of Water’ Gets Hit with a Copyright Infringement Suit

Published Mar 6, 2018

The Oscar nominated film that has critics buzzing, The Shape of Water, made headlines last month for another reason. On February 21, the estate of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Zindel filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District against Fox Searchlight, Guillermo del Toro, and others associated with… Read more

The Fight to Keep Rockwell (& Others)

Published Feb 12, 2018

On January 16, 2018, members of the Berkshire Museum appealed the Berkshire Superior Court’s dismissal of their request to enjoin the museum’s proposed sale (deaccession) of 40 works of art. The museum’s members liken their position to shareholders of a for-profit corporation and argue that they have standing to sue the museum for an action… Read more

Netflix, Amazon, and Hollywood Studios Sue Streaming Device, the Dragon Box

Published Feb 12, 2018

On January 10, 2018, Netflix and Amazon joined with several major Hollywood studios, including Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount, 20th Century, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros, to file suit against Dragon Media for allegedly inducing and facilitating copyright infringement through their streaming device, the Dragon Box.   Dragon Media, based in Carlsbad, California, is the maker… Read more

Seizure of Looted Antiquities from Billionaire’s Home

Published Jan 16, 2018

Investigators seized looted antiquities from the home of hedge fund manager and philanthropist Michael Steinhardt in early January. Having collected antiquities for three decades, Steinhardt is considered “one of the most prolific American buyers of ancient art.” He is a dedicated supporter of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which named one of its Greek art… Read more