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.

@ Me Next Time: Photo Controversies at The Vessel

Published Apr 15, 2019

As professional photographers and influencers flocked to the Vessel in Hudson yards this March, they realized something strange written on the Vessel’s website: the Vessel would own all their carefully planned-out Instagrams. The Vessel is New York’s latest soon-to-be-landmark, featuring 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs, comprised of almost 2,500 individual steps. When the structure… Read more

Implementing the Music Modernization Act: Special Considerations for Promulgating Rules on Pre-1972 Ethnographic Sound Recordings

Published Apr 11, 2019

Background of the Noncommercial Use Exception and Timeline of Implementation The purpose of the blog post is to summarize the recent administrative actions involving the U.S. Copyright’s implementation of the 2018 Music Modernization Act’s provisions for pre-1972 sound recordings. In addition, it is the goal of this post to facilitate understanding of the Act’s implications… Read more

The History of Ius Praedae And Its Decline

Published Apr 8, 2019

On January 17, 2019, France announced that it was creating a task force for the restitution of Nazi looted artworks in compliance with the EU Parliament Resolution to Identify and Recover Looted Art. The country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, has also commissioned a study aimed to repatriate artworks stolen years ago from France’s former colonies. Neither… Read more

Legal Drama Surrounding “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Published Mar 18, 2019

Anyone familiar with Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird knows the plot is centered on legal drama. Currently, there is a stage adaptation of the novel telling the same legal story of the trial of Tom Robinson. While the play is centered on the trial, the play is also surrounded by its own legal issues…. Read more

Caveat Emptor?: The Proliferation of Pollock Forgeries in the Art Market

Published Mar 11, 2019

“You have been warned,” an International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) article exposing a recently-identified Jackson Pollock forgery concludes. But haven’t we already? The Foundation’s rejection of this latest false Pollock, allegedly owned by Fidel Castro, closely trails several other notorious exposures of purported Pollock works. When Alex Matter, the son of two artist-friends of… Read more

Learning The Felony-Murder Rule from The Good Wife

Published Feb 22, 2019

Watching the TV show The Good Wife is actually a pretty effective way to learn some criminal law. Although it definitely presents a simplified version, a compelling drama making concepts manifest as “real world” situations can help people understand on a deeper level than any classroom could. For example, I credit the episode “Home,” from… Read more

Why Is Bryce Harper Still a Free Agent?

Published Feb 8, 2019

As the rumor mill continues to buzz around Major League Baseball’s off-season deals, one name persistently comes up: Bryce Harper. Even before the Washington Nationals’ 2018 season ended, Harper’s name splashed headlines that speculated on where he would be playing next and for how much. But now it is February and Harper remains unsigned. Whether… Read more

RBG on the Big Screen

Published Feb 1, 2019

Taken together, the documentary RBG that came out last summer and the biopic On the Basis of Sex which was released this winter further cemented Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s status as a pop culture icon.  In an interview on the podcast Amicus with Dahlia Lithwick, Daniel Stiepleman, the screenwriter of the latter and… Read more

Who Owns Cultural Data of Destroyed Art?

Published Jan 25, 2019

The 3D reconstruction of the city of Palmyra, a digitized copy of the Brazil national museum, new media art products, Google Cultural Institute’s collection and Object IDs have something in common: they are all “cultural data.” More than 2 billion people in the world create “digital culture” by simply sharing photos, videos, and links or… Read more

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