As a lawyer, I get asked questions like this all the time by my knitting friends… Now I”ll just point and share this with them!
Pinterest became extremely popular among crafters all over the world in the past year. What is it? For those who are unfamiliar, Pinterest is a hybrid term for Pin and Interest. The concept is based on scrapbooking, and when you find a photo you like online, you can “pin” it to your online boards. You can categorize the pin boards into themes, so you neatly put all your photos according to your focus. You can also search for photos with using search terms, and when you find something you like on someone else’s board, you can “repin” on your own board. Basically, it’s a huge online scrapbooking forum.
The trouble is, as this writer points out, Pinterest obviously faces the copyright- and trademark-infringement issues that Google Image had to face years ago. And according to the writer, Pinterest’s policy puts all the liability onto the infringing users, including litigation fees.
As a crafter, I would personally be flattered if someone were to post a picture of my project on Pinterest and share with other crafty friends, provided that I was properly credited and the comment/caption on the photo was positive.
But read on, and decide for yourself. Would you delete all your pin boards like this attorney did? Mine are staying….for now.
California’s new Supply Chain Transparency Act
A 6-foot, 250-pound man runs directly towards you at the full speed. Seconds later, the man slams into you, sending your body into the air before hitting the ground. And you lose consciousness…
In an ordinary scenario, you would sue this guy to recover your damages. Unfortunately, not if you are a football player and this injury was caused by another player during a game.
This is a concept known as “assumption of risk.” To play such physical sports, you must assume the risks that are inherent in the nature of the sport. For instance, you would reasonably expect a hockey game to involve high-impact physical contacts and serious bodily injuries. When you sign up for hockey regardless of the inherent danger, you impliedly consent to bodily contacts.
Surprisingly, this concept also applies to a non-contact sport such as golf. Although playing golf does not usually involve a helmet or knee pads, many American courts held that a golfer also assumes certain risks inherent in the activity, including being hit by an errant ball. In both California (2007) and New York (2010) cases, a golfer suffered permanent injuries when hit by his teammate’s ball. But because such occurrence is reasonably expected in a golf game, the courts decided that the teammate was not liable for the golfer’s loss of vision and other injuries. In both cases, courts explained that the teammate would be liable if such injuries were caused by the teammate’s intentional or unreasonably reckless act, but an unfortunate errant ball simply did not arise to such level of liability.
The assumption of risk in sports makes sense; without it, the threat of lawsuits would deter sports participation altogether. Sports should be more about sportsmanship, than scores. The bottom line: Respect and caution are the most effective protective gears.
Just last week, I read a feature article in ABA Journal about Design Copyright. Here’s an online version of that article. It’s very interesting, especially for me because I had this same discussion with Canada-based designer about a couple of months ago.
Many self-publishers and designers are aware of how expensive, but how crucial fonts are to our business. We’re tempted to use certain “free for personal use” fonts in our commercial patterns and e-books.
This article was in The Hollywood Reporter today. NBC is being accused of “stealing” Harry Potter font and using it on several of their merchandise in connection to Universal Studios’ theme park.
I have been following LegalZoom for a while, ever since I saw a feature article about it in ABA journal or something. I didn’t think too much of it, just thinking it was simply an online version of Nolo or We the People.
Today, a tweet alerted me about a law suit filed against LegalZoom for unauthorized practice of law. It’s quite a fascinating concept. Can a software practice law? Then what would be the consequence if it was found that the software was held responsible for unauthorized practice of law?