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The New and Growing Use of Social Media in Litigation

Keeping information private, whether from the Government, advertisers or employers, has become an increasingly difficult task, and the ever-increasing prevalence of social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) has led to unforeseen outcomes for many litigants. In the family law context social media have become significant weapons in child custody battles. For example, the admission of Facebook posts into evidence is blurring the lines between what courts once considered hearsay and what they now deem to be admissible evidence.  Recently, and for the first time in New York, a…
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The Creative Commons (CC) – An Alternative to ©?

What Is Creative Commons? Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization that provides template agreements allowing for a standardized copyright exchange that functions more quickly than the conventional copyright model.  CC licenses are free, intuitive and “encourage an internet-focused, free-flowing exchange of ideas.”1  Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, and Flickr, the online photo album site, are two of the many websites using CC licenses.  Where copyrights can be tedious and legally complex, CC seeks to “mitigate the barrier imposed by current Copyright law.”2 Benefits Simple to read – The applicant does…
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Fortuitously Captured Copyrighted Material In Documentary Films

In Mad Hot Ballroom, the documentary about New York City public school fourth graders who enter a city-wide ballroom dancing competition, the camera follows one of the students walking home from school with his mother.  She asks him how his day was but before he can utter a response, they are interrupted by the mother’s ringing cell phone, which she answers immediately.  That moment was “such an indicator of today’s culture…The look on his face says ‘I don’t get to tell my mom about my day,’” explains Amy Sewell, one…
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Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts

In February 2015, the College Art Association (CAA) published the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, which in similar fashion to the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use, provides  a set of guidelines for asserting fair use of copyrighted materials, but this time in the visual arts arena.  The guidelines are derived from a consensus of opinions developed through discussions with hundreds of various visual arts professionals — art historians, artists, museum curators, editors and publishers. The Code helps to counter the…
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