Technology Law Blog

Fraudulent Kickstarter Campaign Leads to First-of-its-Kind FTC Legal Action

A drink cooler that doubles as a blender and stereo system. A card game called “Exploding Kittens” for “people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.” A motion picture starring Kristen Bell. These are a few of the inventions and initiatives that have received the most funding on Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding site.

Kickstarter is an online platform that allows project creators to seek financial backing. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing - a project must meet its funding goal to receive any money at all.

I have previously written about the tax implications of Kickstarter campaigns here.

While there’s always a risk that a project won’t make it from concept to completion, most backers have an expectation that their monetary pledge will be used in good faith and for its intended purpose. Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding

The Department of Justice Issues Recommendations for Preparing for Cybersecurity Threats

The recently formed Cybersecurity Unit of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) recently issued guidance regarding best practices for organizations to protect against and respond to cybersecurity risks. The guidance, titled “Best Practices for Victim Response and Reporting of Cyber Incidents,” was drafted with smaller organizations in mind, but has relevance to larger ones as well.

What to Do in Advance of a Breach

The DOJ urges organizations to prepare an incident response plan before a breach occurs, and recommends that an organization do the following: Read More ›

Categories: News & Events

Virtual Currency Startup Slapped with $700,000 Fine by U.S. Treasury

You’ve likely heard of Bitcoin, the virtual currency that has made headlines over the last couple of years for its increasing popularity and wild swings in value. However, you may not have taken notice of other, lesser-known virtual currencies being developed by startup technology companies. But the U.S. Department of Treasury is watching closely.

Ripple Labs, which manages its own cryptocurrency called XRP, and which has raised over $34 million in venture capital from investors, was recently slapped with a first-of-its-kind $700,000 penalty by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The fine comes as a result of a settlement with FinCEN and stems from violations of regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act and for failure to register with FinCEN despite operating a money service business. The company is also being penalized for not implementing an anti-money laundering program. Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Venture Capital/Funding

Crowdfunding 101

What is crowdfunding? Is it legal? Learn the response to these questions and much more in this short video clip:

Categories: Crowdfunding, Venture Capital/Funding

Will You Read My Script?

Practicing entertainment law, I am repeatedly asked to read different film scripts or book manuscripts. Sometimes I agree, but I always preface my review with a specific conversation. Here is my initial answer to the question, "Will you read my script?"

Categories: Intellectual Property

FAA’s Takedown Orders Don’t Fly: Do You Need to Take Down Your Drone Videos?

Unmanned aircraft systems - drones - are become increasingly popular and less expensive. From drone pilot hobbyists to online retailers, recreational and business use of drone technology is likely to increase over the coming years. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken notice. Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Social Media

Three Tips for Music Licensing in Media Production

Obtaining the proper music licenses helps protect your production from a copyright lawsuit, which can ultimately prevent the release of your final product. Watch the short video clip below for these three practical tips on music licensing.

  1. Recognize the need to obtain a license for ALL music.
  2. Know "sync" and "master use" rights.
  3. Start the licensing process early.

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property

How Do You Sell a Reality TV Show?

Watch the short video clip below for three tips on how to sell your reality TV show.

  1. Understand the process for selling
  2. Watch out for the option
  3. Understand your leverage

Watch the video:

Categories: News & Events

The Final Chapter on Aereo’s Chapter 11

On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled that cloud-based television-streaming service, Aereo, violated U.S. copyright law and its subsequent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing has come to a dramatic conclusion. We have followed this case throughout its lifecycle, and updated this blog with posts like this one to keep you up-to-date on its implications for copyright and telecommunications regulations. Now, as reported by Inc. and other media, the company’s sale of its technology – once considered disruptive and wildly innovative – for a “disappointing” $2 million brings the technology company’s story to an end.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, Aereo filed for bankruptcy, and recently conducted an auction sale of its intellectual property and hardware in order to raise funds to pay creditors. The company sold its name and customer list to TiVo, and its patent portfolio to RPX Corporation, which has been categorized by some as a patent troll. Aereo sold off its remaining equipment to Alliance Technologies. Aereo had expected the sale to raise up to $40 million. Read More ›

Categories: Chapter 11, Copyright, News & Events

Chilling Effect or Creative Boundaries? Full Impact of “Blurred Lines” Ruling Still Hazy

A decision in a copyright infringement case concerning the song “Blurred Lines” casts ambiguity on the future of expression and copyright protection in the music industry. On Tuesday, March 10, an eight-person jury in Los Angeles concluded that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, the performer and songwriter-producer of the most successful song of 2013, “Blurred Lines,” committed copyright infringement by using elements of the 1977 Marvin Gaye song, “Got to Give it Up,” without proper credit. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property, News & Events