THOMAS, THOMAS, AND THOMAS
A Pretend Limited Liability Partnership
|From:||Ira Steven Nathenson, “Managing Partner,” T3 PLLP|
|To:||Fall 2015 “Associates”|
|Date:||Oct. 19, 2015|
|Re:||Copyright enforcement project|
Note to public: this assignment is created for teaching purposes. This project uses real-world materials in order to provide a meaningful learning experience. However, no actual affiliation with any person or entity exists.
You are fictional associates in a fictional law firm: Thomas, Thomas, and Thomas, PLLP, or “Pretend Limited Liability Partnership.” (Also known as T-Cubed.) There are no real clients and no real adverse parties. You will do work related to enforcing copyright rights in a popular song.
Short description of project.
Projects 2 and 3 are all part of a broader fact pattern involving a song from the 1970s and a version of it done by somebody else in the year 2014. For project 2, you are to draft letters to the defendant as well as to any and all providers of internet and online services who may be liable under copyright law for direct or secondary liability. For this project, you will have to understand the law of direct and secondary liability, understand digital copyright law pursuant to section 512 of the copyright act, and understand the crucial differences between a cease-and-desist letter and a DMCA takedown notice. Project 3 will continue the work from project 2, and will involve, inter alia, the preparation of a civil complaint and memorandum of law.
The plaintiff’s work and defendant’s conduct.
Information regarding the client, the defendant, and the various works at issue can be found on the law firm intranet (password required).
Due date and time.
The project file is due Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, 4PM EST (beginning of class) (revised from 11/6). All materials must be printed out and organized, and must be turned in to either Mariela Torres or Karla Garcia (administrative assistants in the faculty suite, upstairs, second floor, near faculty offices). No electronic submissions will be accepted. Make sure to keep an extra set of copies of all the project 2 documents, because you will need many of them for project 3.
Details of your task:
NOTE (posted Nov. 3): All work product must use 12 point Times New Roman font, with normal 1″ margins. There must be spaces above and below each paragraph.
- Ethics research. Your assignment for Mon., Oct. 19 was to consider whether we can represent our new client in light of the fact that we have also once represented the purported adverse party. To do this, consider the conflicts rules in the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct. Your factual research will also reveal additional adverse and interested parties. You should also consider whether there are ethical problems regarding such parties as well. Your case file should include a brief (one to two-page) memo-to-file on this and any other professionalism issues.
- Factual research and due diligence. Your assignment for Wed., Oct. 21 includes initial factual research into the copyright registration/ownership status of the client’s song using search tools at the U.S. Copyright Office. You should also do other factual investigation (such as on the internet) regarding the client’s song, the defendant’s version of the song, and anything else, such as places where the defendant’s song can be found and information about third parties who provide the defendant with online and internet services. Your case file should include organized documentation of your factual research.
- Cease-and-desist letters and/or DMCA takedowns notices. Prepare letters to the defendant and to any third party internet/online service providers. Be sure to write the correct type of letter to each entity, because there are crucial differences between cease-and-desist letters and DMCA takedown notices. Your case file should include appropriate letters for the defendant as well as for any relevant third-party internet/online service providers.
Hand in an organized project file prior to the time listed above for the due date. It should be in paper (no electronic submissions). The project file should include:
- Ethics. A short memo regarding whether it is ethical under Florida rules to handle the matter. See above for details.
- Factual research. See above for details.
- Letters. See above for details.
- Pre-existing materials. If you use any third-party materials as guidance, such as DMCA takedowns or cease-and-desist letters, you must provide copies of the materials.
- Other information. If you believe it would be useful to provide other information, please include it in the file.
Ethics, confidentiality, attribution.
You may discuss the project with other St. Thomas Law students so long as they are current members of this class. As noted above, if you use any third-party materials as guidance, such as DMCA takedowns or cease-and-desist letters, you must provide copies of the materials to me. Your work must be your own. You may not contact any outside parties for legal or factual assistance. These rules are to be construed broadly.
Important project-related information links.
To keep this page simple, other important project information can be found on other pages. In addition to the cases and statutes assigned, discussed in the class, or found in the book, be sure that you have carefully reviewed all of these materials:
- Project 2 scoring criteria
- T-Cubed intranet (password required, to be sent remotely)
- Handout on copyright infringement analysis
- 17 U.S.C. 512
- Ninth Circuit opinion in Lenz v. Universal Studios
- YouTube opinion (in casebook)
- Google Books opinion (TBA)
- Ira S. Nathenson, Civil Procedures for a World of Shared and User-Generated Content, available on SSRN at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1699429
- Ira S. Nathenson, Looking for Fair Use in the DMCA’s Safety Dance, available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1347429
Revised Nov. 3, 2015 (re fonts, spacing)