Dedicated to supporting the arts in the state of Washington since 1976.

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GoldieBlox, Concluding Thoughts (I’m all out of clever titles)

Litigation involving popular culture comes with a great deal of cultural baggage, all the more so when concepts like feminism and artistic integrity are thrown in to the mix. Even without that baggage, the drama surrounding this case forces us to evaluate how effectively current fair use rules operate. Is it efficient that a federal court must get involved in …

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Musicians’ Legal Mixtape – April 16, 2014

Being in a band can leave you with Sweet Emotions or stuck in Heartbreak Hotel. Come hear promoter-turned-entertainment lawyer Joleen Winther Hughes and Seattle-based talent manager Mackenzie McAninch talk about key legal and business issues You Oughta Know so you can create your own sweet tunes and rebound quickly when it’s time to Go Your Own Way.

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GoldieBlox, License to Will

In addition to the basic overview and fair use analysis, public perception of Girls and this case raises another issue that I want to address. There has been much talk of the Beastie Boys’ decision not to allow commercial advertising of their songs and the provision in Adam Yauch’s will to that effect. That discussion is unintentionally touching on a …

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GoldieBlox, Rhymin and Stealin Intellectual Property

To recap where we left off, in a very short period of time we went from feminist Legos (K’Nex?) to full blown intellectual property litigation. It seems that GoldieBlox’s offer to drop its suit fell on deaf ears, because that option was foreclosed once Beastie Boys filed its counterclaim. As mentioned, Beastie Boys counterclaimed on several different theories, but its …

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GoldieBlox, Fighting for Your Right to Par~take (in unlicensed parodying)

Feminism vs. creative control, parodists vs. rights holders, the ongoing GoldieBlox litigation has been cast in a variety of lights, each reflecting the preconceptions of the caster. Whatever one thinks of the relative moral standing of the parties, this case ultimately comes down to the perennial problem of determining what constitutes fair use. It raises a number of interesting issues …

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Jimi Hendrix’s Publicity Rights Resurrected in Washington State

Decades after his death, the iconic image of Jimi Hendrix is still embodied in sculptures, memorials, and parks throughout the city of Seattle. However, despite his universal rock legend status, artists and musicians alike may want to think twice before using the lyrics to “Purple Haze” on a poster or putting Hendrix’s face on a T-shirt. Every individual enjoys, what …

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Benefits of Federal Trademark Registration

As promised, this week I will discuss Federal Registrations of Trademarks. Before applying for a federal trademark ask yourselves, what is the scope of protection you want for your mark?  Do you intend to use your mark in interstate commerce i.e. do you sell your products in different states? With these questions in mind consider the benefits of federal trademark …

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Free Guest Lecture on Open Licensing and Copyright

Here’s a fantastic opportunity for artists and attorneys to hear from prominent scholar Dr. Chunyan Wang on copyright and open licensing, brought to you by our colleagues at The Copyright Society of the USA, Pacific Northwest Chapter. The chapter is sponsoring a brown bag lunch discussion with Dr. Chunyan Wang, Associate Professor, Renmin University of China Law School, and Visiting …

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Federal Tax Workshop • March 12, 2014

Depreciation, capital gains, deductions, W-2s, 1099s! Having trouble keeping track of it all? Neil Sussman’s popular tax workshop is back to guide artists and their attorneys through yet another season of gains, losses, formulas and forms. Learn all the basics you need, plus special tips and what’s new for your 2013 tax return.Designed specifically to address the arts and entertainment …

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10 Benefits of Washington State Registration of a Trademark

This week I will be discussing the benefits Washington state trademark registration. For people wanting to know more about what a trademark is please check out our FAQ on What is a trademark? before diving in to this post. The first thing to remember is that registration of trademarks is not mandatory however it is preferable to obtain trademark registration …

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