Monthly Archives: April 2013

The World Wide What-If: How E.T. And Mickey Mouse Nearly Changed The Internet (And World) As We Know It – Part 1

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By: Brian J. Meli

This is Part 1 of a two-part article appearing in the May/June 2012 edition of IP Litigator. You can read Part 2 here.

The Universal Studios logo is a computer-generated rendering of a rotating planet Earth, partially circumscribed by the company’s name in giant block letters. It’s an iconic image that instantly invokes the might and magic of Hollywood. It’s also unintentionally allegorical, because had things turned out a little differently for Universal 30 years ago, today’s world—particularly the parts that relate to commerce and technology—might be very different.

The date was January 17, 1984—a year many associate with Apple Computer’s famous “1984” Macintosh commercial, and the George Orwell book that inspired it. But a lesser-known, and even more significant event in the history of the human race’s relationship with technology occurred that same year, and it had nothing to do with Apple. That event was the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Sony v. Universal City Studios, better known in legal circles as the “Sony Betamax” case.

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You’re Hired, Now What Should We Call You?

By: Brian J. Meli

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It’s a dilemma that growing companies routinely face: whether to expand by hiring more employees, or assigning additional work to freelance contractors. It’s an especially common issue among advertising agencies and content providers, who routinely employ freelance creative personnel, and whose demand for creative talent often fluctuates dramatically from client to client and project to project. While the decision to hire outright or go the freelance route ultimately boils down to the particular business needs at hand, there are serious legal consequences that employers of all stripes should be aware of when considering their options.

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