"My God! It's Full of Stars!" - The [Legal] Artist Turns One

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Happy Birthday friends!  The [Legal] Artist turns one year old today!

I fully expect to continue providing content that is informative, interesting, and fun.  In fact, I have some really interesting stuff coming up this year that I think you guys will really enjoy.  But today is a day for retrospection, which is why I'd like to take a look back at some of my favorite posts from the past year (Although I generally despise clip shows.  They seem like such a lazy way to generate more content).  Some of these were about having fun and mixing it up, while others were about imparting what I felt to be critical information about how the law can impact artists and their work.  So, without further stalling for time, here are my thirteen favorite posts in no particular order.  Taken together, these articles epitomize my entire philosophy on art, law, and life.  When you get a chance, I hope you'll take some time to re-read these.

  1. The Legal Implausibility of Crimson Tide, or How To Find Drama Within The Constraints of Reality.  This was one of my first blog posts and I think it represents the high-water mark of what this blog can be.  It was fun to research, fun to write, and the first time I responded to something newsworthy (the suicide of director Tony Scott).
  2. Suing The Avengers.  The idea behind this post is what prompted me to start this blog.  While I don't think it's one of my better written articles, and I get a little too into the weeds with the legal stuff, it still holds a special place in my heart.
  3. Why Movie Theaters Suck and How To Fix Them.  This is a topic that's near and dear to my heart, despite very little legal stuff in this piece.
  4. You Have The Right To Be Paid: Death of the Unpaid Internship.  I hate unpaid internships.  HATE THEM.  I didn't realize how much I hated them until I wrote this piece, so I will be railing about this topic for a long time.  Hold on to your butts.
  5. Filmmaker-2-Filmmaker: Tip 3 – Sweat The Business Stuff.  If you're trying to make your living as an artist, I think this is a must read.  This article represents my entire belief structure for artrepreneurs.
  6. “Caveat Emptor” or Why It’s [Kind of] Okay For Facebook and Instagram To Steal From You.  Remember that whole "Facebook is stealing your copyright" debacle?  This was my response to that huge (if brief) intellectual meltdown this country went through when it thought Facebook and Instagram was stealing everyone's stuff.  Incidentally, this is probably the only time I've ever come to the defense of a giant multi-national corporation instead of an individual.
  7. When The Movies Get It Right: Probable Cause and David Fincher’s Zodiac.  I started a recurring series called "When The Movies Get It Right" and this is probably my favorite entry from that series.  To me, this is one of my best written articles, and the fact that I got to defend one of my favorite films (which has since been largely forgotten) made it even sweeter.
  8. Paper Equals Proof, Why You Should Get Everything In Writing.  I don't think is one of my best pieces, but probably one of my more important ones.
  9. Robin Hood And The Much Needed Change In Copyright Policy.  Another article that I'd been wanting to write since the inception of this blog.  It states exactly how I feel about the way our copyright laws sometimes fail authors.
  10. Sherlock Holmes and the Case of Copyright Duration.  This is tied with the Crimson Tide post as my favorite.  I think this is one of my best written pieces and it discusses what I think is a big problem with copyright law.
  11. The Work For Hire Doctrine – A Primer For Freelancers.  Super important stuff if you're a freelancer.
  12. Fairly Useful: Why Fair Use Is A Simple, But Dangerous Legal Doctrine and Fairly Useful, Part Deux: Why It’s Always Better To Ask Permission Than Beg Forgiveness are probably the two most crucial things I've written on this blog.  Fair Use is an extremely misunderstood legal doctrine and I've seen many an artist get bit in the ass for ignoring it.
  13. Sony Wins “Midnight in Paris” Lawsuit, Inadvertently Proves My Case About Copyright Duration.  I just had a lot of fun writing this one.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this blog as much as I've enjoyed writing it.  While I endeavor to improve my skills as a writer, I plan to stay the course from a subject matter standpoint.  So if you have ideas for blog topics or you need some legal advice, feel free to write to me in the comments section or by email (if you need legal advice, email is more appropriate forum).  Stay tuned!

Greg Kanaan

The [Legal] Artist, Boston, MA, USA