Paper Cuts- someone get the neosporin please.

31 12 2008

I found an interesting blog that I hadn’t been aware of before.

Paper Cuts is a blog listing newspaper layoffs/ buyouts/ downsizing/ closings in the U.S.

I guess I find the name quite endearing, as each one of these truly feels like a tiny paper cut (my own layoff two years ago was more like touching a hot stove, but that is another story).

The Paper Cuts blog’s total for 2008 so far:

15,586+ jobs

Ouch! That will require a lot of band-aids.

Happy New Year.


Bankruptcy and Copyright

30 12 2008

Seeing as how one of my clients has filed for bankruptcy, I plan to be researching the issue of bankruptcy more and more.

It is a dense issue. Here is something I have found

Although the bankrupt company’s assets can be re-distributed, intellectual property is different in that the IP rights cannot be assigned to another party unless the IP owner has consented, according to In The Red business bankruptcy blog, (to make the information in this link more understandable, replace the word licensor with photographer and licensee with client/newspaper/magazine):

Also, this discussion on Patry Copyright blog about bankruptcy and patent. (be sure to read the follow-up comments)

Definitely this is complicated. My guess is that this will develop more over the next few years.

As an aside, I think this means we need to watch out for terms in our contracts that would allow IP rights to be assigned to a third party in bankruptcy.

Notes from the Lame Duck Session

11 12 2008

A couple of interesting things happened in Lameducklandia today.

– Approval of the auto bailout. Booo.

– Condemnation of the Mumbai attacks. Duh. Would people have thought otherwise?

– Extension of the broadcast authority timeline (related to the digital tv transition)

– S.J. Resolution 46 ensures that the Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) will have the compensation that was in effect on Jan. 1, 2007. I assume this is an attempt to get around the constitutional problem of having her serve in an appointed position for which she voted on a raise. I’m not sure that it solves the problem, technically, but it does address the spirit of the problem

“No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time…” (emoluments being salary/ compensation)

071107-constitution-awc-075This is not the first time this conflict has come up. And it has been ignored before, or rather, dealt with by reverting to the pre-raise salary.

But the fact of the matter is that the Constitution doesn’t have the words, “unless they do x,y,z….”

The congress may be trying to solve this problem by legislating, however you can’t leglislate your way out of the constitution.

But I told my husband that I had one solution… that it doesn’t apply to Clinton because the constitutional clause clearly says, “he”. I wonder if that would work. ;o)

A post on the Daily Kos explains the whole dilemma very well.

Ironically, it is only a $4,000 raise, surely chump change for someone like Clinton, especially considering that she had her eyes on a different job.

And then again, it is only the Constitution. Seems like the judiciary is the only branch of the government that is even pretending to follow it these days anyhow (and frankly even they abandon it when it suits them).

Greenberg v. National Geographic petition for cert denied

10 12 2008

Well, It looks like the long case of Greenberg v. National Geographic has seen the end of the road.

By denying the writ of certiorari, The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal.

Read the story on for more details on what this means to photographers.

Sometimes the Supreme Court explains their denial, but there are no extra details on this one.

For me it means, time to revisit the standard contract and double check a few things.