The speaker was a recent transplant to Seattle from the LA area. Greg Goeckner worked as an Entertainment Law litigator for many years, in private practice and for the MPAA. His presentation was very detailed and well-written, and had a lot of good information for practitioners and artists alike.
He covered the basics of US Copyright law, what actually constitutes copyright infringement, some defenses to a charge of infringement, other things to keep in mind before litigation starts, and alternative remedies beyond litigation. The handout was actually nearly a perfect balance of information and conciseness, because I was able to listen as he filled in the blanks, and gave a few examples to illustrate his points.
As a transactional attorney, I found it really interesting to hear about Copyright law from the perspective of a trial attorney. The rest of the paragraph is a bit about my understanding of the differing mentalities of the two types of attorney. Where I would have spent more time thinking about how to avoid litigation, as with the “Pre-Litigation Considerations,” there was only one slide on the subject. Where I would focus on looking ahead: building up the business model and registering the IP, the litigator is more retrospective: looking to find the flaws in the registration, and to pick things apart for the benefit of their client.
There were a few questions from the audience about specific situations, but a member of the board took the opportunity to remind us about the clinics, and we actually ended a few minutes before time ran out. The venue was great, the topic was engaging, and the speaker was excellent. As an IP practitioner with a fairly recent graduation date, most of the information was familiar to me, but I did appreciate hearing about it from a different perspective. I’m very glad I was able to make it down, and I look forward to the next one.
As a repeated disclaimer, I do sit on the committee that plans these events, but I don’t have a hand in arranging most of the individual ones. Next week will be the second in the Filmmaker Series: Rights Clearances.