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Intellectual property issues and profit disparities for viral social media “stars” @ SxSW

March 7, 2017 Leave a comment

thumbnail_ImP x SxSW Facebook cover promo graphics SIMONE

Join me and this extraordinary panel of experts, Michael D. Armstrong (Viacom), Devin Johnson (Uninterrupted), and panel organizer, Simone Bresi-Ando (I’mPOSSIBLE) at SxSW on Tuesday March 14th at 11 AM: Gentrifying Genius: Urban Creators Stripped Bare.

The panel will explore themes around The Fader’s article: “Black Teens Are Breaking The Internet And Seeing None Of The Profits” in a solutions-focused manner that will not only discuss the ecosystem that maintains the inequalities but also ways to protect and monetize their creative genius on social media.

Simone Bresi-Ando of I’mPOSSIBLE explains:

Black and brown youth are missing out on fruitful and ultimately life changing opportunities and rewards from their intellectual property which remains wildly popular but unpaid and uncredited.

Intellectual Property and Social Media

thumbnail_ImP x SxSW 2017 panelist promo INSTAGRAM graphic PROF TONYA EVANSI will adjust the frame of reference by explaining what intellectual property is, how rights are created, what rights creators control and what they give up when they opt-in to social media platforms, and how creators of color, in particular, can better navigate disparities in what I call the “post-to-profit” pipeline.

This disparity, of course, is not new. Similar misappropriation pervades America’s history with creators of color. In the cinematic suspense phenomenon Get Out, Jordan Peele goes a step further beyond cultural appropriation to examine the ultimate misappropriation of black bodies themselves, genius and all.

This will be a rich, engaging, dynamic conversation. Hope to see you there!

Professor Evans to join the UNH Law faculty Fall 2017!

February 27, 2017 2 comments

unh-law-logo-twitter_400x400I am thrilled to announce that I will join the tenured faculty of The University of New Hampshire School of Law this fall as a Full Professor.

UNH Law, formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center, is a leader in intellectual property law, social justice, sports law, and innovative practical preparation and is ranked 82nd by US News & World Report. It is also home to the preeminent Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property (FPCIP) and the UNH Sports and Entertainment Law Institute (SELI).

fpcip1_cropforweb

I look forward to serving as an integral part of both FPCIP and SELI, and I will also continue my work in the areas of Trusts & Estates and Inclusion & Equity.

[Read the official press release]

 

I am excited to announce that my hiring class includes Ryan Vacca. He is the David L. Brennan Professor of Law at The University of Akron School of Law, where he also serves as the Interim Co-Dean and Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Technology.

My departure from Widener Law Commonwealth is bittersweet; I have loved my time here! WLC has been a tremendous place to evolve as an educator and scholar in the legal academy while surrounded by wonderful, supportive colleagues and inspired by fantastic students (whom I will miss most of all!). Thank you for the well wishes I’ve already received.

Legal Intelligencer takes note of recent appoinment of Prof. Evans to senior leadership

October 8, 2016 Leave a comment

Evans joins law school’s senior leadership as Associate Dean of Inclusion & Equity

September 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Associate Professor Tonya M. Evans joins the law school’s senior leadership team as the Associate Dean of Inclusion and Equity.

Professor Tonya M. Evans imageDean Evans’ new role includes overseeing the law school’s implementation of its strategic plan, practices, and policies related to diversity, inclusion, and equity in the classroom and legal profession.

Her goal is to inspire and sustain a law school community that champions a culture of respect, civility, professionalism, and inclusivity.

To that end, Dean Evans will oversee and implement the greater University’s strategic goals regarding diversity to:

  • Continue to foster a campus climate that values multiple perspectives and experiences.
  • Prepare all students for success in a diverse and global society.
  • Expand and promote access, equity, and success for disadvantaged and underrepresented students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • Create and sustain institutional structures and processes to support a culture of inclusivity.
  • Promote scholarship related to diversity and inclusive excellence.

She will continue to teach in the areas of intellectual property, property, wills and trusts and entertainment law.

“We are preparing our students for success in a diverse and global society,” said Widener Law Commonwealth Dean Christian Johnson. “I know that Associate Dean Evans will work to create and sustain a campus environment that will promote access, equity and success for underrepresented students, faculty, staff and administration as well as the greater legal community.”

Read the complete article at the Widener Law Commonwealth website.

Insight into Diversity and Widener

Recently, Widener University was named, along with a select group of institutions nationwide, to receive an INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine‘s 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Widener is one of only 83 institutions in the United States to receive the award this year, and the only one in the Philadelphia region.

 “As a leading metropolitan university, Widener has made a concerted effort to create a campus community that is dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and I’m very pleased that we are being recognized with the HEED Award,” said Widener President Julie E. Wollman.

A Note About Diversity at Widener

widener-we-are-all

Widener celebrates diversity and embraces multiculturalism as  it strives to maintain an inclusive and welcoming campus communityWidener encourages all students, faculty, staff, and guests on campus to respect the dignity of every individual and honor the value of their contribution to its community.

Widener University leadership is also aware that incidents of bias and hate crimes have increased on college campuses around the country. It condemns such acts and encourages all members of our community to follow its bias protocol.

Prof. Evans to teach Wills & Trusts this summer at UNLV Law

May 4, 2016 Leave a comment

I am excited to announce that I accepted an invitation to teach Wills & Trusts at UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law during the summer session.

This course covers intestate succession; testamentary capacity; execution, revocation, and component parts of wills; interpretation of wills; will substitutes; creation and interpretation of inter vivos and testamentary trusts; powers of appointment; professional standards and fiduciary responsibility. I will also lightly touch upon estate and trust administration.

Although this is not a course on document drafting, we will address ethical and practical considerations in drafting wills and trusts. The question we explore for every case is what the attorney could have done, should have done, or should not have done, in order to avoid litigation. Both the course and casebook, Contemporary Trusts and Estates (Susan Gary et al. , 2d. Aspen), approach the subject matter from an experiential, practical point of view to actively engage students in the material as practicing attorneys rather than law students.

Evans chapter on copyright appears in ‘Hip Hop and The Law’ anthology pub’d by Carolina Academic Press

July 26, 2015 Leave a comment

I am excited to announce the official publication of the anthology, Hip Hop & the Law, edited by the late Pamela Bridgewater (formerly a professor at American University School of Law), andré douglas pond cummings (Vice Dean and Professor of Law at Indiana Tech Law School), and Donald F. Tibbs (Associate Professor at the Drexel University School of Law).

I am honored that my contribution,  Sampling, Looping and Mashing … Oh My! How Hip Hop Music is Scratching More Than the Surface of Copyright Law“, appears in this formidable collection of essential reflections by many of today’s leading critical thinkers. From professors, to practitioners, to creatives, Hip Hop and the Law curates a host of diverse voices to analyze and assess the interdisciplinary intersection of American jurisprudence and hip hop music and culture.

bridgewater coverWhat is important to understanding American law? What is important to understanding hip hop? Wide swaths of renowned academics, practitioners, commentators, and performance artists have answered these two questions independently. And although understanding both depends upon the same intellectual enterprise, textual analysis of narrative storytelling, somehow their intersection has escaped critical reflection.

Hip Hop and the Law merges the two cultural giants of law and rap music and demonstrates their relationship at the convergence of Legal Consciousness, Politics, Hip Hop Studies, and American Law.

No matter what your role or level of experience with law or hip hop, this book is a sound resource for learning, discussing, and teaching the nuances of their relationship. Topics include Critical Race Theory, Crime and Justice, Mass Incarceration, Gender, and American Law: including Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, Constitutional Law, and Real Property Law.

About Hip Hop & the Law published by Carolina Academic Press

Government Shutdown Affects IP Profs, Attys too … Copyright.gov down!

October 1, 2013 Leave a comment

October 1, 2013

Creative Commons License
Government Shutdown Affects IP Profs, Attys too … Copyright.gov down! by Tonya M. Evans is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

As I prepared for my Copyright & Trademark class this morning, I needed to pull the text of one of the sections of the Copyright Act. So I surfed on over to Copyright.gov to access the full text of the Act when I bumped into an odd-looking notice page.

Without really looking at the text, I figured my browser had auto-completed the last URL I’d visited at the site so I typed in copyright.gov myself and hit send. The odd-looking notice page appeared again and there it was … an official notice that due to the government shutdown the Copyright Office is closed:

Copyright.gov special notice due to gov't shutdownSo it seems the government shutdown is INDEED having intended and unintended consequences as thousands of federal employees are furloughed, or receiving government IOUs because the government cannot pay. The strategy to defund the federal government in order to participate in the kabuki theater of purporting to defund the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act or ACA) a/k/a Obamacare seems not only inane (and insane) but just plain inhumane.

[ObamaCare Exchanges start up just as government shuts down]

Dozens of offices are closed, including the Copyright Office. So the impact is real. Mail will be delivered. Social Security and Medicare benefits will continue to flow (although there will likely be delays). But WIC food benefits, federal courts, NIH, food safety, Head Start, federal loan processing, veterans services and work safety (to name just a few areas) are all immediately and negatively impacted (either by delays or closures). Even our military and military families are taking a hit. And because taxes and fines will go uncollected, valuable and much-needed revenue will take a hit as well.

Despite the Copyright Office closure, the United States Patent & Trademark Office remains open … at least for several weeks! It’s hardly a silver lining but not all agencies are impacted in the same way.

The USPTO notice reads as follows:

During the general government shutdown that began October 1, 2013, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will remain open, using prior year reserve fee collections to operate as usual for approximately four weeks. We continue to assess our fee collections compared to our operating requirements to determine how long we will be able to operate in this capacity during a general government shutdown. We will provide an update as more definitive information becomes available.

Should we exhaust these reserve funds before the general government shutdown comes to an end, USPTO would shut down at that time, although a very small staff would continue to work to accept new applications and maintain IT infrastructure, among other functions. (Should it become necessary for USPTO to shut down, details of the agency’s plan for an orderly shutdown are available on page 78 of the United States Department of Commerce’s shutdown plan, available here.)

It was avoidable. Read more…

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