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Prof. Evans explores copyright transfer terminations & probate law at TAMU Law IP Scholars Roundtable 10/9-10/10

October 9, 2015 Leave a comment
Headshot of Professor Tonya Evans

Credit: Leaping Lion Photography

Associate Professor Tonya M. Evans presents her work-in-progress, Reclaiming Copyright in the Ages of Celebrity Loan-Outs and Other Gratuitous Transfers at the Intellectual Property Scholars Roundtable October 9-10th at Texas A&M University School of Law.

In her article, Professor Evans argues that Congress should resolve an apparently unintended conflict between copyright law and probate law, related to a copyright creator’s testamentary freedom, found in the copyright transfer termination provisions.

Termination & Notice Timeline-FutureofMusic.org

Termination & Notice Timeline-FutureofMusic.org

The article explores a recent Ninth Circuit case, Ray Charles Foundation v. Robinson, 795 F.3d 1109 (9th Cir. 2015). That case presents facts analogous to the problem Professor Evans believes that Congress should remedy; that is, the threat to an artist’s testamentary freedom when statutory heirs assert their copyright termination interests in ways clearly contrary to the decedent author’s wishes.

This inaugural roundtable brings together intellectual property and technology law scholars, providing them with an annual forum for sharing research and peer networking. In addition to the usual work-in-progress presentations, this interdisciplinary roundtable will feature substantial commentary offered by veteran commentators and extended Q&A sessions.

More information about the TAMU Law IP Scholars Roundtable

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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

Berklee College of Music explores just what “public performance” means in the age of ubiquitous music in @TheMBJ

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

“All the world’s a stage,” wrote Shakespeare in As You Like It, and he said as much in other plays. The public performance of creative works, including the work of songwriters, has to be seen in that context today. The advent of the Internet and digital technologies has blurred the lines of demarcation between public and private places, placing an undue burden on those experiencing or performing copyrighted works as to when a particular performance of a work necessitates obtaining a public performance license from the copyright holder.”

Read more: The Music Business Journal, “Copyright in Public Places” by Brian Oliver

6/30 EVENT: Evans joins Icon Kenny Gamble & other music moguls on Biz of Black Music Panel

June 30, 2014 Leave a comment

BMM-Digital-DS Dollars & $ense–The Biz of Black Music

900AM WURD-Philadelphia uses the occasion of Black Music Month 2014 to examine the influence African-Americans have had on the music industry; the importance of proactively protecting intellectual property; the pitfalls to avoid as a working musician; and the variety of music industry jobs that exist outside of performing.

Professor Tonya M. Evans, who teaches intellectual property, wills and trusts, property and entertainment, joins in this engaging conversation with an esteemed interdisciplinary panel on Monday, June 30th at 6:00 PM at the Painted Bride Arts CenterOther panelists include:

  • Kenny Gamble, international music industry icon of Gamble Huff Records
  • Ivan Barias, producer/songwriter and president of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Recording Academy
  • Damon Bennett, accomplished composer, musician and producer

Stephanie Renee, 900AM-WURD’s Program Director and host of “The Mid-Morning MOJO,” will moderate the panel. Join us for an interdisciplinary talk with music industry professionals on how to succeed in today’s music business. The event is free for all attendees. Please click here to RSVP.

About the Dollars & $ense Series

Dollars & $ense is an interactive professional development series produced by 900AM-WURD, Pennsylvania’s only African-American owned and operated talk radio station (and one of the few in the country). Bringing together workshop-style coaching with small groups of personally invested attendees, Dollars & $ense offers a range of financial literacy and empowerment topics to African-American community.

MEDIA ALERT: Prof. Evans to Appear on The Morning Mojo Show 900 AM-Phila 6/26

June 25, 2014 Leave a comment

BMM-Digital-DS

On Thursday, June 26th I will be a guest on The Morning Mojo Show WURD 900 AM- Philadelphia hosted by dear friend and station program director, Stephanie Renee, to discuss my unique path to entertainment and intellectual property law and my upcoming participation in Dollars & $ense: The Business of Black Music panel discussion on Monday, June 30th.

Specifically, we’ll chat about how we met,  my transition from poet to Lawyer by Day, Poet by Night™, and how I gained valuable work experience along the way to inform my professional choices in publishing, law, performance and, ultimately, academia. My segment will air at approximately 11:00 AM but tune in early so you’re sure not to miss it. Shows are archived in case you can’t catch it live.

[Tune in via the Web Live Stream]

Dollars & $ense: The Business of Black Music, is a WURD 900 AM special initiative in honor of Black Music Month, the next installment in 900AM-WURD’s Dollars & $ense professional development series, sponsored by Wells Fargo. I will offer some pointers related to estate planning and IP, and how my practice experience helps to inform my teaching.  Read more…

Evans’ Safe Harbor Article One of 2014’s Best, Selected for Thomson Reuters Ent Law Anthology

May 8, 2014 4 comments

WillametteLawRev-CoverMy law review article, Safe Harbor for the Innocent Infringer in the Digital Age, published recently by Willamette Law Review (50 Willamette L. Rev. 1 (2013)),  has been judged one of the best law review articles related to entertainment, publishing and/or the arts published within the last year!

Accordingly, the editor of the 2014 edition of the Entertainment, Publishing and the Arts Handbook selected Safe Harbor for inclusion in the annual Handbook anthology published by Thomson Reuters (West).

[View & DL Safe Harbor for the Innocent Infringer in the Digital Age]

Bob Marley estate & chicken fingers co. set to battle over ONE LOVE trademark

January 7, 2014 Leave a comment

January 8, 2013

Source: http://www.mondaq.com

On December 6, 2013, Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd. (“Hope Road”), which controls reggae legend Bob Marley’s estate, filed a federal trademark infringement action against the restaurant company Raising Cane’s USA, LLC (“Raising Cane’s”).  Hope Road alleges ownership of the trademark ONE LOVE in connection with a number of goods and services.  It further claims that Raising Cane’s unauthorized use of the same mark in connection with restaurant services is a violation of Hope Road’s rights.

There seems to be little doubt that Hope Road began using the ONE LOVE mark before Raising Cane’s, perhaps even in connection with restaurant services.  However, the legal difference between common-law trademark rights and rights provided by trademark registrations may prove central to this dispute.”

Read the full article at Celebrity Trademark Watch

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