Publications

WIPs and Pubs

Last Updated: September 17, 2018

[Evans Scholarship Repository]

Online SME Commentary

Publications

CryptoKitties, Cryptography, and Copyright (forthcoming 2019, BYU Copyright and Trademark Symposium Issue of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal.)

This paper examines the copyright implications of unique, scarce digital creative assets transferred and stored on blockchains, which I refer to herein generally as unique crypto assets (UCAs). Specifically, I explore the emergence of non-fungible cryptographic tokens (NFTs) created based on the ERC-721 standard and recorded on the Ethereum public, distributed ledger. This novel standard enables, for the first time, verifiable digital scarcity—an elusive characteristic in the world of Web 2.0. Further, ERC-721 empowers UCA holders to maintain control over their cryptographic creations in gaming, collectibles, and the full range of copyright-intensive industries, to name a few.

Those industries are generally controlled by powerful, often siloed, intermediaries that restrict access, regulate transferability, and govern how or whether user-generated content may be exploited by the user. I argue that this type of programmable creative self-sovereignty—with the attendant economic benefits that flow from copyright interests—better protects creators than was possible in a pre-blockchain world. ERC-721’s novel coding features provide UCA holders with powerful ownership, provenance, and chain-of-title control and, for the first time, pure digital scarcity.

Diversifying Intellectual Property Law: Why Women of Color Remain ‘Invisible’ and How to Provide More Seats at the Table, March/April 2018 “Women in IP” issue of Landslide, the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Section Landslide Magazine.

User “Safer Harbor” from Statutory Damages: Remixing the DOC’s IP Task Force White Paper54 San Diego L. Rev. 1 (2017).

Statutory Heirs Apparent?: Reclaiming Copyright in the Age of Author-Controlled, Author-Benefiting Transfers, 119 W. Va. L. Rev. 297 (2016).

This Article explores the intersection and disconnect between copyright law and estates law when a copyright owner dies before having the opportunity to exercise her termination right of an inter vivos copyright transfer. Specifically, I explore the impact of a statutory heir’s copyright transfer termination right on the original author’s freedom of testation to the extent the decedent’s nonprobate disposition of assets is contrary to the “statutory will” disposition found in the Copyright Act.

Safe Harbor for the Innocent Infringer in the Digital Age, 50 Willamette L. Rev. 1 (2013)

This Article explores the role of the innocent infringer archetype historically and in the digital age; highlights the tension between customary and generally accepted online uses and copyright law that compromise efficient use of technology and progress of the digital technologies, the Internet, and society at large; and offers a legislative fix in the form of safe harbor for direct innocent infringers.

Reverse Engineering IP, 17 Marquette Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 61 (2013)

This Article examines the role that “reverse engineering” and other policies and doctrines have played in the inventive context to protect the “space” such second-generation innovators require to build upon and around existing inventions that justify the patent monopoly. Further, this Article explores how patent policy better protects and encourages that space than does copyright, theoretically and in practice.

Sampling, Looping and Mashing … Oh My! How Hip Hop Music is Scratching More Than the Surface of Copyright Law21 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 843 (2011)

This article examines the deleterious impact of copyright law on music creation. It highlights hip hop music as an example of a genre significantly and negatively impacted by 1) the per se infringement rule applied in some instances to cases involving unauthorized sampling of sound recordings; and 2) traditional (and arguably erroneous) assumptions in copyright law and policy of independent creation and Romantic authorship.

In the Title IX Race Toward Gender Equity, The Black Female Athlete is Left to Finish Last: The Lack of Access for the “Invisible Woman,” 42 How. L.J. 105 (1998).

Works-In-Progress

  • Inheriting Digital Scarcity: Planning for a Bitcoin Estate
  • Managing Digital Scarcity: Blockchain Use Cases for Digital Rights Management
  • The Building Blockchains of the Orphan Works Solution

Books

Tonya M. Evans, Sampling, Looping and Mashing … Oh My! How Hip Hop is Scratching More than the Surface of Copyrightin Hip Hop and the Law (Bridgewater, cummings, Donald F. Tibbs eds., Carolina Academic Press 2015).This critical and essential anthology is edited by Professors Pamela Bridgewater, andré douglas pond cummings, Donald F. Tibbs and includes an introductory piece, “The Evolution of Hip Hip” by Cornell West.

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Contracts Companion for Writers (Legal Write Publications 2007)*

buy_amazon_orangeCopyright Companion for Writers (Legal Write Publications 2007)*

Literary Law Guide for Authors: Copyright, Trademark and Contracts in buy_amazon_orangePlain Language (Legal Write Publications 2005)*

*Writer’s Digest Book Club selection

 Other Publications

  • Op-Ed Essay: Free Access Equals a Free Ride, published by Wilmington News Journal during its Annual Constitution Day coverage in association with Widener University School of Law’s annual Constitution Day Program (Sept. 14, 2009).
  • A Call to Action: The Time Has Come to Revisit and Reform the Law of Ideas, IP. L. Newsl. (PBA Intellectual Property Law Section) Winter 2008 at 9.