New Issue of JIMEL Features an Especially Diverse Set of Articles
Volume 5, Issue 1 of the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law (JIMEL), published in conjunction with the American Bar Association's Forums on Communications Law and the Entertainment and Sports Industries, is now available. According to Professor Michael Epstein, the Journal's Supervising Editor, the media and entertainment articles selected for this issue are especially diverse. "The topics, all timely and relevant, will appeal to a broad section of our readers." Professor Epstein also noted that two of the articles were authored by scholars with Southwestern connections.
Professor Warren Grimes' article, "The Distribution of Pay Television in the Unites States: Let an Unshackled Marketplace Decide," is particularly germane in light of the recent standoff between CBS and Time Warner Cable. He links increase in cable pricing, and a corresponding reduction in cable subscribers, to "forced bundling" - a practice by which programmers require distributors to carry less popular channels in order to carry the more popular "must have" channels. Drawing from Canada's cable pricing model, the article proposes a hybrid formula by which consumers can choose between various more specialized ("narrower") bundles and a la carte choices of channels. Professor Grimes, a fixture on the Southwestern faculty for more than 20 years, is a leading expert on anti-trust law.
An article by Grace Clements '13, "A Fistful of Dynamite: How Independent Film's Cowboy Culture Creates Unstable Sales Agency Agreements," posits that sales agency agreements for films may be revocable regardless of the contractual inclusion of an "irrevocable" provision. A recent graduate of Southwestern, where she served on law review and as a Biederman Scholar, Ms. Clements is making a name for herself as an entertainment law scholar-practitioner here in Los Angeles.
An agency is revocable at will even when it contractually claims to be irrevocable unless it is a "power coupled with an interest." In this article, Ms. Clements investigates the meaning of "power coupled with an interest" through case law from the analogous hotel industry, where management companies were shocked to find their agency revoked by hotel owners. With an eye toward current entertainment industry practice, she argues that even the possibility that a sales agency is revocable may be enough to derail international film agreements.
Katharine Larsen and Julia Atcherley's article, "Freedom of Expression-Based Restrictions on the Prosecution of Journalists under State Secrets Laws: A Comparative Analysis," explores the constraints that the right to free expression - and the derivative rights to receive and impart government information - impose on the nature and scope of state secrets laws as applied to journalists. The authors specifically survey the laws, policies, and practices of state governments and intergovernmental bodies applicable to journalists working at the intersection of the public's right to receive sensitive state information on matters of public concern and the government's efforts to prosecute the receipt and dissemination of that very same information. Ultimately, the authors identify the free expression-based constraints that, in this modern constitutional era, guide the evaluation of the validity of state secrets laws as applied to the work routinely undertaken by national security reporters.
Professor Lazaro Grigoriadis's article, "Exhaustion and Software Resale Rights in Light of Recent EU Case Law," examines the potentially significant impact of the landmark UsedSoft ruling in Europe. The recent EU Court of Justice finding that the owner of copyright of a computer program cannot contest the resale of a copy of the program which was incorporated into a data carrier and sold in the EU raised a new question: whether permanent copies stored in a material medium, that are sold or downloaded by sale, can also not be opposed by the owner of the copyright.
Professor Grigoriadis, an academic based in Greece, argues that this is an advantageous holding for users, but poses remedial implications for manufactures seeking ways to circumvent this new holding. Still, a downloaded copy of a computer program does not entitle the acquirer to divide the license and resell only the user right - this would violate the exclusive right of reproduction. Thus, manufacturers will likely respond by renouncing the sale and grant instead, a right to use a copy of a program for an unlimited period in return for payment of a fee. The article looks comparatively to "the first sale doctrine" under U.S. law, which similarly authorizes a purchaser of a copy to resell that particular copy, without violating the copyright owners rights when copies are lawfully made.
The leading faculty-edited publication of its kind, the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law was established in 2005 to promote scholarship focused on the global dimension of media and entertainment law and addresses all aspects of international, domestic and comparative law in these areas, including topics related to content, regulation, intellectual property, distribution, publishing, internet and technology, and transactions. Contributors include leading practitioners and academics from around the world. All submissions are peer-reviewed by an editorial board composed of Biederman Institute faculty and members of the ABA Forums. Students are selected to work with the board on research, technical editing and other tasks. Information regarding subscriptions or submissions to the Journal is available online or by emailing Professor Epstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.