Can I Tape Record a Conversation Like in ‘Succession’?

Can I Tape Record a Conversation Like in ‘Succession’?

Popular Culture, Privacy, Uncategorized
HBO's "Succession" is one of my favorite shows going, and easily one of the best things on TV. It's not even a debate. The subplot of a recent episode, in which one of the less scuzzy supporting characters (Greg) secretly tapes his conversation with far sleazier boss (Tom) in order to have evidence of Tom ordering him to destroy, well, evidence, provided a fine excuse to cover the question: Is it illegal to secretly tape record your live conversation with someone? Arizona is a "One-Party" State No, I am not talking politically.  When it comes to recording a conversation you're having, Arizona is what is known as a "one-party" or "single-party" consent state. Under Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3005, it is a felony for you to intentionally "intercept" a conversation or…
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Official Trailer for HBO’s New Theranos Documentary

Popular Culture, Start-Up
The trailer is out for Alex Gibney's latest documentary, "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley". Known mainly for his jaw dropping, Academy award-nominated "Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room", filmmaker Gibney explores how Theranos rose from obscure med device startup to $9 billion company virtually over night and then almost as quickly crashed and burned in a massive fraud surrounding its Edison blood testing device. In turn, the documentary critiques Silicon Valley itself, including a startup culture that encourages companies to lie to investors, the lack of meaningful regulatory oversight, and a VC culture that endorses a "fake it 'til you make it" attitude towards technology and charismatic founders like (the now infamous) Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos' founder. I always thought the Theranos story was tailor made for…
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Cupcake War: FoodNetwork Sued over Popular Snow Globe Cupcake Video

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Popular Culture
With the holidays already approaching, things might be get a little too hot in the kitchen for Food Network, which has been sued for copyright infringement by a woman claiming the network stole her idea and techniques for creating snow globe cupcakes, as demonstrated in her how-to video on SugarHero.com. Last year, Elizabeth LaBau posted how-to-video on YouTube showing viewers how to use gelatin sheets and water balloons to transform the basic cupcake into a highly creative (and pretty cool looking) holiday treat. However, only a few weeks later, LaBau alleges that the Food Network uploaded a competing video on the network’s Facebook page, which she claims is essentially an unauthorized and uncredited reproduction of her original cupcake video. I’ve often been asked whether or not a particular favorite or…
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99 Problems But Trademarking Your Name Ain’t One

Popular Culture, Trademark, USPTO
As fans of musicians Beyonce and Jay-Z learned earlier this Summer, the entertainment power couple gave birth to twins named Rumi Carter and Sir Carter. However, not making nearly as many tabloid headlines was Beyonce's (or, rather, her trademark holding company) subsequent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeking to register both children’s names as actual trademarks. The applications claim use of both marks in commerce for 15 different classes of goods or services such as cosmetics, baby apparel, playing cards, and entertainment services. As of the time of this writing, both applications with the USPTO are currently pending examination. Every so often I’m asked by someone if they can trademark their own name. The smart alecky answer I usually give is that one can always make an…
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How to Cover That Favorite Hit Song (and do it Legally)

How to Cover That Favorite Hit Song (and do it Legally)

Copyright, Popular Culture
I'm a huge fan of Spotify's "Acoustic Covers" playlist. It plays on near constant rotation in the background in my office and at home on weekends. Some of these artists are just flat out brilliant and, frankly, I often prefer the cover version to the original track itself! So, if you're an aspiring singer or musician looking to cover a favorite artist's hit single or maybe draw some new fans to your work on YouTube, how do you go about it? First of all, it is important to understand that your favorite artist's track is protected by copyright law. An original song is a creative work that is covered (pun intended) by Copyright law as soon as it is fixed in a tangible form, whether that is on paper, vinyl…
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