The unauthorized use of copyrighted material is more widespread and more immediately a part of our lives today than ever. We need only switch on our personal computers and open our Web browsers to encounter a new world of unauthorized reproductions. As unauthorized copying finds ever new media for testing the limits of legality, the doctrine of fair use scrambles to keep up.
In addition to direct copyright infringement and inducement of infringement, there is a third type of copyright infringement, “contributory infringement,” which is becoming more of an issue in the electronic world. As one Web-hosting company recently learned the hard way, Internet service providers are more frequently being found liable for contributory infringement based on the infringing activities of their users — think Napster.
This week, we profile Helen Leah Conroy:
CEB: What are your practice areas and how/why did you choose or start in your practice area?
Helen: I negotiate transactions for and with internet service and media companies. Some are agreements with vendors providing traditional services, in many instances, outsourced; others involve internet-based services in support of operations (e.g., payment processing, billing and collections, etc.). I also negotiate agreements dealing with internet content, both on the provider and the publishing side, as well as agreements for software-as-a-service. I was a commercial litigator for 15 years, trying cases involving software channel/distribution disputes. I figured it would be a lot more fun to negotiate clearly drafted agreements that are carefully thought through, than to fight over poorly drafted ones (the only ones that are ever litigated). I was right.
This week, we profile Alex Lubarsky:
CEB: What is your practice area and how did you choose it?
Alex: My firm started as an immigration firm handling deportation defense because I had lived for a period of time in Northern Argentina and learned Spanish. We now offer criminal defense and debtor-side bankruptcy and have grown in the Asian and Russian communities due to attorneys and paralegals who are natives from those areas climbing aboard with us. I am a tech geek and have a concurrent career as an electronic discovery consultant.
CEB: What CEB book or program have you found most helpful in your practice and why?
Alex: California Criminal Law and Procedure – it has clarified what was a new and nebulous area of law. I study it before almost every appearance in the criminal courts. The forms manual companion has saved me (and my client) more than once.