Sunday, January 20, 2008

Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA

Not too long ago, I received my Fall 2007 issue of the Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA. This is a benefit of paying the Copyright Society's membership fee. The Journal issue contained a nicely printed copy of "Recent Developments in Copyright - Selected Annotated Cases" by Bob Clarida and Tom Kjellberg of Cowan Liebowitz & Latman. It reminded me of Bob and Tom's presentation at each Annual Meeting of the Copyright Society of the USA. In a lively style, using pictures and music, they go over important, interesting or outrageous copyright cases of the preceding year. It is a good way to keep up on developments in a rapidly-changing field, and they really make an effort to obtain the materials that the judges were looking at or listening to so that you can understand what was decided.

The meeting is held each June and has traditionally been situated at the Sagamore Hotel on Lake George in upstate New York. This year, for the first time, the meeting will take place June 8-10 in Newport, Rhode Island. Annual meetings kick off with a special cocktail reception for new attendees, and the organization's officers make a real effort to make newcomers feel at home. The programming is diverse and entertaining, and speakers are really top-shelf.

Marybeth Peters, the Register of Copyrights, always attends, along with the top people from her office, and all major content industries are well-represented.

The field of copyright is full of oddball specialties. Attendees come from all over the US, with some foreign participation (unlike the trademark world, the foreign contingent is not particularly large). Copyright lawyers tend to have backgrounds in music, art, film, literature - and thus this gathering is usually more entertaining than most legal conferences.

The Copyright Society also has chapters. Last year I gave presentations to the San Francisco and Philadelphia Chapters. The New York Chapter has monthly luncheons (1 hour CLE credit) that are usually sold out.

If you need a painless way to pick up CLE credits this year, think about the Copright Society. I won't make it to the mid-winter meeting in Dana Point, California (Feb 7-9), but I will be in Newport in June.