As of November 2018, KelseyFarish.com has officially turned one year old! When I come across something in the news about digital rights, free speech, intellectual property or other aspects of the media and entertainment industries, I really do love trying to get to the heart of the issue, and writing about it here. It’s a continual joy and fantastic learning experience for me to share with the world the legal stories I find most interesting. And of course, I hope you enjoy reading my posts!
In honour of reaching this milestone, here are my ten most popular posts in this first year of blogging at KelseyFarish.com.
Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo has an interesting celebratory ritual when he stands on the podium after a race: he drinks champagne from his sweaty racing shoe. I wrote about how F1, keen to capitalise on the popularity of the stunt, trademarked the name of this quirky act, known as a “shoey.” Now, it’s pretty clear to me why this post became popular… my motor sport loving husband posted a link to this post on a F1 subreddit! Thanks, love! 😘
This summer I decided to register for the July 2019 California bar exam – wish me luck! I thought it might be helpful to keep a written record of my experiences, thoughts, predictions, and study strategy (for more, see my “California Bar Exam” category tag). This post in particular explains my decision, and sets out the basics of how to become dual-qualified, and what the California bar exam entails.
Throughout the summer, there was heated debate concerning the EU’s sweeping new Copyright Directive. This post explored intermediary liability over user-uploaded content. Essentially, digital platforms and internet service providers argued that they are not responsible for any copyright infringing material uploaded by their users. I was surprised that this post was popular, as it was a fairly “technical” topic!
Cannes: movie stars, auteurs, glamour, the French Riviera, and… data privacy? Before the cameras start rolling, a film production company will need to agree service contracts for cast and crew. In honour of the Cannes Film Festival happening during the same time as my post, I wrote about how data protection issues need to be addressed for an actor’s contract under the new GDPR.
Artists and musicians often use license agreements to ensure their work is used only in accordance with their wishes. This post explains how licensing agreements work when commercialising intellectual property, and explored the case of an artist suing the Lallopalooza festival owners for misusing his designs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, although this post was written in February, it received most of its hits in August – during Lallopalooza!
The right to freedom of expression is not an absolute right: there are certain restrictions in place to protect an individual’s reputation. But those restrictions vary significantly, depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on. Using Taylor Swift’s lawsuit against a blogger who claimed Swift’s music video had alt-right political connections, I explained the differences between US and UK defamation and free speech laws.
Copyright law only applies to the expression of ideas (such as the words or images), and not the ideas themselves. This post used a lawsuit against the author and film producers of The Light Between Oceans to explore this doctrine, which is known as the “idea–expression dichotomy” or “scène à faire.” It is also the post I submitted for my (successful) application to become the CopyKat Intern at the 1709 Copyright Law blog!
A teenager who posted rap lyrics on Instagram was convicted of “sending a grossly offensive message over a communications network,” which was uplifted to a hate crime. This story received a lot of media attention here in England, so I decided to do some research on the legal – and societal – implications. The post covers the UK’s Criminal Justice Act 2003 and Communications Act 2003, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights.
A “morality clause” permits an employer to end its contractual relationship with an individual if their conduct breaches certain ethical expectations. In early 2018 Netflix removed Kevin Spacey from its hit show House of Cards after Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct. I was inspired by the #MeToo movement, and wanted to write about this because Kevin Spacey claimed Netflix could not legally fire him, because his contract did not contain a morality clause.
In this post, I explain how celebrities protect and control the publicity associated with their name, image, and brand. Prior to researching “image rights,” I dismissed the topic as somewhat irrelevant to anyone who isn’t a celebrity. But writing this post helped me come to the realisation that these protections are relevant not only to the rich and famous, but to all of us. In a world of pervasive social media and surveillance, I think we should all be able to control our images and identity as we choose.