Fordham Law School’s 24th annual IPLJ symposium, held on September 30, featured exciting and wide-ranging discussions on cutting-edge topics such as viral videos, the changing landscape of antitrust guidelines for the licensing of intellectual property, and the current state of copyright law.
The symposium, organized by the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, underscored challenges posed in protecting intellectual property during an age of innovation in which IP laws and doctrines are continually brought into question, Dean Matthew Diller noted in his opening remarks.
Alumnus Karl Kilb, ’95, an entrepreneur and adjunct professor at the Law School, delivered the keynote speech that kicked off the daylong symposium, offering wisdom from his career and insight into intellectual property law.
Software-based products drive the economy today, and inventors must patent their ideas and figure out how to monetize them, Kilb said during his morning talk. Kilb worked 22 years at Bloomberg, including more than 15 as general counsel.
“Though we would love to think people would innovate for the pure joy of creating something new, there’s nothing quite like that financial incentive to make you put your time, energy, and resources into getting something done,” said Kilb, the CEO of Boloro Global Limited, a New York City-based tech company. He is also the chairman/co-founder of the School’s Entrepreneurial Law Advisory Council.
Today’s 24/7 social media environment raises questions for content creators, journalists, and lawyers alike, panelists discussing “Viral Videos” agreed. Fordham Law Adjunct Professor Mariko Hirose, a senior staff attorney at New York Civil Liberties Union, moderated the panel.
“It’s interesting that this generation of teens and tweens think that, if they’re not charging money, they can use copyrighted material,” said Charles Macedo, partner at Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP. “There are a lot of YouTubers and people out there who are making very popular videos that are being monetized, and they are not quite understanding what’s OK to use and what’s not.”
Confusion over image rights also exists in the media world, said Veronica Roses, who handles rights and clearances for ABC News. Often companies acting as middlemen will negotiate sales prices between media agencies and people who took photos or videos of newsworthy events. Media agencies must do due diligence to ensure the people selling the content actually own its rights.
Other panels included “Proposed Changes to the Intellectual Property Guidelines,” moderated by Fordham Law Professor Mark Patterson, and “Copyright vs. Copyleft,” moderated by N. Cameron Russell, Fordham Law adjunct professor and executive director of Center on Law and Information Policy.
The IPLJ symposium highlighted Fordham Law’s overall strength and leadership in the realm of intellectual property. Fordham’s Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Journal is one of the most-cited journals in its field, the Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property and Information Law Clinic is a fount of opportunity for students, and faculty scholars such as professors Hugh Hansen, Joel Reidenberg, and Olivier Sylvain push discussion forward on the topic.
“Intellectual property is a field at the core of what we do at Fordham Law School,” Dean Diller said. “We are, after all, in the creative capital of the world.”