XWith the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act fast upon us, the market for papers, ephemera, and memorabilia of the civil rights movement seems to heating up, bringing with it a wave of legal activity by the heirs, assigns, and executors of some of its most iconic figures, what we cheekily call “cease and desist letters from beyond the grave.” In just the past few weeks, disputes over the legacies of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X have all landed in court.




floThe lead vocals for Frank Zappa’s fine 1970 Chunga’s Revenge album were performed by a duo billed  as the THE PHLORESCENT LEECH & EDDIE. It was a badly kept secret that this was actually Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, founders of the 60s soft rock band the Turtles, who used the pseudonym due to a lingering contractual dispute with their former label. After a brief stint with the Mothers of Invention, they began recording and touring as Flo & Eddie. Now their corporate alter ego, Flo & Eddie, Inc., which owns the rights to all of the Turtles’ master recordings (including such bona fide classics as “Happy Together” and “Eleanore”) is taking the lead in the pursuit of one of the holy grails of pre-1970s recording artists–royalties for the use of their old records by digital transmission services. Its class action suit against Sirius XM, filed last week in a California state court, has the aura of a test case which, if successful, would have broad ramifications for other broadcasters offering interactive features.



This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association’s National Championships in Raleigh, North Carolina, where my daughter Emily placed eight in Alumni Equitation on the Flat.  This was the culmination of 18 years of hard work that all began with a casual trail ride for a seven-year-old  in Tucson, Arizona.  I am loathe to feed my childrens’ fantasies of being under-privileged, but in the equestrian world, where you might find Ann Romney or Mike Bloomberg in the parents section, I must confess to not being the best provider, making Emily’s accomplishment all the more impressive.  The video is here. Way to go Em!

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    Unfair to Genius is an enlightening and entertaining romp through 60 tumultuous years of legal, artistic, and economic change in the American popular music industry, as seen through the lens of one of its most prolific copyright litigants and legendary outsiders, Ira B. Arnstein. "I suppose we have to take the bad with the good in our system which gives everyone their day in court," Irving Berlin once said, but "Arnstein is stretching his day into a lifetime."

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  • Gary A. Rosen

    Gary A. Rosen, a lawyer, has litigated copyright, patent, and other intellectual property cases for more than 25 years, and is a Lecturer in Legal Studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Before entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to federal appellate judge and award-winning legal historian A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. He holds a degree in physics from Haverford College and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. He and his wife Lisa, a physician, and their two children live outside Philadelphia.
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