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Mass Law Blog

Intellectual property and business litigation, Massachusetts and nationally

Lee Gesmer’s Mass Law Blog began in 2005, and contains almost 600 posts. The site initially focused on Massachusetts law, but today it follows business and intellectual property law nation-wide. The site is hosted by Gesmer Updegrove LLP, a law firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. The firm represents startup and established companies in the areas of litigation, transactions (including financings, mergers and acquisitions), IP rights, taxation, employment law, standards consortia, business counseling and open source development projects and foundations. You can find a summary of the firm’s services here. To learn how Gesmer Updegrove can help you, contact: Lee Gesmer

Lanier v. Harvard: “Do The Right Thing”

Louis Agassiz thought that black and white races had different origins. In 1850 Agassiz - an eminent professor at Harvard - embarked on a tour of South Carolina plantations in search of racially "pure" Africans whom he could study as evidence to support this theory, known as “polygenism.” On the trip Agassiz commissioned a photographer to take daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, two slaves who lived on a South Carolina plantation. The images - believed to be the earliest...

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Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Google’s Algorithm-Based Recommendations are Protected Under Section 230

Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Google’s Algorithm-Based Recommendations are Protected Under Section 230

Have you noticed that when you perform a search on Youtube you start seeing links to similar content? If you search for John Coltrane, Youtube will serve up links to more Coltrane videos and jazz performers from his era and genre. If you search for Stephen Colbert you'll start seeing links to more Colbert shows and other late night TV shows. The more you watch, the better Youtube becomes at suggesting similar content. These "targeted recommendations" are performed by behind-the-scenes...

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Music, Copyright and the Performing Rights Organizations

Music, Copyright and the Performing Rights Organizations

With some exceptions, every public venue that plays popular music for its customers - concert venue, bar, restaurant, shopping mall or health club - needs to enter into a blanket license agreement with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, the performing rights organizations (PROs) that pay public performance royalties to songwriters and publishers.  Occasionally a club will fail to join a PRO, ignore warnings and be sued for copyright infringement.  Here’s a current example in which a club did sign a license...

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What You Need To Know About Goldsmith v. Warhol and Fair Use

What You Need To Know About Goldsmith v. Warhol and Fair Use

The doctrine of fair use has been called, with some justification, the most troublesome in the whole law of copyright.  Justice Blackmun. Sony v. Universal (1984)   Fair use in America simply means the right to hire a lawyer.  Larry Lessig   Fair use is the great white whale of American copyright law. Enthralling, enigmatic, protean, it endlessly fascinates us even as it defeats our every attempt to subdue it.  Prof. Paul Goldstein ********* The photo of Prince directly below was...

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This site is hosted by Gesmer Updegrove LLP, a technology law firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. You can find a summary of our services here. To learn how GU can help you, contact:
Lee Gesmer