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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at
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Between Lawyers provides just-in-time group commentary on the issues raised when technology, culture and the law intersect. We take you behind the firewalls and conference room doors to show you how experienced lawyers deal with these issues and help you prepare for the new challenges we all face. For more, see our introductory post.
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June 24, 2005


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Posted by Denise Howell

I'm at Gnomedex, taking in the comprehensive schedule that focuses on what's new and important in Web communication and technology, and what's on the horizon. Here are what I perceive to be the critical legal issues swirling around the talks so far:

  • Feeds and copyright. The notion of whether an implied license or waiver exists by virtue of the publication of a feed is going to get litigated, somewhere, somehow. A wrinkle I haven't seen discussed much yet: the fact that mom and pop users posting text or other material to the Web using today's ever more sophisticated and syndication-aware authoring tools might have no idea they are, in addition to creating a Web page, syndicating their material. In order for a court to conclude that a publisher has relinquished otherwise applicable copyrights, I think at minimum someone would have to show that an express intent to authorize broad re-use was present. There's thus an education gap on the user side that is poised to either work against those who urge an implied license or waiver, or against the tool providers. (I.e., "What? No one told me there might be copyright ramifications of publishing a feed.")
  • Someone needs to register and populate
  • I'm struggling with how the legal panel is going to compete with all new product previews and launches here. It's already past close of business for the week on the east coast, so maybe the Pacific time zone can come up with some radical new legal framework before day's end? Let me know!

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Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Copyright | Technology


1. Denise Howell on June 25, 2005 2:45 AM writes...

Commenting on my own post - a tad pathetic, but I didn't feel like doing an "update." And this should do nicely as a "radical new legal framework" to discuss.

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2. Kevin O'Keefe on June 25, 2005 1:06 PM writes...

Don't think you need worry about the legal issues your panel discusses getting swallowed up by the news on products et al.

One, some of the best presentations and panels at Gnomedex have discussed, at least in part, the rights of citizen journalists. The audience will be most interested in your insight, analysis and commentary.

Two, there a few hundred people with either blogs or podcasts reporting what the presenters discuss. Your message will be carried across the net live later today and further spread across the net the beginning of the week when people get home.

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3. Denise Howell on June 25, 2005 1:26 PM writes...

Thanks Kevin! Agree entirely on your first and second points (see my Gnomelaw, cont. post), as ususal I'm in pursuit of an elusive bit of humor in my quest for something to "launch." We've got a lot of ground to cover in a mere 45 minutes today, so I hope we can hit at least some of the high points. One of the things I want to get into is "participatory law," which meshes well with your thoughts about citizen journalism.

And I love how, more and more, thanks to progressive organizers, citizen journalists, and easy and affordable tools and tech, conferences like this aren't merely a local and closed experience any more. Glad you're following along!

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