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On Like Donkey Kong

Nintendo, with its new video game Donkey Kong Country Returns set to hit the shelves shortly, has just started a campaign to trademark the popular phrase “It’s on like Donkey Kong.”  Does the inclusion of the name of one of Nintendo’s most popular characters make this a trademark worthy phrase?  Nintendo certainly didn’t invent the saying—many attribute it originally to rapper Ice Cube—but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a stake in it.  What do you think?  CNN has the story.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is this Sunday, and in honor of it OWLS is hosting its 2010 Halloween trick-or-treating this afternoon.  Come along and bring a child, or just enjoy the costumes as they are out and about.  From 3:30 to 5:00 today there will be trick-or-treating around the Law School and a costume parade for the kids.  Have a safe and happy Halloween, and if you’d like to know more about the holiday, there is, as always, an excellent website devoted to it on USA.gov.

Lunar Law

Property law is a rather tangled web here on Earth, so imagine the difficulties associated with land and resource rights on the moon.  The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has a very interesting entry on moon rights today.  With the recent discovery of water on the moon, it becomes more likely that humanity will hasten its exploration of the moon.  So how will ownership of the moon be decided?  There were a few treaties made back when moon exploration was at its height, but it is still difficult to say who can claim ownership and how.  For more look at this older but still interesting article in Popular Mechanics.  To buy your own little chunk of the moon, try the Lunar Embassy.

How Addicted are You to the Internet?

This morning the Law Librarian Blog pointed out that netaddiction.com, the Center for Internet Addiction offers a test to assess your internet addiction.  Not only that, but they also offer a test for your partner to take to assess you, and those numbers could be pretty different (as they turned out to be for the Law Librarian blogger).  How addicted to the internet are you?  If you are addicted, how much do you do you want to change that?

The Court on Television

Reality judicial television shows have been around for many years.  Many of us have grown up on The People’s Court and Judge Judy.  But how do these shows first get on the air?  And what crosses the line between maintaining the dignity of the judicial system and pure entertainment?  One judge in San Diego, Judge DeAnn Salcido, recently decided to film a few of the more entertaining cases that came to her courtroom, complete with her own off-the-cuff wit in hopes of being the next courtroom TV show.  Instead of a contract she is facing discipline from the Commission on Judicial Performance.  The notice contends, among other things, that she was not upholding the integrity of the judiciary, that she made some inappropriate remarks.  Judge Salcido recently filed a response.  Law.com covers the story in two nice articles here and here.

What do you think?  Should Judge Salcido be sanctioned?  Should she get a TV show? For that matter, how do you feel about Judge Judy? Where do you think we should draw the line between the law and entertainment?

Happy Columbus Day!

Columbus Day is actually one of the least recognized federal holidays.  Perhaps that is because it is rather controversial, with many places choosing instead to celebrate alternatives like Native American Day, Discoverer’s Day, or Indigenous Peoples Day.  Have a lovely day no matter which you celebrate, and for more information about Columbus Day you can take a look at USA.gov or at the Columbus Day page from the History Channel.

Lawyer Commercials

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog this morning pointed us to Asylum’s list of ten hilariously awful lawyer commercials.  They are pretty amazing.  Enjoy!

Suing the Social Network

There has been much speculation recently about whether Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will take legal action against the recently released movie The Social Network.  There has been similar speculation as to what his chances of winning are if he does. In general, most questioners, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, and THR, Esq. agree that Zuckerberg would be unlikely to win (and as time goes on, is more and more unlikely to actually sue) but it is an interesting problem to ponder.  It calls to mind the defamation and public/private figure issues that many IU Maurer students work on in their first year LRW classes.  Is Zuckerberg a public figure?  Is there actual malice? How do we measure the assorted claims of the movie’s truth or fiction?

Stephen Colbert in the House

This morning Stephen Colbert testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee about migrant workers in America. Colbert stayed in character, and house members stayed relatively deadpan.  Take a look at the video on the Wall Street Journal blog here!

Heroes on Trial

The Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale is offering a really interesting exhibit of its rare books collection—comics set in the courtroom.  Some of them are simply detective stories, but they also have comics in which you see some of your favorite heroes on trial, Batman, Superman, the Hulk, etc.  Should the Hulk be responsible for property damage?  Does Superboy, as a minor, require guardianship? It’s reminiscent of the legal troubles of the Incredibles at the beginning of the Pixar movie.

For more information, check out the New York Times article on the Yale exhibit, or the Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Rare Books Blog, which includes cover images of several of their comics.  And thanks to the Law Librarian Blog for mentioning this story.

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