Suits TV Show. Self esteem. Suits USA.

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Suits TV Show. Suits USA. 

Suits TV Show. Suits USA

Suits TV Show. Suits USA

Suits – arrogant, cocky, and insubordinate = no self esteem

Ever watch the cable legal drama series, Suits? I have been following the Suits TV Show since it began airing on the USA Network (@Suits_USA) . I loved the first season and I adored the character, Harvey Reginald Specter, played by Gabriel Macht. The second season was a bit disappointing. And for the third season, I am already preparing myself not to waste my time on watching the fourth season.

The entire show has become disturbing. In the beginning, I really liked Jessica Pearson, played by Gina Torres. As managing partner of the firm, she was the epitome of a strong, confident, beautiful, and successful woman. She was the boss…or so I thought. As the seasons have progressed, it seems that her confidence and authority have steadily become diluted. It’s almost comical how disrespectful her subordinates treat her. For example, Jessica’s paralegal (Rachel Zane Ross) talks to Jessica like crap. One would think Rachel was the managing partner and Jessica was the paralegal. How she gets away with it is beyond reason. If it were me, I’d fire that paralegal and make her pay her own tuition!

And then there is Mike Ross, a lying unethical example of an associate turned partner, who ironically isn’t even a lawyer. He talks to Jessica like she is on the bottom of his shoe. Sometimes my ears perk up when he speaks to her, because I am so shocked that she tolerates his condescending and demeaning manner. Yet, she resolutely stands up to partners in other firms and Senior Partner Harvey allowing.

There is no way, when I worked for a New York firm that I would have been allowed to talk that way to anyone, let alone a senior partner. One consolation is when he tried to pull that crap with Robert Zane, he was put in his place. Thank God for someone with genuine self-esteem.

What is going on here?

In the real world, a woman like Jessica Pearson would not allow subordinates to constantly test her authority. If she did, she would ultimately fail. I am a big believer in giving proper respect to people who have earned it, so this scenario with Jessica is unsettling.

I don’t know if it is the purpose of the show to highlight this, a female boss being belittled, but there is a disturbing trend in this country where people/employees disrespect their bosses/employers, especially if they are female. Many have a sense of entitlement where they don’t believe in the process of gaining respect by way of their actions. Everyone, it seems, wants to be the boss right away, regardless of experience or seniority.

If there is a lesson to be learned from the Jessica Pearson character, it is that some people will not respect you if you don’t stand up for yourself and demand respect. Not in a cocky, arrogant way, but in a way that exudes confidence and strength.

Are you a fan of the show, and if so, what do you think?

Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on Law FacebookEsteemable Acts Facebook Fan PageLaw Twitter,Esteemableacts Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groupsGoogle+ Circles.

Idea Pitch. Movie Script. MTV.

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Let’s say that you have a great idea for a product, or even a script for a movie or an idea for a television show. The first thing you do is rush down to the corporate office of the people you want to pitch your idea to and you’re on your way – right?

Movie.

Idea Pitch. Movie.

Not necessarily!

Pitching an idea or product to someone, without completely understanding what you are getting into, or the rules,  is a risky endeavor that can end in catastrophe–for YOU.

Case in point:

Two Queens, New York roommates are accusing MTV of stealing their idea for a reality show.  In March, comedians Zach McGovern and Stephen Bianchi presented their idea to MTV executives and production company Zodiak Media. Their proposed project called “roommate reset,” centered around two roommates who go around and “rehabilitate” bad roommates.

Not having heard back from MTV or the production company about their project, the friends figured the deal was dead. Then the agent of one of the friends suggested he audition for an upcoming MTV series titled “Grossbusters.” After reading the casting notice, he said he realized that MTV was using their idea.

The roommates promptly hired an attorney who filed papers in Manhattan Supreme Court. Attorney Mark Shirian described his client’s situation as “unfortunate,” saying he hoped both parties mentioned in the suit will “do the right thing and give my clients credit where credit is due.” The lawsuit seeks money damages as well as creator credits.

MTV and Zodiak Media have not commented on the case.

Lost. The Voice.

This isn’t by far the first time people have claimed that their ideas for a television show was ripped off by TV studios and production companies. The hit shows “Lost” and “The Voice,” just to name a couple, were involved in lawsuits claiming they used ideas thought up by others.

There is no substitute for being prepared and having proper legal advice when dealing with your intellectual property. Because you many only get one shot to do it right.

Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on Law FacebookEsteemable Acts Facebook Fan Page,  Law Twitter,Esteemableacts Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groupsGoogle+ Circles.

BMI. Green Knoll Grill. Copyright. Music.

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Music. Restaurant.

copyright. music.

copyright. music.

Whenever and wherever you go into a bar or restaurant there is probably a 99% chance that the establishment will be playing some sort of music. Some play it loud, while others play it at barely audible levels in the background. However, there is no doubt that music plays a large role in the operation of most bars, and to a lesser degree, restaurants.

Few people realize that a bar playing music for its patrons isn’t quite as simple as it seems – not anymore.

BMI v. Green Knoll Grill

A recent story in USA Today highlighted a Bridgewater, New Jersey bar that is being sued by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) simply for playing some songs over a year ago in May of 2014. The lawsuit claims that the Green Knoll Grill violated copyright law when they played four songs that included Michael Jackson’s 1982 hit, Billie Jean.

You see, BMI owns the copyright to “Billy Jean” as well as 8.5 million other songs. In principle, depending on things like square footage, the number of speakers and the capacity, a license fee must be paid to the copyright holder (BMI) when using those songs.

Copyright Law. Karaoke. Pandora.

These copyright laws can pertain to CDs, tapes, DJs, karaoke, iPods, Pandora, and even radio and television. For example, a bar/restaurant is exempt from copyright laws if they play music via radio, TV, cable or satellite, if the gross square footage of the establishment is less than 3,750. Otherwise, establishments over 3,750 gross square feet must obtain a license from the copyright holder.

Last year, BMI took over 160 businesses to court for copyright infringement, while taking in $977 million in revenue from the over 600,000 businesses that pay them licensing fees. Besides BMI, the other main entities in this field are the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC). If you are playing music in your bar or restaurant, chances are that you owe one of these three entities a licensing fee.

Many establishments are either ignorant of these copyright issues or simply chose to ignore them. However doing so can be a risky proposition leading to court ordered payments far exceeding the money for licensing fees.

Like it or not, if you own a business where music is played for the enjoyment of your customers and not paying a licensing fee of some kind, the chances are that you are in violation of copyright law. As usual, it is critical that you know and fully understand the laws as well as your rights.

Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on FacebookTwitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groupsGoogle+ Circles.

Cybersquatting. GoDaddy. Domain Registration. Domain Search.

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AMPAS v. GoDaddy

Cybersqatting. Trademark infringement.

Cybersquatting. Trademark infringement.

The culmination of a protracted lawsuit filed back in 2010 is set to begin on August 4th in a California District Court. The suit involves The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), best known for its annual Academy Awards presentations, also known as The Oscars, is seeking damages from Internet domain registrar giant GoDaddy. The two have been entangled in court going on five years in a landmark “cybersquatting” case.

So what is cybersquatting?

According to Dictionary.com, cybersquatting is defined as follows: “the registration of a commercially valuable Internet domain name, as a trademark, with the intention of selling it or profiting from its use.”

GoDaddy is accused of cybersquatting by allowing the registration of domains that AMPAS say are “confusingly similar” to their brands, such as “Oscar” and “Academy Awards.” So far, the Academy has had success in court against the majority of the nearly 300 domains in question. The upcoming trial will rule on a remaining 57 domain names.

AMPAS is claiming that GoDaddy generated at least $100 million in revenue from the domains in question and that the sites diverted traffic away from their official websites, Oscar.org and Oscar.com. GoDaddy contends that parts of the suit are frivolous, citing that “Oscar” has numerous meanings, including first names. The domain company, who reported earnings of over a billion dollars in 2014, contends that it implemented a “filter” in response to trademark concerns back in 2013.

Legal parameters of cybersquatting fall under the The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), enacted in 1999.

Cybersquatting Cases

Other high-profile cybersquatting cases include actress Julia Roberts who sued over the domain name juliaroberts.com, telecommunications giant Verizon who sued over the domains myverizonwireless.com, iphoneverizonplans.com and verizon-cellular.com, and iconic British football club Manchester United over the domain name manchesterunitedfc.com, which was purchased by an opposing fan.

Cybersquatting has also gained notoriety in the political arena over the past several years with people setting up domains using the names of likely presidential candidates, either for political purposes or for potential financial gain. Critics of cybersquatting laws contend that if taken too far they can suppress free speech.

What do you think?

Feel free to join my conversation on Facebook, Facebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts page, Twitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.

Scandal. Ethics. Dennis Hastert. Family Values.

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Scandal. Ethics. Values. Scandal ABC.

Scandal.

Scandal. Ethics.

I am always amazed at how folks hold themselves out as living one way (living with ethics), but in truth, live very different lives. There are people who do horrible things and proclaim themselves to be the good guys–the wearers of the white hats. We see it everywhere from drug dealers who claim they sell drugs to children in order support their families, to pedophiles that assert that they have sex with children because they really love and cherish them, to Dennis Hastert yet another politician who TALKS about family values, to any number of American role models.  Is it any wonder why our real life role model’s behave as they do? Why would they not, when we let them know who we love on TV. We love the scandal. We love the politicians, the actors, the wall streeters who engage in scandal. In fact we celebrate them. The more scandal and debauchery, the better.

This type of hypocrisy has me thinking about the character Olivia Pope and her band of merry gladiators from the political drama series, Scandal.

During its first season I enjoyed watching Scandal, despite that I never liked the basic premise of a woman disrespecting another woman by openly sleeping with her husband. While some would see Olivia Pope as beautiful, smart, clever, and successful; I see her as a woman who can be disingenuous and makes poor choices in her life.  I, in fact, see her as a women with very low self esteem. Why else would she settle for seconds in life?

I hoped in the second season Olivia would repent and at a minimum, be made to pay for her scandalous behavior. Instead, she was made to be, even more of the heroine; the wearing of the “white hat.” And all along as she brazenly had an affair with a married man, she chastised her clients for not knowing the difference between right and wrong.

As a result, I found myself tuning in to watch the drama series less and less. And while the values and beliefs her character portrays go against mine, I must admit I LOVE Shonda Rhimes.  She totally rocks! She is an amazing and brilliant storyteller who knows how to keep you interested.  And, she always gives me something to talk about in my blogs. I only wish I could craft a story as well as she.

This past weekend while I was resting and nursing a cold, I did however get caught up with the last 3 months of Scandal, which I did not see.  That tells you how far removed from the series I had become. Three months of episodes. When the series first started, I waited with baited breath for the next episode. Anyway, while watching the episodes I had hoped to see Olivia’s character change for the better–at least a tad bit. Instead, I was reminded of the hypocrisy that Olivia Pope lives by. Her merry band of degenerates (murderers, torturers, sleazeballs, and herself at the helm) are quick to talk about what’s right, as they kill and torture anyone who gets in their way. Interestingly, when Olivia encourages Huck, who is a member of her crisis management team, to kill and torture, it’s okay, because they are the “white hats.” Yet, because Olivia hates her father, when he kills, in her eyes he is an evil person.

Then the series continues with Fitz kicking Mellie, his wife and the mother of his children, out of the White House. His reasoning: she did a bad thing. Although unbeknownst to her at the time, she accepted money from Olivia’s father for her campaign and inadvertently contributed to the death of a bus load of people. How quickly Fitz has forgotten that he shot down a plane full of civilians, murdered (smothered) a Supreme Court Justice, and continues to openly and notoriously have an affair disrespecting his wife and the Oval Office. Yet, all along he and Olivia talk about what’s right and what’s wrong. And lest we forget that the President of the Scandal United States caused a war in order to save his mistress. Hello, is something wrong with this picture?

As I watched the series, I began to think am I the only one who sees the hypocrisies of these characters?

Do you watch Scandal? What do you think? Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts pageTwitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.