DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

Derek Allen

Derek AllenI began training for a career in litigation at an early age by finding ways to disagree with pretty much anyone about pretty much anything. In my longest-running "case," I argued with my middle school math teacher, Mrs. Jabs, for the better part of four years over whether, even if I got the right answer, I had to show my work to get full credit. We never settled that one, as my eventual move to high school took me out of her jurisdiction (although I'm still sure I was right).

Creativity was also never a problem in my neighborhood growing up. My backyard was Wrigley Field (with the notable exception that, at least to my knowledge, Wrigley Field never had a rule where any ball hit in dad's garden was an automatic out), thousands of NBA and NCAA championships were won in my driveway (all, miraculously, on last second shots), and some of the greatest independent films to never grace Cannes or Sundance were filmed around my house (the magnum opus for this would-be auteur involved a rogue CIA operative who killed around three dozen bad guys, all of which were played by my cousin, Teddy).

In a sign that perhaps my interests haven't changed as much as they should have since I was 12, I'll often be blogging about sports, video games, and the entertainment world (but, I promise, not math).

Posts by Derek Allen

Jesus Christ (World Cup) Superstar?

Posted in Advertising, Copyrights, Marketing, Television

The World Cup is in full bloom and like anything that involves lots of money and national pride, it’s going to generate its share of lawsuits (or threatened lawsuits). My favorite so far finds the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro threatening a copyright suit against Italian broadcaster Rai Italia for daring to put an Italy jersey on Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer… Continue Reading

Everything You Need to Start Your NBA Franchise

Posted in Agreements

When NBA owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments came out last weekend, they led to a lot of things, among them the decision by the NBA to finally release its previously secret constitution and by-laws.  (As an aside, it was particularly terrible to hear that someone at the highest levels of basketball holds such repulsive views.  I grew… Continue Reading

The Top 10 Lawyers of TV and Film: Numbers 6-10

Posted in Television

In what we believe is a Duetsblog first, two of us — Tim Sitzmann and I – are teaming up to write a post.  (Even if this isn’t the first time a post has had two authors, much like European explorers who claimed to “discover” land that people were already living on, we are going to pretend that it… Continue Reading

Sochi’s First Meme

Posted in Advertising, Fair Use, Marketing, Television

It didn’t take long for the Sochi Olympics to produce its first meme.  On Saturday night, my girlfriend and I were able to block out the ongoing drama that is Bob Costas’ eye for long enough to watch American figure skater Ashley Wagner put on a solid performance during the team competition.  (We, like many others, are… Continue Reading

Could Losing Copyright Protection Be The Key To Ending Stadium Subsidies?

Posted in Articles, Copyrights

Quentin Tarantino is suing Gawker Media because it leaked his script and Northwestern football players are attempting to unionize in yet another attack on the NCAA  — two stories that would otherwise be right in my wheelhouse — but, it’s Super Bowl week so I’m pretty sure I’m constitutionally required to write something about football. Public… Continue Reading

Clark the Cub vs. The Internet

Posted in Branding, Marketing

As a long-suffering Cubs fan (I blame my dad for introducing me to the team, while I’m sure he blames my grandpa for doing the same thing to him), I was thrilled when the team announced that it had signed Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka.  Just kidding — they wouldn’t dare to do anything that would give fans… Continue Reading

Writing as a Signal

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

Although it was many lost brain cells ago, I can still remember those first days of law school when my classmates and I spent a week or two figuring out how to even read a court decision or legal brief.  It struck me as odd that I could pick up any newspaper, read about some dispute or another that I previously… Continue Reading

Are Posts the Windows to Duetsbloggers Souls?

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

The front page of Duetsblog currently features a topless woman, eleven people in their underwear, and so many posts involving alcohol that I’m starting to get a little concerned about what Tim and Steve are doing up on the 35th floor during work hours.  I’m not sure exactly what that means, but if our recent posts… Continue Reading

How Not to Share Halloween With Your Neighbors

Posted in First Amendment

With Halloween almost upon us, I thought I’d take time to definitively answer that most commonly asked Halloween question: To what circle of hell do the people who give apples and dental floss to trick-or-treaters go?  That one’s easy — they go to Ptolomaea in the Ninth Circle, doomed to be covered by ice for all… Continue Reading

Villains: Knowing the Most, But Caring the Least

Posted in Almost Advice, Branding, Infringement, Trademark Bullying

I just finished reading Chuck Klosterman’s I Wear the Black Hat, a book that deals with what we mean when we call someone a villain.  By covering examples as diverse as Joe Paterno, Bernhard Goetz, O.J. Simpson, N.W.A., and Chevy Chase, the ultimate conclusion of the book is that a villain is someone who “knows the most, but cares the least.”  The sole… Continue Reading

The NCAA Takes a Few More Hits

Posted in Articles, Mixed Bag of Nuts

Unless you’re inflicted with the most severe kind of equinophobia, you probably don’t get much satisfaction from seeing a dead horse get beat.  But since the horse that is the NCAA’s current player compensation system appears to still have some life in it, I have to admit I’m sort of enjoying the additional beatings it keeps taking (as… Continue Reading

Xbox One: Single Player Lawsuits Only

Posted in Agreements

Microsoft is dropping its new console, the Xbox One, just in time for Christmas this year.  The official unveiling occurred last month and reviews have been . . . mixed.  The most controversial aspects of the console were requirements that the console be able to access the internet once every 24 hours and that every… Continue Reading

EA Sports Uses Tim Tebow

Posted in Infringement

I’ve previously blogged about a pending lawsuit involving former college athletes (here and here) and whether they should get paid when universities and business partners use their likenesses.  Brent Lorentz, a Chambers USA-recognized rising star in the world of litigation, blogged about a similar suit on Monday.  The plot thickened last Thursday due to some internet… Continue Reading

Memes Attack

Posted in Copyrights

A recent lawsuit combines a number of things that are surely ruining today’s youth: internet memes, the Nintendo DS, and side-scrolling video games (actually, that last one ruined my generation.  Thanks Super Mario Bros., Contra Force, and Ninja Gaiden!)  The game series at issue in the suit, Scribblenauts, allows players to summon some of the most… Continue Reading

College Football Playoff Called College Football Playoff

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

Less than nine months ago, the powers-that-be in college football approved a plan that would ditch the current postseason bowl season for the best teams in the country and replace it with a four-team playoff.  While many had been clamoring for an eight- or sixteen-team playoff, the four-team playoff was certainly an improvement over the previous… Continue Reading

Paying College Players

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

As my diehard readers (maybe reader? Hi Mom! (Just kidding, I’m pretty sure even she doesn’t read these)) will remember, I blogged about pending litigation between former college athletes and the NCAA regarding whether players should be paid when the NCAA uses their likenesses in advertising, during television broadcasts, and in video games.  The players propose a 50/50 revenue split, while the NCAA (of course)… Continue Reading

Tweaking March Madness

Posted in Almost Advice

It’s the end of February, which by my calculations means its almost the beginning of March, which means OH YES FINALLY MARCH MADNESS ASDFNLEKLDFNDF!!!!!!!!!!!!!   (Apologies, I just get a little excited thinking about it.)  This is without a doubt my favorite sporting event of the year.  Once you include the conference tournaments where each of the winners… Continue Reading