Introduction to OFF THE CLOCK
By CharlesBKramer | January 18, 2009
THE CLOCK... you know, that stop-watch lawyers have instead of a heart to click-count every second of the billable day, their jokes included... and who was that lawyer who billed 25 hours one day (and night), taking advantage of the fact that he spent part of it going west, flying back against the time line? Only that's supposedly a true story -- not a joke -- even though it also represents a metaphor of lawyerly aspiration to be flying eternally west, sleepless, timeless and billing continuously...
Well, not here: this blog is off the clock, the part outside the 25 hour day. And hey (I write, kicking off my shoes) that makes it playtime, a place to meander. I'll keep it legal mostly, but without any promises for now to update on particular issues. Mostly it's a place where I plan to report curiosities, occasionally give practical advice, and in the blog tradition, grouse about the inequities and silliness I find in the legal world.
Especially, to grouse.
Most of the time, my subject matter will be software licenses, website issues, and trademarks, often with a particular focus on legal issues relevant to games. For example, in coming weeks I anticipate posting entries about:
- * An audacious trend in online sweepstakes;
- * Ways to try to protect secrets without an NDA (nondisclosure agreement);
- * How, why and when characters in games are worth protecting;
- * The long and ongoing story of the war by owners of SCRABBLE against similar computer-simulated board-based word games;
- * How open source -- besides being a terrific idea -- has complicated software development;
- * The rats-nest of USA Federal Regulations and foreign laws that affect software exports (which includes software downloaded outside the USA); and
- * Things about trademarks -- how you can do preliminary searches yourself, and other aspects of getting a potentially strong and protectable mark.
And to help keep it useful, I'll provide samples and links to resources.
Guess I'll write the article about sweepstakes first, but I'm not sure about the order or timing of the others.
Hey, I'm OFF THE CLOCK.
Charles B. Kramer, Esq.
~ ATTORNEY ~ Member of the Bars of New York and Illinois
For discussion purposes, not legal advice.
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