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About

The UCLA Entertainment Law Review (“ELR”) is an international law journal published once or twice a year by the UCLA School of Law. Since 1994, ELR’s staff has worked diligently to bring to our subscribers academic work of the highest quality, as well as articles that tackle the most novel and cutting edge issues in the field of entertainment law.

Front Matter

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Articles

All Four Quarters: A Retrospective and Analysis of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Process and Agreement in the National Football League

The NFL survived the 2011 offseason despite being bombarded by a

sports law perfect storm. The National Football League Players

Association (NFLPA or the Players) decertified itself as the bargaining

representative of NFL players on March 11, 2011, hours before the

expiration of the collective bargaining agreement that the NFL and the

NFLPA agreed to in 2006 (the 2006 CBA). That night, nine current

NFL players and one prospective NFL player, led by New England

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, filed an antitrust lawsuit against the

NFL and its 32 Clubs.

 

The Brady lawsuit was just part of a litigious 2011 in professional

football. The NFL responded to the Brady lawsuit with a "lockout."

Players could not report to work, Clubs could not have any contact

with players and, eventually, games could have been missed. In

addition to the Brady lawsuit, the Players sought damages related to the

NFL's television contracts that allegedly violated the 2006 CBA,

retired players fought for their rights in the labor negotiations, and the

NFL contended that the NFLPA had failed to bargain in good-faith in a

proceeding before the National Labor Relations Board.

 

The NFL and NFLPA ultimately reached a settlement of the various

lawsuits and agreed to a new CBA (the 2011 CBA) without missing

any regular season games. This Article examines the history of labor

negotiations in the NFL, provides a thorough examination of the most

recent labor dispute and its related legal actions, and concludes with a

detailed analysis of the 2011 CBA.

Shedding Light on Copyright Trolls: An Analysis of Mass Copyright Litigation in the Age of Statutory Damages

Copyright law and the Internet are at an impasse. The looming

question is how to approach unlicensed distribution of copyrighted

works in the age of peer-to-peer networks. To supplement profits from

copyrighted works, copyright holders have devised a mass-litigation

model to monetize, rather than deter, infringement. Because of the

existence of statutory damages, plaintiffs utilize the threat of outlandish

damage awards to force alleged infringers into quick settlements.

 

Statutory damages incentivize litigation-based businesses and

encourage copyright holders to waste judicial resources by litigating

even when actual damages are nominal. This Article presents an

analysis of the legal and policy issues that arise in a mass-litigation

model primarily through filings in federal district courts. After a

discussion of the original purposes of U.S. copyright law, this Article

concludes that statutory damages should be removed from the 1976

Copyright Act.

The Aesthetics of Copyright Adjudication

The American legal system is unable to continue avoiding the

question of art versus non-art. In particular, questions of copyrightability

often hinge on art-status. Yet art is a constantly evolving,

reflexive field in which artists and philosophers continually challenge

the status quo. Judges would benefit from analyzing claims to artstatus

under the objectivity provided by well-developed aesthetic

theories, aided by expert testimony when needed After reviewing

several major philosophies of art, this Article proposes a framework

for adjudicating art-status based on an aesthetic theory known as the

Historical Definition of Art. Furthermore, to balance copyright law's

purpose of protecting innovation with its need to promote public

availability of copyrighted works, this Article proposes the creation of

a new statutory exception to provide a defense for "utilitarian

adaptations" of copyrighted three-dimensional works. This statutory

defense would serve to encourage innovation and stimulate production

of novel goods.

Essays

Correcting Digital Speech

The market for information has changed dramatically in the past

decade with the popularization of the Internet, the exponential growth

in number and variety of speakers, and the increased democratization

of speech. These shifts have made digital media particularly

vulnerable to harm from information pollution; the information market

is not as capable as it once was of ensuring that the truth prevails.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that information consumers are not

looking for the truth, but rather, for information that confirms their

own pre-existing biases. Moreover, there is significant evidence that

people are resistant to changing their minds from what they had

previously believed, even if it is later proven to be false. Combined,

market failures in disseminating information and personal heuristics in

interpreting information suggest that the remedy of more speech to

combat false or defamatory speech is not as effective as once thought.

Instead, First Amendment jurisprudence should be rebalanced to allow

for a general right of correction for digital speech.

Comments

A Public Press? Evaluating the Viability of Government Subsidies for the Newspaper Industry

Despite the availability of information from online news

organizations and new media outlets, newspapers remain the primary

contributor of new content to the marketplace of information and

ideas-integral in setting the agenda for public discourse, connecting

readers with their communities, reducing the costs of citizen oversight

on elected officials, and producing investigative and local news

reports. But newspaper economics have sparked massive reductions in

editorial operations and threaten the press's role in American democratic

society. The strong public interest in preserving the newspaper

industry should compel Congress to stabilize the press.

 

Journalists, politicians, and legal scholars have discussed many

possible solutions. This Comment evaluates the practical and constitutional

questions raised by two potential public subsidy programsdirect

government funding and indirect support by facilitating

newspaper conversion to nonprofit status-and whether such programs

could be administered without jeopardizing the Fourth Estate's

independence. This Comment argues that direct subsidies, though they

could be tailored to survive constitutional challenge and to protect

editorial independence, cannot deliver a feasible long-term solution.

Indirect subsidies likely would only be available to newspapers

following an amendment to the U.S. tax code and even then would

provide limited benefit to qualiying newspapers until they have developed

a fundraising base. Yet, this Comment concludes that subsidies

could stabilize the press practically if Congress combined direct

funding and tax-based incentives into a hybrid similar to that utilized

by public radio.