Thursday, July 28, 2011

Creative Commons - a good copyright resource for Internet publishers

A difficulty for creative persons on the Internet is that they want their art/content to be widely distributed (go viral) but still want attribution.  Traditional copyright law makes such distribution difficult since each person copying the such content would need to explicit permission of the owners.

A non-profit organization has started a web site called Creative Commons that provides the owners of copyright protected work (art, photos, articles, blogs, etc) with standard licenses that allow dissemination of the material on the Internet without the loss of attribution. 

Owners of copyrights can select how much of their material can be used - with and without attribution.  The owner can also select whether or not derivative works can be created from their work.
I recommend it to bloggers and anyone who would like their work to be re-distributed on the Internet.

Of course, if you did not want your work to be redistributed, then these licenses would not be appropriate.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Great Article on Importance of Boards of Directors

R.J. Kelly of the Wealth Legacy Group wrote a great article on the importance of a good board of directors for privately held corporations.  Click here for article

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Indian Tribes are Immune from Lawsuits

A little known fact is that American Indian Tribes (and their economic enterprises) can't be sued. The tribes enjoy sovereign immunity from lawsuits.  Federal and state courts do not have jurisdiction over them.  A definitive case was the Kiowa Tribe vs. Oklahoma Manufacturing Technologies.  The Kiowa Tribe defaulted on a promissory note and was sued in state court.  The lower courts found the tribe was within the jurisdiction of the state court for off-reservation economic activity.  The U.S. Supreme Court reversed and held that the tribe was immune from suit.

In recent years, Indian tribes and their casinos, in particular, have become major economic forces.  There are several Indian casinos in and around San Diego County.  Anyone contracting with them cannot enforce those contracts normally.  The tribes can sue however, just like a foreign entity not subject to U.S. jurisdiction can bring suit in U.S. courts against U.S. persons.

The exceptions are very explicit contract terms that waive sovereign immunity and/or arbitration clauses.  Anyone contracting with an Indian tribe or any entity owned by a tribe must use particular care in forming the contract with that tribe.