IP for Creative Upstarts papers available for conference on Nov. 9-10, 2012

Presented by Michigan State University College of Law

Intellectual Property, Information & Communications Law Program

Co-sponsored by

       NKU Chase College of Law, Law + Informatics Institute

Copyright Alliance

This conference considers how law and policy can nurture diverse creative industries—”Creative Upstarts”—in the U.S. and abroad. “Creative Upstarts” encompass a range of commercial enterprises from independent artists and producers in developed countries to emerging content industries such as Nigeria’s “Nollywood,” Jamaican dancehall, Brazilian tecnobrega music, and Chinese digital publishing. Their interests have been overlooked in recent debates on intellectual property and information policy. This conference seeks to remedy that gap. Read More


More Information:



Contact Information

Professor Sean Pager


NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute

2013 Informatics Symposium announced – focusing on informatics in labor and employment issues.

NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute2013 Law + Informatics Symposium on Labor and Employment Issues The annual NKU Chase Law + Informatics Symposium will be held this academic year on February, 15, 2013 focusing on issues in labor and employment related to informatics, including such topics as candidate screening practices, employee privacy, data security and appropriate policies, gamification in training, and social media use. The program will include a day-long seminar and reception. Presentations delivered at the conference will be published by the Northern Kentucky Law Review. More information is provided below in the conference call for papers. A PDF of the Call for Papers is available.

Call for Papers The Northern Kentucky Law Review and Salmon P. Chase College of Lawseek submissions for the Law + Informatics Symposium on February 15, 2013. The focus of the conference is to provide an interdisciplinary review of issues involving privacy, data aggregation, security, communications, social media management and related topics affecting the legal and business practices involving labor and employment law. The symposium is an opportunity for academics, practitioners, consultants, and students to exchange ideas and explore emerging issues in informatics law as it applies to working conditions and employment practices. Interdisciplinary presentations are encouraged. Authors and presenters are invited to submit proposals on topics such as the following:


  • Application of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Federal/state employment regulations regarding privacy
  • HIPAA, FERPA, COPPA, GLBA & other sector-specific privacy issues
  • EU & global privacy laws & policies
  • Bioinformatics in the workplace
  • Data mining of employee information
  • Social media and political change

Collective Bargaining

  • Use of informatics tools for collective bargaining
  • Collective bargaining positions on internet usage, data aggregation and social media
  • Online dispute resolution
  • Ownership of databases & data
  • Contracting & enforcement of agreements over sharing of data
  • Assessment of significant commercial expansions of informatics practices affecting public expectations & norms
Social Media

  • Employee discipline for internet and social media use
  • NLRB responses to social media
  • Use of social media in employee screening
  • Implications for privacy and discrimination lawsuits

  Training and Security

  • Gamification in training
  • Computer security
  • Data protection & obligations regarding data breaches
  • Data reliability, including people’s rights to review & correct collected data
  • Retraining and employee obsolecense

  Other Issues

  • Discrimination and access to public and semi-public information
  • Employee ownership of intellectual property and data information
  • Post-termination obligations of employers and employees
  • Employee contracting and end user license agreements
  • Global issues for similarly situated employees in multiple jurisdictions

Submissions & Important Dates: 

  • Please submit materials to Nkylrsymposium@nku.edu
  • Submission Deadline for Abstracts: October 1, 2012
  • Submission Deadline for Articles: February 1, 2013
  • Symposium Date: February 15, 2013

Law Review Published Article:  The Northern Kentucky Law Review will review, edit and publish submissions in the 2013 Spring Symposium issue.  Articles, as well as case studies and abstracts of research in progress, will be considered for the symposium program for presentation purposes.  Only complete articles, however, will be published in the law review.  Abstracts for these papers will be due no later than the October 1, 2012 deadline and will be accepted on a rolling basis until that time.

Presentations (without publication) based on Abstracts:  The Northern Kentucky Law Review will review and select presentations for the symposium.  If you are interested in presenting without submitting a publishable article, an abstract of the presentation must be submitted by the October 1, 2012 deadline and will be accepted on a rolling basis until that time.

About the Law and Informatics Institute:  The Law + Informatics Institute at Chase College of Law provides a critical interdisciplinary approach to the study, research, scholarship, and practical application of informatics, focusing on the regulation and utilization of information – including its creation, acquisition, aggregation, security, manipulation and exploitation – in the fields of intellectual property law, privacy law, evidence (regulating government and the police), business law, and international law. Through courses, symposia, publications and workshops, the Law + Informatics Institute encourages thoughtful public discourse on the regulation and use of information systems, business innovation, and the development of best business practices regarding the exploitation and effectiveness of the information and data systems in business, health care, media, and entertainment, and the public sector.

For More Information Please Contact:

  • ProfessorJon Garon, Symposium Faculty Sponsor: garonj1@nku.edu or 859.572.5815
  • Lindsey Jaeger, Director of Centers and Institutes Administration: JaegerL1@nku.edu or 859.572.7853
  • Brad Andress, Symposium Editor: andressb1@nku.edu or 812.343.6822

Crowdfunding Approved; But Not Yet in Theaters

As part of President Obama’s broader jobs legislation, Congress has passed the  Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. Once signed, the legislation will create a new federal exemption for crowd funding from Securities and Exchange Commission registration requirements as well as state blue sky laws. The new law will enable entrepreneurs, filmmakers, musicians and other artist to raise annually up to $1,000,000 (or $2,000,000 if the company provides audited financials).

Sites such as Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and RocketHub are providing variations on this service already but none of the sites are able to comply with the new law yet. The sale of securities without an exemption from registration is a violation of U.S. law, which is why the new law will be so helpful.

The legislation follows the financially stingy Senate version that caps the amounts lower than the bill originally proposed in the House. The amounts represent a sliding scale, however that can range from $1.00 to $100,000 depending on the investor so with good planning, significant assistance will be forthcoming from these sources.

‘(i) the greater of $2,000 or 5 percent of the annual income or net worth of such investor, as applicable, if either the annual income or the net worth of the investor is less than $100,000; and ‘‘(ii) 10 percent of the annual income or net worth of such investor, as applicable, not to exceed a maximum aggregate amount sold of $100,000, if either the annual income or net worth of the investor is equal to or more than $100,000

The sales must occur through a broker or funding portal. The rules for the funding portals have not yet been established and the disclosure requirements are likely to surprise some innovators who expect the new model to look like the existing crowd-sourcing sales and donation model.  Equally importantly, the rules will continue to bar the compensation of commissions for non-brokers.

It is likely that the disclosure documents will look more like the types of private placement memoranda presently used by film companies and other small entrepreneurs who seek small angel funding from accredited investors.  Still, the portal and the growth of the potential investor pool should result in a growing use – and increasing standardization of such documents.

The portal and the ability to reach beyond accredited investors should help to greatly expand the pool of funds and simplify the creation of these documents, vastly reducing the cost and empowering a broad spectrum of new creative artists.

Sites that accept donations on behalf of projects or sell goods (even movie frames, DVDs or tee-shirts) in lieu of providing investments will not need to comply with the new law. Similarly, the new law does not affect crowdsourcing in which people come together to provide services or donate towards worthy projects.

Expanding Crowdfunding

In September, Representative Patrick McHenry introduced proposed legislation to make the process of raising capital through crowdfunding exempt from federal securities laws.The Entrepreneurial Access to Capital Act, HR 2930, has received house panel support. His proposal is actually quite straight forward. Under the proposal, the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77d) would be amended by the addition of a new section 4(6) to provide that individuals can purchase up to the lower of $10,000 or 10 percent of the investor’s annual income (based on the investor’s own declaration of income) for investments up to $5 million.

More importantly, the crowdfunding provisions exempt the offering from state filing obligations. The law does not, in fact, require actual crowdfunding. While IndieGoGo and KickStarter provide tools to raise donations, sales and even funding, the law is not limited and could create a new business for Facebook, Google and other social media sites.

The Wall Street Journal has recently identified analysts both in favor and against the proposal, but when it is unlinked from the crowdfunding projects of independent artists, the provision has great promise.

The antifraud provisions of state and federal law do not go away. Swindlers offering promises that they cannot keep or designed to steal are committing fraud and will be subject to both civil and criminal laws. Undoubtedly, it will be a bit easier to float the fraudulent proposals among the legitimate – but unsuccessful – attempts of other businesses, but criminals are already busy. This might change some criminal strategy but it is unlikely to create new criminals.

The greater threat to the economy is the lack of capital for high-risk small businesses and creative enterprises. Currently, opportunities for high-risk economic participation exist only at the top of the pyramid. Many of these fail; others succeed. Most investors believe in the goals more than they expect economic rewards. A paternalistic law that dramatically increases the financial costs of raising low amounts of money is not really helping the investors, the economy or the creative culture in America. The proposal is simple. It is a stimulus everyone can support.