Please answer these questions within 3~5 sentences each. Based on fact and opinion. There are no right or wrong answer.
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1. Basic Books v. Kinko’s Graphics Corp., 758 F. Supp. 1522 (S.D.N.Y. 1991), dealt with the question of whether photocopy stores may sell copied excerpts of books to college students without authorization from the books’ publishers. The decision in the case ultimately affected the price that the public must pay for access to copyrighted information. At issue in the case was the question of who may profit from the reproduction of an author’s work, particularly with regard to the practice that Kinko’s called anthologizing, which is the copying of book excerpts into course “packets” sold to college students. Citing the commercial interests involved—namely, the fact that Kinko’s made a significant amount of money from the sale of course packets, and that packet sales competed with book sales—the court found that Kinko’s was guilty of copyright infringement. It ordered the company to pay $500,000 in damages to the publishers and issued an order forbidding it to prepare anthologies without securing permission from and prepaying fees to the appropriate publishers.
QUESTION 1: Should a copy center be allowed to sell copied excerpts of text books to students at a lower cost than the full text book in order to help minimize costs to students?
2. In 2012, Beyonce and Jay-Z applied to make their daughter’s name an official trademark when they applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to own the name ‘Blue Ivy’. They made the application after learning that Patent Office had already turned down two applications to use the name ‘Blue Ivy’. Fashion designer Joseph Mbeh applied to trademark ‘Blue Ivy Carter NYC’ just four days after the baby was born and wanted to sell a range of children’s dresses, skirts and underwear. A second application was made for ‘Blue Ivy Carter Glory IV’ to use on a line of fragrances. Blue Ivy Carter had already been honored in one particular way after drug shops in California named a new strain of marijuana after her.
QUESTION 2: Should a baby name of a public figure be the subject of a trademark?
3. QUESTION 3: Do you think there is any difference between downloading a song on a peer-to-peer network versus walking into a store and putting a CD into your jacket and walking out without paying for it? What are those differences? Should the law treat those two acts differently?
4. Corporations are often fined when found guilty of criminal behavior. They may be sentenced to funding remediation programs or funding non-profit organizations. Corporate officials can be personally guilty for crimes committed by corporations, too. Additionally, some advocate for revoking corporate charters for corporations found guilty of committing egregious offenses, which would effectively be the death penalty for such corporations.
QUESTION 4: How should a corporation or a not for profit entity like a charity be punished for committing a crime if the entity was negligent for an unintentional tort (such as shoveling the snow out front of the office)?
5. LaGrou Incorporated’s warehouse in Chicago stored frozen meat for various food companies in the region and its cold storage facility had a severe rodent problem. Evidence indicated that Stewart, president of LaGrou, knew of the rat infestation for a period of three years and instructed employees to keep catching rats but refused to perform a full extermination because he determined that it would be too expensive. Testing by federal and state health agencies confirmed adulteration of food products, including rodent gnawing, rodent hair, and rodent feces on several products in LaGrou’s warehouse. Stewart was charged with violating federal criminal laws prohibiting the sale of adulterated meat and he defended he did not have the requisite knowledge for criminal liability because he had no actual knowledge of any specific meat contamination.
QUESTION 5: Can Stewart, as an individual officer, be liable for LaGrou’s crimes even though he had no actual knowledge of any specific meat contamination?
6. Wells Fargo employees opened a reported 2 million unauthorized customer accounts, generating $2.6 million in unwarranted fees by some analyst estimates in a recent corporate scandal. Wells had fired 5,000 workers for the offenses over five years. Last week, John Stumpf, the Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo resigned his position. The company has already paid $185 million in settlements, and Stumpf is giving up $41 million in unvested stock compensation. Compare this to what happened at AIG during the 2008 Financial Crisis where the executive management who caused the insurance giant’s $173 billion federal bailout were rewarded with hundreds of millions of dollars of bonuses so they would stick around long enough to clean up their own messes.
QUESTION 6: Should there be criminal liability for executives at corporation in instances where their employees commit certain actions like at Wells Fargo and AIG? What standards should be applied to such liability – for instance should intent to commit a crime be required or simply a negligence in oversight, and how should it be punished?