LawLawLaw 2011-06-29

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My name is Erik Heels, I am a lawyer, and this is my LawLawLaw newsletter, available at

LawLawLaw includes my observations on trends in technology, IP law (trademarks, domain names, and patents), baseball (long story), and rock ‘n’ roll (longer story). Besides IP law, I’m good at spotting trends, connecting people on social networks, fixing things, boiling eggs, and a handful of other things.

I try to keep LawLawLaw short (fail), relevant (win), and timely (draw). Please be aware (forward this to your friends) of a new trend on the Internet (forward to your friends), which I only recently discovered (forward to friends), namely subliminal advertising (forward this). Thanks (you rock)!

Do not drink or ingest contents.


Clock Tower Law Group [trademarks | domain names | patents]
2 Clock Tower Place, Suite 255, Maynard, MA 01754-2545
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“The person who says ‘it cannot be done’ should not interrupt the person doing it.” – Chinese Proverb


LawLawLaw 2011-06-29
Technology, Law, Baseball, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Etc.
The LawLawLaw newsletter, available at, is a
periodic publication of Clock Tower Law Group. The opinions in
LawLawLaw do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Clock Tower
Law Group, its employees, or the author. Feel free to forward
this to anyone who might enjoy this newsletter. Please direct
content/subscription questions to Thanks!


The “clients” section includes info about Clock Tower Law Group’s cool clients,

* RR Donnelley Acquires (2011-06-21)

* $2 Billion In Angel/VC Funding + 10 Acquisitions By Public Companies = @ClockTowerLaw’s Winning Clients

* Tesco’s Dunnhumby Acquires BzzAgent (2011-05-23)

* To Measure Is To Know (2010-11-23)
* Files For IPO (2010-11-17)


The “Technology” section includes info about technology that is changing the world. Ignore at your peril.

  • Winning: Apple, Netflix, Facebook.
  • Losing: Microsoft, Comcast, Google.

* Google Launches Google+ To Battle Facebook (2011-06-28)
Google continues to be great at search, meh at everything else.

* The Only Brand To Promote: Your Authentic Self (2011-06-21)
This is what I do on the Intertubes.

* Netflix Responsible For About One-Third Of All Internet Traffic (2011-05-19)
This is true in my house. I finally got Netflix after getting two Apple TVs.

* Apple Beats Microsoft In Quarterly Profits (2011-04-29)
For the first time ever.

* Comic: The Secret To Apple’s Success (2011-03-16)
People are willing to pay for cool stuff.

* More Americans Get News From Web Than From Print (2011-03-14)
1995 was the year of the Internet. It took 16 years but it’s done.

* Borders Bookstore Declares Bankruptcy (2011-02-17)
I still like paper books but many prefer ebooks.

* The Verizon iPhone (2011-01-11)
iPhone is now the most popular smart phone for AT&T AND Verizon.

* Facebook Overthrows Yahoo To Become The World’s Third Largest Website (2010-12-24)
Meaning community is becoming more important than search.

* The Perfect One-Sentence Startup Pitch (2010-11-03)
Fill in the blanks.

* iPad Is Fastest-Selling Gadget Ever (2010-10-12)
Cool gadgets sell.

* Idea vs. Execution (2010-10-05)
Even though I am in the patent business, I tell my clients that execution is much more important than patenting. (2010-11-29) (2011-03-29) (2011-04-11)

* Apple TV Ships (2010-09-27)
And it rocks. Apple TV = wireless input to your TV that includes your iTunes library, YouTube, and Netflix.

* Blockbuster Video Declares Bankruptcy (2010-09-22)
Rending videotapes/DVDs is yesterday’s business model.

* Former Facebook president Sean Parker: “Why companies like Facebook, Twitter, eBay and Apple (but not Google) will determine the future of the world.” (2009-10-23)
An oldie but a goodie. Communities matter because they create exponential growth.


The “Law” section includes info about trademark law, domain name law, and patent law (all of which I practice) and partially about copyright law, privacy law, and security law (which I do not practice, but which are fun to write about due to mucho epic fail). The three biggest stories since my last newsletter: (1) Homeland “Security” seizing domain names in a silly display of #SecurityTheatre, (2) everybody and his cousin ganging up on Wikileaks, and (3) ICANN approving an infinite number of new top-level domain names (think “.greed”).

  • Winning: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.
  • Losing: Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness.

* Patent ‘Reform’ Passes (2011-06-26)
There is not much good in this compromise bill, which will soon be signed into law.

* Woman Charged With ‘Obstructing Governmental Administration’ For Filming Police From Her Front Yard (2011-06-26)
Welcome to 1984 and #SecurityTheatre.

* ICANN Overwhelmingly Approves New “.Anything” gTLD Program (2010-06-20)
ICANN has become a runaway bureaucracy. Adding “.biz” did not help anyone, adding “.whatever” will help less. We should have never let non-US entities have “.com” domain names.

* Hacktivism: Lulzsec Hacks U.S. Senate (2011-06-14)
Lesson one: secure your servers. Lesson two: hacktivism is here to stay. Lesson three: see lesson one. (2011-06-14) (2011-06-16)

* Help Fund Nina Paley’s Minibooks About Intellectual Pooperty (2011-05-12)
Great cartoons that highlight the silliness of the rights-based mentality of old school media.

* Chart That Explains Patent Novelty And Statutory Bars (2011-05-09)
From my patent law class.

* How Much Does Your Phone Company Know About Your Life? (2011-04-01)
Answer: lots.

* ICANN Approves New .XXX Top Level Domain (2011-03-19)
Even the adult industry is against this move.

* Internet Censorship Around The World (Including The US) (2011-02-11)
The US should be a leader, instead we are embarrassingly non-free.

* Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Charity Bullying Other Charities Over Trademark (2010-12-08)
I don’t give this charity a dime.

* Close The Washington Monument (2010-12-05)
Because a closed monument will stand as a visible simple of our fear and DC’s failure to lead.

* Et Al. Drop Wikileaks (2010-12-01)
For governments, what happened to the First Amendment? For companies, what happened to values? Doesn’t anyone believe in anything anymore?

* Homeland Security Seizes Internet Domain Names (2010-11-28)
Proving that Homeland “Security” is good at (1) #SecurityTheatre and (2) wasting our money.

* TSA’s Failure Based On The Myth Of Perfect Security (2010-11-24)
But don’t let logic into the discussion. Logic is for terrorists!

* If You’re Not Paying for It, Then You’re the Product (2010-11-23)
This is why I prefer to pay for Google Apps Gmail rather than relying on free Gmail.

* When Will We Get Our Lost Liberties Back? (2010-11-19)
I’m thinking never. Did you know the excise tax on automobiles was a “temporary tax” instituted during WW2?

* ICANN Guide to Protecting Domain Name Registration Accounts (2010-11-17)
Best practices for domain name registrants (i.e. everyone).

* Why Entrepreneurs Cannot Get Businesses Off the Ground (2010-11-16)
Laws in the US are not startup-friendly.

* Google Settles Over Buzz, Will Establish Measly $8.5 Million Fund To Promote Privacy Education (2010-11-02)
The headline below is better.

* Google To Pay Out One Thousandth Of Its Quarterly Revenue For Its Biggest Privacy Snafu (Google Buzz) (2011-11-02)
See? Better headline. This was a slap on the wrist for Google.

* Welcome To The New Era Of Personal Data Collection (2010-11-01)
Privacy is dead.

* Patent Boilerplate With Attitude (2010-09-22)
This will be mildly amusing to patent practitioners.


The “Baseball” section includes anything related to the Red Sox. Or Patriots. Or Celtics. Or Bruins. Or pretty much any other team in any other sport. So, yeah, baseball.

  • Winning: Boston.
  • Losing: Vancouver.

* Bruins Win Stanley Cup, Vancouver Riot Erupts (2011-06-16)
Compare “World Series” below.

* Tim Thomas Makes Save Of The Year For Bruins (2011-05-26)
Plus the clip is on YouTube and has not been taken down by the NHL!

* Red Sox Sign Carl Crawford (2010-12-09)
As Carl Crawford goes, so go the Red Sox.

* Red Sox Sign Adrian Gonzalez (2010-12-05)
The best player in MLB. Just wait until he’s healthy!

* Giants Win World Series, San Francisco Riot Erupts (2010-11-02)
Compare “Stanley Cup” above.


The “Music” section includes info about musicians, the music industry, and laws impacting both. For example, the music industry has been busily eliminating revenue (by pretending it has a right to the “status quo”) since the Internet was discovered by Al Gore circa 1999. Newsweek declared 1995 the year of the Internet. Old business models take a long time to die. My prediction is that it will take a generation. 30 years to be specific. So I expect the music industry to be sane and to have stopped fighting gravity by 2025. My friend Joe is a music teacher, and he likes to remind his students that music existed well before music notation. By 2025, it may be too late for the record labels. But who cares. Music existed before music notation, it will continue to exist after the last of the old school music labels dies off.

  • Winning: Apple, Beatles, new media.
  • Losing: Amazon, RIAA, Status Quo.

* 1999: The year we downloaded all our music from the cloud. 2011: The year we uploaded all our music to the cloud. (2011-06-22)
That pretty much sums it up.!/sowbug/status/83554874452746241

* Status Quo (2000-06-09)
Hint: there is no right to the status quo.

* The PROTECT IP Act: Old Media vs. The Internet (2011-05-18)
See also “status quo” above and below.

* Apple Launched Cloud-Based Music Service iCloud (2011-06-06)
Apple will win.

* The PROTECT IP Act: Old Media vs. The Internet (2011-05-18)
See also “status quo” above.

* Dilbert (2011-05-11)
1. Pointy-Haired Boss: Wally, did you finish coding the paywall for our website?
2. Wally: I did something better. I wrote a script to delete any new content as soon as it’s posted.
3. Wally: At bonus time, keep in mind that you’re the one who had the idea to eliminate revenue, and I’m the one who lowered hosting costs.

* Google Launches Cloud-Based Music Service (2011-05-10)
Apple will win.

* Amazon Launches Cloud-Based Music Service (2011-03-29)
Apple will win.

* Limewire Settles With Music Publishers But Keeps Fighting Record Labels (2011-03-28)
A good history lesson. Which the RIAA failed to learn.

* In 1976, 8-Track Players Were Supposedly Killing The Music Business (2011-03-16)
A good history lesson. Which the RIAA failed to learn.

* Discussing The Music Industry Comically Speaking, With Mimi & MimiEunice (2010-12-22)
Excellent comics that illustrate much silliness of today’s IP laws.

* The Beatles Now On iTunes (2010-11-16)
That was easy.

* Sony Retires The Cassette Walkman After 30 Years (2010-10-24)
Most readers will not remember the Walkman.

* How Shazam Works (2010-09-22)
Shazam is my favorite iPhone music app.

* In the 1930s, The Senate Tried To Ban Dial Telephones (2010-09-22)
A good history lesson. Which the RIAA failed to learn.

* There Is No Right To The Status Quo (2009-05-13)
The only constant is change.

The “History” section (new this issue) includes stories that attempt to give context to all of the crazy things that have been happening. History is made today. The hope is that we will learn from history today for the benefit of tomorrow.

  • Winning: War, Recession.
  • Losing: Peace, Prosperity.

* A History of Adding Land to Boston (2011-06-14)
See? Change is

* President Obama Delivers Statement on Death of Osama Bin Laden (2011-05-02)
Yet the “Patriot” Act lives on. (2011-05-02) (2011-05-02) (2011-05-05)

* Here’s Why The US Is Screwed (2011-05-01)
The recession is bad. The economy is bad.

* US Healthcare vs. the Rest Of The World (2011-04-20)
All aspects of US healthcare cost more. Much of what we spend money on adds zero value.

* Interactive Map With Every War Ever Waged (2011-04-06)
Perspective that I did not have in high school.

* 10 Charts That Illustrate What’s Wrong With America (2011-03-16)
Stand back and see the forest. It’s easy to get lost in the trees.

* Earthquake, Tsunami, And Nuclear Crisis In Japan (2011-03-11)
Our world is fragile.

* New Home Sales Lowest Since 1967 (2011-02-28)
The recession is not over by a long shot.

* Infographic: History of the American Presidency (2011-02-17)
Good for seeing the big picture.

* Scary Unemployment/Recession Chart (2011-02-17)
The recession is not over by a long shot.

* Egyptian President Steps Down Amidst Groundbreaking Digital Revolution (2011-02-11)
Proving that peaceful revolution is possible.

* Nearly 200 Nations Agree To Historic Deal To Save Nature (2010-10-29)
So it’s not all bad news.

* What Makes the US Health Care System So Expensive? (2010-10-01)
All aspects of US healthcare cost more. Much of what we spend money on adds zero value.

* YouTube Time Machine Takes You Through History (2010-09-26)
Pick a year and review history.

* Which Health Supplements Are BS (2010-03-04)
Answer: most of them.


The “Random” section includes fun and funny stuff.

  • Winning: Humor, Optimism.
  • Losing: There is no losing here.

* Taking The Onion Seriously (2011-05-27)

* Hardly Working: Startup Guys (2011-05-17)

* Introducing! (2011-04-24)
Blank greeting cards designed by my 13-year-old daughter. Please buy some.

* How To Fix Any Computer (2011-04-20)

* Trunk Club: Fashion For Men Just The Way Women Like It (2011-04-06)

* The person who says ‘it cannot be done’ should not interrupt the person doing it. – Chinese Proverb (2011-03-08)
As seen in my sig file.!/erikjheels/statuses/45207776384917505

* Rock, Paper, Scissors: Rock Beats Everything, Always (2011-03-07)

* 50 Free And Useful Websites (2010-11-28)

* 5 Important Tips for Better Eye Health in a Digital World (2010-11-25)

* 16 Viral Videos From the Age Before YouTube (2010-11-24)

* Geek-Friendly Fashion Primer (2010-02-18)


One Reply to “LawLawLaw 2011-06-29”

  1. As of 11/22/11, Facebook’s blog-to-Notes feature is going away, so I’m deleting all of my old Notes (i.e. imported blog posts). You can find the originals on my blog ( Story here:

    These comments originally appeared on Facebook:

    Erik J. Heels I posted this over 2 weeks ago and it is just showing up on Facebook now. Auto-publishing of notes from blogs is still unpredictable.
    July 10 at 10:45am ยท Like

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