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Charles B. Sears Law Library SUNY Buffalo Law School

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Posts Tagged ‘Pop Culture’

Stage-Side Service

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |


If there is one thing one could take away from the Trojans back in the day—you know, other than stealing someone else’s wife may lead to the downfall of your people—it was to beware Greeks bearing gifts. Well that lesson has evolved in the 21st century for performing artists to something along the lines of beware fans waving papers.

Music artist Ciara had been schedule to perform at a bar called The Factory on Friday night in L.A. The following night she was scheduled to perform at LA Pride. Per her contract with LA Pride, Ciara was prohibited from performing on Friday night. The singer’s rep claims that notice was given  to The Factory about the conflict in commitments, but The Factory decided to sue Ciara for breach of contract. How convenient for the process server that everyone knew where Ciara was going to be Saturday night.

A video from Ciara’s concert this past Saturday night shows a “fan” holding up papers, which the singer took while performing on stage…and seconds later dropped.

With the video making rounds to entertainment gossip websites, this could prove to be a teaching moment to today’s youth that “you got served” is a phrase that has meaning beyond b-boy b-list movies.

A Quotable Situation

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |


According to some sports movie I’ve never seen but have heard referred to enough to make me feel confident in quoting it, “If you build it, they will come.” As with many a catch phrase or tag line, pop culture has taken that and morphed and spoofed it to the limit. (See, e.g. use of “Ding Dong the witch is dead” in relation to the recent passing of a historic figure, and “Where’s the beef” in relation to a certain equine eating panic.) Now there’s a new twist on that sporting enticement, and it’s all thanks to one of the Dakotas. Because, according to that state, “If you bribe them, they will come.”

South Dakota’s got a problem. Within the state, 65% of lawyers live in four urban areas. Since rural folks need representation too, SD became the first state to offer subsidies to lawyers who commit to practicing in rural areas. Come June, up to 16 lawyers can partake in the program. In exchange for a 5 year commitment, each lawyer will receive a $12,000 subsidy. In addition to the state, counties and the bar association will be kicking in to fund the program.

Now only time will tell whether or not South Dakota will become this century’s Horace Greeley, urging the graduating masses to, “Go rural, young lawyers. Go rural, and pay down those debts.”

Shaken, Not Stirred

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |

Harlem Shake

It’s a classic story. Artist creates song. Song becomes pop culture craze. Legal dramas ensue. If you have managed to avoid the Harlem Shake thus far, congratulations and you’re going to have to share how exactly you managed to do it. At this point, there’s almost a Seuss-esque quality to the videos. You can do it by the sea, you can do it at UB. You can do it with Bevo, you can even do it on a pla—wait no?

The Shake found itself on shaky ground when the FAA began looking into whether safety regulations were violated during the filming of a video while a plane was in flight. Going beyond mere investigation, this month five individuals were arrested in Russia for making their own Harlem Shake video while dancing on a World War II memorial.  In Australia, fifteen miners were fired after posting their Harlem Shake video online. Who knew that thirty seconds could cause so much trouble?

But trouble isn’t just on tap for video-makers. With all of the exposure the song has gotten, two artists have come forward claiming that their voices were used in the song by writer and producer Baauer without their permission. Within the thirty-second clips for all of the videos, you can hear rapper Jayson Musson say “Do the Harlem Shake!” while reggaeton artist Hector Delgado says, “Con los terroristas.”  Both men are seeking compensation from Baauer’s label, Mad Decent Records.

Unfortunately unauthorized sampling comes up every so often in the music world. (Just ask Vanilla Ice what happened when he asked people to check out his hook while the DJ revolved it.) But even with all the surrounding drama, people are still into the song and making videos. So, so, so many videos…