ICYMI: Best of the Week

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In case you missed them, the best stories of last week included an exploration of music copyright, scandal at SeaWorld, and a look at the hashtag #ThxBirthControl. Check out Law Street’s weekly installment of ICYMI it below:

#1 Copyrights, Sampling and Rock ‘n’ Roll: Intellectual Property in the Music Industry

America’s favorite (or least favorite, depending on who you ask) blonde is back in the headlines this week: Taylor Swift is being sued by musician Jessie Braham over the lyrics to her song “Shake it Off.” Even though neither the lyrics nor the melody of Braham’s song are identical to Swift’s song, he has launched a lawsuit worth $42 million, and has also demanded he receive writing credit on Swift’s song. Braham’s case seems less than credible and with the massive legal resources at her disposal, it is almost inevitable that Swift will never pay him a cent–yet Swift’s case is only the latest in a string of high profile intellectual property lawsuits involving pop stars. Copyright lawsuits against singers and songwriters are nothing new–but what are the legal bases for these kinds of suits? Click here to learn about the history of copyrights in music and the current cases in play.

#2 Post Blackfish: A Push to Change SeaWorld’s Practices

After the documentary “Blackfish” made waves, there was substantial outcry about SeaWorld’s actions, particularly as they related to orcas. Now, federal lawmakers are working to end some of SeaWorld’s most predatory practices. Representative Adam Schiff (D-California) announced a bill, the Orca Responsibility and Care Advancement Act (ORCA), on Friday that would prohibit the breeding of captive orcas, as well as prevent the wild capture of the animals for exhibit purposes. This would essentially lead to a phase-out of Orcas being used for show at SeaWorld parks. Read the full story here.

#3 #ThxBirthControl Empowers Women’s Right to Control Their Ovaries

Yesterday the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy celebrated National Thanks Birth Control Day, where women everywhere were encouraged to share the reasons why they love birth control on social media. The campaign aimed to dispel myths and raise awareness of all of the benefits of contraceptives, which makes perfect sense because birth control is pretty amazing. Read the full story here.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at



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