Law and Software

Passing the California Bar Exam

[November, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: law

I have some strong opinions about how to get a passing score on the California Bar Exam. Or at least, how I got a passing score. And it wasn’t by being whipped into shape by an all-knowing barprep company. If you didn’t pass – or if you are still to take it, maybe these comments will save you some pain. more…

A Parole Hearing

[October, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: law

Tuesday I have my first parole hearing.
Before you say how come inmates have blogs, I should say that this is my client’s 13th parole hearing. Lucky 13?


This is the end for Big Bird

[October, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: mashups


Emergent Properties, Virtual Mashups and Internet Performance Art

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: law,mashups,software


The Pussy Riot Gangnam Style Player (PSP) was not written to breach anyone’s copyright, or to test the limits of copyright law. It was written as an example of code that might allow people to make mashups without infringing copyright. The original Punk Prayer Gangnam Style performance and Romney Shaduppayaface is here. Another example can be found here.

“Might” is the key word here. And in the spirit of Eminem in 8 Mile, we’re going to try to make the case for the copyright troll. Please feel free to use this post as a starting point for any takedown notice or other action you choose against this player with a long and ungainly name.

PSP raises one question. Can we use code to enable expression and creative imagination on the Internet out in the sunshine and not in the shadow of copyright infringement? The virtual mashup is performance art. It does not make or distribute derivative works. It takes original works and creates a collage of ideas that may have little or nothing to do with the raw materials used. And the raw materials are used, not copied. Virtual mashups allow original performances to take place locally all across the Internet, without the need to copy and redistribute the performance. Each PSP play is a unique performance with unique e-merging and communication of ideas from the performance artist to their audience.


Dead Presidents

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: mashups,music

Randy Newman’s “satirical” new song “I’m Dreaming” puts race front and center in the upcoming election. He almost makes an empathic argument. He makes the ironic case for the cracker voter, and he does it so well that the target of his derision will likely not even notice, and will be humming the tune on his way to the ballot box.

Go watch and listen. And then come back to set the record straight on all those dead presidents, with the Pussy Riot Gangnam Style Player virtual mashup of the Newman video and a historical tour-de-force sung by Jonathon Coulton.

I love synchronicity. How come Coulton sings about Taft when Newman does too? How come the line “Hoover screwed the pooch in the great Depression” fits so well? Also Andrew Johnson+Richard Nixon and impeachment, Hayes and Reconstruction, Roosevelt and the Nazis, Garfield’s eclipse/assassination…


DACA and the Affordable Care Act

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: Immigration Law,law,rascuache

Following on from Bill Hing’s presentation in the first meeting, the second Salon Saucedo discussion was led by Shiu Min Cheer of the NILC. She briefed us about DACA, and many issues relating to the Dreamers. There is so much I could say here about that, but it would just rehash what everyone else is saying. One thing I hadn’t known about was the recent  HHS regulation that seems to deny DACA beneficiaries access to the Affordable Care Act. My initial reaction was that the HHS in the Obama Administration isn’t going to act irrationally, and if they make such a regulation, then their hands must be tied. If the legislation has already said who is and who isn’t eligible – then an executive order by the president isn’t going to be able to change the law. So this blog entry peels away the layers of the ACA onion, and takes a closer look at the HHS intermin final rule. Turns out I was wrong.


Yes on 34. No on Initiatives

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: law

Jeanne Woodford was at Mill Valley Library last Friday evening. She gave a presentation to about 150 yessers on 34, including my 1L big-sib from Davis who has become a mountain dweller (hi Josh!). If there was a single Nay in the audience she kept very quiet. “Yes on 34” is the subliminal-command/title of the campaign to overturn the death penalty in California this coming election.

I will, of course, abstain – not for the usual reason, that in this land of taxation without representation, I am still an alien and like felons, I’m not allowed to vote on issues that matter deeply to me. But because “yes on 34” is at the same time completely, wonderfully right and nightmarishly, terribly wrong.


Hey Sexy Lady. The Punk Prayer Gangnam Style

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: law,mashups,music,software

This is a virtual mashup. No copyright owners were harmed in the making of this movie. Because it was never made.


Comparing Nodes in a Tree

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: software

I have no idea whether this algorithm is old or new, or even whether there are more efficient alternatives. But for a long time now, I’ve had a geeky fondness for an orphan data structure. I call it an orphan because I could never see any way of using it. It was just one of those pretty things. If you’ve ever had a geeky fondness for a data structure, then you’re pretty weird too.


Bill Hing and the Rebellious Lawyer

[September, 2012] By Andy Bartlett. Filed under: Immigration Law,rascuache

I dislike the term “rebellious lawyer.” Which is why I am categorizing these posts under “rascuache.” Rebellious suggests a spoiled child. He’ll get over it. Its just a phase he’s going through. Only, Bill Hing never got over it.


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