‘California Dreamin’: Paper Earns Law Student Trip to GRAMMY Awards

Posted: March 6, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ginny Smith

Who knew that drawing a parallel between Hernando de Soto’s concept of dead capital and the Supreme Court’s “substantial, non-infringing use” doctrine could be so rewarding?

That’s what Josh Carpenter, a third-year student in Mason’s School of Law, asked himself when he learned he was a runner-up in the GRAMMY Foundation’s Entertainment Law Initiative 2007 Writing Contest.

In addition to a monetary prize, Carpenter’s paper earned him a trip to Los Angeles where he attended a number of GRAMMY week events, culminating in the star-studded awards show on Feb.11.

Four other law students joined Carpenter in Los Angeles where they were recognized for their writing at the GRAMMY Foundation’s Entertainment Law Initiative Luncheon. The contest finalists also attended the MusiCares Foundation Person of the Year Dinner honoring Don Henley.

In addition to experiencing the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Carpenter said the opportunity to network with music industry lawyers made the trip “invaluable.”

Carpenter’s winning paper argues that the U.S. Supreme Court’s “substantial, non-infringing use” doctrine has stunted innovation in the music industry by creating an uncertain legal climate that discourages industry investment.

Titled “Defending Artistry by Deleting ‘Dead Capital’: Sony, Grokster and the Supreme Court’s Lost Opportunity to Eradicate the ‘Substantial, Non-Infringing Use’ Doctrine,” the article will be published in the forthcoming Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law.

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