Episode 25: Bostonian Pervert Prompts Great Civics Lesson

It’s Friday for me, probably the weekend for you. Sounds like you don’t have a good excuse not to subscribe to the podcast and rate us five stars on iTunes.

1. The Hollywood Reporter recently published an interesting article on the case pending before the Ninth Circuit whereby the Court will consider whether the batmobile is entitled to copyright, rather than trademark or trade dress, protections. The strange argument appears to be that an inanimate object can rise to a level requiring protections as if it were a person. My favorite quote appears at the end:

If Towle is able to establish that DC has no protectable rights in the Batmobile, you should quit your job and start selling replicas of the General Lee and a decked-out DeLorean time machine.”

So if DC loses, I guess, see ya. Off to print some money by making Back to the Future DeLorean replicas.

2. @ouij points out on the subreddit that this next story is a great lesson in civics. It looks something like this: the Massachusetts legislature passed laws about 10 years ago designed make it illegal to take pervy photos. Here’s the text of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, 105(b):

Whoever willfully photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils another person who is nude or partially nude, with the intent to secretly conduct or hide such activity, when the other person in such place and circumstance would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in not being so photographed, videotaped or electronically surveilled, and without that person’s knowledge and consent, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 21/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

The executive branch attempts to enforce a perceived violation of the law (when a man takes upskirt photos of women on the Green Line on the T). The judiciary steps in and says, nope, the statute doesn’t do what you want it to do.

The legislature comes back and within 48 hours passes a new law, already in effect, which makes recording a person’s private parts illegal “whether under or around a person’s clothing or when a reasonable person would believe that the person’s intimate parts would not be visible to the public.”

(Incidentally if you’re a Fastcase member, you can check out the indexed opinion at here.)

As always, please take note of our subreddit at reddit.com/r/thelawreview. Feel free to submit stories there or vote on the stories you’d like to hear us discuss that day. You can also email us at podcast /at fastcase /dot com.

Thanks for listening!

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