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August 2007

Digital Millennium Lawsuit Against Universal Music Publishing

Interview with Marcia Hoffman, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) www.eff.org. Ms. Hoffman is the lead attorney representing YouTube contributor, Stephanie Lenz, against Universal Music Publishing Group. Universal Music recently shut down Ms. Lenz' YouTube video of her toddler son dancing to a Prince song on the internet with a bogus take down notice to YouTube.

with Expert Marcia Hoffman
of EFF.ORG
Sponsor TraverseLegal.com
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ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the VTalk Radio Tech Spotlight with your host, John Bentley.

JOHN: Welcome to VTalk Radio's Tech Spotlight. This is your host, John Bentley. Today we are speaking with Ms. Marcia Hoffman. Marcia is a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, known affectionately in the internet community as EFF and found at www.eff.org. Ms. Hoffman is the lead attorney representing You Tube contributor, Stephanie Lenz, against Universal Music Publishing Group. Universal Music recently shut down Ms. Lenz' You Tube video of her toddler son dancing to a Prince song on the internet with a bogus take down notice to You Tube. Marcia welcome to the program.

MARCIA: Hi there. Thanks for having me on.

JOHN: First of all, can you tell us what is the Electronic Frontier Foundation?

MARCIA: The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a civil liberties organization based in San Francisco which that champion digital rights, most particularly individual rights online including things like online free speech and privacy, but also in this case, we endorse people's to use copyrighted material in a non-infringing way online.

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Delivering Results Every Single Day

Lawyers who bill by the hour typically spend their time thinking about hours rather than results. Few hourly billing attorneys tell their client what they will be delivering and the costs upfront.

Once deliverable are defined, a value billing attorney simply asks himself/herself the same question each moment of each day: "how do I deliver the deliverables I have promised the client?"

Instead of cases just meandering forward, each day the lawyer’s required to think strategically. The lawyer has to anticipate what moves on offense need to occur in order to achieve the result. The lawyer has tremendous incentive to achieve that result sooner, rather than later. This is because hours of time now count against him/her in contrast to the hourly billing approach where hours count against the client.

The best part about value billing is that it requires the lawyer to think strategically, offensively and proactively every single day. A value billing attorney constantly reviews their case to see what can and should happen next.


The Biggest Mistake of Value-billers

One of the big mistakes that people who attempt value billing make is that they attempt to keep the bill down. Instead of providing value, their goal becomes doing less.

Value billing is not, under any scenario, about doing less. Value billing is about providing more value. In many instances, it may involve doing much more than a traditional hourly billing firm.

We are all aware that hourly firms sometimes just go through the motions. Because the emphasis is on billing an eight to ten-hour day, lawyers get lazy. They don’t stop and focus on what is important. They don’t have a sense of client goals or documented deliverables. We are all aware that many clients spend tens of thousands of dollars and yet achieve little if anything at the end of a case.

In contrast, a value billing approach ensures that the clients’ goals are fully documented at the beginning of the matter. Further, a return on investment matching those goals against the documented costs (preferably on a flat-fee basis) of the attorney’s services is analyzed at the outset. Sometimes, a value-biller will do more work and charge more money than an attorney simply going through the motions on an hourly basis. The difference is the end zone. A value-billing attorney knows exactly where the end zone is, understands the value that end zone provides to the client and gets the ball in the end zone at the end of the day.


Domain Matters: Protecting your domain name ...

Here is a nice primer on domain name theft, cybersquatting and domain piracy issues. I think we all underestimate how easy it is to lose your domain name in cyberspace.  Everyone needs to take steps to ensure they don't lose their domain URL.  In fact, domain owners need to go on offense to make sure their domain is protected from cybersquatters and other evil-doers stalking the internet.

with Expert Enrico Schaefer  
of Traverse Legal
 
Sponsor <TraverseLegal.com
 
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