Page 16 - Briefcase V35 Number 1
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
                                Professor Michael A. Olivas
                                 Everyone has sung “Happy Birthday to You” at one time or another. But the rights to the song were
                                recently challenged in litigation. Professor Michael Olivas has studied the song for his NPR show, “The Law
                                of Rock and Roll.”
                                 “The music for ‘Happy Birthday to You’ was published in 1893,” Olivas said. “But more than 40 years later, the
                                lyrics were copyrighted. However, in a recent, closely-watched and complex trial, a judge determined that the
                                song is now in the public domain, because the copyright was not properly renewed.”
                                 Olivas explained that this decision causes many changes.
                                 “Previously, royalties were owed for any uses in films, ringtones or other public performances like mariachi
                                bands and waiters singing to patrons. It earned over two million dollars every year. But now, the most popular
                                song in the world belongs to all of us.”
                                https://tinyurl.com/m3gza64


                                POLITICIANS AS FIDUCIARIES
                                Assistant Professor D. Theodore Rave
                                 The right to vote is one of the most important rights granted to U.S. citizens. Assistant Professor D.
                                Theodore Rave teaches election law and has studied the concept of “politicians as fiduciaries.”
                                 Rave explains, “A fiduciary is someone who the law requires to look out for the best interests of someone else.
                                When representatives draw their own legislative districts, there is a conflict of interest. Basically, this enables
                                politicians to pick their voters rather than the other way around. One thought is that political representatives
                                should be treated like fiduciaries with an obligation not to manipulate district lines to their own advantage.”
                                 Rave offered some thoughts on how to avoid this conflict of interest. “One solution is setting up an
                                independent districting commission. Under this approach, a body of citizens would draw district maps instead of
                                the legislature. Commission meetings would be open to the public with draft maps subject to notice and comment
                                requirements.”
                                https://tinyurl.com/mmem94z


                                CORPORATE WELLNESS PROGRAMS
                                Associate Professor Jessica Roberts
                                 In response to the Affordable Care Act, employers are adopting wellness programs to encourage their
                                employees to pursue healthier lifestyles, but they are not always effective. Associate Professor Jessica Roberts
                                is director of the Health Law and Policy Institute. Her research looks at the reasons for this.
                                 “One reason for those shortfalls could be that not all employees can actually benefit,” Roberts said. “Employees
                                who live in neighborhoods without grocery stores where they can buy healthy food or who lack transportation to
                                the gym cannot actually make healthier choices. If the wellness program does not benefit all employees, that raises
                                concerns about social justice and health care access.”
                                 Roberts feels there are ways to improve these programs. “Wellness programs can facilitate healthy decision-
                                making on the job, such as offering free, healthy snacks at work and creating opportunities to exercise during the
                                workday.“
                                https://tinyurl.com/m6anvkv

                                INDEPENDENT CRIME LABS
                                Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson
                                 Crime labs provide important evidence that can solve criminal cases. Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson
                                believes in protecting the interests of justice. She authored “Cops in Lab Coats” to help lawyers better
                                understand these issues.
                                 “Crime labs have a history of focusing more on helping police and prosecutors get convictions than on



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