Posts Tagged ‘Legal Ethics. Media Law’

Issue Spotter!

This post is for all of the law students and recent law graduates out there. I came across the following paragraph in a Daily Beast article entitled “The Hipster Thief,” about literary enfant terrible and fellow NYU grad Tao Lin, author of Shoplifting From American Apparel, and the legal fallout from his arrest for, well, shoplifting from American Apparel:

After agreeing to publish a chapbook called today the sky is blue and white with bright blue spots and small pale moon and i will destroy our relationship todaywith respected indie publisher Kevin Sampsell, Tao chafed so much at Sampsell’s editing suggestions that Sampsell canceled the book. Then, in a long, hypnotic blog post, Tao published all of Sampsell’s personal emails along with a detailed “philosophical justification” for doing so. (He claimed that making private information public “decreases pain and suffering in the world.”) Later, after his shoplifting arrest, Tao emailed lawyer and short-story writer Richard Grayson for legal advice. Grayson then published those emails on without Tao’s permission as a book called The Tao Shoplifting Crisis.

This paragraph is right out of a law school issue spotter essay exam. How many legal issues can you spot? I see at least five:

DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying any of these wrongs were actually committed by any party or that such claims would stand up if brought, just that the issues are there, and that after reading that paragraph I had to keep myself from launching Electronic BlueBook on my laptop.

Did I miss any other potential claims against any party? If they’d only included a few more facts about Lin’s arrest, we’d have criminal law and criminal procedure issues too!

Some samples of Tao Lin’s work are available here.

Adult Swim fans might also enjoy “Issue Spotting Metalocalypse” over at the Legal Satyricon.