Monthly Archives: September 2017

Law at DragonCon 2017

DragonCon 2017 officially kicks off later this morning, though the party started as early as Wednesday for a great many. Since it’s one of my hometown cons, I’ll be attending as usual, and, as usual, I didn’t submit in time for pro or guest status. Those deadlines came and went while I was still buried in dual roles at the day job, something that is thankfully now almost completely in the past (the dual roles, not the day job).

For those of you attending DragonCon and also interested in the legal side of the creative world – and you’re here on WRITER-IN-LAW so I assume you are either interested or quite lost – I’ve compiled a wee list of panels and presentations that you might want to star in the DragonCon App.

First and foremost, you can just look up Courtney Lytle in the list of speakers to find all of her sessions. In addition to being a practicing attorney¬†whose expertise includes the area of intellectual property law, Courtney is also an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law. I’ve seen her speak before, and she is flat out excellent. She has the rare ability to explain the law in a way that is easy for a layperson to understand while at the same time insuring that she is not sacrificing legal accuracy or precision. She has two sessions in the Art Show Programming (Friday at 1:00PM and Saturday at 5:30PM) and two sessions on in the Electronic Frontiers Forum track (Sunday at 11:30AM and Monday at 10:00AM).

Second, you might want to browse straight through the track schedule for the Electronic Frontiers Forum. On Friday starting at 4:00PM, you’ll find a panel on Freedom of the Press and Censorship, followed by a discussion of Net Neutrality. A few hours after that, the track has a panel on legal and security issues surrounding autonomous cars. Saturday morning starts with a discussion of California privacy laws, a couple of hours later, the track continues with a FOIA workshop, and then at 5:00PM there’s a panel on social media monitoring by law enforcement. On Sunday and Monday, in addition to Courtney’s two presentations (Copyright 101 and Copyright & Cosplay), the track features panels on the Techdirt lawsuit, rules for police encounters, and leaked CIA surveillance techniques.

The final session I want to bring to your attention relates to that second* certainty in life: taxes. On Monday** at 11:30AM, Christy Nicholas, CPA, is giving a presentation titled “Taxes for Artists: How to Keep All That Money You Aren’t Making at Art!” Having seen her presentation before, I can say it is useful for writers as well as artists. She packs a lot into her presentation, but she usually has handouts! So you can keep up. It’s so useful that even though I’ve seen it before, I still try to catch this one each year.

So there you have it, the law-nerd breakdown of DragonCon. If I missed anything, please feel free to add it in the comments.

*Why is it the second? Why is it “Nothing is certain, but death and taxes” instead of “Nothing is certain, but taxes and death.” Shouldn’t taxes come before death? I mean, someone might end up paying taxes after you die, but it won’t be you…unless you’re counting the coin you’re supposed to give Charon.

**Yes, they saved the tax talk for Labor Day. Thanks for rubbing it in.

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