My projects

Ingrid Pitt: Beyond The Forest logo The Wild World of Ted V. Mikels logo Vampira: The Movie logo Curse album cover Ultraviolet band photo Shrieking Violets logo

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Latest News

2013 - 2015
Articles about Anonymous and the Lulz Security (LulzSec) hacker group

I wrote several articles about the FBI's investigation of LulzSec, and related topics. (The articles probably contain insufficient background material for the casual reader, and are intended primarily for people who have been following these cases all along.)

March 4, 2011
Another Continuing Legal Education Program

I am pleased to announce that I will be one of the speakers at a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program entitled "Copyright in the 21st Century: Copyright Basics for New Practitioners & Experienced Lawyers" at the New York City Bar Association on March 10, 2011. Details and registration here.

February 18, 2010
I will be speaking at a Continuing Legal Education Program

I am pleased to announce that I will be one of the speakers at a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program entitled "Current Developments In Copyright Law 2010" at the New York City Bar Association on March 23, 2010. Details and registration here.

November 27, 2009

I was reported to the police for meeping, but apparently they've decided not to press charges. (Gee I love the internet!)

August 27, 2009
Memories of K-Rock and Z-Rock

I've posted a large collection of documents and anecdotes from when I interned at the New York City rock radio stations K-Rock (WXRK) and Z-Rock (WZRC). I think people will find them amusing. Start with the official Analysis and Evaluation Paper. Enjoy!

July 30, 2009
I've been appointed to a Bar Association committee

I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed to the Copyright and Literary Property Committee of the New York City Bar Association beginning September 2009. Committee members volunteer their time to organize Continuing Legal Education (CLE) events, book guest speakers, analyze new legislation, and otherwise "shape policy and frame debate on the pressing legal issues of the day."

February 19, 2009
Watch for Vampira: The Movie in the Academy Awards

If you watch the Academy Awards on the evening of February 22, you'll see a three-second clip of Maila "Vampira" Nurmi in the "In Memoriam" section. This clip is from Vampira: The Movie, for which I did (and continue to do) all the legal work.

Update: The "in memoriam" segment is available on YouTube (Maila Nurmi appears at approximately 1:51)
Update 2: Oops! Now it says "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences." From some quick Googling, I don't see it available elsewhere on the web, for free or for sale. Maybe eventually they'll put out a DVD? It was a very touching "in memoriam," anyway.

January 11, 2009
I submitted a comment to the U.S. Copyright Office

The Copyright Office had requested comments in the matter of exemption to prohibition on circumvention of copyright protection systems for access control technologies. You can read the request for comments (in PDF) here, and my comment here. (Eventually all comments will be posted on the Copyright Office website.)

Update: The Copyright Office has posted all the reply comments.

December 1, 2008
I now have a YouTube channel

So far I've only got a few videos up, but please take a look and leave comments. Here's one with excerpts of a talk I gave at Dragon*Con, "Tolkien v. New Line: An Overview of the Lawsuit in Plain English":

August 27, 2008
I'll be speaking at Dragon*Con

Dragon*Con logo

I'll be doing three events at this year's Dragon*Con, again as part of the Tolkien's Middle Earth track:

Know Your Rights: Copyright Law for the Creator of Fan Works (Yes, this is a repeat of last year's.)
Copyright law: riddles in the dark, or a power too great and terrible? Copyright attorney Theodora Michaels leads us through the marshes (and legalities) of fair use, parody, fan art and more.
Friday August 29, 4:00 PM

Tolkien v. New Line: An overview of the recent lawsuit in plain English
Entertainment attorney Theodora Michaels describes the legal issues and current status of this important case, and provides background information about the film industry, the legal system, and the ownership of rights in Tolkien's works.
Monday Sept. 1, 11:30 AM

Sidekicks- The right hands of Good and Evil in Middle Earth (I will be moderating.)
What happens when you put Sam Gamgee and Grima Wormtongue in a room together? Find out when Sean Astin and Brad Dourif join us to talk about their experiences filming 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, as well as their current and future projects.
Saturday August 30, 4:00 PM

Update: Due to some last-minute schedule changes, I wound up at the solo Sean Astin event instead, introducing him and moderating audience questions. You can watch my introduction and the beginning of his talk here:

September 5, 2007
Text of talk posted: Know Your Rights: Copyright Law for the Creator of Fan Works

I've posted the text of the talk I gave at Dragon*Con: Know Your Rights: Copyright Law for the Creator of Fan Works. It was a full house, asking very intelligent questions -- thanks to everyone who came out!

August 15, 2007
Vampira: The Movie coming to DVD,
Upcoming events at Dragon*Con

There are a gazillion updates on the Vampira: The Movie website, most importantly that the movie is being released on DVD on August 28th. Be sure to buy your copy today!

My talk in the Dragon*Con Tolkien's Middle Earth track, Know Your Rights: Copyright Law for the Creator of Fan Works, is scheduled for September 1 at 8:30 PM.

I'll also be on a panel in the Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival: Legal Issues in Filmmaking, on September 2nd at 1 PM. See the full schedule of events here.

With all the different programming tracks, the parade, and meeting up with friends I met on, this is shaping up to be an exhaustingly thrilling weekend! Hope to see you there.

June 30, 2007
Copyright Office Roundtable report posted,
and music industry lightbulb jokes

I've posted a report about the Copyright Office Roundtable I attended on June 15.

Copyright law too dry for you? I've also posted a page of original Modern Music Industry Lightbulb Jokes. Enjoy!

March 23, 2007
New York Times mention

I just noticed that my upcoming talk on copyright law is mentioned in today's New York Times, in the article called Elvish Impersonators (*groan*).


"I'm an obsessed geek," said Marie Miesel, a nurse from Nashville and a presenter at Dragon*Con, perhaps the nation's largest convention for fantasy fans, held in Atlanta annually on Labor Day weekend. "My parents brought me to science fiction conventions when I was 7." She will be leading a seminar on Sept. 2, "The Silmarillion for Dummies" [since retitled "Silmarillion Essentials / Jewels in the History of Middle-earth"].

The four-day convention isn't just about Tolkien, but its Tolkien Track will be a cluster of lectures, game demonstrations, films and panel discussions on topics from "Customizing Your Action Figures" to "Misconceptions of Copyright Law for the Creator of Fan Works" [since retitled "Know Your Rights: Copyright Law for the Creator of Fan Works"]. A party called An Evening in Bree (Bree is a village in Middle-earth) will include folk dancing, a trivia contest and a band singing Tolkien-themed lyrics. On Saturday morning, hundreds of costumed Tolkien fans will march through downtown Atlanta -- bearded wizards and snarling orcs -- mingling with Klingons ("Star Trek") and Imperial Guardsmen ("Star Wars") from other fantasy-loving groups.

March 8, 2007
Moot Court judging

I will be one of the judges in the quarter-final round of the Cardozo/BMI Entertainment and Communications Law Moot Court Competition on March 23rd. These always have fascinating and complex fact patterns based on current issues in copyright law, and I am looking forward to hearing the students' arguments as they practice their litigation skills.