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    04.15.11 New York Court of Appeals Cites Note by Priti Trivedi ’11
    Priti Trivedi
    March 11 - For the second time in recent months, a student note that was originally published in Brooklyn Law School’s Journal of Law & Policy (JLP) has been cited in a court decision. It is rare for student scholarship to be referenced by the courts, a fact that makes the two citations an exceptional achievement for the student authors and the journal’s staff.

    A note by Priti Trivedi ’11, entitled "Writing the Wrong: What the E-Book Industry Can Learn From Music’s Mistakes with DRM," was cited by the New York Court of Appeals in Penguin Books v. American Buddha, 2011 WL 1044581 (N.Y. 2011). The decision was made at the request of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to determine the scope of jurisdiction in a federal copyright infringement action.

    Trevedi's note examines digital copyright law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, digital rights management, and consumer notice issues. “The section that was cited by the New York Court of Appeals made reference to the rise in piracy of e-books, which is becoming an important issue as the electronic publishing industry grows,” Trivedi said. “The Court of Appeals was certified by the Second Circuit to determine whether a New York plaintiff could bring suit against an out-of-state defendant who published copyright-protected works on the Internet. It determined that the situs of the injury was in New York, thus allowing the Second Circuit to decide the merits of the case.”

    “I am particularly interested in how laws affect people in ways they don’t realize,” she explained. “Technological advancements in entertainment, social media, and network privacy affect people every single day, and they often don’t understand the rights they have given away, or how information can then be used for or against them. In my note, I proposed new policies and business models that can better achieve a balance between the interests of copyright owners and consumers.”

    In Writing the Wrong, Trivedi compared two online media industries – music and e-books – and their responses to a rise in piracy. The strong response by the music industry – namely, the use of digital rights management technology such as the encryption formerly used on songs purchased through iTunes – created considerable consumer backlash and failed to prevent copyright infringement, she asserted. The lessons of that experience should be heeded by publishers and retailers of e-books. “The e-book industry should adopt a proactive approach, and find new ways to combat digital copyright infringement and public apathy towards copyright law, or it risks driving consumers to alternative and illegal means,” she wrote, and suggested several reforms.

    Journal of Law and Policy students take their notes seriously and work closely with faculty advisors and student editors to make sure that they are first rate,” said Professor David Reiss, faculty advisor to the journal. ”It is not surprising that courts would rely on them to help explicate the cutting edge of the law.” Several months ago, a note by Heather Martone ’11 about the need for laws to protect school children with serious food allergies was cited by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in Pace v. Maryland (2010 WL 3770566, [footnote 3]).

    Trivedi, who is an Executive Notes and Comments Editor of JLP, said that staff members are thrilled that the legal community is taking notice of our work. "It’s exciting to think that we really have a voice and an opportunity to affect how laws are interpreted.”

    Trivedi was advised by Professor Derek Bambauer on her note. With a keen interest in technology and intellectual property, she has interned at the Nielsen Company and participated in the Brooklyn Law Incubator and Policy (BLIP) clinic. She currently serves as research assistant to Professor Dana Brakman-Reiser, and interned last summer with Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes ‘92 in the Eastern District of New York. She received her B.A. from Rutgers College.

    Read Trivedi’s note.

    Read the citation in Penguin Books v. American Buddha.

    Read more about Heather Martone’s note.

    Read more about the Journal of Law and Policy.