University of Southern California

Volume 87, Number 4 (May, 2013)

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    A Transactional Genealogy of Scandal: From Michael Milken to Enron to Goldman Sachs
    Article by William W. Bratton and Adam J. Levitin

    Three scandals have reshaped business regulation over the past thirty years: the securities fraud prosecution of Michael Milken in 1988, the Enron implosion of 2001, and the Goldman Sachs “ABACUS” enforcement action of 2010. The scandals have always been seen as unrelated. This Article highlights a previously unnoticed transactional affinity tying these scandals together—a deal structure known as the synthetic collateralized debt obligation involving the use of a special purpose entity (“SPE”)....

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    The Uneasy Case Against Copyright Trolls
    Article by Shyamkrishna Balganesh

    The copyright troll and the phenomenon of copyright trolling have thus far received surprisingly little attention in discussions of copyright law and policy. A copyright troll refers to an entity that acquires a tailored interest in a copyrighted work with the sole objective of enforcing claims relating to that work against copiers in a zealous and dogmatic manner. Not being a creator, distributor, performer, or indeed user of the protected work, the copyright troll operates entirely in the mark...

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    Just Another Brown-Eyed Girl: Toward a Limited Federal Right of Publicity Under the Lanham Act in a Digital Age of Celebrity Dominance
    Note by Susannah M. Rooney

    Imagine this: Elle, an attractive blonde, brown-eyed female in Boston becomes an overnight celebrity for her YouTube video series, “Chasing Rings,” in which she bemoans the modern dating world in the form of her self-produced rap songs. In each video, Elle wears a different pink shirt. As her video blog continues to gain popularity, a New York clothing company develops an online advertising campaign supporting the legalization of gay marriage. The campaign is displayed on online news and social...

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    Waiving Farewell Without Saying Goodbye: The Waiver of Fiduciary Duties in Limited Liability Companies in Delware, and the Call For Mandatory Disclosure
    Note by Darren Guttenberg

    You are approached by a dear friend who says, “I have a terrific business concept—diamond mining in Siberia. Just a pickaxe, divining rod, and some elbow grease. It’s going to be terrific. The problem is, I need a little bit of cash to get it off the ground. Any interest? I can offer you a share of the company.” Although you know little about Siberia or investing, you decide to invest. He sends you a sixty-five-page LLC operating agreement for Sub-Zero Mining, LLC (“it’s mostly boilerplate”), wh...

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