Essay Entertainment Facebook Page

* Photo: Todd Tankersley * __Thinking about launching __your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.

Writing a weblog today isn't the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It's almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you quit now, you're in good company. Notorious chatterbox Jason Calacanis made millions from his Weblogs network. But he flat-out retired his own blog in July. "Blogging is simply too big, too impersonal, and lacks the intimacy that drew me to it," he wrote in his final post.

Impersonal is correct: Scroll down Technorati's list of the top 100 blogs and you'll find personal sites have been shoved aside by professional ones. Most are essentially online magazines: The Huffington Post. Engadget. TreeHugger. A stand-alone commentator can't keep up with a team of pro writers cranking out up to 30 posts a day.

When blogging was young, enthusiasts rode high, with posts quickly skyrocketing to the top of Google's search results for any given topic, fueled by generous links from fellow bloggers. In 2002, a search for "Mark" ranked Web developer Mark Pilgrim above author Mark Twain. That phenomenon was part of what made blogging so exciting. No more. Today, a search for, say, Barack Obama's latest speech will deliver a Wikipedia page, a Fox News article, and a few entries from professionally run sites like The odds of your clever entry appearing high on the list? Basically zero.

That said, your blog will still draw the Net's lowest form of life: The insult commenter. Pour your heart out in a post, and some anonymous troll named r0rschach or foohack is sure to scribble beneath it, "Lame. Why don't you just suck McCain's ass." That's why Calacanis has retreated to a private mailing list. He can talk to his fans directly, without having to suffer idiotic retorts from anonymous Jason-haters.

Further, text-based Web sites aren't where the buzz is anymore. The reason blogs took off is that they made publishing easy for non-techies. Part of that simplicity was a lack of support for pictures, audio, and videoclips. At the time, multimedia content was too hard to upload, too unlikely to play back, and too hungry for bandwidth.

Social multimedia sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook have since made publishing pics and video as easy as typing text. Easier, if you consider the time most bloggers spend fretting over their words. Take a clue from Robert Scoble, who made his name as Microsoft's "technical evangelist" blogger from 2003 to 2006. Today, he focuses on posting videos and Twitter updates. "I keep my blog mostly for long-form writing," he says.

Twitter — which limits each text-only post to 140 characters — is to 2008 what the blogosphere was to 2004. You'll find Scoble, Calacanis, and most of their buddies from the golden age there. They claim it's because Twitter operates even faster than the blogosphere. And Twitter posts can be searched instantly, without waiting for Google to index them.

As a writer, though, I'm onto the system's real appeal: brevity. Bloggers today are expected to write clever, insightful, witty prose to compete with Huffington and The New York Times. Twitter's character limit puts everyone back on equal footing. It lets amateurs quit agonizing over their writing and cut to the chase. @WiredReader: Kill yr blog. 2004 over. Google won't find you. Too much cruft from HuffPo, NYT. Commenters are tards. C u on Facebook?

Paul Boutin ( is a correspondent for the Silicon Valley gossip site Valleywag.

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The Entertainment Law Initiative event is the nation's preeminent gathering for entertainment attorneys, and it provides a forum for the industry to honor its own practitioners, hear from legal thought leaders, and support promising law students interested in entertainment law.  Program information below.

Individual tickets for the January 26, 2018 Entertainment Law Initiative event in New York City are now on sale:

Silver: $500 (Orchestra)

Bronze: $375 (Mezzanine)

Note: All tickets provide reserved theater seating and entry to pre- and post-receptions.

To purchase tickets, visit the ELI ticketing website provided by our theater venue here.

Trouble ordering tickets on the theater ticketing website?  Please contact Katrina Lee at or 310.581.8688 for assistance.

Discounted Bronze tickets for students currently enrolled in a U.S. law school J.D./L.L.M. program can be purchased for $100 here

Event Information:

20th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative

An Official GRAMMY® Week Event

Friday, January 26, 2018

New World Stages at Worldwide Plaza

340 West 50th Street

New York, NY 10019

11 a.m. Reception/Light Lunch

12:15 p.m. Presentations/Featured Speaker in the theater

1:15 pm Post-Reception/Dessert

Program to Feature:

Remarks by

Neil Portnow

President/CEO of the Recording Academy™

Remarks by

Michael Kushner

Chair of Entertainment Law Initiative Executive Committee

Presentation of Legal Writing Contest Winner by

Ken Abdo

Entertainment Law Initiative Program Chair

Presentation of President’s Merit Award to

Allen Grubman

Presentation of Entertainment Law Initiative Service Award to

Michael Reinert

Featured Speaker

Eric Schneiderman

New York State Attorney General

20th Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition

The Recording Academy™, in concert with some of the nation’s most prominent entertainment attorneys, established the Entertainment Law Initiative® to promote discussion and debate about the most compelling legal issues facing the music industry today. Now in its 20th year, the program has grown to include a national writing competition, mentor sessions, and a GRAMMY® Week event.

ELI fosters future careers in entertainment law by seeking out the nation’s top law students and giving them invaluable networking and educational opportunities. The ELI writing contest challenges students to identify, research, and write an essay with a proposed solution on a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry. A national panel of music law experts will judge the papers in a blind process to select a winner and a runner up. This contest is open to juris doctorate candidates currently enrolled at an ABA-accredited law school.

The ELI event will be held on Friday, January 26, 2018 in New York City and at this function the winner of the ELI Writing Competition will be recognized. This event also features recognition of a top music industry legal figure annually and serves as a key gathering of the industry’s legal and executive community during GRAMMY Week. Further details and ticket information for this event will be announced soon.

In the meantime, law students are encouraged to participate in the ELI Writing Competition to further their knowledge, better connect to the music and legal community and also to get a chance to attend the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards in New York City in 2018.

Important Dates

Paper Submission Deadline:

January 2, 2018

10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST)

Winner and Runner-Up Chosen:

January 10, 2018

ELI Event & Winner Scholarship Presentation, New York City:

January 26, 2018

Winner will receive (see official ELI Writing Competition rules for complete details):

  • $10,000 scholarship
  • Two tickets to and recognition on stage at the 20th Annual ELI event taking place January 26, 2018 in New York City
  • Two tickets to MusiCares® Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac taking place January 26, 2018 in New York City
  • Two tickets to the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards® and official GRAMMY Celebration after-party taking place January 28, 2018 in New York City
  • Round-Trip airfare to New York City and hotel accommodations for two to attend these events

One Runner-Up will receive a $2,500 scholarship

For complete ELI Writing Competition rules see below. For questions or more information email


20th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition


Thank you for requesting information about the Recording AcademyTM (“Sponsor”) Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) Writing Competition (“Contest”). In its 20th year, ELI promotes discussion and debate on the most compelling legal issues facing the music industry today. The initiative also promotes future careers in entertainment law by seeking out the nation's top law students and giving them invaluable networking and educational opportunities.

The writing contest challenges students to identify, research, and write an essay with a proposed solution on a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry. A national panel of music law experts will judge the papers in a blind process and select five finalists.

The scholarship is co-­sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Important Dates

Completed manuscripts and accompanying documents (to be defined below) must be submitted via email to on or before January 2, 2018 at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST). Late manuscripts will not be considered. Hardcopy submissions will not be accepted. Winners will be notified on or before January 11, 2018.

Submission Checklist

One Microsoft Word Document including:

- Completed essay manuscript;

- Complete contact info including entrant’s phone, email, and mailing address;

- Transfer of author’s ownership letter;

- Word Doc naming convention “lastname.firstname_ELI2018submission”

- Submit to on or before January 2, 2018 at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST)

One scan of these Official Rules, signed and dated

By signing below, I agree to these Official Rules

_________________________ ___________

Name Date


Eligibility Requirements

  1. This contest is open to juris doctorate candidates currently enrolled at an ABA accredited law school. LLM and any other advanced degree candidates are not eligible.
  1. Entrants must be an enrolled student as of January 1, 2018.
  1. Entrants must be legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age or older, who are located in the United States or the District of Columbia at the time of entry. Contest is void where prohibited.
  1. Employees, contractors, directors and officers of Sponsor, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, distributors, sales representatives, retailers, and advertising, promotion and judging agencies and all other service agencies involved with the Contest, and members of the immediate family (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouse) and household of each such employee are not eligible to participate.
  1. Previous winners and/or finalists are ineligible.

Submission Requirements

  1. Entrants must identify research and write an essay with a proposed solution on a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry (“Essay”).
  1. All Essays must be original works specifically written for the ELI Writing Competition. Previously published works are ineligible. The submission of works previously written for academic purposes is acceptable, provided that the work is edited to meet the guidelines of the competition and is not identical to the prior academic work.
  1. Co-authorship of the Essay is not permitted. Papers may be reviewed by law school faculty or colleagues for editorial feedback, but such assistance may not rise to the level of co-authorship.
  1. Completed Essays and accompanying documents (to be specified below) (each an “Entry”) must be submitted via email between October 15, 2017 at 12:00:00 a.m PST and January 2, 2018 at 10:00:01 a.m. PST (1pm EST) (“Contest Period”). Late Entries will not be considered. Sponsor’s computer is the official time clock of the Contest. Hardcopy submissions will not be accepted.
  1. Essays shall be no longer than 3,000 words not including endnotes/footnotes. Entrants must use The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, for citation style.
  1. Essays must be in English.
  1. Essays must conform to the following Entry Requirements:

· Essay cannot be sexually explicit or suggestive, unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group, profane or pornographic, contain nudity or any materially dangerous activity;

· Essay cannot promote alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing), any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous, or any particular political agenda or message;

· Essay cannot be obscene or offensive, endorse any form of hate or hate group;

· Essay cannot defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Sponsor or its products, or other people, products or companies;

· Entry cannot promote any brand or product of any kind, or contain any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street addresses;

· Entry cannot communicate messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor wishes to associate; and

  1. Sponsor reserves the right to waive the Contest entry requirements set forth herein in its reasonable discretion.
  1. Current contact information including address, phone number and e­mail address must accompany the Essay.
  1. Entrants' names shall not appear on the Essay, but shall appear on a separate title page to be removed when a number is assigned to the Entry.
  1.  Essay submissions shall be accompanied by a signed and dated copy of these Official Rules
  1. All Entries must be submitted to with the following formatting requirements:

· Essays must be in MS Word format in Times New Roman font size 12 – single spaced

o Page 1: Title page with all contact information (phone, snail mail, and email)

o Page 2: Transfer of ownership certification mentioned above.

o All pages that follow: Must be anonymous with no mentions of name or school

· Signed and dates copy of these Official Rules must be in .PDF, .TIFF, or .JPG format

  1.  All documents must be saved with the following naming convention:

“lastname.firstname_ELI2018submission” example: smith.john_ELI2018submission

  1.  All Essays, and contact information must be merged into one Microsoft Word document.
  1. Each author may submit only one Entry. Any Participant who attempts to enter with multiple email addresses under multiple identities will be disqualified and forfeits any and all prizes won, in Sponsor's discretion.
  1. By submitting an Entry, entrants agree to these Official Rules, which are final and binding in all respects.
  1. BY SUBMITTING AN ENTRY, ENTRANT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HIS/HER ENTRY MAY BE POSTED ON SPONSOR’S WEBSITE OR PUBLISHED IN ANY OTHER MEDIA EXISTING NOW OR LATER CREATED, IN SPONSOR’S DISCRETION. Submission of an Entry grants Sponsor and its agents an unlimited, worldwide, perpetual, license and right to publish, use, publicly perform the Entry in any way, in any and all media, without limitation, and without consideration to the entrant.

Winner Selection and Notification

  1. One (1) winner (Winner”) and one (1) runner-up (“Runner-Up”) will be selected from among all eligible Entries on or about January 10, 2018 by judges selected by the Sponsor (“Judges”).
  1.  Essays will be judged on: (1) clarity of expression (organization, clarity of presentation, spelling, grammar), (2) originality of thought (uniqueness of topic), (3) depth of analysis, (4) relevance to industry, and (5) Essay requirements (whether the Essay conforms to the Contest rules).
  1. In the event of a tie, tie breaker will be based upon the highest score in the first judging criteria, continuing thereafter to each judging criteria in order, as needed, to break the tie.
  1. Judges’ decisions are final in all matter relating to this sweepstakes.
  1.  Winners will be notified on or before January 11, 2018 by email, phone and/or express mail.
  1. Sponsor is not responsible for any change of email address, mailing address and/or telephone number of entrants.
  1. For a list of Winners, mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Attn: Membership & Industry Relations Dept., 3030 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404. Requests must be received by March 31, 2018.

Prize Information

  1. The prizes consists of the following:
  2. Winner receives a $10,000 cash scholarship paid directly to the ABA-accredited law school where the student is enrolled or directly to the student at Sponsor’s sole discretion, two (2) tickets to and recognition on stage at the 20th Annual ELI event taking place January 26, 2018 in New York City, two (2) tickets to MusiCares® Person of the Year taking place January 27, 2018 in New York City, two (2) tickets to the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards® taking place January 28, 2018 in New York City, round-trip coach airfare for two to from a major airport near Winner’s residence to New York City for the events, hotel accommodations for two for 5 days/4 nights based on double occupancy. Approximate retail value (“ARV”) of Winner prize: $3,000
  • Runner-Up receives a $2,500 cash scholarship paid to the ABA-accredited law school where the student is enrolled or directly to the student at Sponsor’s sole discretion.
  1. Meals, gratuities, luggage fees, incidental hotel charges and any other unspecified travel-related expenses and the sole responsibility of Winner.
  1. Guest accompanying the Winner must sign and return release of liability/publicity prior to booking travel. If winner’s guest is a minor, he/she must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian who must sign and return all required documentation. Minors must be accompanied at all times during trip (including, but not limited to, in-flight, hotel stay and all prize-related events) by minor’s parent or legal guardian.
  1. Exact travel dates and arrangements subject to availability.
  1. Winner and travel guest(s) must travel on same itinerary.
  1. Actual value of trip may vary based on point of departure and airfare fluctuations. Any difference between stated approximate retail value and actual value of Prize will not be awarded.
  1. Travel and event portions of the prize are forfeited if Winner is unable to travel on the designated dates.
  1. The difference in value of prize as stated herein and value at time of prize notification, if any, will not be awarded.
  1. Prizes are non-transferable and no cash equivalent or substitution of prize is offered, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.
  1. If a prize, or any portion thereof, cannot be awarded for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize with another prize of equal or greater value.
  1. Prize winners will be solely responsible for all federal, state and/or local taxes, and for any other fees or costs associated with the prizes they receive, regardless of whether it, in whole or in part, are used.
  1. The ARV of the prize(s) is based on available information provided to Sponsor and the value of any prize awarded to a winner may be reported for tax purposes where required by law.
  1. The winners may be required to provide Sponsor with a valid social security number or tax identification number before the prize will be awarded for tax reporting purposes.
  1. Winner may be issued an IRS 1099 form for prizes over $600.
  1. Unclaimed prizes will be not be awarded.

Limitation of Liability and Release

  1. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information whether caused by Internet users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the sweepstakes or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the Entries.
  1. Please see the privacy policy located at for details of Sponsor's policy regarding the use of personal information collected in connection with this Contest. If you are selected as a winner, your information may also be included in a publicly-available winner’s list.
  1. As a condition of entering, entrants (or their parent or legal guardian if an eligible minor) agree (and agree to confirm in writing): (a) to release Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, retailers, sales representatives, distributors and the ABA, and each of their officers, directors, employees and agents (“Contest Parties”), from any and all liability, loss or damage incurred with respect to the awarding, receipt, possession, and/or use or misuse of any prize, including any traveling related thereto (b) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and participant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses; (c) all causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (d) any and all claims, judgments, and award shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, excluding attorneys’ fees and court costs.
  1. Entrants further understand and agree that all rights under Section 1542 of the Civil Code of California ("Section 1542") and any similar law of any state or territory of the United States that may be applicable with respect to the foregoing release are hereby expressly and forever waived. Entrants acknowledge that Section 1542 provides that: “A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH, IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.” The releases hereunder are intended to apply to all claims not known or suspected to exist with the intent of waiving the effect of laws requiring the intent to release future unknown claims.
  1. Except where prohibited by law, Winner grants (and agrees to confirm this grant in writing, if requested) permission for Sponsor and those acting under its authority to use his/her name, photograph, voice and/or likeness, for advertising and/or publicity purposes in any and all media now known or hereinafter invented without territorial or time limitations and without compensation.

Governing Law and Disputes

  1. Binding Arbitration: Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Contest shall be settled by binding arbitration in a location determined by the arbitrator as set forth herein (provided that such location is reasonably convenient for claimant), or at such other location as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties, in accordance with the procedural rules for commercial disputes set forth in the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules and Procedures of JAMS (“JAMS Rules and Procedures”) then prevailing, and judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. The arbitrator shall be selected pursuant to the JAMS Rules and Procedures. The arbitrator shall apply California law consistent with the Federal Arbitration Act and applicable statutes of limitations, and shall honor claims of privilege recognized at law. In the event that the claimant is able to demonstrate that the costs of arbitration will be prohibitive as compared to the costs of litigation, Sponsor will pay as much of the claimant’s filing and hearing fees in connection with the arbitration as the arbitrator deems necessary to prevent the arbitration from being cost-prohibitive. If any part of this arbitration provision is deemed to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal (other than that claims will not be arbitrated on a class or representative basis), or otherwise conflicts with the rules and procedures established by JAMS, then the balance of this arbitration provision shall remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with its terms as if the invalid, unenforceable, illegal or conflicting provision were not contained herein. If, however, the portion that is deemed invalid, unenforceable or illegal is that claims will not be arbitrated on a class or representative basis, then the entirety of this arbitration provision shall be null and void, and neither claimant nor Sponsor shall be entitled to arbitrate their dispute. Upon filing a demand for arbitration, all parties to such arbitration shall have the right of discovery, which discovery shall be completed within sixty days after the demand for arbitration is made, unless further extended by mutual agreement of the parties. THE ARBITRATION OF DISPUTES PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE IN THE ENTRANT’S INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING. THE ARBITRATOR MAY NOT CONSOLIDATE OR JOIN THE CLAIMS OF OTHER PERSONS OR PARTIES WHO MAY BE SIMILARLY SITUATED. DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO HAVE ANY CLAIM OR CONTROVERSY ARBITRATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE OFFICIAL RULES.


  1. Contest Official Rules and the Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) Writing Competition are governed by US law and are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of the Contest Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of an entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of California, U.S.A., without giving effect to the conflict of laws rules thereof, and any matters or proceedings which are not subject to arbitration as set forth in Section 50 of these Official Rules and/or for entering any judgment on an arbitration award, shall take place in the State of California, in the City of Los Angeles.

Sponsor Information

Contest Sponsored by: National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, 3030 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404 (“Sponsor”)

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