Hogwash Volume 17

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September 2013
Welcome to Hogwash!

Greetings,

Rosi and Gardner If this is the first edition of Hogwash! you've received it's because someone you know thought that you would like to receive it and perhaps pass it on to a friend.

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The highest compliment we can receive is a referral from a friend. Although we've been in business together for more than twelve years, have more than 50 years of combined legal experience experience, we are never too busy to help those you refer to us: your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

Copyrights: A Trap for the Unwary

copyright2

The digital universe has exploded over the last decade. We're bombarded with emails and photographs. And websites are mandatory for anyone with a business more sophisticated than a lemonade stand.

For many of us, the idea of improving our business websites may find it enticing to incorporate a beautiful picture or two. After all – the search engines love photos and so do viewers. And we want those people to find our sites. But beware, many of those pictures may be copyrighted and the use, without permission may prove to be very expensive. Why? Because if the owner of a copyrighted photo challenges your use and court concludes you used it intentionally then attorney fees and statutory damages may be assessed.

In one such case – a recent decision from the 9th Circuit, the U. S. District Court for Hawaii in Pacific Stock, Inc. v. MacArthur&Company Inc. et al – an online magazine used a photograph that had previously appeared in another online magazine. Not only did they use the photo, they removed the other publication's copyright information and substituted their own. The result – a default judgment in favor of the owner of the copyrighted photo was entered and the court awarded the damaged party statutory damages of $45,000 plus almost $7,000 in attorney fees and costs for violation of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §101 et seq and violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 1202 (a) and (b).

Temptation is often hard to resist, be it to chocolate or a beautiful photo, "that no one should miss." Succumbing to temptation always has a down side – and this is one that could be expensive!

The Continuing Tales of Trolls

trolls

Do you send a royalty payment to a small tech company each time you scan a document to email? The claim that you should, or risk being sued and dragged into court, is what has Minnesota's Attorney General, Lori Swanson, troubled enough to swing back at a "patent troll."

The particular "troll" at issue, MPHJ Technology Investments, contacted hundreds of businesses in Minnesota, claiming that those businesses needed to pay a "licensing fee" or royalty for the privilege of scanning a document and sending it to an email address by a single process. The company threatened litigation if the fees were not paid.

The State of Minnesota took action, and a settlement has been reached. MPHJ will pay a civil penalty to the State of $50,000 for each Minnesota company that pays the fees, although MPHJ says no Minnesota companies gave in and paid the fees. Perhaps the more important part of the settlement is that MPHJ agreed to secure Minnesota's approval through the Attorney General's office, before it sends any similar demands out in Minnesota.

It seems that Minnesota bridges are not the best places for patent aggregators to hide and strike from under . . .

Vermont and Nebraska are also currently involved in enforcement investigations in the actions regarding MPHJ.

L3Cs Provide a New Approach for Public Interest Businesses

LC3s

In 2008 the Vermont Legislature enacted legislation that authorized a new business designation. The legislation created a cross between a for profit business and a non-profit business, designated an L3C or Low-Profit Limited Liability Company. This new entity has the liability protection of a corporation, the flexibility of a partnership and the ability to be sold in pieces to investors – but it is specifically formed to further a socially beneficial mission. As such it can qualify as a Program Related Investment, or PRI. Currently there are complex IRS regulations for foundations that make PRIs. One purpose for L3Cs is to avoid those regulations with entities in which investors, seeking only modest returns of five percent or less can seek to support socially beneficial missions.

Michigan recently joined Vermont and several other states in approving L3Cs. The Michigan Limited Liability Act now authorizes formation of a "Low-profit limited liability company" that includes in its articles of organization a purpose that meets, and that at all times conducts its activities to meet, all of the following requirements:

(i) The limited liability company significantly furthers the accomplishment of one or more charitable or educational purposes described in section 170(c)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue code, 26 USC 170, and would not have been formed except to accomplish those charitable or educational purposes.

(ii) The production of income or appreciation of property is not a significant purpose of the limited liability company. However, in the absence of other factors, the fact that a limited liability company produces significant income or capital appreciation is not conclusive evidence of a significant purpose involving the production of income or the appreciation of property.

(iii) The purposes of the limited liability company do not include accomplishing one or more political or legislative purposes described in section 170(c)(2)(D) of the internal revenue code, 26 USC 170.

The Act sets out detailed requirements and rights (See MCL 450.4204) and for all practical purposes has the broad powers of an ordinary LLC (Limited Liability Company).

An L3C is not a non-profit enterprise. It is a for profit venture that must have a primary goal of performing a socially beneficial purpose, not simply earning money for its investors. The new aspects of the Limited Liability Act were designed to correspond with the IRS regulations relevant to PRIs to which foundations are subject. As such, it is anticipated that an L3C as a perfect candidate vessel for a PRI investment by, for instance, incorporating a provision in the Operating Agreement whereby the PRI is to take the first loss position. If the PRI takes the first loss position, that takes much of the risk out of the venture for other investors. That could make investments by others more attractive to commercial investment by improving the credit rating and thereby lowering the cost of capital. As compared to foundations that take the highest risk in PRIs at little or no return, the L3C model turns the venture capital model on its head and gives an L3C a low cost of capital.

If you are interested in learning more about how an L3C might benefit a cause you cherish while earning a slight profit for those who invest in that cause, then give our office at call at (231) 941-5878.

If You Can't Trust Your Government Who Can You Trust?

black bear 2

Once again the guardians of our wildlife have more than egg on their chins. The DNR, in its haste to punish an errant URSUS (that's Latin for Bear) that had allegedly attacked a local teenager, with all the technology it has in its arsenal, shot and killed the wrong bear.

One would expect that the DNR, consistent with the mandate in the state constitution for the protection of natural resources, of which wildlife is surely one, would be more than careful when it chooses to destroy an innocent creature.

For all who watch either Animal Planet, on cable, or Nature, on PBS, we know that tranquilizer darts are available throughout the world. Indeed, when in May 2011 a 300 to 400 pound bear was discovered on Second Street in Traverse City, in your author's back yard, and chased several blocks through neighborhoods until it was disabled with a tranquilized dart and then transported to public land in Kalkaska County, why, one might ask, was a tranquilizer dart NOT used to immobilize the suspect to ascertain its guilt or innocence?

Sure, it was only a dumb animal, and probably didn't care if it was required to be sacrificed on the altar of Good Government? Also, as distinct from persons on Death Row, neither bears nor other large wildlife that may be suspected of wrong doing – example, wolves – have neither a right of appeal nor an "Innocence Project" to speak for them.

Lastly, what about the Chapter 20 Bear Law Violations (see DNR website, Wildlife Resources) regarding killing a bear without a license. Did the shooter have valid license? Are DNR personnel exempt from the strictures of the Bear Law, including both monetary penalties and jail time?

I guess I have said enough. I am certain that my interest only comes from my earlier travel with Edward Bear, aka Winnie- the-Poo, and friends Piglet and Christopher Robin. I just like bears.

Stuff Happens — And the Law is Ready

Portland Files Suit to Protect Sidewalk Restroom Project

portable toilets

In the ever expanding technology intended to address the stuff that always happens – often at often inconvenient times and places – the City of Portland, Oregon commissioned the development and establishment of mobile public bathrooms entitled Portland Loo.

In the spirit of free enterprise a competitor sought to capitalize on the ideas included in each Portland Loo into its own Sidewalk Restroom. The goal – to profit from the disposal of stuff in places other than Portland.

Intent on protecting its market position, not only in Portland but, hopefully, in both other urban and non-urban markets, on August 18 the City of Portland brought suit, claiming, among other things, a violation of its copyrights. See City of Portland v Romtec, Inc, United States District Court, District of Oregon, Portland Division, Case No. 3:13-cv-1453.

We all know the importance of being able to dispose of stuff — when it happens and when needed. Let us all hope that the outcome of this litigation will be consistent with the best interests of the public, consistent with its needs.

Issue: 17
In This Issue
Copyrights: A Trap for the Unwary
The Continuing Tales of Trolls
L3Cs Provide a New Approach for Public Interest Businesses
If You Can't Trust Your Government Who Can You Trust?
Stuff Happens — And the Law is Ready
Interesting factoids
Forty Years After: Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs Battle of the Sexes
Share Your Poetry Favorites With Us
Karen's At Home Cookin'
Celebrating World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarian Month

Facts and More Facts

Public health record indicate that birthdays in America are for the most part evenly distributed throughout the year, yet for some reason September 16th has more children born than any other day!

Why is this? There tend to be more births in September and October because there is a holiday season nine months prior and the longest nights of the year in the Northern Hemisphere fall nine months before those two months.

Also, based on Harvard research on birth records, December 25th is the least common birthday!

If you found those facts interesting here are a few others you may enjoy enlightening others with:

~The average human eats eight spiders in their lifetime at night.

~Mosquito repellents don't repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito's sensors so they don't know you're there.

~The Main Library at Indiana University, sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

~Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.

~It cost seven million dollars to build the Titanic, and 200 million to make a film about it.

~A woman's arthritic pains will almost always disappear as soon as she becomes pregnant. No one knows why.

~Most alcoholic beverages contain all 13 minerals necessary to sustain human life.

~Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a lavatory to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

Forty Years After: Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs Battle of the Sexes

On September 20, 2013 we mark the fortieth anniversary of the famous (or infamous) tennis battle of the sexes between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

The challenge began when Riggs, 55, came out of retirement to challenge the world's greatest female tennis players to a match. His claim – that the female tennis game was inferior and that a top female payer couldn't beat a 55 year old.

His initial challenge to King was turned down. It wasn't until he beat Margaret Court, 30 and ranked as the top female tennis player in the world, that King took on the challenge.

The match was more like a slideshow. Played at the Houston Astrodome, the players entered in grand style. First came King carried aloft in a chair – like Cleopatra – with the chair held by four muscular, bare-chested men dressed like ancient slaves. Next came Riggs in a rickshaw drawing by scantily clad female models.

King presented Riggs with a piglet named Larimore Hustle (Larimore was Riggs middle name) while he gave her a giant lollipop.

When it was all over King defeated Riggs, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Riggs died of cancer in 1995 at the age of 77. He and King kept in touch and talked on the phone the night before he died. King, 69, lives in New York and Chicago.

"The autumn wind is a pirate. Blustering in from sea with a rollicking song he sweeps along swaggering boisterously. His face is weather beaten, he wears a hooded sash with a silver hat about his head… The autumn wind is a Raider, pillaging just for fun."

– Steve Sabol

Share Your Poetry Favorites With Us

This month Karen shares one of her favorite poems with us. She tells us "I have loved this poem and story for many years." Now she's sharing it with Hogwash! readers. Again, we invite you to share your poetry with us, but if you're not a poet don't hesitate to let us know what poems you like the most!

"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing."

– Endymion by John Keats

These are the first lines of Keats' famous poem Endymion, which was first published in 1818. It's a fascinating poem based on Greek myth. Click here to learn more about this beautiful work.

Anne Bradstreet Day

As we continue to pay homage to poetry in Hogwash!, we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge Anne Bradstreet Day.

Celebrated on September 16 it recognizes Bradstreet's life and her work as a poet. Anne Dudley Bradstreet is considered by many to be the first American woman poet.

Her first book, "The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, By a Gentlewoman of Those Parts", was published in England. Another book of poetry, Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning which includes her most famous poem To My Dear and Loving Husband, was published in the United States in 1678.

Anne Bradstreet was born in England in 1612 into a cultured family. She was well-educated for the times. Much of her poetry is based on her observations of the world around her. An emigree with her husband and parents to New England in 1630, she faced a rugged life starting with the rigorous travel to America and then a life marked by ill health including a bout with tuberculosis, which would eventually take her life; many moves, a destructive home fire and much time spent raising her large family alone while her husband – the last governor of the Massachusettes Bay Colony – traveled on business.

Still she found time to write and to produce a large body of poetry. To read some of her poems and learn more about Anne Bradstreet visit the website established in her honor.

Who do you know with a child support problem?

Mention this Hogwash! coupon, and we will give them a consultation for
FREE! ($125 value).

Offer Expires: September 30, 2013

Karen's At Home Cookin'

grilled salmon

I recently visited my daughter in Maine. This trip, I brought with me not only fresh and dried cherries (as expected!) but also shiitake mushrooms, Burritt's teriyaki turkey jerky and Alden's Miracle Salt. I returned home with lobster meat, mountain ash goat cheese, herbed sour dough bread and mutton salami. Here's a sampling of what we ate in Maine as we combined our creative efforts to use what was mostly gathered from the side of the road, fresh from the sea or at the farmer's market.

Drink: The night before, freeze lemonade in ice cube trays, add a fresh mint leaf to each cube. For the drink use 3 parts lemonade, 1 part vodka, fresh blueberries and the iced lemonade/mint cubes.

Appetizer: Zucchini Chips w/Shiitake Mushrooms

Slice zucchini about 1/4" thick. Smash Cape Cod potato chips and mix with equal parts shredded parmesan cheese. Dip the zucchini slices in milk, then coat in crumb mixture. Bake in the oven at 325° for about 8 minutes, until browned. While the chips are cooking, sauté´ sliced mushrooms in butter and olive oil, a little dry white wine, salt and pepper for about 20 minutes – let the liquids soak up. Arrange slices of mushrooms on top of zucchini chips, then add a basil leaf and half a cherry tomato (use a toothpick to hold it together).

Grilled swordfish (when in Maine) or

Michigan salmon (preferably fresh caught from Frankfort)

Marinade

1/4 cup soy

juice of a lime

1 clove pressed garlic

1/8 cup olive oil

1 tbsp. chopped ginger

salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp. brown sugar or honey

Marinate the fish for ½ hour. Grill until it's done to your preference but don't overcook it. Finish with the Alden's miracle salt and squeezed lime or lemon. If you want an easy sauce to drizzle on the fish, melt a little butter, add brown sugar and lime juice.

If you have any leftovers make fish tacos the next day. Top with curried mayo (just mix mayo and curry powder to your taste), fresh tomato, thinly sliced red onion and lettuce.

On Mt. Desert Island in late summer, the rosehips are larger than the wild apples; we gathered them both on our morning walks to the harbor, and came up with this wonderful bread. Delicious with clam chowder!

Wild Apple, Rosehip & Cherry bread

1 cup finely grated zucchini (about 1 zucchini)

1 cup grated wild crab apples (peeled and cored)

1/4 cup seeded and chopped rose hips

1/4 cup dried cherries

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup canola oil

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat two (4 1/2 by 8 1/2-inch) loaf pans with nonstick spray or oil and sprinkled flour. Combine the zucchini, apple, rosehips, brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg to the bowl and mix well. Gently stir in the cherries.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans. Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle of each loaf comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with whipped honey butter and slices of good salami. This bread was especially good with clam chowder.

Serve this meal with fresh apple slices and cheddar cheese arranged in a circle on your prettiest plate. I always slice an assortment of peppers to add to the table for color and crunch. Enjoy – have an extra martini and salute to the end of a good summer!

Celebrating World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarian Month

pears

October 1 marks World Vegetarian Day and the start of Vegetarian Month (formerly Vegetarian Awareness Month). To celebrate this month Gary has provided us with one of his classic vegetarian treats. He tells us "this is definitely a Fall favorite with the vegetarians around our household, and is hearty enough to be liked by the non-vegetarian also!"

Sage Pear Risotto

Ingredients:

Risotto rice (Arborio or other variety)

Chopped onion (roughly 1/2 cup)

Garlic clove (minced)

Water or vegetable stock

White wine (1/4 – 1/2 cup) (as always, cheap is good here; pinot grigio seems to take exceptionally well to the pears)

Extra virgin olive oil

Handful of fresh sage leaves (the larger leaves are easier to work with)

Ripe pear (or two if small)

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a generous film of olive oil in a skillet; saute the onion and garlic in the oil, until the onion is translucent and aromatic (about 3 minutes). Add the risotto, and saute it until it has absorbed the oil. Add the white wine to the skillet, and stir and cook until it is absorbed (repeat the wine addition if you like!). Then finish cooking the risotto according to the package directions, adding the water or vegetable stock about 1/2 cup at a time, until absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a medium-hot skillet, filmed generously with olive oil, drop in the sage leaves, and cook a minute or so, until they are beginning to crisp. As they are beginning to crisp, remove them, and set aside.

Peel, core and chop the pear (we like good size chunks in ours). Once the risotto is finished, stir in the pears and sage, and serve. Top with salt and pepper to taste, and a grating of fresh parmesan or a topping of gorgonzola if you like. A bottle of chilled pinot grigio, of course, goes quite nicely with this . . . Enjoy!

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Rosi & Gardner, P.C.
735 S. Garfield Avenue
Suite 202
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
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Philip R. Rosi

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Gary Allen Gardner
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