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(large number of lawyers with binders and briefcases, to a single worried-looking podcaster) Our legal team has jusssst a few changes to suggest.

The Business of Podcasting #4: Oh, good. The lawyers are here.

The Business of Podcasting #4: Oh, good. The lawyers are here. published on No Comments on The Business of Podcasting #4: Oh, good. The lawyers are here.

Here’s the fourth in a series of eight cartoons from the fab new podcasting book, The Business of Podcasting by Donna Papacosta and Steve Lubetkin. Check back every Monday for the latest one!

We have a funny relationship with lawyers, don’t we? They’re the profession everyone loves to hate… until you really need one. And then you’re all “Am I going to lose my house just because I posted this cartoon of Donald Trump doing [[ REDACTED ON ADVICE OF COUNSEL ]] with a manatee?” and they’re all “Not if we can prove he actually did it. Kalinda, could you step in here?” and you think, hey, this is going to be okay, but then it turns out Peter Florrick’s first campaign for State’s Attorney took some money from Trump’s PAC and Wendy Scott-Carr has the cancelled cheques, so Eli is on your case to take a dive so you can take some of the heat off Peter because this is a really tricky time what with them getting so much blowback from the gaming commission appointment but then, at the last minute, Grace’s ChumHum search unearths the critical piece of evidence you need and boom, you’re having celebratory cocktails with Alicia and damned if there isn’t a little chemistry there but, no, you can see in her eyes that there’s still some unfinished business with Peter, even after all that’s happened, and you have your own life to live and you are not going to spend it as the consolation prize, Alicia, good night

Enough about me. How was your week?

Leave the lawyers out of it

Leave the lawyers out of it published on No Comments on Leave the lawyers out of it

Contrary to speculation, World War III will not break out in Crimea. Or the Middle East. It’ll start over that whole one-or-two-spaces-after-a-period thing. (Robin Williams, let me know where to enlist.)

.  .  .

A slew of cartoons just like this one will be appearing soon in an exciting new book, TOUCH: Five Factors to Growing and Leading a Human Organization. It’s by two very smart cookies, Tod Maffin and Mark Blevis, and it suggests that businesses that abandon human-to-human interaction in the rush to technologize are missing out on the real power of connection and relationships.

More details will come as we get closer to publication date, but I’m delighted to have my cartoons appear in it.


Can you keep a secret?

Can you keep a secret? published on No Comments on Can you keep a secret?

Published yesterday on ReadWriteWeb

Don’t you worry – we’ll get to the cartoon in a moment. But first, would you mind signing this standard document?

It simply says you won’t give away the joke to the cartoon. And that you won’t tell any jokes with the same punchline, or a similar punchline. Ever.

Oh, that section? That’s just boilerplate. It means you acknowledge that anything you create from this point forward is a derivative work of this cartoon, and is therefore our property. Purely standard wording.

Um, yes, that next passage would appear, on the surface, to obligate you to buy a set of encyclopedias and four Magic Bullet food processors. Here, let’s just strike that out.

Look, can I level with you? Somewhere along the line, our lawyers… well, they went kind of… well, you don’t want to say “crazy”, because that’s potentially actionable. Let’s say “overzealous.”

Once they finished drafting contracts and handling the incorporation, I think they had some time on their hands. And they started thinking of ways to fill it.

Suddenly, we had to sign a liability waiver to use the coffee machine. You couldn’t use the photocopier without a notarized affidavit that you weren’t violating anyone’s IP. I found Terms of Use agreements posted above the urinals in the men’s room.

Look, you seem like a decent enough person. And the cartoon’s Creative Commons-licensed anyway. So go ahead and read it – knock yourself out.

Um, although in case you do knock yourself out, I’m going to need you to sign this waiver…

Continue reading Can you keep a secret?

Make yourself at home. Hey, not THAT at home.

Make yourself at home. Hey, not THAT at home. published on No Comments on Make yourself at home. Hey, not THAT at home.

(Also posted on BlogWorld)

And it’s another lawsuit cartoon. What can I tell you? Suing people may be expensive and often wasteful… but it’s a comic gold mine.

By the way, that last lawsuit cartoon made it to the front page of Digg and to the pages of The Register. I say this not to brag – okay, not only to brag – but also to… to… aw, hell, I can’t think of a decent pretext. Let’s just leave it at this: I’m delighted, and thank you all for the support!

So sue me

So sue me published on No Comments on So sue me

If you own a big tech firm, aren’t Microsoft, and weren’t named in the patent lawsuit filed this week by Paul Allen’s Interval Licensing, well… you’re probably looking deep into your soul today and asking where it all went wrong.

If you aren’t a defendant – a category that includes AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google and Yahoo! – why not? After all, the technology in dispute is, according to Interval, “fundamental to the ways that leading e-commerce and search companies operate today.” Dammit, you say to yourself. Maybe you aren’t one of those leading e-commerce and search companies.

Wait: most of your work is with open-source software. Like Java! Maybe that’s why you aren’t being sued by anyone.

Aw, dammit.

Ah, well. Maybe it’s for the best. Not everyone can be on the A-list or in land of corporate jets, gargantuan mergers and stratospheric lawsuits. Hell, if it weren’t for those of us on the B-list (or, in my case, somewhere way down in the YYs), there wouldn’t be an A-list.

So chin up. With a little more work, a few game-changing innovations and – yes – a bit of luck, someday you, too, could be on the receiving end of a lawsuit big enough to alter global currency markets. Good luck with that!