Is "The Wild West of Financing" Coming to an End? Cryptocurrency and ICO Risk and Regulation

By: Bianca F. Sena

The startup world may only have a few more moments in the sun when it comes to taking advantage of the unregulated terrain of Initial Coin Offerings (“ICO”). While this type of crowdfunding continues to gain popularity with startups, software developers, and venture capitalists, the evil twin of massive sales – massive losses – may finally bring ICO transactions into the regulatory purview of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). The SEC may start classifying digital assets, such as Bitcoin, as “financial securities” subject to agency regulation because of their increasing use in Ponzi schemes and fraudulent lending practices. There is also evidence that FinCEN has begun regulating digital assets under various sections of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). This article explores the increasing awareness of issues surrounding digital assets and reviews developments within each of these agencies that indicate ICOs are likely to soon be regulated….

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Elvis and Prince: Personality Rights Guidance for Dead Celebrities and the Lawyers and Legislatures Who Protect Them

By Peter Colin, Jr.

If you represent an entertainer or other public figure with a marketable likeness or their family/heirs, you should start including posthumous personality rights in your estate planning.

Most recently, this issue arose has after the 2016 passing of Prince in Minnesota. Soon after his death, Prince merchandise that appeared to be unlicensed was readily available for purchase. The Minnesota State Legislature reacted with the PRINCE Act, though the Legislature retracted the bill after it received criticism for entrenching on the First Amendment and exerting overbroad control of publicity rights that would really benefit professional sports entities looking for more control over publicity rights of athletes.

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Enforcing Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: A Stark Dichotomy

By Scheagbe Mayumi Grigsby

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico burst into flames, dumping millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf. The incident killed eleven people and caused irreparable harm to the environment and local economy. Eventually, hundreds of plaintiffs filed suit against British Petroleum (BP) and others. A subsequent class action lawsuit resulted in a settlement of medical claims arising out of the spill and the ensuing clean-up effort amounted to approximately $7.8 billion. As of May 6, 2015, BP had paid approximately $5 billion to more than 62,000 businesses and individuals. On July 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that BP had agreed to pay the “largest environmental fine in U.S. history for the Gulf oil spill.” Pending judicial approval, BP has agreed to pay $18.7 billion to Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Florida over 18 years.

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