Legal Links – February 26, 2016

February 26, 2016

On Fridays, we compile and post Legal Links, a list of legal news, reported cases, community events and topics of interest to Lancaster residents and readers of the Lancaster Law Blog.

 1.  Emotionally Supportive Pythons. A Council Bluffs, Iowa woman is at odds with a local ordinance that prevents owning snakes, because she wants to use her pet pythons as emotional support animals.

Coincidentally, Aaron Marines discussed this issue last week with respect to condominium and homeowners associations, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the distinction between emotional support animals and service animals in this post: Are SOME Dogs Allowed?

2.  At a Secret Location in Ephrata…artists are working on bronze replicas of the infamous Joe Paterno statute that was removed from the University Park campus in 2012 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Ever wonder about how the law protects sculpture and other original works of authorship?

Take a look at Section 102 of the Copyright Act of 1976 for some light reading on the subject. Or reach out to our own Matt Landis, who is currently taking a course on copyright law from Harvard Law School to supplement his knowledge of intellectual property and the law.

P.S. This blog post was written in a not-so-secret location in East Hempfield Township.

3.  #UnlockTheBox. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking last week that proposes to change the current model for providing video from cable companies.

Currently, consumers rent their cable boxes from their providers, costing consumers an average of $231 per year. Under the proposal, cable companies would be required to provide video using open standards, allowing consumers to purchase set-top boxes from third party manufacturers, such as potential offerings from Apple, TiVo, Roku, Google, Amazon or others who already provide access to streaming services through various products.

This article contains an overview of proposed effects of the FCC proposal: The FCC wants to blow up the cable box.

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