Legal Hackers is a global grassroots movement of designers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, policy advocates, researchers, students, teachers, and technologists who explore and develop creative solutions to issues at the intersection of law and technology. We are a volunteer-run, chapter-based community that is free to join and open to all. Legal Hackers is not a commercial enterprise, trade association, or advocacy group.
The concept of legal hacking is not, however, a new one. Many individuals and organizations do it on a daily basis without realizing it. In fact, TED Radio Hour did a radio show on Hacking The Law earlier this month. One segment in particular comprehensively demonstrates how analyzing the business, legal, and technical processes that cause a problem. After taking a look at the reality that, in a lot of instances when people do not have access to money must plead guilty in order to keep their jobs, provide for their families, and continue on with basic human functions that millions of people take for granted, Robin Steinberg helped pioneer the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund. By developing a mechanism for people in a community to pool money and create a safety net for when people can pay bail, this fund has seen a 50% increase in favorable outcomes. And not everything involved is either legal, technical, or design related. Some of the things that the fund helps do are sending out reminders to people for court dates and helping coordinate on basic matters.
With this in mind, I am excited to offer a glimpse into what KC Legal Hackers was able to put together this last weekend for the Open Media Legal Hack. The Open Media Legal Hack is a globally distributed event, hosted by nodes of Legal Hacker chapters, with the singular goal of helping make life easier for independent artists and creative types. What our chapter decided to do was to create this resource page with videos and links to content that helps break down some of the most common legal issues facing people in this space and, by open-sourcing everything in this presentation, we encourage people to add to this as a resource by creating a pull request in our GitHub site to help make this as robust as it can be.
In particular, we sought to demystify basic issues regarding intellectual property and contracts. In each of these domains, we provide an overview of the basic considerations for each, a discussion about the potential for technology and design to improve outcomes in the domain, and conclude with some practical strategies that can hopefully benefit anyone trying to work in this area. Beneath each video, there are also some links to some of the referrences and helpful recommended readings.
A special thanks to our community partners, without which, this event would not have been possible:
If you ever have any issues in this space, reach out to someone at one of these organizations and they will be more than willing to help you figure out your problems