Video Games and the Law

Blog, Law and Entertainment

There’s a lot of extra time to play video games. I think I have spent the past couple of days playing Super Smash Bros. . . in fact I am playing some right now. . .

Before quarantine I wasn’t familiar with Fornite, NBA 2k or any other video game. However, it might be the end of live sports games for a while so I figured I’d grab my own personal controller and see what things are all about.

At the intersection of law and this new found love entertainment comes an exciting case out of North Carolina.

U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle of the Eastern Division of North Carolina held Michael Heidbreder must proceed his case by arbitration pursuant to the End User License Agreement (“EULA”) with Fornite developer, Epic Games.

Michael Heidbreder, a Missouri resident filed a punitive class action alleging Epic Games’ vulnerable security allowed hackers to charge fraudulent in-game purchases to his debit card between November 2018 and January 2019. Heidbreder brought both statutory and common law claims including negligence, breach of implied contract and violation of state consumer-protection and data-breach statutes.

In October, Epic Games moved to compel Heidbreder’s claims to arbitration, pursuant to the EULA. Features to the arbitration provision include: “ (1) an agreement to arbitrate on an individual basis only; (2) delegation clause granting the arbitrator the power to determine whether a specific dispute is governed by the arbitration clause; (3) a venue selection clause giving user the choice of venue between their home state or North Caroline; (4) Epic Games’ agreement to pay arbitration fees under $10,000, share costs after $10,00 and not seek attorney fee’s against users and (5) a 30 -day opt-out provision, giving users a 30 day window after agreeing to the End User License Agreement to opt out of arbitration provision.”

Heidbreder presented three compelling, yet unsuccessful arguments.

First, he asserts his minor son lacked contractual capacity to agree to the EULA. Judge Boyle rejected this argument noting “under the basic principles of principal-agent law” his son acted as Heidbreder’s agent giving him both actual and apparent authority to agree.

Second, Heidbreder argues privacy related matters are outside the scope of arbitration. According to common law, when the parties contract delegates the arbitrability question too an arbitrator, a court may not override the contract.” Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc., 139 S. Ct. 524, 529 (2019). Therefore, the arbitrator, rather than the court, determines the scope of these provisions.

Lastly, Heidbreder claims the class action waiver, arbitration clause and class action clause are unconscionable because Epic Games is applying the agreement retroactively. Judge Boyle acknowledges yet quibbles Heidbreder’s last argument noting the terms at issue “are common terms in modern contracts that have been recently sanctioned by the courts and can hardly be considered substantively unconscionable.”

This case appears to be successful for Epic Games. However, this “game” could face a turn for the worse if parents stop allowing their children to make in-game purchases using their credit card information. However, with extending stay-at-home orders and uncertainty about school returning in the fall, I highly doubt this would happen.

What’s your favorite video game during COVID-19?

Until next time,

Lauryn <3

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How to WOW an Admission Committee for College or Graduate School

Blog, Confessions of a College Girl

When it comes to applying to schools, your essay boost your application significantly. Crafting a personal statement has galvanized me to take on new opportunities and I am fortunate to have prospered at UCLA, in my Masters at Northwestern and law school.

Yes I am a perpetual student and I wouldn’t change it for the world. With just a personal statement I’ve gone from a high school student to a law student published in the International Heart and Lung Transplantation Journal, legal newsletters, an upcoming article in The Washington Post, and my own fiction novel.

My mission is to increase the access of higher education to you. More importantly, I want to share the same love and excitement I had when I got into school. You can get into college, law school, medical school, off the waitlist or transfer to the university meant for you 🙂

One of my clients emailed me recently after working with him on his Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI). He had been waitlisted at a law school and reached out to me for guidance and editing. After our session here’s what he had to say:

My Application Package includes:

  • Personal Statement
  • Secondaries/ Supplemental applications
  • Resume editing

I believe in creating and offering people equal access to college and graduate school.

Wanna be a nerd too?

Email me at reelreviewbylauryn@gmail.com to book with me and get started.

Now is the best time. . . it’s not like you have anything else to do #quarantine.

Until next time,

Lauryn 🙂

THANK YOU :)

Blog

Heyy heyy

Wanted to give you a HUGE thank you for following Reel Review! The family is 100 members strong! Appreciate all the love, support and friendly comments.

Writing has become a large part of my life. So happy you enjoy my articles after I Netflix and Chill .

You’re all my motivation. It makes me smile reading all of your comments and I am happy to write on my favorite topic: film and television.

Thank you for being the best! Happy quarantine.

Until next time,

Lauryn <3

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Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media

Blog, Law and Entertainment

Earlier this year the Supreme Court issued its opinion about a racial discrimination case. The justices decided this case by a 9-0 vote.

Bryon Allen, entrepreneur and owner of Entertainment Studios Network (ESN) sought to have Comcast carry its channel. Comcast rejected this proposition, claiming bandwidth constraints and lack of demand for ESN programs. ESN alleged Comcast violated §1981(a), a statute that guarantees “all persons… the same right…to make and enforce contracts… as is enjoyed by white citizens.” The District Court dismissed the complaint for failing to show Comcast would have contracted with ESN, but-for racial motivations. The Ninth Circuit disagreed, holding ESN had a viable claim because it only needed to show race played a “sole role” in Comcast’s decision-making. In order for ESN to seek redress, it must demonstrate that, but for Comcast’s unlawful conduct, its alleged injury would not have occurred. These essential elements must stay constant through the life of the lawsuit.

In a slightly fractured unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held, that to prevail, a plaintiff must initially prove that but for race, it would not have suffered the loss of a legally protected right. Justice Gorusch acknowledged but rejected ESN’s argument that §1981 creates an exception to proving but-for causation and essential elements of a claim do not need be constant throughout the lawsuit. ESN further claims that it should overcome at least a motion to dismiss if it can plausibly show race was a determining factor in the decision. Instead, Gorusch reasoned that, statutory language along with past precedent, suggest §1981 follows the general rule. Statutory language of §1981 guarantees equal rights enjoyed by white citizens and nothing in the statute signals this test should change when confronted with a motion to dismiss. Gorusch’s examination of legal precedent and neighboring provision §1982 reveal that courts have interpreted “because of race” to be associated with but-for causation. ESN asks the court to rely on the “motivating factor” test in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with no avail. The Court reasons ESN mistakenly misplaces a process-oriented right with the motivating factor test. Thus, the court vacated the judgement of the court of appeals and remanded the case to determine the sufficiency of ESN’s pleadings under the correct legal rule.

 In a four-page opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, Ginsburg agreed but quibbled that racial violation under §1981 protects the right “to make and enforce contracts” which includes the manner in which the contract is carried out. Therefore, if race accounted for Comcast’s conduct during the contract-formation process, it should not escape liability for those injuries.

The Supreme Court held that a plaintiff alleging racial discrimination in contracts must show that the plaintiff’s race was the actual cause of the alleged injury in failing to reach agreement on a contract. 

Ultimately, this case was a set back compared to traditional in civil rights cases. As the Supreme Court continues to hear cases via teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be interesting to see how other cases may impact law and entertainment. . .

Feel free to share your thoughts below!

Until next time,

Lauryn

Essential Shows That Improve Your Life

Blog, TV Shows

Time is what you make of it. But sometimes, it’s nice to have a little extra push. My taste in Netflix has changed throughout the past week. I’m never going to get tired of a good romantic comedy, but I am also been more curious about . . . well everything. Since we cannot go outside, I decided to bring the world to me. Here are shows that are thought-provoking, engaging, and actually make you a better human.

100 Humans: Life Questions Answered

Have you ever wondered if you sit on the toilet properly? Probably not. But this show answers that question so it must be good, right?

Here, one hundred humans participate in experiments that answer questions about well… everything. Using scientific data and tons of dad jokes, these experiments reveal the scientific basis around attraction, the best age to be alive and the proper toilet technique! FINALLY, a show that tackles essential issues.

Tidying up with marie kondo

Still think your clothes from seven years ago will fit? Do you have an impressive collection of random articles under your bed? Is that pile of clean laundry still on your floor from last week? Wow at this point I am just naming examples about myself hoping you relate. . .

Don’t fret, Marie Kondo will definitely help you learn about the joy of organization and de-cluttering 🙂

If you don’t, oh well. Rock those flair jeans and corduroy pants. #quarantinechic

You can also buy her fabulous book

BABIES

Who doesn’t wanna learn about little humans?!?! Fifteen babies, thirty six scientists, and one year is all it takes to see if we can answer what it means to be human.

Also, with COVID-19, we all have too much time on our hands. Who knows? We might have a baby boom nine months from now. . .

Plus they are all so CUTE! I literally love babies so much. The whole time I am like

Baby fever is real

There is also another movie on Amazon with Babies around the world which is equally cute you guys! It is a must see

Explained

I love this show because it is a colorful collage of intriguing topics. Some might say that it’s difficult to watch a show without a clear path. I think it’s marvelous. It was not created to fit within the confines of a specific audience. Rather, you can jump from episode to episode learning about anything: cryptocurrency, extraterrestrial life, the history of athletic clothing (athlesiure), the science behind the female orgasm and animal intelligence.

I know what you’re thinking. Who am I to tell you how to improve your life? Well besides being totally amazing, I genuinely want to encourage you to think beyond this uncertain time and dive into an industry or topic you’ve always wanted to know 🙂

I now leave you with some fancy quote to try and encourage you to actually watch the shows I recommend. . .

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest

Ben Franklin

Either way, as Kevin Hart would say. . .

Until next time,

Lauryn

How to Properly Watch a Movie

Blog

It’s easy to plop in bed with the same clothes you’ve have had on since yesterday and binge watch all episodes of Tiger King.

I love SUV: Special Victims Unit as much as the next person. HOWEVER, this is serious people. Society is trying to dilute the power of cinema. As more people plop in front of their screens after a long day at work, watching a movie at home is now seen as “escapism.” Let’s do more than mindlessly exist in front of ours screens.

Here are three ways steps to ensure you watch a movie properly:

First: Set the scene

I like to start with fixing up my bed and making some tea. This week’s favorite has been Peppermint with a dash of honey.

I love the Traditional Medicinal teas, especially during this time of year because it helps keep me hydrated and the peppermint smells super fresh :). Read some article the other day about the benefits of turmeric so I bought it. Also saw a YouTube video about how honey makes a wonderful natural face mask. You probably weren’t interested in that but I decided to tell you anyway.

If you are looking for the BEST detox facemask while you are watching a movie I recommend this one by teami 🙂

You’re welcome.

After, I like to dim the lights to prevent glare and turn the volume at just the right speed.

Make sure your pillows are nice and fluffed and the temperature is just right. This isn’t just binge watching. You are watching art come to life.

SECOND: HAVE FOOD READY

Cook your third dinner before you press play. I know this seems simple but when I watch movies with my family they be cooking dinner in the background and it is BEYOND annoying. I love them dearly but trust me, they take cooking noodles to another level.

I don’t know about you but I HAVE to snack on something while I am watching. But the snack depends on Genre.

  • If Romantic . . . chocolate or a tub of Halo Top ice cream
  • If comedy . . . pop corn, soda and pizza
  • If action . . . something light like fruit because I snack in higher frequency as the suspense builds
  • Thriller . . . nothing but water because I’m most likely going to scream and if I get anything on the furniture I will be pissed.
  • Any self exploration movie like Under the Tuscan Sun or Eat Pray Love/ any Sex and the City . . . Thai Food. Always Thai food. Always.

FINALLY HAVE ON THE PERFECT MOVIE OUTFIT

Find your Quarantine Chic

I call this, ” I woke up late and realized I ran out of food so I had to stop by Trader Joes but didn’t feel like getting dressed so I sewed this together and owned it”

Nailed it.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. I usually go for a large college hoodie and some sweat pants to be comfortable 🙂

We can all use a little self care. So tonight (or right now) I encourage you to not only watch your favorite movies/ tv shows but savor them.

Movies touch our hearts, awaken our vision and change the way we see things”

Director Martin Scorsese

Until next time,

Lauryn

3 Reasons Brooklyn Nine-Nine is A ten out of ten

Blog, TV Shows

On the surface, Brooklyn Nine Nine is a hilarious television show about a group of New York police detectives. If you are eager to find a new show that will make you laugh and appreciate dry humor. . . this is for you.

Here are the top three reasons to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine:

1. THE WRITERS

The same people who made all of us fall in love with The Office, Parks and Recreation and The Good Place all come together to make this splashing comedy series. It is genuinely funny and the continuous references to Die Hard, Harry Potter and Star Wars will ignite the nerd in you.

2. THE EPISODES ARE SUPER SHORT

Okay I know this is not a legit reason but hear me out. Have you ever clicked on a new show to see how many minutes it is? I have. When I see the remaining time as 1:02:02, I think to myself,

I can only get through 8 episodes today. . .

Not. enough. episodes.

IT’S QUARANTINE TIME and I have PLENTY of time to waste relax. #stayhome

We all have goals and I’m tryna finish a season a day.

cardi b 2019 bbmas GIF by Billboard Music Awards

Luckily each episode is approximately 20 minutes so you can breeze through all 7 seasons in four days no time.

3. Captain Holt

The video speaks for itself. I have found my new favorite character.

All jokes aside, the show has amazing writers. The unique blend of characters go through stories that are funny, but also address life’s greatest challenges: relationships, racial profiling and sexuality. This is why Brooklyn Nine-Nine has such a huge impact on any audience.

So curl up up next to your friend, spouse, wine bottle, boyfriend, chocolate, girlfriend, next door neighbor, little brother, aunt, grandpa, or any other human you’re stuck in the house with.

( yes I know there a dangling preposition… you’ll get the reference once you watch it)

This is a show worth binging.

Gina Linetti GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
my confidence after quarantine

Why let the experience stop there? Since we are all in the house, it is nice to get some human interaction. Take your obsession love of this show to the next level with the Cards Against Humanity version called “Brooklyn Against the Nine Nine.”

Until next time,

Lauryn


Platform: A Social Criticism

Blog, Movies

Note: If you haven’t watched Netflix’s Platform then stop! There are spoilers 🙂

After finishing the film Platform, it’s “obvious” the film centered around the dangers of capitalism and human nature. Goreng (Iván Massagué), a young man who voluntarily enters the prison to get his accredited degree, lies at the epicenter of this social criticism piece. This review we will take a deep dive into some film’s central themes.

First, the film opens up with a quote that remains essential throughout the entire film:

“There are three types of people: those at the top, those at the bottom and those who fall.”

The quote parallels life in the prison, aka the “hole.” People at the top are content with where they are. While those at the bottom don’t have the resource to make change.  People throughout this movie fall both literally and figuratively. Some fall to their death when trying to change levels. For Bahart and Goreng, they intentionally choose to descend into the hole in order to make change and send a message to The Administration.

Second, each prisoner is allowed to bring one item. Goreng chooses to bring Don Quixote, a book written during the Spanish Golden Age by Miguel de Cervantes.

This is an odd choice for Goreng. His roommate brings a knife that sharpens itself as he uses it. While another prisoner brings a rope, hoping to climb up levels himself. Both Platform and Don Quixote center stories around feat versus famine.  I don’t want to give too much away, but if you are interested in classic literature, I would definitely give this a read.

Lastly, the confusing ending. What does it all mean?

After Goreng and Baharat ascend 333 levels, they leave a young girl on the Platform as a message to send to the administration.

I don’t know about you but I was hella confused. Did she make it? Is Goreng dead? Is this all just a dream?

When asked if the message reached the administration,  Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia wrote, “That’s something you should ask society. It’s up to all up to you… it depends on whether we want to remain the most miserable species that have ever set foot on the planet…”

Although his response was grim, allowing the audience to make their own ending gives power to a viewer’s interpretation.

Spoken like a true artist, he further notes,

“As I said before, this is a self-criticism. I don’t feel authorized at all to tell anyone what to do. The film only aspires to explore, not to indoctrinate or to lecture. And, of course, there are many who do what they have to do, but most of us spent the day looking for an excuse.”

Each prisoner entering the “hole” is promised a prize. Whether it is freedom or an accredited diploma these prizes symbolize an individual’s “American Dream.”

As people cling to hope, they soon realize aspirations to reach the top are dramatically inhibited by an oppressive institutionalized system designed to keep them down, sound familiar?

Okay this is Cynical.

The film’s version of humanity is not generous, yet it allows us all to take a step back and ponder about societal inequalities facing us today.

Have a better way to spend your quarantine?

Until next time,

Lauryn 🙂

Have you seen Platform yet? Let me know what you think about it!

If there are any movies you love, let me know! Would love to watch them!!


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Después de 183 episodios

Blog, En Español, TV Shows

Hola 🙂 

Tengo muchas cosas para ti este weekend. Hace dos semanas (more or less) ví el ultimo episodio de “El Clon,” el show a Netflix sobre el amor, la familia, la vida y otras cosas también.

Por supuesto, Él Clon es una historia del amour. Ugh y yo soy una chica romántica, entonces. . . me encanta todos los episodios del programa.

I want to write this whole thing in Spanish but maybe I should do it in English.

Si? No? Yes?

Okay now I am having some sort of playful banter with myself.

I think I have officially gone insane.

Maybe it’s because I spent 183 hours of my life watching the ultimate telenovela: El Clon.

I know what you’re thinking…

 

Well guess what? You do. It’s quarantine people.

Normally, there are a million other things to do on a Friday night. But tonight take some time to try something new. Plus, the little moments in our day add up. Did you know that the average person spends 120 hours a year doing laundry?

Just kidding that’s junk science and I made that up. But if you almost believed me that means you are spending way too much time folding clothes instead of living your life.

It’s Quarantine people! Now is the time to jump into the dramatic world of Spanish Soap operas… and possibly do laundry.

Until next time, 

Lauryn <3 


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Are You Diagnosed with O.O.S.?

Blog, TV Shows

I hate myself.

Well, not really. I am disappointed…to say the least.

Every time I go to Netflix, I tell myself to watch a new show.

Instead, I go on autopilot and select The Office. Every. Single. Time.

I’ve watched The Office so much my level of infatuation has reached a new level. I have OOS: Office Obsession Syndrome.

If you think you have OOS check out these symptoms:

  1.  Analyze each scene to see how it relates to your life
  2. You don’t cringe at Michael Scott’s awkward moments, your reenact them
  3. You have a crush on David Wallace (love a man in charge)
  4. You don’t think Angela is bitter. She’s “misunderstood”
  5. You’ve put a stapler in Jello
  6. You’ve yelled “DID I STUTTER”
  7. Every time it rains you try to think of all of Phyllis’ clichés
  8. You have a crush on Dwight
  9. You have a personal copy of Threat Level Midnight with one “Dwigt”
  10. You start clapping when Pam does her big speech during “Beach Day”
  11. You are pissed you don’t know what the tea pot letter says
  12. You realize the relationship between Kelly and Ryan is dramatically underdeveloped compared to the other relationships on the show
  13. You can recite the entire “Fun Run” name from memory
  14. You look at an imaginary camera when someone does something stupid as if you’re Jim but nothing is there…but you secretly know that your life is a movie anyway so your imaginary audience thinks you are totally hilarious
Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 12.52.34 PM

It’s okay, you are not alone.

At first I thought there was nothing wrong with it. Humans are naturally nostalgic and prefer the familiar.

But this is serious. I am starting to have a crush on Michael Scott, David Wallace and possibly realize what Angela sees in Dwight…

Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 10.45.07 AM

Dwight K. Schrute is v cute.

If you are also stuck watching your favorite show on repeat, don’t worry. Here are three justifications for your laziness:

1. Rewatching is actually good for you

I did the research and found watching the same show is actually good for you. I’m shooketh. Apparently, watching a movie or television show that you’ve seen before is less strenuous on your brain. It is also an excellent tool for de-stressing from the everyday pressures of life.

According to Psychologist Neel Burton,

 “The things we feel compelled to re-watch or re-read are those that provide us with either comfort or perspective.”

Re-living these experiences make us feel incredibly good about ourselves. I don’t know about you but I love being comfortable. Why do you think I have worn the same sweatshirt for 5 days during this zombie apocalypse social distancing?

2. The characters become your best friends

I genuinely believe I have a relationship with Jim, work with Dwight, and spend my weekends at weddings playing guitar with Kevin’s band. I have grown as a woman watching Pam battle with the complexities of ending a perpetual engagement to be with the one she truly loves. Kelly has reminded me that everyone has a “Ryan” in their life. He or she is your kryptonite. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t resist. Jim has shown me what I want in a partner. While Holly and Michael prove that every relationship has their own time.

This is the power of the “parasocial relationship,” a one-sided relationship where a person develops a strong emotional interest. The most common parasocial relationships are ones we have with celebrities or professional athletes. Now if you are in an actual one-sided relationship with a significant other, that’s a different story….

Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 12.24.41 PM

However, having these deep relationships with characters we see in film and television can add a positive value to our lives.

3. If it’s not broken….

DON’T FIX IT.

It’s okay to lazy, we deserve it.

Now excuse me while I start Season 1 Episode 1. It’s been ten minutes days since I’ve ended the season.

Until next time,

Lauryn <3


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