preLaw - Winter 2011 - 41
High-tech work in the cyber world
Michael Scott is now a professor at Southwestern Law in Los Angeles, but until 2003, he practiced technology law and was a partner in the law firm of Perkins Coie. With over 30 years of legal experience representing high-tech clients and a background in computer technology, Scott is considered a pioneer in the field of hightechnology law and public policy. He has worked with companies ranging from tech start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He has written several widely used legal books ground-breaking case, Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp., involving fair use of copyrighted photos that can be found by an Internet search. The client, Arriba, had developed a search engine, mainly used by artists and advertising agencies, for calling up images through use of keywords. “Someone would write in the words ‘Eiffel Tower’ and ‘moon,’ and a bunch of little bitty thumbnails would be shown from a number of websites,” Scott said. “Then the artist could click on the picture he wanted and get a full-size image and information on how to buy the picture.”
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in the technology and intellectual property field. After earning a degree in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he went on to get his J.D. at UCLA School of Law in 1974, just as the technology boom was taking over California and the nation — the right education at the right time. “I came out of a technology background, but I didn’t think about combining that with law,” he said. “But when people found out that I knew what a computer was and what software was, they would say, ‘I have a client for you.’” He had his own firm, but then went with a multi-national law firm in 1993. He worked first doing technology contracts, but as time went on, the issues grew more complex. In the 1990s, he was involved in doing analysis at his firm for a
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