Last week, I visited the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Clinic at the University of Southern California. The IPTLC lets students gain real world experience by assisting clients in intellectual property and technology law. Its director, Professor Jef Pearlman, invited me to speak about my own related work in esports, gaming, and online entertainment.
At first, I discussed how I got involved in these industries, including how my personal history with video gaming, esports, and content creation influenced my career path. I talked about the changes I’ve seen in esports and online entertainment over the past decade, what my day to day work is like, and my views on the future of these industries. I also spoke about some of the most important legal issues in esports both today and to come, such as the influence of video game rights holders, the impact of tightening travel restrictions, the potential of player unions, the effects of California’s new employee classification law, and more. The students asked some very interested questions and remained engaged throughout!
I first met Professor Pearlman nearly 15 ago. At the time, I was attending Georgetown University Law Center and he was at nearby nonprofit Public Knowledge. We both played fighting games, and so we occasionally played together in the local Maryland/DC/Virginia FGC. It’s been great to catch up with him and I was happy to see what he’s doing at the IPTLC.
As an alum of both Berkeley and UCLA, my natural inclination is to be skeptical about USC. But sports rivalries aside, I had a great time! I would love to come speak again or advise the students on clinical work in the future.