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TJSL Alumnus Hears Rev. Jesse Jackson and Prof. K.J. Greene at D.C. Conference

May 16, 2012

IP Conference

TJSL Alumnus David Mahood ’00 recently attended the Institute for Intellectual Property & Social Justice “IP and Civil Rights Conference” in Washington, D.C., where Reverend Jackson was the keynote speaker, and our own Professor K.J. Greene was a presenter.

“Reverend Jackson spoke about the difficulties that African-Americans have had in their efforts to improve economically,” said Mahood.  “He mentioned that in Maryland and in many other states there are no African-American owners of, for example, car dealerships and other powerful economic entities.  This has led to lack of economic influence in America and has contributed to many problems facing African-Americans.”

Mahood says Reverend Jackson also explained that “victims of discrimination react in three basic ways:  One way to react is to be discouraged, ignore the problem, and suffer in silence.  A second way to react is to be angry and bitter and to engage in activities to vent the emotions ineffectively.  The third way to react is to acknowledge the harm of discrimination and then act positively to make a better life for oneself and one’s family.”
After his talk, Mahood spoke with Rev. Jackson briefly and then “asked for the honor of taking his picture with me,” Mahood said.  “He quickly struck the pose which I am sure he has taken thousands of times.”

“Reverend Jackson is one of the country’s greatest civil rights leaders, and I was honored to share the stage with him,” said Professor Greene.  “And I’m grateful that the issue of IP and race, an area I pioneered, has come so far in legal discourse.”

Professor Greene’s panel explored whether copyright terminations that allow artists, including music artists, to reclaim copyrights assigned by contract after 35 years, can be used as a vehicle to correct the injustice many blues and rock artists faced in “giving away” their copyrights.

“My talk focused on the bigger picture of exploitation and appropriation of creative works by black artists,” said Professor Greene who, as noted, is a pioneer researcher and a major presenter on this subject.

“Professor Greene was inspiring, dynamic and exciting,” said Mahood. “He was the best speaker of the day.”

When Mahood was a student at TJSL, he was a member of the Black Law Student Association because he has long been interested in black civil rights.  “The struggle for fairness and equality has been a noble struggle,” he said.

Mahood’s practice, located in Savage, Maryland, is mainly devoted to divorce law and general litigation, involving real estate, and contracts and other general areas of law.  He is an attorney in both California and Maryland.

“I really enjoy being so close to Washington, D.C., where I can participate in so many different legal activities,” said Mahood.  “I just finished four ADR seminars on Mediation and Collaborative Law.  I now wish I had taken classes in ADR at TJSL because it is becoming a more important focus of the courts.”