Charlotte School of Law Student Wins GRAMMY Scholarship

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CharlotteLaw's William Jacobson won the 2011 GRAMMY Foundation's Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition for his article, “The Robot's Record: Protecting The Value Of Intellectual Property In Music When Automation Drives The Marginal Cost Of Music Production To Zero.”

William Jacobson, a second-year student at Charlotte School of Law and owner of two businesses, won a writing contest and $5,000 scholarship as part of the GRAMMY Foundation's 13th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative. Jacobson received his award in Los Angeles as part of a star-studded, once-in-a-lifetime weekend that included prime seats for the annual awards show in February.

“One of the big takeaways from the trip was how tightly knit and accommodating the entertainment law community was,” Jacobson said. “It’s not difficult to know everyone.”

Jacobson, 36, of Matthews, N.C., was selected as the 2011 ELI Writing Competition winner for his article, “The Robot's Record: Protecting The Value Of Intellectual Property In Music When Automation Drives The Marginal Cost Of Music Production To Zero.” The article explores how digitation, the Internet and information technology could impact the music industry and how musicians’ computer-altered or -created music could impact intellectual property and competition with music-generating machines. His article also will be included in an issue of the ABA’s Entertainment and Sports Law.

Jacobson’s trip to the GRAMMYs included a panel discussion for the winning writers with probing questions from entertainment lawyers about their papers. Looking down at the front row as he discussed his paper, Jacobson admitted to being a bit star-struck when he saw recording artist Will.I.Am listening intently as he spoke about various aspects of his paper, including Auto-Tune, the audio processor that corrects tone in vocal and instrumental acts.

In addition, he participated in social events that allowed opportunities for networking, as well as a chance to experience the energy associated with one of Hollywood’s premier events.

“I was there to see other celebrities, but with the treatment I received I felt like a celebrity myself,” Jacobson said. “It was a different experience than what the general public might get to experience. It was great to be a big fish in a small pond.”
Jacobson’s goal is to remain in the game design industry and use his law degree for intellectual property matters, as well as entertainment law. He credited the CharlotteLaw curriculum and his professors for the foundation and guidance they have provided, positioning him to succeed in a competitive industry.

“The entertainment lawyers at the luncheon served as valuable mentors and gave me great advice, mainly to make sure I have a passion for what I’m doing,” Jacobson said. “Legal work requires long hours and includes some stressful situations, and that passion will carry you through that. I believe that’s applicable to any endeavor.”

Jacobson has undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Wisconsin, as well as an MBA and a master’s of science in information management from Arizona State University. He owns two local companies – Braincog, a video and board gaming company, and Pictoart, which uses photographs and illustrations to create unique pieces of art.

About Charlotte School of Law
Charlotte School of Law offers a student-centered orientation that focuses on the hands-on learning needed to equip graduates with leadership, management and interpersonal skills needed for career success. As the only law school in North Carolina’s most populous city, CharlotteLaw offers full-time and part-time day programs as well as an evening part-time program for working professionals. On the Web at http://www.charlottelaw.edu.

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Sharon Reichard
Charlotte School of Law
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