The best legal minds in the Bay Area gathered at Github to participate in EFF’s 12th Annual Cyberlaw Trivia Night on June 27th. Over 100 participants from technology law firms and Internet companies throughout the Bay Area attended for a night filled with obscure tech law trivia, delicious food, and just a dash of pop-culture!
After attendees had piled their plates high with chicken and waffles in preparation for the evening’s competition, all 12 teams set their sights on the coveted Cyberlaw Quiz Cup. EFF’s staff joined forces to craft the questions, pulling details from the rich canon of privacy, free speech, and intellectual property law to create seven rounds of trivia.
After welcoming everyone to the event, EFF’s Cindy Cohn began the evening’s activities by introducing our intrepid Quiz Master Kurt Opsahl, and our judges Alex Moss, Andrew Crocker, and David Greene. Trivia got off to a raucous start, resulting in perhaps the only time an entire room full of people have ever cheered for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency and MS-13, two answers to questions during Rounds 1 & 2.
There were also several moments where Kurt and the panel of judges deliberated over challenges by the teams on behalf of their answers, one of which resulted in a finding that there were actually two acceptable answers to a question regarding a list of works that were NOT entering the public domain this year.
Turns out, Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon wasn’t the only correct multiple choice option on the list, because it would seem that due to some confusion about international publishing and a 9th Circuit case from the 90’s, Felix Salten’s story Bambi remains under US copyright! Oh deer, only time will tell if this question will return with a vengeance at a later installment of the EFF Annual Cyberlaw Trivia Night.
The rounds continued to challenge participants as the night progressed, especially during the Supreme Court Audio Round, where everyone listened intently to Justice Ginsburg’s timeless words, “make pot legal” and “bong hits for Jesus” while trying to name the court case they had been uttered during (Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans).
As always, the team names were phenomenal. Just days before competition was to begin, the Supreme Court ruled that the brand “FUCT” should be allowed a federal trademark, and more than one group seized their opportunity to reference this ruling. As you can imagine, this resulted in a superbly playful “promotion of vulgarity” when it came time to announce team scores throughout the evening.
Competition was fierce, but “FUCT” ultimately proved to be a suitably victorious namesake: this year’s 1st place winner was none other than “F.U.C.T.” (Fenwick Underwrites Cyberlaw Trivia)! They were followed by “DT FUCT” (Durie Tangri LLP) in 2nd place, who managed to pull ahead by a single point over “Huawei or the Highway” (San Francisco General Council, and ringers), who took 3rd place for the evening.
EFF’s summer legal interns also made a strong showing, and their team name “Zero Dark, Section 230” was certainly deserving of it’s own award, despite The Rules stating they were unable to formally compete.
Please join us in congratulating this year’s trivia masterminds:
EFF hosts the Cyberlaw Trivia Night to gather those in the legal community who help protect online freedom for their users. Among the many firms that continue to dedicate their time, talent, and resources to the cause, we would especially like to thank Durie Tangri LLP; Fenwick & West LLP; Keker, Van Nest, & Peters LLP; Ridder, Costa & Johnstone LLP; and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati LLP for sponsoring this year’s Bay Area event.
If you are an attorney working to defend civil liberties in the digital world, consider joining EFF’s Cooperating Attorneys list. This network helps EFF connect people to legal assistance when we are unable to assist. Interested lawyers reading this post can go here to join the Cooperating Attorneys list.
Are you interested in attending or sponsoring an upcoming Trivia Night? Please email email@example.com for more information.