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The Symposium on 21st Century Health Sciences Collection Development & Resource Sharing: Meet the Presenters, Part 5

Every week until MLA ‘22 in New Orleans, we'll profile the experts leading each of the six Symposium sessions. This week, Paul S. “Ford” Miller answers questions about himself and his session, Think Like a Lawyer: A Socratic Seminar on Copyright. To learn about all six Symposium sessions, please explore the Symposium booklet.

What do you like most about living in New Orleans?

Miller: Instead of answering that question, I’ll share things about New Orleans that most locals know.

  • All the French-looking street names have southern pronunciations (“Charters” is a two syllable word; the “ch” is pronounced like “church”: Chart-ers) 
  • The best view of Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral is found by taking the Canal Street Ferry to Algiers and walking along the levy.
  • The best (and least expensive) tour of the Garden District and Uptown is the St. Charles Streetcar—$2.50 each way.
  • The artsy neighborhood is Marigny, just down river (east) of the Quarter. There are galleries (and the Allways Cabaret) on St. Claude.
  • Go upriver to the Uptown neighborhood (west of the Garden District). Go west on Magazine from Louisiana for shops and restaurants.  
  • Get a beer at a corner store for a break from the heat (open carry is allowed in all of NOLA, not just on Bourbon street).
  • For your classic NOLA music and street life, go to Franklin Street in the far east part of the Quarter. (Don’t spend any time on Bourbon Street between Canal and St. Philip. Just don’t.)
  • A restaurant that’s way, way better than Brennan’s or Commander’s Palace: Atchafalaya on Louisiana near Magazine.
  • For lounges (upscale bars) with food: 
    • The Franklin on Dauphine in Marigny.
    • The Delachaise at St. Charles and Delachaise (take the St. Charles streetcar, get off at Louisiana).
    • The Bouligny Tavern on Magazine.
  •  I’ll end with my Favorite Neighborhood Bar: The Oak Street Brewery (take the St. Charles street car way, way up to Carrolton and Oak, walk two blocks to the river). Get the Breezy Shorts porter.

What’s a fun or surprising fact about copyright?

Miller: Surprising: Large parts of US copyright law are governed by international treaties, including the Berne Convention, ratified in 1887.

Fun: The United States did not join the Berne Convention until 1988, and it wasn’t until about that time it stopped being the world’s biggest copyright pirate.  

How did you get started in libraries?

Miller: I come from a family of teachers and librarians. That I am a lawyer makes me the black sheep of the family.

What’s the most challenging part of copyright for you personally?

Miller: Copyright law is surprisingly straightforward. The challenge is in understanding who the ultimate beneficiaries of the law are. (Hint: it’s not the creators.)

What’s the main thing you hope participants will take away from your session?

Miller: To not be afraid of copyright law, or Law.

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