In this final installment on our series about HBO’s Silicon Valley, we return one more time to the legal entanglements that challenge Richard Hendricks and the Pied Piper crew and ask how authentic the portrayal of these issues really is.
In Part One, we discussed employee IP assignments and restrictive covenants. In Part Two, we looked at the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. In this article, we turn to two areas raised towards the end of the fourth season: patent t
Similarly, COPPA’s purpose and consequences are muddied a bit for comic effect. For example, it’s repeatedly suggested that PiperChat is exposing children to sexual predators. That may be so, but it doesn’t have much to do with COPPA. PiperChat’s wrongdoing stems from collecting and storing minors’ data without parental consent, not from facilitating pedophiles. Likewise, the $21 billion fine, while grounded in truth, is probably a touch steep. The calculation comes from COPP
Silicon Valley, HBO’s sitcom about the travails of a tech startup, tosses out references to intellectual property and other aspects of media law in nearly every episode. And we’ve been asked more than once just how accurate the show’s portrayal of these issues is.
The short answer is: very. Considering that these are complicated areas of law that are being played essentially for yuks, the scripts are surprisingly well-researched.
There are probably dozens of legal plot po