Specific example: https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/16347/whats-going-on-legally-between-cbs-paramount-and-axanar-and-how-does-it-relate

There are ongoing legal proceedings between CBS/Paramount and Axanar. What is going on? What is the legal context and what are the legal issues in play?

I think this is an example (I think our only one so far) of questions of the form:

A and B are engaged in legal proceedings. What is the background and current procedural posture of this case? What are the legal issues that have been raised?

Question presented

Is it on-topic to ask us to describe the current status of a case and to list the legal claims that are made by each side?

1 Answer 1


My position

No, these questions ask for basic journalism that don't trigger any need for specialized legal knowledge or insight.

We might have a slightly better ability to know what search terms to use, or what the words in reports mean, but that doesn't bring mere journalism within the scope of this site.

Here are hypothetical questions that this rule would allow:

What's going on in [any current case on the Supreme Court docket]? What is the legal context and what are the legal issues in play?

This is possibly answerable as easily as copying the question presented, summarizing the procedural background, and listing the table of contents from either of the merit briefs.

There was a case between Hulk Hogan and Gawker. What happened? What is the legal context and what are the legal issues in play?

This is answerable by finding other journalism that has already been done and summarizing it.

Proposed solution

The asker can do the basic research to determine the procedural stance of the case and what claims or issues have been raised by each side.

Then, they can ask us here, regarding a specific legal issue, "what is the state of the law?" For example, relating to CBS/Paramount and Axanar, a question could ask:

Can invented languages be protected by copyright?

Or even more specifically:

Is Klingon protected by copyright?

In either case, an answer could discuss the positions (if any) of the courts relating to CBS and Anaxar, but the answer would also present the positions (if any) of courts from other circuits in analogous cases and describe the general standard for copyrightablity.

These questions make use of our specialized knowledge and expertise and this is what sets this site apart from others.

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