Ryan Buck (00:25):
Good people, and welcome to the pursuit of podcast where it’s truly not us. It’s you? I’m Ryan Buck, artist development, New Leonard Media with me as always as the boss, Mark Wilson, president New Leonard Media. How are you
Mark L. Wilson (00:38):
President. I like that
Ryan Buck (00:40):
That’s all right. Our guest today is John di Giacomo founding partner at Revision Legal. How are you?
John Di Giacomo (00:51):
I am great. Thank you for
Ryan Buck (00:52):
Having me. Thank you for I, I was going to take a stab at your name. I had heard it on a video, so I knew, but I had to ask you just in case and I had to write it out phonetically. It’s
John Di Giacomo (01:02):
Not the first time. No worries.
Ryan Buck (01:05):
Um, so you founded Revision Legal in 2012. Yes. With a very specific purpose, mainly focusing on trademark, copyright patent, internet, and corporate law cuts at 2020. Would you say your focus has been kind of further distilled or become more specific?
John Di Giacomo (01:20):
Yeah, I think we’re more specific the way that we try to pitch it to people, as we say, if you make money on the internet, then where your people, you know, with that said, if somebody comes to us and they’re a longtime client, we’ll do other stuff, but we really try to focus on people who are doing stuff online. Right.
Ryan Buck (01:37):
If you make money on the internet.
John Di Giacomo (01:38):
Yeah. Which is almost anyone nowadays. Wow.
Ryan Buck (01:41):
So in 2012, when you were, did you focus on the technology piece right off the bat?
John Di Giacomo (01:48):
He did. At that time, it was more focused on things like domain names, but now with COVID and everything else that’s happening in the world, it’s really about e-commerce and commerce is now e-commerce. So it’s, it’s become a much larger practice, I think, than what we envisioned. It would be in 2012. Sorry. Wow.
Ryan Buck (02:06):
So in a 2015, Traverse City business news article, it stated that at the time 90% of your clients were located outside of traverse city. And by then you’d sent a subpoena via Rick Shaw in Vietnam to serve a hacker who stole a domain name, portfolio worth several million dollars. And you had dealt with high court. So the former Soviet Republic of Moldova to litigate a man attempting to relocate after securing money from a stolen IP. Is that kind of stuff still happening for you guys?
John Di Giacomo (02:36):
It is, yeah, it happens every week. We, I would say that the vast majority of our clients are still located outside of traverse city. A lot of our clients are located in foreign countries. We have publicly traded clients in Thailand. I spend every October in Thailand. So we’re lucky in that sense. And we see a lot of weird stuff.
Ryan Buck (02:58):
Yeah. I mean, that’s got to make it fun in a way, I guess. I mean, you’re dealing with heavy issues, but is there a little
John Di Giacomo (03:04):
Levity to be found in that day when you’re like, get that Rick Shaw for us, we got to get the subpoena. It makes you feel like a, a hero because you can go to the client and say, Hey, guess what? I just did. I found this guy in Vietnam. Wow.
Ryan Buck (03:17):
When you’re dealing with, you know, foreign countries, are you multilingual? Do you have staff that helps with that? How do you trans cried the, the language barrier?
John Di Giacomo (03:26):
I have some staff that speak multiple languages. Uh, my associate Amanda is a fluent in Spanish. We have a paralegal this foot and Italian. Unfortunately, none of those things ever mean anything because we never really get to use them. We do have clients in Spain. We have some clients in Mexico, but at the end of the day, because English is the dominant language. And frankly, America is the dominant business culture. It’s not as much of a barrier. It’s pretty easy to get stuff done.
Ryan Buck (03:52):
You hold a bachelor’s of science philosophy and sociology, as well as your law degree. Is it true that a mentor to you urged you in the direction of law during a fly fishing trip here in traverse city?
John Di Giacomo (04:03):
Yes. You did a lot of research. Uh, so Jordan Limberg, who is a local guy who owns the fulfillment service and start us memorials. He, he was my philosophy advisor and I was looking to apply to graduate programs in philosophy. And he said, you’re an idiot. I don’t make any money. And I’m moving back to traverse city. This is, he was downstate at the time. And, uh, you should come visit. And I said, okay, because I’d never been here. And so I came up and I fished with him. I think it was over the 4th of July weekend. And I just fell in love with the area I’m meeting
Ryan Buck (04:37):
The busiest weekend in traverse city. You saw a sad peak. Can you still wear,
John Di Giacomo (04:43):
I did it. I did not go into cherry Fest. I instead was fishing on the Isabell and it was perfect. It’s like the perfect Northern Michigan moment where there were fireworks in the background and I’ve just, you know, I’m a downstate kid. So I’m like, this is,
Ryan Buck (04:55):
Had you experienced fly fishing before? Or was it a first time
John Di Giacomo (04:59):
I had, but it was on the Chippewa river. So I don’t think you would consider it. Sure. Same as, as being up here. But yeah. So when I was in college, he taught me how to fly fish and he was also my advisor. And so, um, he said, come up here and I came up, fell in love. And then he got me my first job with a firm up here while I was a first year in law school, which allowed me to come up in the summer.
Ryan Buck (05:22):
And that happens. So you can start working in the profession while you’re still continuing your education.
John Di Giacomo (05:27):
Yeah. It was a risk for me because most people in law school look at that first year is really the year that defines where you go and picking a job with a smaller firm means you’re going to lose out on that big law firm name. And you’re not in Chicago, you’re not in New York city. So it was a risk. But I think at the time I, I was either insane or I knew where I wanted to be. And that’s how I ended up,
Ryan Buck (05:49):
Uh, period. Sometimes those are two of the same feelings. What would you say the previous degree helped in a way? I mean, I could see philosophy and sociology really finding its way into the legal system in a way. Yeah. By a philosophy.
John Di Giacomo (06:04):
He is the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I have no qualms about it whatsoever. Um, it taught me logic. It taught me to think in a way that I think is more structured and is helpful for solving problems. And then sociology taught me to think about things from a perspective of maybe those that I had not thought about before, which was very valuable for me as
Ryan Buck (06:25):
Well. Wow. What’s keeping you busy just right now.
John Di Giacomo (06:28):
Right now, the busiest thing, the largest thing that’s happening is a lot of mergers and acquisitions because of COVID everybody’s selling online and we’ve been doing a ton of deals to acquire companies that sell online. So we represent a couple of funds. One of which is about a billion dollars and these type of funds are buying up these kind of smaller e-commerce retailers. And so we’re doing one or two deals every week now, which is pretty crazy.
Ryan Buck (06:56):
Is that normal for this time of year or that’s exacerbated by what you just said is going on with COVID and
John Di Giacomo (07:02):
Say that last year we did maybe four deals total. And now we’re doing in some months, five or six. So it seems to be a combination of both COVID and a lot of liquidity. There’s got a lot of people with some money and that money is moving into places where people can make money in this kind of post COVID.
Ryan Buck (07:27):
Sure. Well, I mean, obviously this is something that nobody could foresee when all this happened. Did you start to see around the bend that this would be happening? Or was this kind of a surprise to you?
John Di Giacomo (07:40):
I had no idea when COVID hit and we were in March and April. I was, I lost like a hundred thousand dollars the first month. And so I was like, oh great. This is we’re out of business within the next five months. I’m sure. So I had no idea. And then people started calling and things turned around. I mean, it’s logical though, if you, if you think about it, you know, people are selling more online. It’s easy to deliver products to people who are in their houses. So it makes you think for a second,
Ryan Buck (08:04):
I can like what we do. We’re insulated guys like this we’ve chose the right path.
John Di Giacomo (08:09):
I thought I am so terrified right now. I don’t know what to do. I thought, like, I really hope I don’t have to fire people and I can make payroll. That was my, my first reaction.
Ryan Buck (08:18):
That’s such a, and you hear that a lot. And I don’t want to discount that, that a lot of business owners, founders, presidents of businesses, their first thought was I don’t want to not make payroll. And these people depend on me. And that’s a, that’s a, I think a selflessness that gets you to where you are, but it’s admirable and where you able to, to go through this and, and did you end up adding to staff at all?
John Di Giacomo (08:42):
We did. We hired one person. So things picked up and we hired a new attorney. His name is Mike he’s down in Kalamazoo. Yeah. We were really lucky. We kind of turned the ban and we were able to make it up, but it was scary. And it’s sad because the type of is shifted. So like our local clients, I say we don’t have a lot, but they’re typically things like restaurants, breweries. Sure. They’re suffering. And it’s tough to see that even though all these other clients are coming in and paying us a bunch of money, we’re still trying to devote time to those people to get them through these difficulties. Right.
Ryan Buck (09:12):
Right. In a 2013 interview, you talk about how important social media is to branding and ensuring that you’re protected legal in all possible ways. Since 2013, are artists and companies better at that now? Or do they still struggle?
John Di Giacomo (09:29):
I think they’re getting better. I think they realize the importance of it. But a lot of companies look at social media and they just say, oh yeah, social media. And that’s it. They don’t really, they don’t understand the tone. They don’t understand the tempo. And frankly, we’re one of them. If you ever look at our social presence, it’s horrible. It’s me taking a blog post and dropping it into Facebook and that’s it. Right.
Ryan Buck (09:50):
It’s not good. It sounds like you don’t have a lot of time to be amusing on blog topics and things like that.
John Di Giacomo (09:56):
True. And I think some companies do it really well. And there are a lot of really good people, particularly locally that are capable of doing a good job. So I think it’s getting better, right?
Ryan Buck (10:05):
In the same interview, you caution companies against, I thought this was neat. You caution companies against trolling, which I looked it up. And that was a term used in an online context for the first time in 1992. Interesting. And so that’s been around in awhile, but you said, you know, be, be careful about trolling cuts a few years ago. Some companies don’t really like fast food companies have started to turn trolling into like a marketing art form. Is there a balance?
John Di Giacomo (10:33):
I think the answer as of January 1st is like, yeah, there has to be a balance. I think we’re starting to realize that trolling, I think people thought trolling was a unique technique and it went too far and it, you see some of that in Q1 on, for example, like Q non comes from this world of something awful.com, which was a site back in the day, very popular that turned into four Chan that turned into eight and then it was eight Kuhn and it was just groups of trolls and the trolls went from place to place and it got worse. And that’s how you ended up seeing all these things that you saw over the last few months. So I think that we’re realizing that there’s a limit to that type of marketing. Right. And we have to tread carefully.
Ryan Buck (11:14):
Right. And there can be legal ramifications to what you post online. Even if you say I’m just trolling. That’s not a, that’s not a technicality that, you know, assuages you from the law.
John Di Giacomo (11:26):
Yeah. There’s no real anonymity online. I mean, there is if you’re incredibly intelligent, but we typically find you like a good example is we’ll find people in China who are counterfeiting and we’ll do it by trace through series of IP addresses and proxy servers. And if you’re smart enough, you’re able to figure out who is somebody
Ryan Buck (11:46):
Like Hugh Jackman
John Di Giacomo (11:48):
In the data.
Ryan Buck (11:50):
So fascinating. Yeah. You about,
Speaker 4 (11:53):
Uh, this it’d be nice for, to hear your podcast weigh in on, uh, the, I think it was burger king and Twitch. They did a trolling and got a whole bunch of free marketing out of it, by the way they went by.
Ryan Buck (12:06):
Yeah. I guess it’s the, the viral ability of what you’re doing. Does it catch on and how does it proceed?
John Di Giacomo (12:13):
Well, I think a great example is, I don’t know if you watch the news, but a game stop is the stock during
Speaker 4 (12:18):
A story. Like if we would have bought last week, because
Ryan Buck (12:21):
They’ve announced they’re closing so many stores are there.
John Di Giacomo (12:24):
No, because a subreddit decided that they were going to troll some options traders. So they all bought the stock and now the stock is like, whoa,
Ryan Buck (12:34):
Okay, now, now this is influencing commerce. That’s
Speaker 4 (12:38):
It does. And saves, saves them from going bankrupt. Like they were going the other way. I think the same thing was supposed to happen with, uh, the Dodge coin, doge coin, one of the, what the joke cryptocurrency and like Twitter was going to make it go through the roof on one day and everybody announces it and they go for it, you know? Wow.
Ryan Buck (12:58):
It’s like an episode of black mirror. It’s really bizarre. Well, focusing here on TC, you mentioned the restaurant industry, bringing industry is really strong here in nine. Oh, you helped out right-brain and they provided a great testimonial for you that you helped them with trademarking as well as other components. What other elements of the brewing industry can you assist with aside from just trademarking there’s other things you can assist with, correct?
John Di Giacomo (13:21):
Yeah. We, we do everything from Lisa agreements to bring microbrewery licenses. We do trademark disputes. We’ve done trade secret protection. Perfect example is the CEO stout recipe at right brain is a trade secret. It has components to it, or they are valuable that no one else knows and hopefully no one else does know it. So that’s the type of stuff that we typically work on.
Ryan Buck (13:41):
So when you talk about trade secrets, it’s obviously something more than locking it in a vault on a piece of paper. How do you, because I was fascinated by this. How, how do you define a trade secret and how do you protect it? Other, other than just trademarking it? So a trade secret
John Di Giacomo (13:56):
Is anything that has independent economic value from the fact that it is a secret. So locking it in a vault is actually the right way to do it. Okay. Surprisingly, um, trade secret can be really anything. It can be a process. It can be a procedure, it can be a recipe. And the way to protect it is to keep access to it limited. So those who need it and have a reason to know of it,
Ryan Buck (14:20):
Right. And Siggy with right brain, a specific example, you assisted with their, uh, spinal crusher IPA. And he told the star a story about how it started out as spinal TAPUR and they hadn’t done the research and there was another spinal tap out there. So they had to change the name of the beer and change. So that’s costly,
John Di Giacomo (14:42):
Right? Yeah. It’s incredibly costly.
Ryan Buck (14:44):
So it makes more sense to engage with Revision Legal to make sure that they’re good when they release a beer throughout the state of Michigan. Yeah.
John Di Giacomo (14:53):
Yes, absolutely. I think my favorite story of this is that we represented a client that had multiple franchise locations and they realized that they had not cleared a trademark and they had to spend $3 million to change all their signage and all their marketing materials and the, you know, the clearance, the clearance search on the front ends $450. So
Ryan Buck (15:15):
Had you done, it was going to ask you what’s the, what’s the weights on that? The counterbalance is not strong. And he mentioned that as advisors, they really appreciated you as partners. And he said sometimes when you strongly advise, he’ll normally say, yeah. So how do you strongly advise? What’s the way that you’re saying you need to do this. I know we don’t need to make you do this, but what’s the way to lead them to water and make them drink
John Di Giacomo (15:45):
Well with Russ, we’re both from Flint. So I just slap them around a little bit.
Ryan Buck (15:49):
It’s a little, a little, a threat of physical harm and that’ll do it. No,
John Di Giacomo (15:53):
Uh, it depends on the client. I think knowing their needs and knowing their psychology is helpful and advising them. So if you have somebody who is risk adverse explaining to them, what the risks are in more depth is valuable. If you have somebody who’s not risk adverse explaining to them what the potential risks are and the loss of money or, or whatever it might be is another way to go about it. So it just depends on the person. I think, in a
Ryan Buck (16:18):
Downtime, you know, desperate measures and so forth. Do you find that companies are coming to you and saying I’d like to sell this trademark? Is it possible to, to profit in this time under those circumstances?
John Di Giacomo (16:32):
Yeah, we, uh, selling trademarks is a pretty regular part of our practice. Selling individual trademarks occurs in the diverse industry. For example, every once in a while, you’ll get a shady call from somebody from New York city who will say, Hey, I’m really interested in this trademark that your client has. And it’s always a proxy for a big brand. So, you know, behind the scenes, it’s Anheuser Busch or it’s some other company and they’ve put half a million dollars into some marketing campaign that they’re about to launch and they realize they need that trademark. Those are fun because then you get to provide some value for your local.
Ryan Buck (17:06):
It seems like an odd miss for a huge corporation to get to that point and be like happens. Yeah, we need this.com guys and let’s figure it out. Patent law. I find that absolutely fascinating. I remember growing up with a friend whose dad wanted to patent something and they had to go to the library downtown Chicago and looked through books and books and books. This was in the eighties, you offered detailed services, including advising the clients as to whether their idea or product is likely to return a profit. And then what should you do? I think that’s really fascinating that you get to that level with the client
John Di Giacomo (17:43):
Because patents are so expensive anywhere from 10,000 to $30,000, depending on the level of complexity of the utility patent. So it’s important to have the conversation at the outset of what you really think this is a commercializable patent. Do you think this is going to work? Who are you going to sell it to? Are you going to develop it yourself? Are you going to license it? Do you have the money to enforce it? And those are the questions that I think attorneys need to ask because when attorneys sell services that people can’t afford that provide no value, it makes us look bad. And I think asking those questions at the front end builds trust and makes people come back to you as opposed to just selling them for the immediate benefit of having money. Right.
Ryan Buck (18:26):
Right, right. Well, that’s something that’s obviously an important part of the process from conceptualization to patent approval. What’s the typical timeframe that that takes?
John Di Giacomo (18:35):
Well, I’m not a registered patent attorney. So I should tell you that we have, we have two in our office with that said I’d estimate two years. It’s a long process. It’s it just depends on the, the material and whether there is what we call prior art in the marketplace or, or in the prior registered patents. Right.
Ryan Buck (18:53):
Early in 2019, the Supreme court introduced legislation that caused copyright cases to last longer and cost more specifically for artists in the U S is that still the case?
John Di Giacomo (19:04):
Yeah. Copyright infringement cases are one of the most expensive types of litigation that you get yourself involved in. Yeah. And a lot of cases, we see a lot of trolls that we talked about trolling earlier, copyright trolls are attorneys who find a plaintiff who has work and then sues somebody, usually an innocent, innocent bystander for the purposes of getting money. And the reason they do it is because the cost of defense is so high that they know you’ll settle for a reasonable amount. So you get a attorney with a good plaintiff, they’ll settle 15, 20 cases at 10, 10 grand each that’s just,
Ryan Buck (19:38):
Yeah. Sounds so the way you put it.
Speaker 4 (19:42):
Yeah. Yeah. They have a whole episode of that. And Silicon valley, I don’t know if you’re a fan of that. We
John Di Giacomo (19:47):
Haven’t seen it yet, but yeah. As it relates
Ryan Buck (19:49):
To the tech industry specifically, obviously
Speaker 4 (19:51):
In a way. Yeah. Uh, so a gentleman had bought the rights to some like really obscure old song. And then anytime anybody has any notes in their song, that sounds like that he sues him. Right. And, and it’s worth 20 grand to them to make him go away. So,
Ryan Buck (20:12):
And is that true that on television, you can only play three seconds of a song before you have to pay
John Di Giacomo (20:17):
The artist. There’s no time it’s, um, it depends on instantly. Yeah. It’s instant. Basically.
Ryan Buck (20:23):
I kind of live podcast. If you sing a copywritten song that if they found you, they could charge you.
John Di Giacomo (20:29):
Yeah. Yeah. I don’t think you’d assign those cue sheets. Right. Get those.
Speaker 4 (20:32):
Yeah. And then of course there’s like differences if you’ve used their actual mastered recordings or if you’re doing a remake. So like if you’re singing it, then the who owns the rights to the, um, publishing sure is, oh, there 9 cents week
Ryan Buck (20:50):
Bands that are notoriously stingy with their music when led Zeppelin showed up in school of rock, that was a big deal. And I just wonder what that would have cost. I mean, as a side question, do you know what it costs? If you’re a big movie and you need to license a big song. Okay.
John Di Giacomo (21:05):
Oh, when you’re a big artist, it just comes out on negotiation. I’ve seen $500,000. In some cases I’ve seen a hundred thousand dollars. It just depends on the movie and the artist, it’s an open market. Basically. You get what somebody is going to.
Speaker 4 (21:18):
Okay. I’m always curious about things like when an artist expresses that they didn’t give permission to, uh, like a politician to come out to their songs. And I always wonder if they even own the rights to their song, usually
John Di Giacomo (21:32):
Speaker 4 (21:33):
So they’re just saying it, but it doesn’t matter, like the label owns it and they sold the royalty. It does
Ryan Buck (21:38):
Doesn’t matter what you’re going to get to music in a bit. I’m glad that was a cool said, no, that was a really cool segue. But I wanted to get to the Revision Legal website, Revision Legal.com talks about the proliferation of technology specifically to the developments of consumer friendly business models that are causing artists trouble. Potentially. Can you elaborate on that? What’s a consumer friendly business model. That’s
John Di Giacomo (22:01):
Sure a good example of a recent one is print on demand. So print on demand is the idea that you can take any image copyrighted or otherwise dry and upload it to a website and have merchant printed. So t-shirts sweatshirts, uh, cups, and we’ve represented artists in that space. And we’ve represented the platforms in that space. And it’s an emerging area of conflict because artists like getting paid. But at the same time, humble idea, people like the flexibility of building the products that they want. So there’s this constant tension that technology creates between those two goals.
Ryan Buck (22:39):
Right? And it seems like there are so many businesses out there that are built to make things easier on you make our website easier, or create a logo easier. You think those are good things.
John Di Giacomo (22:51):
I think they are. I think that it always is a balancing tasks because they’re good for consumers, but they’re not always good for producers. And you have to incentivize producers to produce more. So there has to be some level of balance between consumer friendliness and making sure that people are compensated for the work that they produce that.
Ryan Buck (23:11):
Right. Well, if you’re an emerging artist, let’s say in any form, what are a few things that they should, if they want to legitimize and they really want to give it a go, what are some things that they should look out for? Absolutely. Do to cover themselves maybe legally or in general.
John Di Giacomo (23:27):
You’re for example, an emerging musician, anyone who contributes to your album, you need to have assignment agreements from them. So if somebody is producing something, that’s copyrightable, you want to own it because you want the full flexibility to produce that and sell it in any way that you would like, right. So making sure that people have signed those agreements, uh, is important if you call that
Ryan Buck (23:46):
An assignment agreement. Yeah. Because I
John Di Giacomo (23:48):
Think that most people don’t realize that when you create something as an artist, you own copyright rights to it immediately, but those rights vest in the individual who creates it. So if I create a baseline and I send it to you and then you incorporate it into your album, that’s my work. And I, I own the copyright rights to it unless I, I assigned them to you. So collecting those rights and make sure you making sure you vetted them properly is a very important, right.
Ryan Buck (24:14):
And on the website, I like this and the website’s great. You mentioned you just updated it fairly recently. It looks really good, but there’s a quote on there that really stuck with me. It, it says a generation already exists that we’ll never understand the phrase. I have to return some videotapes. My question to you is that a reference to the movie American,
John Di Giacomo (24:35):
It is a reference to the movie American psycho. And it was from my partner, Eric mistera, which
Ryan Buck (24:41):
I’ve never been happier. I read it. And I thought, because it’s one of my favorite books and movies, I shouldn’t really admit that, but it just resonated with me. And I heard it and Christian Bale’s voice and thought that was great. So there’s obviously a lot of stories about bands and their, you know, rights, their original masters, and who owns what, and, you know, somebody can just buy the entire Beatles catalog. Have you ever been a part of helping an artist reclaim some of their work or in, in that space? Yeah.
John Di Giacomo (25:12):
So we’ve represented two Grammy winning artists in the music field, and then another popular artist who is popular in the seventies that contributed to music for guardians of the galaxy God popularity, as a result of having their stuff on that,
Ryan Buck (25:26):
Because that was a lot of classics, which was the charm of the movie. So that’s obviously that brings artists back into the limelight that maybe wouldn’t have been there.
John Di Giacomo (25:37):
Yeah. And that case particularly was interesting because they had been in a publishing contract and under the copyright act, you can recover your rights after a period of time. And so we advise them on is how to recover their rights to that work, which was being widely exploited, obviously thought a ton of compensation to that band.
Ryan Buck (25:57):
Yeah. Uh, there was some but just not appropriate amounts or appropriately.
John Di Giacomo (26:02):
Yeah. I mean, when you are a band you’re getting filtered through your royalty arrangement. So you’re not getting the vast majority of that, that cash, it’s mostly pennies on the dollar.
Ryan Buck (26:11):
And it’s not the case that somebody may have seen a film that their movie is in or their song is in rather, and is surprised by that they would know, or would they not know?
John Di Giacomo (26:20):
I would know by checking and again, I don’t know the mechanics of this one particularly, but I think they would know by checking their ASCAP or BMI account. And it would almost be an afterthought. They get a check in the mail and they’d be like, oh, I guess my, my songs appearing.
Ryan Buck (26:33):
So is that kind of like a movie residual, you know, you may have been an extra on something and you get a 11 cent check every time it’s on TBS.
John Di Giacomo (26:41):
Exactly. In fact, we had a case which I can talk about, which was public knowledge, where we ended up suing the WWE over residuals because the WWE had failed to pay for some music that they had acquired when they acquired WCW wrestling. And our client was one of the original authors of an entrance music for one of the wrestlers. Oh boy. And so we ended up suing WWE case settled within the public record. And, uh, I really enjoyed it because I had an opportunity to issue a deposition notice for Vincent man. It was like my proudest
Ryan Buck (27:18):
Moment as an attorney, you send it via Rick
John Di Giacomo (27:20):
Shaw. I know I should have, I should have done something dramatic
Ryan Buck (27:23):
Or put it in a big ornate belt.
John Di Giacomo (27:25):
I just remember calling my business partner and saying to him, dude, I can’t wait to depose Vincent man, which of course was never going to happen because he’s never going to stand. But now that I’m an older attorney, I know, and I have a little bit wiser to these things.
Ryan Buck (27:38):
Wow. So you’re saying all these, you know, Grammy award-winning artists and how are your clients getting to you?
John Di Giacomo (27:46):
Uh, usually through the internet, I think, well, let me rephrase that. At first it was the internet, but now it’s word of mouth. So usually what we would do in the early days is buy ads and we would get people to us through that mechanism. And from there we decided to stop because we were getting enough clients in without having to spend that kind of cash. And now it’s just kind of word of mouth. They had been satisfied and then come back.
Ryan Buck (28:09):
Well, I mean, when you have so many high profile cases, there’s obviously a lot of pressure. So what are you doing in the office to, well before let’s say, you know, w what what’s, what’s the, the office environment, like, how do you kind of, you know, keep the team inspired and gel. I see it in the movies, you know, it’s late night, you’re cramming, there’s, you know, Chinese food containers around Coke cans. It’s probably not like that. So how do you keep the office environment before all this?
John Di Giacomo (28:36):
I think the way that we kept the office environment going is we would get, usually we’ll get a house somewhere and we’ll just get everybody into the house and we’ll just kind of throw a big party, right. And we try to lower the temperature of internal office politics and stress, and all the things that come with being in a high paced, high stress job. And that’s helpful now. It’s tough. It’s mostly, I want to say slack, but that’s not what we use. We use Microsoft teams, but it’s just joking in Microsoft teams, which is a completely different environment than what you would be used to say.
Ryan Buck (29:10):
Well, you know, I’ve read several articles on how humor in the workplace is critical. You know, Willy Wonka said a little nonsense now, and then is relished by the wisest men. It’s a weird business philosophy to go to, but that’s always, I’ve always leaned my hand on that. So what’s the best movie about the law or legal profession? Do you have a favorite or do you not care to watch any of it? Because that’s your day to day.
John Di Giacomo (29:32):
Okay. So I have to, um, the best movie for somebody interested in law in Michigan is anatomy of a murder, which was a John Voelker. Uh, Robert Traver was his, I think his pen name, a book that was famous in the forties or fifties about the murder in the UPP. Yeah. And I love that because John Volcker was a Supreme court justice for the Michigan Supreme court. And he was fantastic, great justice. And so it, it’s a good book. It’s about the moral ambiguity of law. The show that gives me the most anxiety as a human being is better call Saul, really, because the show is like, so on point with trying to scrap as an attorney, and you’re just faced with these like ambiguous situations where you’re like, well, I can make a ton of money doing that, but I can’t because that’s not ethical or, or like, uh, working out at the back of a nail salon. When I started, I worked out at the back of a warehouse out on blue star drive. So just like that,
Ryan Buck (30:37):
Oh, you have that story too. And I was wondering, you know, he’s in that strip mall, you know, when you see that and the movies, but you had to do, you had to grind as well. I did.
John Di Giacomo (30:46):
I had a little office for 300 bucks on blue star drive, right by the landscape company that my friend Andy owned the warehouse. Cause he’s an e-commerce guy and, uh, yeah. Now we’re downtown. So it’s been a,
Ryan Buck (30:58):
And it was the warehouse in 2012. That was the start. Yeah. That was the start. And how long between that, to the next move?
John Di Giacomo (31:06):
I would say a year at most. Wow. Yeah.
Ryan Buck (31:09):
Is that typical life cycle for that to find success as you may define it that quickly?
John Di Giacomo (31:15):
No. I think we grew faster than most. We were looking at revenues we’ve doubled in revenue every year, except for this year. So it’s been a, it’s been a ride for sure. It’s impressive.
Ryan Buck (31:26):
Yeah. Now, as I understand it, realism and anti realism are important tenants of Nietzschean metaphysics, but in your opinion, what about the roles of perspectivism and the will to power?
John Di Giacomo (31:39):
Well, the Wilton power is a bastardization of his sister’s vision of what his writing should be because his sister was a Nazi. So, uh, perspectivism is interesting. It’s a flawed and meaningless philosophical doctrine, but it’s interesting because it serves as the origin of things like Iran and objectivism and kind of all of the selfish, uh, justification for morality that comes later in American philosophy. So it’s all.
Ryan Buck (32:08):
Yeah. So I wanted to tell the listeners Ryan’s over, this was a paper you wrote, correct? Or was this a dissertation?
John Di Giacomo (32:16):
Yeah, I wrote, I wrote a paper in college on anti realism and Nietzschean metaphysics, and I think I probably wrote something on perspectivism as well.
Ryan Buck (32:25):
Wow. That’s fascinating. Fascinating. Is there anything else you’d like to share with the listeners?
John Di Giacomo (32:30):
Thank you for having me. It’s
Ryan Buck (32:31):
Been our pleasure, John, thank you so much for your pursuits and to all those who pursue along with you, helping artists, entertainers, organizations, and small protect their work, their brands and their art. It’s a big undertaking. Thank you for doing this and to our listeners. Thank you for listening and for pursuing the positive.
Mark L. Wilson (32:49):
Hey, thanks for joining us again with the pursuit podcast and our friends at Revision Legal that’s, revisionedlegal.com you or anybody you may know that is in need of legal advice regarding intellectual property. You check our guys out and when you’re online, also check out Herb N Meds Traverse City, Michigan that’s at HNMwellnessstore.com and also the tin lid hat company, tinlidco.com. Use the promo code, the pursuit of, at both websites for special discounts to our listeners. Hey, we’ll catch you next week to pursuit a podcast, New Leonard Media.