Country singer Martina McBride and her husband, John McBride, were hit with a lawsuit alleging that unpaid interns were performing personal errands for them. They're also accused of firing the employee who reported them to federal authorities.
Interns and their legality seems a lot like weed to me. Nobody can really decide if it's good, bad, legal or illegal. Different states / counties / cities / etc. have different takes on both.
I figure if you're a young buck looking for fairness, someone to value your work ethic, and reward you accordingly, you'd run as fast as you can from an internship. But hey, that's just my perspective. If someone decides to take an intern gig, I think they should be there to learn. And part of that may be picking up someones kids from school, or picking up dinner, or making coffee as it is all a part of the employers existence. The intern might as well learn all that while they are honing in on the dream career....
I worked many moons ago as an IT intern for the state of Arizona. They were very careful to describe the responsibilities of my position in great detail, and told me why: regulations. Yes, it was a state government job and I get the difference between it and industries like music production, but when I left, my manager said something very interesting- if you take an internship anywhere else don't forget that the regulations apply everywhere, regardless of the employer or profession. They wanted to hire me but couldn't. Why? Regulations. Funny how that works.
I remember hearing from some friends about a certain producer/engineer in Athens GA who would banish interns from the studio to run errands, mow the grass (or find some grass), etc when he got annoyed with them. The friends didn't see the intern ever do much of anything by way of assisting in the production. I'm sure it's quite common even though out of bounds. Was the gig described as 'personal assistant'? Could be. In this biz there's lots of vague moving parts, and participating in that to a degree is part of gaining experience, but there has to be a balance.