Thursday, August 28, 2003

Ever Wondered How they Caught You? The AP has a story detailing the methods the RIAA has used to catch online music swappers.
It's a Great Time to be an RIAA Lawyer The AP is reporting that Webcaster Alliance has sued the RIAA. The move comes after the group, which represents online music broadcasters, was unable to reach an agreement with the RIAA on Internet broadcast royalties. The suit alleges antitrust violations, and seeks an injunction prohibiting the RIAA from enforcing their IP rights and collecting royalty payments.
Wait Just a Second, Honey. I Need to Call the Karma Sutra Hotline From the "What will they think of next?" files: A Brazilian company has begun offering a service that beams animations of sexual positions from the Karma Sutra directly to a user's mobile phone. The service costs $.33. Apparently, a similar service is already in place in Europe. Wait until the Bible Belt gets a load of this one...
Earthlink Sues Spammers Reuters is reporting that Earthlink has sued two spam "rings," located in Alabama and British Columbia, that allegedly flooded Earthlink's network with 250 million e-mails.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

5th Circuit: "You Gotta Suck da Head on dem der Crawfish" not Original In a decision sure to comfort Mystikal fans everywhere, Launch is reporting that the Fifth Circuit has cleared Mystikal of copyright infringement. The court ruled that Mystikal's hit "Shake Ya Ass" did not infringe on Emanation Inc.'s copyright in its handheld toy Cajun in Your Pocket, since the allegedly copyrighted phrases, including the ever-so-erudite "We gon pass a good time, yeah, cher" and "You gotta suck da head on dem der crawfish," were unoriginal, and thus not protected by copyright law.
Amazon Sues Spoofers The AP has this report on's lawsuit against 11 e-mail marketers that spoofed the company's domain name. You can find the AP report here.
Looking for Some New Songs? Reuters has a summary of new music services.
Final Franken Round-Up E! Online has their take here. Reuters has a report here. The AP has another report here. Finally, CNN has a report here.
DeCSS Update The California Supreme Court has ruled that a lower court's order to remove the DVD decryption code from the Internet does not violate the defendant's rights under the First Amendment. Reuters has another report here. The New York Times has an additional report here.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Surely There Was Extensive Third Party Use... The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a report on the recent decision in a trademark infringement case which held that the name EntrepreneurPR for a public relations firm infringed the trademark "Entrepreneur" for a magazine.
Fox Finally Gets a Clue The AP is reporting that Fox has dropped its lawsuit against Al Franken. Of course, they couldn't resist getting in a few snarky comments first.
Who's Responsible for the Fox/Franken Fracas? According to the New Yorker, responsibility for Fox's ill-fated lawsuit against Franken can be laid squarely at the feet of O'Reilly.
Franken Case Has them Laughing in the Aisles Despite the fact that Fox's lawyers judge Franken to be "increasingly unfunny," according to this New York Times report the oral argument on Fox's motion for a preliminary injunction against Franken was a lot more entertaining than most court hearings.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Mixed Results from RIAA Crackdown The Washington Post has an article about a recent market research study which showed that, while the number of music downloaders has decreased by 28 percent since the RIAA began issuing ISP subpoenas, the average number of files downloaded by each household has actually increased by 6.7 percent.
Judge Puts the Smack Down on Fox I hope the term "Smack Down" isn't trademarked by the WWF... But E! Online is reporting that the judge in Fox's trademark infringement suit against Franken has rejected Fox's bid for a preliminary injunction, calling Fox's suit "wholly without merit, both factually and legally." Reuters has this report. Salon has a fairly extensive report here (subscription or day pass required to view the entire article).
Patent Infringement Suit Against Palm Reinstated is reporting that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reinstated E-Pass Technologies Inc.'s patent infringement suit against Palm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

More Chilling Effects Showing the need for efforts like Chilling Effects, Wired has this report on the parody site, which shut down after legal threats from BuyMusic.
RIAA Subpoena Fall Out Wired is reporting on the reaction to the RIAA's latest statements that it will target only "substantial" users of P2P for lawsuits.
Grokster Decision Appealed Reuters is reporting that the MPAA and RIAA have filed briefs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to overturn the district court's grant of summary judgment to Grokster and Morpheus on claims of copyright infringement.
Internet Pundits Expect Fight Over Search Engines' Ad Scheme In an article that quotes Wendy, Reuters is reporting that a fight could be brewing over Google and Overture's sale of "paid listings" linked to companies' trademarks.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Administration Seeks to Defend PATRIOT Act The AP reports here that the Bush administration is sending Ashcroft around the country to stump in support of the USA PATRIOT Act.
Oral Arguments Scheduled in Fox v. Franken Proving that Fox really doesn't know when to call it quits, the AP is reporting that oral arguments have been scheduled for Friday in Fox's trademark infringement suit against Al Franken. It appears that Franken's lawyers have removed the case to federal district court. Reuters has this report.
RIAA: We Won't Sue Small Downloaders The RIAA has provided Congress with written assurances that it won't target "de minimis" P2P traders. Reuters has additional coverage here.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Citigroup Victim of Phishing Scam Citigroup has become the latest victim in a series of scams seeking to trade on consumers' trust of well-known corporate entities. The e-mail, emblazoned with the Citigroup corporate logo, asks consumers to click on a link to review and agree to Citibank's terms and conditions, providing the hoaxsters with personal information in the process. You'll just have to read the article for the origin of the term "phishing." Reuters has more background here.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Amazon Wins UDRP Proceeding WIPO has ordered a Seattle man to turn over the domain names and to Reuters story here.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Senate to Investigate RIAA Senator Norm Coleman, R-Minn, head of the Senate Governmental Affairs' Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, has announced plans to hold hearings on the RIAA's recent efforts to crack down on online file traders.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Is That a Photocopy in Your Inbox? Bag and Baggage has an interesting post about a recent decision by a Maryland district court considering whether intra-company distribution of subscription-only materials is copyright infringement.
For All Those Searching the Keywords "judge rejects subpoenas music" I apparently missed this, but Infringing Actions has a post on the recent decision by a Massachusetts federal court quashing the RIAA's subpoenas to MIT and Boston College, because they were improperly issued out of a district court in Washington, DC. (It's the third post down.)
New IP Blawg Check out Kelly D. Talcott's Infringing Actions. Via Denise (who I just realized works at the same firm as a good friend of mine here in Richmond).
Balkin's Take on Fox v. Franken Professor Jack Balkin has an op-ed about the Fox v. Franken case in the LA Times.
Larry Has Another Guest Blogger Check out Lessig's Blog, where presidential candidate Dennis J. Kucinich is filling in for Larry this week. (Yeah, I know I should have posted this much earlier in the week. I forgot.)
Go Marty, It's Your Birthday Just getting a chance to check out The Trademark Blog for the first time in a few days. Check out his posts on the Fox v. Franken fracas here, here, and here. (Apparently, I'm not the only one to speculate on canceling Fox's FAIR AND BALANCED mark based on misdescriptiveness.) Marty also has a post about a Wall Street Journal article I missed, discussing SCO's challenge to the GPL in its case against IBM. Finally, all you Black Dog fans should check out this post.
HP Wins Battle Against Gray Marketers C-Net has an article about a case recently brought by HP against a company that obtained $5.7 million in equipment from Compaq Computer using an educational discount, which it then tried to resell.
More Legal Challenges to RIAA Subpoenas The LA Times is reporting that a Verizon customer has filed to quash the subpoena issued by the RIAA seeking to uncover her identity.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

SCO Terminates Second IBM Unix License C-Net has this report.
New Software for Tracking Copyright Licenses The LA Times has this report on software developed by RightsLine Inc.
More on the Fox/Franken Wars E! Online has this. (Was the case really filed in state court?) And you can find Franken's take on it here.
China Plays Nice According to the AP, China recently destroyed 42 million pirated discs, including CDs, DVDs, and other videodiscs.
COPA, We Hardly Knew Ya... ... but the Bush administration is trying to change all of that. The AP is reporting that the government has filed a petition for cert in Ashcroft v. ACLU, after the Third Circuit ruled it unconstitutional. And it's good to see JZ making the news rounds again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Hermès Sues to Protect Birkin Bag from Rubber Interlopers The New York Times has an article about a recent trade dress infringement case filed by Hermès in New York District Court. The offending item is a knock-off of its Birkin bag, made out of translucent rubber.
Are You on the Internet, or the Web? Popular Science explains the difference.
Could You Cancel on the Grounds that it Comprises Deceptive Matter Under Section 2(a)? According to Reuters, Fox is suing Al Franken for using their trademark FAIR AND BALANCED as part of the title for his new book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." Doesn't quite seem like trademark usage to me. (Of course, some of us wonder how Fox ever got a registration, since it would seem to be barred by TMEP section 1203.02.) The AP has this report.
More Flack for RIAA Subpoenas Reuters is reporting that NetCoalition, which represents hundreds of Internet providers, sent a letter to the RIAA regarding the latter's recent subpoena campaign. The Internet group raised the concern that small Internet providers would be forced to police their customer's online activities, and to bear the cost of tracking down those who may have violated copyright laws while using their services.
Microsoft Hit with $520 Million Verdict The AP has this report on the jury's decision in a patent infringement case brought by Eolas Technologies Inc. and the University of California against Microsoft; Reuters has this report. Finally, the Washington Post has this report, while the New York Times has this report.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Interesting UK Trademark Decision The Trademark Blog has an interesting post about a decision by the UK Trademark Office to sustain an opposition by the owners of the TOYS 'R' US mark against an application to register TOYS AREN'T US by the National Canine Defense League.
New Way to Fight Spam I remember reading about this service a while ago, and wondering whether or not it would actually work... The Register is reporting on a recent court victory won by Habeas. Habeas is a company that helps users identify spam by embedding copyrighted haikus into the headers of legitimate e-mail.
P2P Tackled in Freshman Orientation is reporting that the UC system has added warnings regarding the consequences of file sharing to freshman orientation.
Another Talk To Have With Your Kids: File Sharing is reporting on parental liability for their children's file sharing activities in an article entitled "Parents liable for kids' P2P downloads".

Friday, August 08, 2003

"Gossip Column"??? After posting the last link, I just had to check out the Google results for "nerdlaw." Not sure what I think of LawBore's description of my site.
Nobody's Purchased "Nerdlaw" The Trademark Blog has an interesting post on Google's keyword program.
New Blawgs The Intellect Law Group has started The Copyright Blog and The Patent Blog.
Technology News Reuters is reporting that "Broadcom and Intel Settle Patent Battle". Also from Reuters, "Linux Advocates Mount Attack Against SCO". Case Wrap-up The ABA Journal has an interesting write-up of the 9th Circuit's decision in the case.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

More Background on SCO Fight Check out the links in this Plastic thread.
I Wonder if This Will Mean Bigger Bonuses? The AP has a report on MercExchange's $29.5 million award in its patent infringement suit against eBay. Reuters has this report. Full disclosure: I work for the firm that represents MercExchange.
IBM Follows Red Hat's Lead IBM has filed a counterclaim against SCO in the copyright infringement suit filed by the latter.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Gotta Love the Times Dispatch Plastic has an interesting thread on the Richmond Times Dispatch's decision to edit a Doonesbury comic.
What Liberal Media? A new Harvard study confirms what many have long suspected: Conservative editorial pages are more partisan than "liberal" editorial pages. Not that the conservatives will ever believe it. After all, the study came from the Boston-Washington corridor.
Forbes Asks the Question "Why Won't IBM Indemnify Linux Users?"
RIAA Missing the Forest for the Trees? The BBC is reporting on the real threat to the recording industry. And no, it's not your average P2P user. Check out the Plastic thread on this issue. Finally, Forbes has an article about a recent study which found the number of downloaders to be lower than had previously been forecast.
One More Challenge to the PATRIOT Act is reporting that Senator Lisa Murkowski (R. Ala.) has introduced legislation to rollback certain provisions of the PATRIOT Act.
Be Careful What You Link To The AP is reporting that a California man has been sentenced to a year in prison for creating an anarchist web site with links to information on how to build bombs.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Red Hat Challenges SCO's Linux Claims Reuters is reporting that Red Hat has filed in federal district court in Delaware to stop SCO from making copyright infringement claims that would harm Red Hat's Linux business.
RIAA Roundup The Washington Post has a roundup of recent articles on the RIAA's efforts to subpoena the identities of file traders.

Friday, August 01, 2003

More on the ACLU's Challenge to the Patriot Act Wired has this report.
Senator Questions RIAA Actions According to Wired, Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) wants the RIAA to answer a few questions about its recent subpoena activities. According to Coleman, "In this country, we don't chop off fingers for people who steal something. . . I think we need to have a broader discussion about how to deal with this issue. I want to be sure that any process being utilized here is fair." The New York Times has a report here.
Why Would it Ever be Down? The AP is reporting on a recent poll conducted by the First Amendment Center and American Journalism Review magazine, which found support for the First Amendment to be on the rise.
News of the Obvious The AP has the shocking report that two-thirds of Internet users who download copyrighted songs aren't concerned about whether or not they're violating the copyright laws. And in other news: two thirds of people who rob banks don't care whether they're violating the law!
Nuremburg Documents to be Available On-line My alma mater is planning to post Nuremberg trial documents on the web, with a grant from an alumnus.