Tuesday, September 23, 2003

RIAA Sues File Trading System C-Net reports that "RIAA sues iMesh file-trading firm."
They're At it Again IP Justice has a report on another case filed by the movie studios to block distribution of DVD copying software.
Hotel Sued Over Use of Dewey Decimal System Who knew that the Dewey Decimal System was trademarked? And how do you trademark a system, anyway? The New York Times is reporting that the "owners" of the Dewey Decimal System trademark have sued the owners of the Library Hotel in New York for using the system without a license. This is one complaint I would love to read, since I have a feeling that the write up probably isn't capturing the whole issue.
JetBlue Data Transfer Backfires The
AP is reporting that a group of JetBlue passengers has sued the airline for providing historical flight data to a Defense Department contractor testing the new Homeland Security Airline Passenger Risk Assessment system.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Senators Balk at Brownback Proposals Reuters reports that several members of the Senate Commerce Committee have indicated a reluctance to change the existing digital copyright laws.
More DVD Suits Reuters reports that "Film Studios Sue Over DVD Copying Software."

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

More on Grokster Appeal Reuters reports that "Grokster, Morpheus File Briefs in Song-Swap Appeal."
There Goes the RIAA's Favorite Chestnut Reuters is reporting that "Europe's Internet downloaders are avid music fans who own multiple gadgets and are as likely to buy a compact disc as anyone else, according to new research released on Wednesday."
Six Degrees of Separation on the Web The New York Times reports that "Setback for Microsoft Ripples Through the World Wide Web."
Internet Software Consortium to VeriSign's Site Finder: Get Lost! Wired details the Internet Software Consortium's plans to disable VeriSign's new Site Finder service, since the new feature "breaks" many ISP's spam filters. Marty has a report on the news here.
Follow Up on Garage Door DMCA Suit Wired has this report on the Chamberlain Group's lawsuit against Skylink Technologies, which alleges that Skylink's universal garage door opener violates the DMCA.
Brownback Proposes Greater Protections for Internet Users Wired has an article about a bill recently introduced by Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) which seeks to modify the DMCA by requiring owners of digital media to file a John Doe lawsuit before obtaining the contact information of an Internet user. In addition, Brownback's bill (entitled the Consumers, Schools, and Libraries Digital Rights Management Awareness Act of 2003) would require record companies to label all digital media protected by digital rights management measures.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Monsanto Sues Family Farms Wired has this report about Monsanto's recent lawsuit alleging that milk labels that boast "No rBST" or "rBST-free" are misleading, unfair and deceptive.
SBC Stands Firm The New York Times is reporting that ISP SBC Communications is the lone holdout, refusing to comply with the RIAA's subpoenas in the file sharing cases.
SCO Moves to Dismiss Red Hat Suit C-Net has this report.
Verizon Tries Again Verizon has filed an appeal of the district court order requiring it to turn over the identities of Verizon subscribers sought by the RIAA. In its court papers, Verizon challenges the constitutionality of the subpoena provisions of the DMCA. The AP has this report on oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Beatles Management Sues Apple Over Use of "Apple" Trademark The Beatles Management company, Apple Corps., is suing Apple computer, claiming that Apple violated a 1991 agreement in which Apple agreed to limit its use of the "Apple" trademark to computer products. At issue is Apple's expansion of the Apple brand in connection with the new iTunes music service. My question is: does Apple Corp. actually use the word "Apple" as a trademark? While they have a federal registration for the mark (which they obtained in 1997), they seem to use it more as a business name than as an actual trademark or service mark. And who advised Apple to sign the 1991 agreement in the first place? I guess I'll have to stop using Apple as an example of a strong, arbitrary trademark now. More information about the suit can be found here.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Kazaa Users Surprised by RIAA Lawsuits Wired has this report, entitled "Rude Awakening for File Sharers."
Reaction on Campus Reuters has this report on college students' reactions to the recent RIAA lawsuits.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Sun Seeks to Capitalize on SCO Threats C-net is reporting that Sun is considering offering Java customers indemnity from Linux-related lawsuits filed by SCO.
First Sale Doctrine in Cyberspace C-net has an interesting article about the intricacies of one man's attempt to resell a song bought from Apple's iTunes store.
Time to Move to Canada? No, this post isn't about our esteemed commander in chief. Globe and Mail is reporting that lawsuits like the ones recently filed by the RIAA may be less likely in Canada than the U.S., due to differences in the two countries' copyright laws.
Be Careful Before You File that Lawsuit Wired is reporting that EmarketersAmerica.org, which recently filed a lawsuit against a group of spam opponents, is having a difficult time extricating itself from the case. While EmarketersAmerica.org filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal last week, defendants are seeking a court order for $75,000 in legal fees.
Legal Challenge to RIAA Amnesty Plan Wired has this report on a legal challenge to the RIAA's amnesty plan, contending that the program could result in lawsuits from parties not represented by the RIAA.
More on Porn Wars in Pennsylvania In a follow up to one of the stories I posted the other day, the AP is reporting that "Pa. Won't Force Providers to Block Porn."
RIAA Suits in the News The AP has an article entitled "Music Download Suits Could Raise Backlash," and another one announcing that "Girl, 12, Settles Piracy Suit for $2,000." Reuters has this report on the settlement, while Wired has this report. The Washington Post has this report on the defendants in the RIAA suits. Finally, C-net has a fairly complete round-up of RIAA news here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

WooHoo! Completely off-topic, but Opus is returning! Cartoonist Berkeley Breathed will introduce a new comic, aptly entitled "Opus," in November. I still have the series of Outland strips featuring Mary Poppins and Pooh Bear somewhere...
From the Free Publicity Files The makers of Slip 'N Slide have guaranteed extra press for the new David Spade movie by suing the studio for trademark infringement over the inclusion of a scene in which Spade jumps belly first on the yellow plastic sheet without first inflating it with air and water. You gotta wonder about the mental acuity of the guy who sued Wham-O when he became paralyzed after diving onto the slide while intoxicated... And Reuters has a report here.
Good News for Gator A federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia has dismissed a lawsuit filed by U-Haul against the purveyors of pop-up ads, alleging that the ads infringed U-Haul's copyright and trademark rights.
Pornography Laws in the News Reuters is reporting that two civil liberties groups are challenging the anti-porn tactics of Pennsylvania's attorney general. Law.com reports here that the 2nd Circuit has ruled that the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation Act of 1977, as amended, does not violate the commerce clause, even if the images are not shipped across state lines.
RIAA Sues... A Yale Professor? The AP has a story on the lawsuits recently filed by the RIAA, which, if the details are correct, seems to contradict the RIAA's assertion that they are only going after the most egregious file sharers. One comment though: what 26 year old in their right mind didn't know that file sharing was illegal, or at the very least, probably not a good idea? Reuters has this report and this report. And E!Online has this story. Finally, the New York Times has this commentary.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Score 1 for IP Justice I've been asked to post about the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois' recent ruling in the case Chamberlain v. Skylink, which contains a good run-down of recent opinions under the DMCA. Chamberlain had brought a claim against Skylink under the DMCA, arguing that Skylink's competing garage door opener was an illegal circumvention device. Citing disputed issues of material fact, the Court denied Chamberlain's motion for a preliminary injunction. The Court also cited favorably amici briefs filed by CCIA and Consumers Union, which pointed out the stifling effect the DMCA has on innovation and competition under Chamberlain's theory. IP Justice has further details on the case here.
Typosquatters Beware The first charges have been filed under the new Amber Alert legislation, which makes it illegal to use misleading Internet URLs to lure children to pornographic websites. Who knew there was a Truth in Domain Names statute? The AP has a report here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The Onion Takes on Trademark Disputes Online satire magazine The Onion has this spoof of recent trademark disputes. Thanks to Larry and Marty for the link.
RIAA Faces Legal Challenge The lawyers for a New York woman accused of copyright infringement by the RIAA have asked a federal magistrate to delay any order requiring her ISP to turn over her identity. In arguing for the delay, her lawyers have suggested that the RIAA acted illegally when investigating her online activities.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Jeff Burgar At it Again Infamous cybersquatter Jeff Burgar has lost another one, this time to Pierce Brosnan over piercebrosnan.com.