Thursday, July 31, 2003
Time to Send in My Check CNN has this article about a recent lawsuit filed by the ACLU challenging the constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act. The New York Times also has a report here.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 10:53 AM
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Rather Like Closing the Barn Door After the Horse Has Already Left The AP has a report on Hormel's efforts to reclaim the name "spam." (Yes, I know they claim to be "defending" the name rather than "reclaiming" it, but I think that almost ten years of inaction in the face of increasing use of the name to mean unsolicited e-mail on the Internet gives rise to a pretty good claim that Hormel has acquiesced in the usage.)
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:27 AM
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Do You Know the Secret Handshake? CNN has an article about private file sharing networks that are popping up on the Internet in the wake of the RIAA's crackdown on open file sharing networks like Grokster and Kazaa. The networks employ strong encryption schemes to keep out prying record association eyes.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:30 AM
Electronic Evidence Ruling According to C-Net, a federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York has issued a ruling in a gender discrimination case against UBS, setting forth rules to determine which party should bear the cost of restoring and producing lost e-mail in discovery. Based on the plaintiff's $650,000 salary before her termination and the possibility of a multi-million dollar payout from the case, the judge determined that the plaintiff should pay 25% of the cost of the restoration costs.
Monday, July 28, 2003
Expecting to be the Subject of an RIAA Subpoena? Then you might want to check out SFGate.com's advice on how to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit. The New York Times has a follow up on the RIAA subpoenas entitled "Subpoenas Sent to File-Sharers Prompt Anger and Remorse." And Denise tells you how to find out if the subpoenas contain your IP address or P2P handle.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 2:15 PM
Friday, July 25, 2003
Be Careful Who You Let Use Your Internet Account The AP has this report on the targets of the first round of RIAA subpoenas. Among those subpoenaed are the father of a 23-year-old who used the family Internet account to download copyrighted songs (the father wins the prize for head furthest in the sand: "I don't think anybody knew this was illegal, just a way to get some music."), and the roommate of a West Virginia college student that downloaded more than 1,4000 music files.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:12 AM
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
It's Spreading Wired is reporting that a Spanish law firm has announced plans to file copyright-infringement lawsuits against 4,000 people who downloaded copyrighted music off of peer-to-peer networks in that country. The firm is seeking jail terms of up to 4 years for each infringer.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:51 AM
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
Time to Get on the Media Consolidation Bandwagon I guess I've left this topic to Lessig long enough. Reuters is reporting that the White House has promised to veto any bill that reimposed the media-ownership caps that were recently relaxed by the Federal Communications Commission.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 8:16 PM
New Addition to Trademark Clearance Searches? Maybe Thomson & Thomson will introduce a "history" section... Fortune is reporting on VW's troubles with the trademark for its new SUV. Turns out, the Saharan tribe after which the new Touareg is name has a bit of a skeleton in the closet: they were notorious slave owners and traders until the beginning of the 20th century. Better luck next time.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 6:25 PM
Sunday, July 20, 2003
Where's the Fun in That? Just had to include a pointer to an AP article on the recent UC decision to ban faculty from dating students they supervise. I'm glad to see that UC didn't ban all student/faculty relations. I certainly understand the desire to limit student/faculty dating in the undergraduate context, or when the faculty member is supervising the student. In the context of UC's professional schools, however, where the students are much closer in age and maturity to the members of the faculty, such an outright ban would be unworkable and ill-advised. Of course, I never had the guts (or really, the opportunity) to date any professors in law school. Oh, well.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 6:48 PM
Do You Think They Could Make the RIAA Pay the Overtime Costs? The AP is reporting that the large number of federal subpoenas issued by the RIAA in recent weeks, some citing as few as five songs made available for download, has forced the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to reassign employees from elsewhere in the clerk's office to help process paperwork. Interestingly, while Verizon has received more than 150 subpoenas in this latest push, AOL Time Warner Inc., the nation's largest Internet provider (and parent company of Warner Music Group) has received no subpoenas.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 6:23 PM
When Crusin' Goes Bad The Detroit News is reporting on the case of a Michigan man that sold an embroidered T-shirt on Ebay, featuring a picture of the PT Cruiser and the phrase "PT Cruisin'," attracting the attention of DaimlerChrysler AG's trademark attorneys. Via The Trademark Blog.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 6:13 PM
Friday, July 18, 2003
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Monday, July 14, 2003
Thursday, July 10, 2003
They Certainly Keep their Lawyers Busy The RIAA is suing the Spanish company that operates Puretunes.com. According to the suit, Puretunes falsely represents itself to be licensed by the record companies.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:28 AM
Shilling for a Good Cause If you plan on being in the Richmond area on Friday, September 26, please consider participating in or donating to the Light the Night Walk to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Even if you aren't going to be in or around Richmond, check out the website to locate a walk near you.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:16 AM
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Wonder if the RIAA Will Condemn Dylan Now Yet more fodder for the cultural copyright wars: When does "borrowing" from copyrighted works become legitimate creative expression? The Wall Street Journal is reporting on eerie similarities between the recent Bob Dylan album and an obscure memoir by a Japanese physician, entitled "Confessions of a Yakuza."
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 3:33 PM
P2P Fights Fire With Fire C-Net is reporting that P2P outfits have a new weapon in their fight against the lobbying power of the RIAA: their own trade group. Formed by Grokster President Wayne Rosso and other P2P executives, the trade group will lobby Congress in an effort to demonstrate that peer-to-peer companies can be legitimate ventures.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 1:14 PM
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
7th Circuit: Sony Does Apply, but Willful Ignorance no Protection In a mixed ruling, the 7th Circuit upheld a lower court injunction shutting down Madster prior to trial, but agreed that the Sony Betamax case was controlling precedent. The Court rejected Madster's argument that encryption technology built into the system, which effectively masks the identity of files being shared on-line, relieved Madster of the obligation to block illegal file swapping. "One who, knowingly or strongly suspecting that he is involved in shady dealings, takes steps to ensure that he does not acquire full or exact knowledge of the nature and extent of those dealings, is held to have criminal intent," the Court wrote. Considering the claim for contributory infringement under the Sony doctrine, the Court held that, if detection and prevention of copyright infringement were "highly burdensome" to a service provider, that provider would escape liability for contributory infringement. A copy of the opinion can be found here. Report from C-Net.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 11:44 AM
Update on "Reclaim the Public Domain" Lobbying Efforts Lessig has an update on recent lobbying efforts to get the Public Domain Enhancement Act (H.R. 2601) introduced in Congress. The Washington Post has this report. I think I'm going to have to write a check to Rep. Rick Boucher.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 10:35 AM
California Court Limits Trespass to Chattels Theory Rejecting a bid by Intel to halt unwanted e-mails from a former employee under a trespass to chattels theory, the California Supreme Court has ruled that companies can only sue under state common law for trespass to chattels if the messages cause actual damage to equipment or property. Report via Law.com. C-Net has another report here.
Posted by nerdlaw.org at 10:02 AM