Tuesday, December 21, 2004

IP Around the World. Reuters reports that "Poland Delays Decision on EU Software Patent Rules." From the article: "Poland, a large EU member whose backing is crucial for the adoption of the proposed rules, did not withdraw support of the planned law but said it wanted ensure the rules would not open the door to the patenting of pure computer software." Also from Reuters, "China Toughens Stance on Intellectual Property."
Apple Piles On Against P2P. Reuters reports that "Apple Sues Three for Posting Mac OS X on Net." From the article: "Apple Computer Inc. has sued three men for illegally distributing test copies of the next version of its Mac OS X operating system on a file-sharing Web site, court records showed on Tuesday."
Another One Bites the Dust. The AP reports that "Popular File-Sharing Site Shuts Down." From the article: "A note posted on Suprnova.org, which facilitated sharing among users of the BitTorrent program, said the site was 'closing down for good.' The collection of links to downloadable files, including music, movies and books, was taken down."

Monday, December 20, 2004

I Hope It's Just Poor Reporting... ... and their claim doesn't really rest on the copying of "research." The New Zealand Herald reports that "NZ author suing over Da Vinci bestseller." From the article: "But Baigent and Leigh, whose own 1982 work Holy Blood, Holy Grail caused such religious outrage when it was published that it sparked death threats, say Brown has lifted large tracts of their research without permission." Via BoingBoing.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Is This Really Even News Anymore? The AP reports that "Computer Users Sued for Swapping Music." From the article: "Recording companies filed copyright infringement lawsuits against 754 computer users Thursday, the latest round of legal action in the industry's effort to squelch unauthorized swapping of music online." Reuters has this report.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Couldn't They Have Copied a Good Show? Reuters reports that "'Wife Swap' Producers Sue Fox TV Over 'Copycat'." From the article: "Producers of the ABC reality series 'Wife Swap' sued Fox television on Wednesday for copyright infringement, accusing the rival network of ripping off their show with the 'virtually identical' Fox show 'Trading Spouses.'" The AP has this report.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Crackberries Granted Temporary Reprieve. Law.com reports that BlackBerry Maker Loses Once Again." From the article: "But the case isn't over yet. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit offered Research in Motion a chance to reverse the findings of infringement [as to some of the claims]. The court said the district court had misconstrued one claim in the disputed patents. Since it was unclear whether the error prejudiced the jury and caused it to reach an infringement verdict, the appeals court said it was sending the case back to the district court to review that question."
Partial decision in Geico. According to one of my colleagues on the ABA/IPL Committee 254, today "the court dismissed a key element of GEICO's case, ruling that there was not enough evidence of trademark violation to bar Google from displaying rival insurers when computer users search the word 'Geico.'" More info from the same individual:
Geico claimed that Google's AdWords program, which displays the rival ads under a "Sponsored Links" heading next to a user's search results, causes confusion. "There is no evidence that that activity alone causes confusion," Brinkema said, in granting Google's motion for summary judgment on that issue.

But Brinkema said the case would continue to move forward on one remaining issue, whether ads that pop up and actually use Geico in their text violate trademark law. Google contends that its policies expressly forbid advertisers from using trademark names in the text of their ads.

The search engine says it does its best to prevent ads that violate the policy from sneaking in, and that the advertisers would liable for any trademark violation, not Google.

Brinkema said she would halt the trial at this point to put a decision in writing and she encouraged both parties to try and settle the remaining issues.
Reuters has this report.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

If You Use BitTorrent, Read Up. The AP reports that "Source: Hollywood to Sue Server Operators." From the article: "The U.S. film industry is preparing to sue computer server operators in the United States and Europe who help relay digitized movie files across online file-sharing networks, a source familiar with the movie studios' plans said Tuesday."
Get Your Grokster Fill. Slate takes on Grokster in "You Say Napster, I Say Grokster - What do you do when technology outpaces the law?." From the article: "Supreme Court justices, who are not exactly charter members of the download generation, could have an awkward time connecting with all of this and may have been tempted to throw their hands above their robes and just give up. The genius pace of modern techno-ingenuity is enough to make some judges balk at imposing any legal blockades, for fear the law will act as a drag on invention and creativity."
This is an Interesting Idea. The AP reports that "Google to Scan Books From 5 Big Libraries." From the article: "Material from the New York public library as well as libraries at four universities — Harvard, Stanford, Michigan and Oxford — will be indexed on Mountain View, Calif.-based Google under the ambitious initiative announced late Monday." Reuters has this report.
Tilting at Windmills. Another case that doesn't have a chance in court. Reuters reports that "Software Should Not Be Copyrighted -- Lawsuit." From the article: "Aharonian argues in his complaint that software copyright laws violate the right to due process enshrined in the U.S. Constitution because they do not provide clear boundaries for appropriate use. That means industry players and courts do not have a clear idea of the rules."

Monday, December 13, 2004

Coming Soon to an Internet Near You. The AP reports that "ICANN Gives Preliminary OK to 2 Domains." From the article: "Sponsored by leading mobile phone and technology companies, including Nokia Corp., Microsoft Corp. and T-Mobile, the '.mobi' domain would set apart Web sites and other services that are specially designed to work around the limitations of cell phones, including their smaller screen size and data capacity... The '.jobs' suffix, meanwhile, would go to members of the human resources community."
Keyword Sales in Court. The AP reports that "Judge Hears Geico, Google Trademark Case." From the article: "Attorneys for auto insurance giant Geico told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema that Google should not be allowed to sell ads to rival insurance companies that are triggered whenever Geico's name is typed into the Google search box."
More Grokster. Law.com reports that "Supreme Court Takes On Emerging Issues in Copyright, International Law." From the article: "'The Grokster case presents the most important copyright issue to land before the Supreme Court in the Internet age,' said Gregory Garre of Washington, D.C.'s Hogan & Hartson, who heads the firm's Supreme Court and appellate practice and has represented IP clients before the justices. Garre has no involvement in this case." Reuters has more here.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Grokster Goes a Courtin'. The AP reports that "High Court to Hear File-Sharing Dispute." From the article: "Justices will review a lower ruling in favor of Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc., which came as a blow to recording companies and movie studios seeking to stop the illegal distribution of their works."

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Phishing Strikes the Far East. Reuters reports that "Two China Banks Uncover Fake Web Sites." From the article: "Two of China's leading banks have identified fake Web sites in recent days and reported them to the country's public security organs, bank officials said on Thursday."
Kazaa Case Draws to a Close. Reuters reports in "Kazaa Talked to Record Firms About Music Swaps." From the article: "Philip Morle, Sharman's director of technology, told the federal court in Sydney the Distributed Computing Industry Association had hosted and coordinated a number of discussions between Sharman Networks and various U.S. record companies about the issue of unauthorized file sharing."
Yet Another Reason to Steer Your Clients Away from Descriptive Trademarks. Law.com reports in "Both Sides Take Comfort From High Court's Ruling in Closely Watched Trademark Case." From the article: "The Court's unanimous ruling in KP Permanent Make-Up v. Lasting Impression said that the law tolerates 'a certain degree of confusion on the part of consumers,' a view favoring alleged trademark infringers. But it also gave trademark holders a partial victory when it said that evidence of likely consumer confusion is relevant and can be introduced by trademark holders in suing infringers." Marty has more here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Just a Coincidence? Apple's IP counsel must be busy these days. Reuters reports that "Apple in Cybersquatting Fight Over ITunes Website." From the article: "Benjamin Cohen, who joined the Internet's millionaires club after founding the Web Site Sojewish when he was just 17, said on Wednesday he registered itunes.co.uk during the dotcom boom in November, 2000, and wouldn't give it up without a fight."
One to Watch. Law.com reports that "High-Stakes File-Sharing Case Seeks Supreme Court's Ears." From the article: "The intensely watched copyright infringement case Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc., No. 04-480, is on the agenda for the Court's private conference Friday, along with dozens of other cases in which the Court may grant or deny review. "

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

You'd Think Companies Would Have Learned Better By Now. Law.com reports that "Biopharm Company Alleges Rival Used Trademark in Web Site Metatags." From the article: "In an attempt to lure Internet traffic away from competitors, a Coral Gables, Fla., biopharmaceutical company allegedly embedded trademarked names of five other biopharmaceutical companies in the coding of its Web site, a South Carolina company alleges in a suit filed in Miami."
Three's a Crowd? Mergers are in the air. Law.com reports that :DLA and Piper (and Gray) Make Merger Official. From the article: "London's DLA and the partners of Piper Rudnick voted to merge the firms Saturday, creating what on Jan. 1 will be the world's third-largest law firm measured by lawyers and fifth-largest measured by revenues."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Time to Start Collecting for the Legal Fund. This is just asking for trouble: Unauthorized iPod U2 vs. Negativland Special Edition on eBay.
Careful What You Say. Law.com reports on the growing trend of suing on-line "gripe" sites under trademark law in "Trademark Lawsuits: The Price of Online Griping." From the article: "Scores of disgruntled customers who criticize businesses on Internet 'gripe sites' are finding themselves entangled in costly court battles with companies charging trademark infringement."

Monday, November 29, 2004

If a Tree Falls in the Forest... Reuters reports that "Film Studios Win $24 Million Against Web Site." From the article: "The award was handed down earlier this week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles as a default judgment, meaning the defendants never responded, according to the MPAA."
Kazaa Battle Down Under. The AP reports that "Recording Industry, Kazaa Square Off." From the article: "The record company lawyers will try to have Kazaa's owners declared liable for copyright breach and loss of earnings in the civil case. If they succeed, a case next year would likely set the damages the owners have to pay."

Monday, November 22, 2004

Thankful for Small Favors? The Washington Post reports that "U.S. Senate Passes Scaled-Back Copyright Measure." From the article: "A section that would have made it illegal to edit out commercials was removed."
'Major Label Retardation' - Is That in the Next DSM? Via BoingBoing: Indie label Positron! Records offers CC licenses to its artists.
If at First You Don't Succeed... Hot on the heels of its loss to Visa in a copyright infringement lawsuit, Perfect 10 has brought suit against Google. The AP reports that "Adult Site Sues Google for Infringment." From the article: "A Web site that sells photos of naked women is suing Google Inc., alleging that the online search engine leader is destroying its business by distributing links and passwords that provide free glimpses of the nude models." Marty has more.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before. The AP reports that "Recording Cos. Sue 761 for Music Swapping." From the article: "In all, recording companies have sued 6,952 computer users since September 2003. To date, 1,300 defendants have settled their cases out of court, the RIAA said."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Good for You Video Games? What Will They Think of Next? Reuters reports that "Hollywood Writer Sues Microsoft Over Yoga Game." From the article: "According to his lawsuit, Avary met several times with the Microsoft team, and in 2003, pitched them a detailed concept for a video game designed to lead players through yoga poses using Microsoft's Xbox game console."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Court Rejects Expansion of Contributory Infringement. Law.com reports that "Federal Judge Tosses Porn Purveyor's Copyright Suit Against Credit Card Companies." From the article: "Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Perfect 10 claims credit card companies have a 'special relationship' with the infringing Web site operators since they have enhanced requirements for processing the transactions of such high-risk merchants and impose higher fees for disputed charges on them."

Monday, November 15, 2004

Anti-INDUCE Coalition Forms. Reuters reports that "Anti-Copyright Bill Groups Unite to Fight." From the article: "Opponents of the legislation, from consumer electronics makers to fair-use advocates, contend that the bill goes too far, arguing that provisions in the bill will hamstring technological development, turn normal people into copyright criminals and force the federal government to pay Hollywood's legal bills."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Another Reason to Take Care With Your Copyright Registrations. Law.com reports that "Gallup Mistake Invalidates Copyright." From the article: "In his 17-page opinion in Gallup Inc. v. Kenexa Corp., U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel found that Gallup's copyright registration of its 'Gallup Q-12' employee survey was flawed because the company 'failed to deposit a copy of the work to be copyrighted as it existed when it was allegedly first published.'"

Monday, November 08, 2004

Amicus Weigh in on Grokster Cert Petition. The AP reports that "Court Urged to Hear File-Sharing Case." From the article: "The filings are designed to support a petition made last month by a coalition of major recording companies and Hollywood movie studios who asked the court to reverse lower court decisions clearing Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc. of liability for their customers' online swapping of movies and music."

Saturday, November 06, 2004

SPRAY ON SIDING Sounds Generic to Me. I'd be interested to see if the court actually upholds trademark rights in the term. The AP reports that "Web Site for Complaints Sparks Lawsuit." From the article: "The complaint filed by Alvis alleges that the name of the Townsends' Web site, spraysiding.com, 'is confusingly similar' to the official Alvis site, sprayonsiding.com, as well as its trademark 'Spray on Siding.'"

Thursday, November 04, 2004

MPAA Getting in on the Act. The AP reports in "Source: Movie industry to sue file-sharers." From the article: "The lawsuits will target movie fans who share digitized versions of films over peer-to-peer networks, with the first wave of litigation planned for as early as Thursday, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity."
Amazon Part 2? A reader pointed me to a recent article in Business Week entitled "A Patent Challenge for Dell." From the article: "On Oct. 27, Dell (DELL ) was sued in a U.S. District Court by tiny Virginia outfit DE Technologies, which alleges that the PC giant has infringed on its patent covering a system for 'facilitating international computer-to-computer commercial transactions,' according to the complaint. In plain English: global e-commerce." This is likely one to watch.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

DMCA Injunction Overturned. Bag and Baggage reports in "Lexmark Injunction Reversed."
Sure, Blame it on the Lawyers. Reuters reports in "Grokster Officials Settle Separate Copyright Case." From the article: "Officials with the Grokster file-trading network have agreed to pay $500,000 to settle charges they operated a separate music download service without permission, a recording-industry trade group said on Monday."

Friday, October 22, 2004

Harvard's Own Redford Look-Alike. Terry Fisher will be guest blogging over at Larry's next week.
That's One Way to Easily Prove a Copy is Fake. Reuters reports that "Garcia Marquez Has Last Laugh on Book Pirates." From the article: "Latin American literary giant Gabriel Garcia Marquez has unintentionally won the last laugh on copyright pirates by changing the ending of his latest book, the Nobel laureate's first novel in 10 years."
Don't Mess with Adu. Reuters reports that "U.S. Teen Soccer Prodigy Adu Wins Cybersquatter Case." From the article: "Fushille had contacted Adu's agent seeking majority ownership of the disputed site, participation in corporate advertising negotiations and admission to all matches."
Commercialization Creates Fiduciary Duty? Law.com reports on a recent state appeals court decision in "Calif. Court: Genentech Owes $500M in Royalties."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Monday, October 18, 2004

Let There Be Music. Reuters reports that "Music Publishers Sign $1.7 Bln Deal on Web Radio." From the article: "The settlement, which was approved by U.S. District Court Judge William Conner in New York on Oct. 15, provides stations with the right to perform ASCAP music over the air and as part of a simultaneous stream on radio Web sites, the parties said." (Not that it does me any good now that the firm has blocked all streaming music.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

RIAA Not Going to Court. Reuters reports that "Top Court Won't Weigh Net Music Lawsuit Tactics." From the article: "The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to examine a lower-court ruling that forces music-industry investigators to file a lawsuit to uncover the identities of people who may be copying their songs online."

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Read Up if You're in Maryland. I just got pointed to the Maryland-based Campaign for Verifiable Voting, which is tackling issues of electronic voting in Maryland.
The Copyright Hydra. Reuters reports that "Copyright Bill Dies in Senate as Others Advance." From the article: "Peer-to-peer users who share more than 1,000 songs or other copyrighted works would face up to three years in prison under the bill. U.S. copyright investigators would be able to file civil suits, which require a lower standard of proof than criminal cases, echoing tactics already used by the recording industry."
Creative Commons Hits the Mainstream. The AP reports in "Movement Seeks Copyright Alternatives."

Friday, October 08, 2004

Was There Any Question They Were Seeking Cert? The AP reports that "Court Asked to Settle File-Sharing Dispute." Reuters has this report. Via How Appealing.
The Last Paragraph... seems to show the limitations of having your staff report about a case to which you're a party. Did the argument really to "nowhere in court"? "Freelance battle far from over, Globe executive says."
He May be the Last DJ, but Video Killed the Radio Star. E! Online reports that "Petty Running Down a Lawsuit." From the article: "A California songwriter has filed a $4.5 million breach of oral contract lawsuit against Tom Petty and Los Angeles-based disc jockey Jim Ladd, claiming they swiped his concepts for the basis of Petty's 2002 title track and album, The Last DJ."
So I Guess We Now Know What "More" Means. Law.com reports that "Verizon-Yellow Book Case Ends With Both Parties Claiming Victory." From the article: "Judge Weinstein found that Yellow Book 'violated the Lanham Act by falsely claiming, as to national and some specific geographic areas, that the usage of Yellow Book's yellow pages was substantially greater than it actually was, as compared to the usage of Verizon's SuperPages.' Verizon's directories were used more heavily than Yellow Book's, Weinstein found."

Thursday, October 07, 2004

It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Lady Sings. Internetnews.com reports that "Appeals Court Re-Opens E-Mail Snooping Case." From the article: "This time, seven federal judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston will determine whether Bradford Councilman, former vice president of bookseller and e-mail provider Interloc, Inc. (now Alibris), violated the federal Wiretap Act when he copied inbound e-mails from Amazon.com to gain a competitive advantage."
Time to Start a Pool... on where we'll see them next? Reuters reports that "Music Industry Sues 459 European Net Song-Swappers." Reuters has more here.

Friday, October 01, 2004

ACLU: 1 The New York Times reports that "Judge Strikes Down Section of Patriot Act." From the article:
The ruling invalidated one piece of the law, finding that it violated both free speech guarantees and protection against unreasonable searches. It is thought likely to provide fuel for other court challenges.

The ruling came in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against a kind of subpoena created under the act, known as a national security letter. Such letters could be used in terrorism investigations to require Internet service companies to provide personal information about subscribers and would bar them from disclosing to anyone that they had received a subpoena.
Just Like the Energizer Bunny. Reuters reports that "Recording Industry Sues 762 for Net Music Swaps."
Is it Just Me? Or does 8 years to examine a patent seem like a long time? The AP reports that "Microsoft Vows Fight on Patent Rejection." From the article: "In a preliminary ruling, the government rejected Microsoft Corp.'s 1996 patent on technology for saving files on computers using easy-to-remember names." Update This BoingBoing post answers my question above (it was a reexamination of the patent) and confirms my belief that much of the legal reporting by the major news outlets suffers from a woeful lack of context...

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Should Have Known. Of course Larry provided pro bono services in the bootlegging case I discussed below. You can read Lessig's comments on the case here.
So "Limited Times" Means Something Less than "Forever." Reuters reports that "US Judge Anti-Bootlegging Law Is Unconstitutional." From the article: "U.S. District Judge Harold Baer ruled that the statute banning boot-legging was unconstitutional because it says that copyrights on live performances are protected forever. This, he said, conflicts with the 'limited time' requirements of copyright law."
That Play Sounds Awfully Familiar... The AP reports in "Playwright Lavery Accused of Plagiarism." From the article: "English playwright Bryony Lavery has been accused of plagiarizing passages from a criminal psychiatrist and a magazine writer in her Tony Award-nominated play about a serial killer and his psychiatrist."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

More on the Parks Case. E!Online reports that "Parks' Dementia Can't Stop Rap Suit."
Never Thought You'd See the Word "Star" Used to Refer to a Patent Lawyer, Did You? Law.com reports that "Bar Stars Shine in $82 Million Patent Case." From the article: "A case pitting two of the biggest names in IP law against each other came to a head Tuesday, when an Oakland, Calif., jury awarded $82 million to a San Jose, Calif., company, finding that Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. infringed two patents."

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

When Old Agreements Attack. Sounds rather like the Apple/Beatles case... Law.com reports in "Putting a Legal Lock on 'Kryptonite'." From the article:
DC Comics filed suit alleging infringement, unfair competition and dilution of the trademark, as well as state law claims that Kryptonite Corp. was using kryptonite and other words containing "krypto" to confuse consumers into believing there was a connection between its products and the Superman legend.

The lock company counterclaimed for recision of its agreement with DC Comics, saying the purposes of the agreement had been "substantially frustrated."
Derrivative Work? CNN reports in "Artists sue O'Donnell over sketches." From the article: "Two courtroom artists are suing former TV talk show host Rosie O'Donnell for copyright infringement, accusing her of trying to pass off photographs of their sketches of her as work she produced."
New Revelation in the Rosa Parks Trial. The AP reports in "Lawyer: Rosa Parks has dementia, can't testify."
Not My Twinkies! Actually, I'm more of a HoHos fan. CNN reports that "Interstate Bakeries files for bankruptcy." From the article: "It said in a statement the filing was brought on by liquidity issues, resulting from declining sales, a high fixed-cost structure, excess industry capacity, rising employee healthcare and pension costs and higher costs for ingredients and energy."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Took Him A While... Law.com reports that "Calif. Man Claims 'Apprentice' Producer Stole Show Idea." From the article: "Bethea, who claims he registered his show idea with the Writers Guild of America in August 2000, is seeking damages for copyright infringement, breach of implied contract and unfair competition."

Monday, September 20, 2004

Grandchild of Eldred? Wired reports in "Saving the Artistic Orphans." From the article: "Valuable resources are being lost to students, researchers and historians because of sweeping changes in copyright law, according to digital archivists who are suing the government."
It's That Time of Year Again. Merger season. Law.com reports in "Piper Rudnick in Early Merger Talks With Gray Cary" and "Fish & Neave Flirts With Ropes & Gray."

Friday, September 17, 2004

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Spam, Spam, Go Away... Internetnews.com reports in "A Pattern Language For Spam." From the article: "Anti-spam vendor Commtouch said it has acquired a patent covering a method of identifying and eliminating spam."
Taking it to the ... Phones? Wired reports in "Big Anti-Induce Campaign Planned." From the article: "Thousands of people have signed up to call their congressional representatives Tuesday to protest the Induce Act, a controversial copyright bill that many fear would undermine the legal protections that allow consumers to make personal copies of music or movies they've bought."
Patent Litigators, Read Up. How Appealing reports on the recent en banc Federal Circuit ruling here, in which the court held that it is no longer appropriate to draw an adverse inference that an opinion of counsel was or would have been unfavorable from an alleged infringer's failure to produce an exculpatory opinion of counsel.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Eighth Circuit Affirms in Gateway. How Appealing reports here.
The Best Argument For Coming Up With a Distinctive Trademark. The Boston Globe reports in "The John Smith of banks." From the article: "A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Citizens must take its name off branches in parts of Western Pennsylvania, saying the name conflicted too closely with another Citizens bank, this one called Citizens National Bank of Evans City." Via How Appealing.
He Should Have Just Added "Sucks" to the Domain Name. The Washington Post reports that "AU President Challenges Web Site That Bears His Name." From the article: "Two and a half years after Wetmore started the Web site -- and a year after he graduated -- attorneys for AU President Benjamin Ladner have filed a complaint challenging Wetmore's right to the Web address www.benladner.com, saying the site unfairly trades on 'the goodwill' associated with Ladner's name." (And yes, having quotes around the words "the goodwill," along with the later reference to ICANN, are some of my pet peeves with having non-lawyers write legal analysis pieces. Sigh.)
I Just Might Have to Get One of These. The LA Times has an op-ed about the newest Schwarzenegger bobblehead entitled "Schwarzenegger Is Fair Game." Via How Appealing. More on the previous case here.
Copyright Office Enters INDUCE Act Fray. Wired reports in "Copyright Proposal Induces Worry." From the article: "The copyright office proposed that a company that makes technologies that help individuals digitally transmit copyright materials to the public will be liable if the firm relies on such infringing activities to make money or attract people to its service." You can see Register Peterson's remarks here. What I want to know is what constitutes "rel[ying] on infringement for its commercial viability"? Would Apple's "rip mix burn" ad campaign run afoul of the INDUCE Act? Of course, Copyfight has the complete roundup here.
Fitting Revenge for Sending Us Crocodile Dundee. Wired reports that "U.S. Exports DMCA Down Under." From the article: "Australia appears ready to adopt U.S-style copyright laws, courtesy of a Free Trade Agreement deal negotiated between the two countries."
Nothing New Under the Sun? Check out this interesting post on BoingBoing about the genealogy of Hello Kitty: "Is Hello Kitty a Copycat? Update: Nope, she just shares DNA with a rabbit."
Sounds Like They're Trying to Copyright an Idea. Although, if it means that we on this side of the pond will be spared "The X Factor," I might be all for it. Reuters reports that "'Pop Idol' Creator Sues Cowell Over Rival Show." From the article: "The creator of U.K. talent show 'Pop Idol' and its U.S. spinoff 'American Idol' is suing his former collaborators, including Simon Cowell, claiming that their new project is a rip-off of the global 'Idol' format." Of course, you can count on Page Six for the gossip behind the headlines.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Friday, September 10, 2004

So Does Filming Emergency Room Patients for a Political Ad Receive More or Less Protection Than Filming for an Emergency Room "Reality" Show? Law.com reports in "Tort Reform Infomercial Sparks Privacy Suit."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Lessig on Sixth Circuit Sampling Ruling. You can read Lessig's comments here.
Your Congress in Action. We can't get them to act on a bill to overturn Mosely, but they're more than willing to further criminalize copyright infringement (frankly, if the punishments provided for by the current Copyright Act aren't enough to deter P2P, I'm not sure this will). Reuters reports in "House Panel OKs Copyright, Spyware Bills."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

This Seems to Go Too Far. The AP reports in "Court: Sampling May Violate Copyright Law." From the article: "A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that rap artists should pay for every musical sample included in their work — even minor, unrecognizable snippets of music." Copyright liability for sampling three notes seems to run afowl of the de minimis limitiation on copyright protection. You can access the Sixth Circuit's opinion here, where you will find the following response to my de minimis argument:
This analysis admittedly raises the question of why one should, without infringing, be able to take three notes from a musical composition, for example, but not three notes by way of sampling from a sound recording. Why is there no de minimis taking or why should substantial similarity not enter the equation.(10) Our first answer to this question is what we have earlier indicated. We think this result is dictated by the applicable statute. Second, even when a small part of a sound recording is sampled, the part taken is something of value.(11) No further proof of that is necessary than the fact that the producer of the record or the artist on the record intentionally sampled because it would (1) save costs, or (2) add something to the new recording, or (3) both. For the sound recording copyright holder, it is not the “song” but the sounds that are fixed in the medium of his choice. When those sounds are sampled they are taken directly from that fixed medium. It is a physical taking rather than an intellectual one.
Talk About High Risk Litigation. The AP reports that "Disney May Sell Trademarks Over Suit." From the article: "The trademarks, which include well-known images such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, could be sold locally to pay Linda's heirs if they win their lawsuit, according to Tuesday's ruling."

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Ninth Circuit Tightens Evidentiary Requirements for Receipt of Damages, Profits in Copyright Cases. How Appealing has this report on a recent Ninth Circuit ruling involving Timex and "extreme kayaking."
Is That a Blue Moon I See? Wired reports in "Strange Bedfellows in E-Mail Case." From the article: "Civil liberties groups made common cause today with the Justice Department, a traditional target of their lawsuits, by filing court papers supporting the government's appeal of a court ruling that said internet service providers are allowed to snoop on their customers."

Friday, September 03, 2004

Google Keyword Policy May Support a Claim for Trademark Infringement. Given Google's refusal to cease using trademarks as keywords, even in response to trademark notifications, I'm sure a lot of people will be watching this case closely, including some of my clients. C-Net reports that "Geico gets green light to sue Google, Overture."
I'm Sure There's a Trademark Comment to be Made Somewhere. Sorry for the subscription/daypass only link, but Salon considers which brands voters associate with the two candidates in "The hole in Bush's image." I'm a Krispy Kreme girl, myself. Update. Here's the original article from The Guardian.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I Bet the Going-rate on eBay Just Shot Up. E!Online reports in "Leo and Tobey Still 'Plum' Mad."
"The Hollywood A-listers have joined forces to file a lawsuit seeking to block a former colleague from releasing the 1995 film Don's Plum. Both stars appeared in the ultra-low-budget art flick as a 'favor' to writer-director R.D. Robb and some acting buddies, supposedly under the condition that the film never be released in the U.S. Now, according to their joint lawsuit, one of the film's producers, John Schindler, wants to put out the film in the U.S. against both actors' wishes."
Time for a New Balancing Test. How Appealing has this round-up of coverage about the recent Federal Circuit DMCA opinion in the Skylink case.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Why You Would Ever Bring a Trade Dress Suit in the Second Circuit is Beyond Me. As a plaintiff, the only jurisdiction I can think of that I'd rather be in less than the Second Circuit is the Seventh. And this is why. From the article, entitled "Vuitton Loses Dooney-Bourke Trademark Bid": "Louis Vuitton created a new look and now seeks to preclude others from following its lead," Scheindlin said. "If Louis Vuitton succeeds, then it will have used the law to achieve an unwarranted anticompetitive result ... the objective of trademark law is not to harm competition."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

So, is This More Like a VCR, or More Like DeCSS? Reuters reports in Homegrown Satellite Radio Software Draws XM Fire." From the article: "A spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America said his organization had not reviewed the software, but said that in principle it was disturbed by the idea. 'We remain concerned about any devices or software that permit listeners to transform a broadcast into a music library,' RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said."

Friday, August 27, 2004

They're Baaack. From The New York Times, "Prepare to See More of a Certain Cat and Bunny." Via The Trademark Blog.
One More. To go with Marty's list of Source Material on Regulation of Political Speech, let's add "Statement by President Bush Wednesday after signing campaign finance legislation, as provided by the White House": "I believe individual freedom to participate in elections should be expanded, not diminished; and when individual freedoms are restricted, questions arise under the First Amendment." A little partisan commentary here and here. For good measure, let's get a conservative's take.
Unhand that Domain. Reuters reports that "Spike Lee wins case against porn site."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

If it's in the Public Domain, Ludlow isn't "Allowing" Them to do Anything... The AP reports that "Guthrie publisher lets cartoon use song." From the article:
With nary a jab thrown, Ludlow Music, the song's publisher, agreed in a settlement Tuesday to allow the cartoon -- one of the biggest Internet draws of the summer -- to keep using the song.
In return, JibJab dropped a lawsuit against Ludlow that sought an order saying its use of the song was protected because it was a parody and "This Land" was in the public domain.
The creators also agreed to provide a link on their Web site to the song's original lyrics and to donate 20 percent of any profits to the Woody Guthrie Foundation.

More On Yesterday's Raids. The Washington Post reports in "Suspected File-Sharing 'Hubs' Raided." From the article: "Agents also went to the Dallas offices of the Planet Internet Services Inc., an Internet service provider that also hosts Web pages for businesses."
Tired of Hearing About the INDUCE Act Yet? Wired reports in "Induce Act Draws Support, Venom." The AP reports here.
Political Cybersquatting. The AP reports in "Utah Man Buys Up Domain Names in Bush Push." From the article: "Jed Merrill, 28, of Park City, Utah, has registered the Web addresses of vermontdemocrats.com, mainedemocrats.com, massachusettsdemocrats.com and rhode-islanddemocrats.com, and linked them to the GOP site." I must say, I think the Vermont Democratic Party's reliance on Google to sort it all out is misplaced, and ignores the fact that there are measures the Democrats can take to stop Mr. Merrill.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

File Traders the New Mafia? Reuters reports in "U.S. Raids Net Song Swappers in Copyright Crackdown." From the article:"'They are clearly directing and operating an enterprise which countenances illegal activity and makes as a condition of membership the willingness to make available material to be stolen,' [Ashcroft] said." Internetnews.com has this report. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that "Music Industry Sues 744 for File Sharing." Internetnews.com reports in "RIAA Steps Up P2P Legal Campaign."
France Fighting For Your Right to Copy? The AP reports in "Lawsuit Challenges Anti-Piracy Technology." From the article:
The lawsuit accuses EMI and Fnac of "deception over the material qualities of a product."

Filed on behalf of several individual consumers, it alleges that the copy protection system used on certain EMI discs makes it impossible to play them on many car stereos, hi-fi's and personal computers.
Clash of the Casual Wear Titans. The AP reports that "Adidas Files Trademark Lawsuit Against Ralph Lauren." From the article: "Adidas, the No. 2 athletic shoe company in the world after Beaverton-based Nike Inc., claims that a Polo jacket with two stripes on its sleeves bears too close a resemblance to an Adidas jacket with three stripes." Via The Trademark Blog.
PM ACPA Ruling. The Trademark Blog reports that "Philip Morris Seizes Domain Name of Infringer."
Posner on Fair Use. Regardless of which side of the issue you're on, you should really be reading Judge Posner's posts on fair use over at Larry's blog. From a recent post:
"With regard to the Patry-Posner proposal for creating a new fair-use defense for unauthorized copying of old copyrighted workers if the copier was unable with reasonable effort to discover the name and address of the current holder of the copyright, several commenters point out that one of the objections to the pre-1976 system, where failure to renewal forfeited copyright, was that people often just forgot to renew or botched the renewal application. No doubt there were unfortunate such incidents. But in general forgetting to renew or botching the application is pretty good evidence that the copyright had little remaining value. People are careful with property that they think valuable. Failure to renew even if inadvertent is pretty good evidence of lack of value."
Get Your JibJab On. Wired reports in "JibJab Is Free for You and Me." From the article: "Ludlow, meanwhile, registered the song under copyright in 1956 as an original copyright registration, not the renewal. The company was apparently unaware that because Guthrie had already published the song, the terms of copyright began in 1945, not 1956, Schultz said." BoingBoing has this commentary, while Copyfight weighs in here.
INDUCE Act on the Operating Table. Wired reports that "Copyright Bill Needs Big Changes." From the article: "In response to a request from a Senate committee, consumer electronics companies and public-interest groups on Tuesday submitted changes to a controversial copyright bill that would hold technology companies liable for encouraging people to infringe copyright."
Free Mickey? Reuters reports in "Disney Asks Court to Spring Mickey Mouse." From the article: "The U.S. entertainment giant went to a South African court Tuesday seeking to set aside an order which holds some 240 of its most famous trademarks -- including Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck -- hostage to the outcome of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over the copyright to the song 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight.'"
New Round in the DVD Wars. Reuters reports that "Movie Industry Sues More DVD Chip Makers on Piracy." From the article: "The MPAA said the suits against Sigma Designs Inc. and MediaTek Inc. followed testing that it said proved the two were selling microchips to companies, whose DVD players lack what the MPAA called 'appropriate security features.'"

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

IP Concerns Come to the Fore at Standards Group. C-Net reports in "Microsoft quits U.N. standards group."
First Amendment Doesn't Preemptively Protect Companies Beyond U.S. Borders. Law.com reports in "On Appeal, Anti-Nazi Groups Topple Yahoo." From the article:
"Yahoo obtains commercial advantage from the fact that users located in France are able to access its Web site … Yahoo cannot expect both to benefit from the fact that its content may be viewed around the world and to be shielded from the resulting costs," Ferguson wrote for the majority. "If Yahoo violates the speech laws of another nation, it must wait for the foreign litigants to come to the United States to enforce the judgment before its First Amendment claim may be heard by a U.S. court."
The AP has this report, and Reuters has this report.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Posner on Fair Use. Richard Posner has taken up residence at Larry's Blog this week, and has an interesting proposal regarding fair use and copyright terms. Worth a read...
More on Graham Copyright Case. Law.com reports in "Dances by Graham Held 'Work for Hire' in Ownership Case."
More on Real Backlash. Wired reports in "Is Real a Real Hypocrite?." From the article: "Mac users also took offense to Real's claims of music choice, because its Rhapsody digital music-subscription service is not available for the Mac."

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Schwarzenegger Wins Another One. The AP is reporting in "Car Dealer Apologizes to Schwarzenegger." From the article: "Schwarzenegger sued the auto dealer in 2002, before he became governor, for allegedly violating his right of publicity. A federal appeals court dismissed the case in June, saying California courts had no jurisdiction to hear it because the ads never were shown in California."

Friday, August 20, 2004

Lest You Think the RIAA is Losing... The AP reports that "Music Piracy Lawsuits Wend Through Courts." From the article: "So far, however, record companies are largely winning their cases, according to a review by The Associated Press of hundreds of lawsuits. They did lose a major ruling this week when a U.S. appeals court in California said manufacturers of software that can be used to download music illegally aren't liable, leaving record labels to pursue lawsuits against Internet users."
Grokster Press Round-up. How Appealing has a pretty complete listing of mainstream press coverage here.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

PTO Browser Patent Smackdown. C-Net reports that "Microsoft wins again in Eolas patent dispute." From the article: "In the second of what are projected to be three opinions, or 'office actions,' on the case, the Patent Office rejected all 10 patent claims under review, according to a source familiar with the document. The agency's first office action on the matter came in February." Amazing that mere issuance of a second office action can be considered newsworthy.
Yeah, But Who Received Royalties for Use of the "Thriller" Dance in 13 Going on 30? How Appealing takes note of this recent Second Circuit decision which relates to "several copyright and contract issues relating primarily to dances choreographed by the late Martha Graham."
First There Was Tarnishment, Now There's Trashing... Marty has some interesting observations on the new FreedomofMusicChoice.org website here. C-Net reports on the negative reaction that had greeted the campaign in "Real gets flamed over iPod campaign." Guess they didn't realize that people are more protective of Apple and their iPods than my former partners were of their Blackberries...
Expect More Calls for the INDUCE Act Now. The Ninth Circuit today affirmed the lower court's ruling in Grokster. You can read the opinion here. The Berkman Center has a post about the decision here. The AP reports here. C-Net has this report. As always, Copyfight is all over it. Slightly OT theory regarding the push for the INDUCE Act here, a roundup of some posts regarding the Act here, and a New York Times critique here.
Tussle Over 'Rings' Revenue. Reuters reports that "'Rings' Rights-Holder Sues for $20 Million Royalties." From the article: "Movie and music mogul Saul Zaentz has sued the studio behind the hit "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy for more than $20 million in unpaid royalties, Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety reported on Thursday."
More on Counterfeit Tiffany Goods on EBay. Law.com reports in "Tiffany and eBay Clash Over Sales of Fake Goods." From the article: "Tiffany has taken a different tack and says it has a considerably bigger problem. It monitors eBay regularly, using a system its officials declined to describe. In one five-month period it notified eBay of 19,000 efforts to sell suspected fake Tiffany goods, it said in its court complaint, about 125 a day. All were removed by eBay."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

What's in Your Employment Contract? Salon takes a look at a legal fight over who owns employees' ideas in "We own what you think." (Subscription or day pass required.) From the article:
"What I found most remarkable about Evan Brown's case was that this was the first time an intellectual-property agreement was enforced on something that didn't yet exist," says Lai, who criticized the decision in the Spring 2003 issue of the John Marshall Journal of Computer & Information Law. "I do think it is a big deal because this sets a precedent. It's going to be binding precedent in Texas, and it certainly is something state courts might look at, especially if they have never faced this kind of case."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Hands Off Hopkins. The New York Times reports on the latest round of Acacia shakedows in "Internet Patent Claims Stir Concern." (Hopkins is my alma mater.)
Looks Like a Useful Service. From Internetnews.com, "Sue a Spoofer Today." I question whether it's really necessary to have a separate trademark registration specifically for your domain name. As long as your company's trademark is incorporated into the domain name, I think you could prove confusing similarity. The cost doesn't seem to be that far out of line (although I question what could possibly be in the "Build My Case" kit for $125). But the website really could stand to be toned down a bit - they're trying a bit too hard, which makes it sound like they're trying to sell you snake oil.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I Guess I Spoke Too Soon. Apparently Warner's dalliance with the MP3 blogs wasn't received all that favorably. Read more in "Warner's tryst with bloggers hits sour note."
No Contributory Copyright Infringement for Credit Card Companies. Law.com reports in "Federal Judge Finds Internet Porn Suit Is No Perfect 10." From the article:
"The ability to process credit cards does not directly assist the allegedly infringing Web sites in copying plaintiff's works," according to the decision, which was released Aug. 6. "Defendants do not provide the means for distributing those works to others, nor do they provide bandwidth or storage space with which to transfer or store the works."

Friday, August 13, 2004

Who Knew Librarians Could Be So Uppity? Wired reports in "Copyright Crusaders Hit Schools." From the article: "For the third year in a row, software companies are supplying schools with materials that promote their antipiracy position on copyright law. But for the first time this year, the library association is presenting its own material, hoping to give kids a more balanced view of copyright law."
Right of Publicity Suit Against Outkast to Move Forward. E!Online reports in "Parks Gets Doctor's Note."

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Sounds Like They Need A Collective or Certification Mark... C-Net reports on a LINUX trademark dustup in Australia in "Torvalds asked to step into Linux trademark fight."
Looks Like the Site has Already Been Taken Down. The AP reports that "Falwell wins Web site ruling." Reviewing the Google cache, I don't think you could seriously argue that consumers would be confused. Instead, I think you would have to rely on an initial interest confusion analysis.
From the World of Bad Puns. Howard reports on a recent Fed Circuit ruling in "Urine trouble."
Where Does Your Town Stand? Law.com reports in "Playing Politics With the Patriot Act." From the article: "The Toledo City Council passed Gerken's 'Resolution to Support a Free, Safe and Secure Toledo' on Dec. 9, 2003, by a vote of 10-2, joining a mounting number of towns, cities and states that have spoken out on the Patriot Act. According to the American Civil Liberties Union Web site, 342 localities to date have passed measures opposing the act, which bestowed new powers on federal law enforcement to aid in the fight against terrorism."
Just Like the Energizer Bunny. You can read the latest installment in the Nissan Motor Co. v. Nissan Computer Co. case here. Highlights: use of Nissan.com in connection with automobile-related uses held infringing, other uses held not infringing. Under the Dilution Act, the period from which fame must be measured is the first commercial use of a mark which includes the allegedly famous mark, regardless of whether such usage was confusing or could have been challenged on trademark infringement grounds. (Thus, the relevant usage was the first use of Nissan Computers, not the first use of Nissan.com.) Finally, an injunction prohibiting the website owner from including links to websites that are disparaging or contain negative commentary about the plaintiff constitutes and impermissible content-based restriction on non-commercial speech, in violation of the First Amendment.
Now For Something Completely Different. A music label encouraging use of its catalogue by an MP3 blog! Glad to say that I've bought a number of Warner Brothers CDs through the years (as the post notes, they're the label for R.E.M., one of my favorite bands). Go, Warner Brothers!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Lessig Takes On NBC. Larry has an op-ed in Wired entitled "Copyrighting the President" about NBC's refusal to license a one minute clip from President Bush's Meet the Press interview for use in the upcoming documentary Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War.
Like Printing Money... Reuters reoports that "Google to Pay Yahoo to Settle Patent Dispute." From the article: "Google Inc. on Monday again boosted the number of shares it plans to sell in its initial public offering, saying it will issue 2.7 million shares to Yahoo Inc. to settle a lawsuit over technology used to display ads."
Now That's A Movie I'd Take Credit For... Certainly before White Chicks. Reuters reports that "Author ponders lawsuit over 'Village'."

Monday, August 09, 2004

And You Thought the DMCA Was Bad... BoingBoing reports that "Canadian RIAA calls for stronger copyright measures than in the US." From the linked article:
Canada has moved slowly on this issue, however, due in large measure to concerns arising from the U.S. experience. Under the U.S. system, computer-generated notices have become the standard, with errors becoming the norm. For example, notices have been sent to take down a child's Harry Potter book report, a sound recording by a university professor mistakenly identified as a song by a well-known recording artist, and an archive of public-domain films.

In fact, one study of the U.S. experience found that some ISPs receive tens of thousands of notices every month with only a handful actually relating to materials found on their networks.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

We Need A Shepardizing System for UDRP Decisions. Forgive me if this already exists, but I haven't seen it. I just came across a WIPO decision from 2002, PWC Business Trust v. Ultimate Search. If I'm reading this correctly, the panel seems to indicate that the fairly common practice of "parking" a domain name with a search engine or other list of links qualifies as a "bona fide offering of goods or services," so as to demonstrate a legitimate interest in the domain name. If this decision is good "law," it seems like a lot of bad-faith registrants can get off scott free... Although this decision seems to limit it to cases where the domain name involves "descriptive" terms (which actually goes beyond the limitation provided for in one of the cases the arbitrator cites, which approves of this practice with regard to "generic" words).
Required Reading for Every Firm IT Manager. In retrospect, I'm really starting to appreciate some of my previous firm's attempts to deploy technology to increase efficiency and make client interaction easier. I'm not sure it was always implemented in the right way (too much doing something just to do it, without always having a reason; mucked up processes that cast too wide a net rather than a narrowly focused one), but I must say that it was far more flexible in the technological area than my current firm, which locks everything down to the point where you have to have IT intervention to install QuickTime so that you can view a file sent to you by your client... Sigh. Anyway, check out some interesting comments on technology and the practice of law in this week's "Five by Five."
They're Even Reporting on This Overseas. BBC Online reports on the recent Yahoo! lawsuit in "Yahoo sued over anonymous abuse."

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Wading into the Fray. C-Net reports that "State AGs warn file-sharing companies."
France's Antitrust Laws Must Be Less Stringent than the U.S.'s for this to Succeed... C-Net reports in "Virgin: Apple's not playing fair with iPod." From the article: "French online music store Virgin Mega has filed a complaint against Apple Computer, claiming that the company's refusal to license the copy protection technology used in its iPod is harming competition."
On the Patent Risk to Linux. C-Net reports in "Patent problems pester penguin ." From the article: "However, what is unique to free and open-source software is that users are more likely to be called upon to provide their own legal defense against patent claims. Proprietary software users can expect their vendor to provide such legal defense because such legal costs are built into the price of the proprietary license."
Should You Kill Off Your Brands? BrandChannel reports in "Forcing Brands into Early Retirement." One question though: How does one truly "retire" a brand while keeping "[l]egal rights to the discontinued brand . . .lest the dead brand later come back as a rival" without committing fraud on the PTO, or at the very least making it vulnerable to a cancellation proceeding?
This DJ Was Made for You and Me. Wired reports in "JibJabbing for Artists' Rights." From the article: "'This is an important case to set the tone for artists and authors who want to make use of famous works,' said Fred von Lohmann, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing JibJab."
New IP Law Blawg. Mark Partridge of Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson has a new-ish Blawg called "Guiding Rights Blog."
Everybody's Ganging Up on Google... Law.com reports that "Casino Come-Ons Return Bad Result for Search Sites." From the article:
The plaintiffs firm filed a class action against Yahoo Inc., Google Inc. and 10 other Internet search engines that claims they have been promoting illegal gambling on their Web sites and requests that they fork over the ad revenue.
The complaint, filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court, requests that the search engines put revenue from advertising Internet gambling into a fund that would provide restitution to California Indian Tribes or other licensed gambling businesses in California. The complaint says money in the fund would also go to the spouses of gamblers who have had community property taken away as a result of illegal gambling and to the state treasury.

Not sure I see why the funds should go specifically to legal gambling facilities in California, unless the damages were limited to those revenues received from advertising to California residents.
Talk About High-Stakes Patent Litigation. Law.com reports that "Entire District Bench Recused in Murder-for-Hire Case." From the article:
Alsup presided over a patent case that Mohsen lost. After that litigation ended, Alsup found that Mohsen had doctored evidence, and a federal grand jury charged him with perjury. Alsup was also the judge in the criminal case.
Mohsen was in custody and awaiting trial in the criminal case when he allegedly approached another inmate about intimidating witnesses and killing Alsup, according to a federal indictment made public last week.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Another Take on the ClearPlay Legislation. The Blawg Channel argues that "We need Moral Rights not morals rights." From the post: "Rather than adopting this act, maybe its time to take responsibility for ourselves and to pass a Moral Rights act (stronger than VARA) that protects the ability of authors to protect the fate of their works from censorship, destruction, modification and infringement. We already have fast forward and skip scene to censor the films ourselves and do not need federal legislation to tell us we can do that."
Go Big Blue. The New York Times reports that "In Competitive Move, I.B.M. Puts Code in Public Domain."
Interesting Questions. Wired reports in "Navigating a Patent Minefield" that "Edwin Stone and Val Sheffield, professors at the University of Iowa, have discovered links between 15 genes and certain eye diseases, which means genetic tests could be developed for the diseases. But often the scientists find the genes or parts of them have already been patented. Any diagnostic test involving a patented gene could infringe on someone's intellectual property."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Australia: A Nation of Outlaws (Literally). The Sydney Morning Herald reports in "Click at your own risk." From the article: "Anyone who has copied songs from a CD onto an iPod or computer hard drive has fallen foul of Australian copyright laws, which critics argue are failing to keep pace with technological change. Copying music for personal use is generally OK in the US and Europe. But not in Australia."
More on Apple/Real Dustup. The Boston Globe reports in "Apple's music operation hits a sour note."
So Long, 321. Reuters reports that "Court Bars Sale of 321 Studios Game-Copy Program." From the article: "321 has ceased operations, according to its Web site, and an independent online vendor is running a close-out sale on 321 products not subject to an injunction."
Guess They're Going to Be Collectors Items Now. E!Online reports that "Arnold KOs Bobblehead." Howard has a round-up of relevant posts here.
Why Didn't I Think of This? Reuters reports that "Web Addiction Gets Finnish Conscripts Out of Army." From the article: "Doctors have found the young men miss their computers too much to cope with their compulsory six months in the forces."
Dueling Buzzwords. Law.com reports in "Pitching the Patriot Act." From the article: "The Ashcroft Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union don't find themselves on the same side of many issues -- least of all the USA Patriot Act. Yet the DOJ and the ACLU Web sites devoted to the controversial law share an ironic symmetry./On the DOJ site, a banner reads 'Preserving Life and Liberty.' On the ACLU site, the motto is 'Keeping America Safe and Free.'"

Monday, August 02, 2004

I Liked the Macintosh. Certainly better that the Windows "blue screen of death"... The New York Times reports in "It's BlackBerry Season, but Maybe Not for Long." From the article: "Today, the BlackBerry faces formidable competition. A well-financed Silicon Valley start-up, Good Technology, has developed software that is arguably superior to BlackBerry's. It is the first to continuously and wirelessly synchronize every module of Outlook, needing no cradle to connect gadget to computer. The BlackBerry has yet to catch up....Danny Shader, Good's chief executive, compares his company with the BlackBerry this way: 'We're a Windows application - they're the Macintosh.'"
This Could Have Interesting Ramifications. C-Net reports that "Symantec sued for labeling product 'adware'."
Wait, it's Tax Free? BoingBoing reports that "Irish RIAA wants more copyright for tax-free artists."
JibJab DJ. Wired reports that "JibJab Asks for Court's Help." From the article: "JibJab Media, a small Web animation outfit, on Thursday asked a California district court to declare that it did not violate the copyrights of Ludlow Music, the owner of Woody Guthrie's song 'This Land is Your Land,' which is the basis of a satirical JibJab cartoon lampooning the presidential candidates." That's a quick turn around for a complaint... Copyfight has more here.
Time to Pay Up. Wired reports that "Canada Music Biz Bites Dentists." From the article: "But dentists like Dean -- who play their iPods, CDs or the radio and broadcast it through the office for patient enjoyment -- are now required to pay licensing fees on the copyright music they play."

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Not Quite What They Bargained For. The AP reports that "copies" of Clinton's autobiography, which in fact contain excerpts from Hillary's autobiography, are on sale in China in "Bogus Clinton Book on Sale in China." From the article: "'There's sort of a habit developed here that anything ... in the print media, is essentially in the public domain and allowed to be `borrowed,' if you will,' said Charles M. Martin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China."

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Here it Comes. CNNMoney reports in "Apple: RealNetworks hacked iPod." From the article: "Apple said Thursday it is looking into Real's actions under various laws, including the Digital Copyright Millennium Act (DMCA), which prohibits the manufacture, sale or distribution of code-breaking devices used to illegally copy software." Reuters has this report, while the AP reports here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

RIAA Wins One. C-Net reports that "Judge: RIAA can unmask file swappers."
Add France to the List of Countries to Avoid if You Want Your P2P Fix. The AP reports that "French ISPs to Crack Down on Music Pirates."
Depends on What the Definition of "More" Is? Law.com reports that "Verizon, Yellow Book Square Off in Court Over False-Ad Claim." At issue are ads with claims like: More people choose Yellow Book, not the Other Book." Seems like an instance of deliberate ambiguity. "More people" as in numerically larger? or "more people" as in a greater number than previously. Interesting case.
Anime in Court. And this time it's not for violating community decency standards. Wired reports in "Eyes Wide Open Over Anime Piracy."

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Law of Unintended Consequences at Work. ZDNet UK reports in "Beware of open-and-shut cases." From the article, discussing the Lindows case: "What seemed like an open and shut case of trademark infringement ended with the smaller firm $20 million and a whole lot of publicity better off. Microsoft on the other hand has been left looking not just like a bully for instigating the lawsuit--but an inept one for losing. Not only that, but the company has left a big-fat question mark over the validity of its Windows trademark--not a great day in court by any means. I'd almost feel sorry for Microsoft if it wasn't so funny." Via The Trademark Blog.
Should Have Know the Parody Would Run into Trouble. BoingBoing reports that "Woody Guthrie's copyright used to defile his memory in lawsuit threat." If you haven't seen the animation yet, check it out. Marty weighs in here. More here.
Something Worth Tuning In For. Lessig announces guest bloggers for August: UVa law professor Tim Wu, Congressman Rick Boucher, and Judge Richard Posner. This should be interesting.

Monday, July 26, 2004

More SSRN Articles. David McGowann has an article entitled "SCO What? Rhetoric, Law, and the Future of F/OSS Production." From the abstract" "Using litigation between The SCO Group and IBM as an example, this essay relates the rhetoric that drives open-source software as a social movement to legal issues open-source production faces. The essay argues that social movement rhetoric creates noise that makes legal issues more difficult to understand and resolve."

Jean Nicholas Druey has an article entitled "Information Cannot be Owned: There is More of a Difference than Many Think." From the abstract: "Apart from technology, the information age has up to now badly served its idol. It has failed sufficiently to recognize specific features of information. This is shown with respect to the question whether legal rights on information can take the form of ownership. The answer is negative considering that communication by its very nature is free and constitutes a basic value, and furthermore that law is itself information and cannot systematically dispose of information flows."

Raymond Shih Ray Ku has an article entitled "Copyright, the Constitution & Progress." From the abstract: "This essay builds upon his existing scholarship, in which Professor Ku argues that the new economics of digital technology question the application of copyright's exclusive rights to file sharing because peer-to-peer technology eliminates the need for distributor middlemen. And, a system of levies and compulsory licenses would guarantee compensation for artists while providing the public with unlimited access to the collective works of humanity."
Fan Sites Are Now Worthy of Criminal Prosecution? Surely there are better uses of the FBI's resources right now. BoingBoing reports that "Stargate fan-site operator busted under anti-terrorism law."
Just Came Across This. Mark Lemley has an interesting article up on SSRN called "Ex Ante Versus Ex Post Justifications for Intellectual Property."
That Was Fast. BoingBoing reports that "30,000 anti-Induce Act letters sent to Congress."
Wonder if There's a DMCA Claim Here? The New York Times reports that "RealNetworks Plans to Sell Songs to Be Played on iPods." Via BoingBoing.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

I Wonder if Tourists Have Different Potato Chip Preferences than Native Chicagoans? The Chicago Tribune reports that "Judge finds Lay's Jays ads 'unsavory, tasteless'." From the article: "The judge found that Frito-Lay couldn't support its claim that Chicagoans preferred its chips because testers hadn't screened out participants who weren't from Chicago." The Chicago Sun-Times has this report. Via How Appealing.
They Just Can't Win. The AP reports that "ACLU lawsuit against Ohio's punch card ballots first in nation to go to trial." From the article: "The ACLU wants all punch-card ballots in the state removed before November, saying the system is antiquated and causes errors that lead to undercounting of minority group votes."