Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Supreme Court Round-Up. has articles about yesterday's oral arguments:
From "High Court Divided in Grokster Case": "But the Court was clearly divided, with several justices expressing frustration over the dearth of factual findings about the magnitude of copyright infringement in the case. The fact that the dispute was appealed only after a summary judgment ruling in favor of Grokster made it appear possible that the Court might put off a ruling by remanding it to lower courts to develop the record."

From "In Broadband Case, Justices Seem Attuned to Internet Services' Arguments": "Though the Bush administration and the cable industry made a strong argument for deference, the justices seemed surprisingly receptive to arguments by Internet services that are seeking access to cable lines in the same way that phone companies have to give access to competitors."

The AP has this report on the Grokster case. Finally, reads the tea leaves here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Round Up: Today's Oral Arguments. The AP reports in "Supreme Court Weighs in on File-Sharing." From the article: "During a lively argument, justices wondered aloud whether such lawsuits might have discouraged past inventions like copy machines, videocassette recorders and iPod portable music players — all of which can be used to make illegal duplications of copyrighted documents, movies and songs." Reuters has this report. BoingBoing has this analysis and these links. reports here. C-Net weighs in here and here. You can get CNN's take here, or get the LA Times' view here. Wired has this report. SCOTUS Blog has a full account here. Copyfight has the usual complete round-up.
Clearly He Didn’t Get the Memo.
Looks like one Washington Post columnist hasn't joined either the RIAA or the Grokster bandwagons.

You can read Robert MacMillan's take on the Grokster case in "No Sympathy For the Devils ." From the article: "Ordinary people, the people who don't know the ins and outs of the case beyond the top-of-the-hour headlines on their news radio station, can be forgiven for being baffled. It's a complicated topic and both sides produce their share of smoke that gets in our eyes. But here's the gist: If you blow away that smoke, you're left with the realization that few of the debate's participants stand on firm moral ground."

Monday, March 28, 2005

More on Sony Decision. The AP reports in "Sony to Pay $90.7M in PlayStation Case." From the article: "Sony has already paid Immersion $7 million in compulsory license payments ordered by the court and will continue to do so each quarter, based on sales of infringing products, until there is a reversal or settlement."
So Who's Standing in Line for Seats? CNN/Money reports on Thursday's oral arguments in "The war over downloading." From the article: "No matter who wins, both sides acknowledge the battle over piracy will continue in the courts and on Capitol Hill. Congress so far has resisted entertainment industry pressure for a new law that would hold software and hardware makers liable when people download copyrighted material for free." Reuters has this report. You can check out international reaction to the case at Xinhuanet here, and at the Globe and Mail here.
Another High-Profile Patent Injunction Case. Reuters reports that "Sony Ordered to Halt PlayStation Sales." From the article: "Sony Corp. (6758.T) on Monday said it was ordered by a U.S. federal court to halt U.S. sales of its PlayStation game consoles and pay nearly $91 million in patent infringement damages to a California company, although the judge immediately put her ruling on hold."

Friday, March 25, 2005

Reading the Tea Leaves. reports in "Yahoo Case Tests Reach of Internet Law." From the article: "'Why does Yahoo desire to make a profit over anti-Semitism? Why do you continue to advertise if you know that they're bad?' Ferguson demanded near the end of Vanderet's turn at the podium." Reuters has more.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

More on Yahoo! Case. The AP reports that "Yahoo Lawyers Ask Court for Protection." From the article: "Some of the judges acknowledged the need for a shield for American companies in such situations, but suggested it was premature in the case of Yahoo, which is challenging a fine levied by a Paris court four years ago for allowing the site's French users to buy and sell Nazi memorabilia, in violation of French law." Reuters has this report.
The Other Side to the P2P Debate. The AP reports in "File-Sharing Case Worries Indie Artists." From the article: "A number of mostly independent recording artists and labels have experimented with and embraced the freewheeling digital distribution that the Internet affords. And many worry that a victory by major recording companies in a landmark file-sharing case now before the U.S. Supreme Court could short-circuit the very technologies that they believe are making a more level playing field of the music business."
Foreign Court's Jurisdiction Challenged in Ninth Circuit. The AP reports in "Court to Hear Web Speech Censorship Case." From the article: "That First Amendment question was before the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday. The case was brought by Internet portal Yahoo Inc., which is challenging a growing multi-million-dollar fine a Paris court levied four years ago for continuing to allow the site's French users to buy and sell Nazi memorabilia." Howard has more.
Practice Tip: Don't Sue for Copyright Infringement if Your Client Admits to Giving it Away for Free. The AP reports that "Songwriter Faces Penalty Over Xzibit Case." From the article: "The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Lowe's legal claim was doomed from the start, even if it were true that he laid down the beats underpinning the song 'X.'"
Forget the Trademark Debate - Audi Is Coming Out with an SUV? I guess they're responding to the success of the Touareg. The AP reports that "Audi, Nissan Battle Over 'Q' Model Names." From the article:
Audi has been partial to the prefix A, with the A3, A4 and other models. But it recently announced plans to market SUVs named the Q7 and Q5 between 2006 and 2009.

That prompted Nissan to file a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday. It says Audi's use of Q "is likely to cause confusion, deception or mistake among customers."

Marty has more.
Sweden's First Movie P2P Prosecution. Reuters reports that "Internet Movie Download Case to Be Prosecuted." From the article: "In Sweden it is legal to download copyrighted movie and music files, but making them available for sharing is illegal. The legal loophole, however, is about to be closed."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

More on AFP Case Against Google. The AP reports in "News Agency Sues Google, Testing Fair Use." From the article: "The lawsuit's outcome will likely hinge on whether Google can persuade the courts that Google News constitutes permissible 'fair use' of copyright material. Legal scholars say Google could argue that it adds value by significantly improving the news-consuming experience without greatly harming AFP's ability to sell its service." Marty has more.
Higher Court to Take Up Journalistic Privilege. The AP reports that "Appeal Filed in Apple Trade Secrets Suit." From the article: "On Tuesday, attorneys representing the journalists filed an appeal, as expected. They argued that the judge's ruling violated the First Amendment and that Apple should first subpoena its own employees or use sophisticated computer forensics to determine the sources of the leak before subpoenaing the journalists."
P2P Case Wrapping Up Down Under. The AP reports that "Closing Arguments Begin in Kazaa Trial." From the article: "In closing arguments Wednesday, lawyers for Sharman Networks acknowledged that some Kazaa users engage in illegal copying, but said the software's creators could not be held responsible."

Monday, March 21, 2005

All Eyes on the Supreme Court. reports in "Justices to Weigh Key Copyright Case." From the article: "Sony has kept courts out of the kind of second-guessing of the technology industry sought by MGM, said Dierdre K. Mulligan of the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. And Sony itself, she added, rejected many of the tests proposed by MGM and its amici."

Friday, March 18, 2005

I Wonder What Their Litigation Budget Is? Google is once again back in court. Reuters reports that "Agence France Presse Sues Google Over News Site." From the article: "The French news service is seeking damages of at least $17.5 million and an order barring Google News from displaying AFP photographs, news headlines or story leads, according to the suit filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia."
Just Goes to Prove: For Every Action... Looks like the backlash has begun. Reuters reports that "Piracy Row Widens After Swedish Internet Firm Raid." From the article: "But now the investigators are being investigated. the government-owned Data Inspection Office and the telecoms sector supervisor want to see whether the Bureau broke confidentiality rules by obtaining the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of people it suspects of illegal file sharing."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Good News: Lawyers No Longer Threatened with Crackberry Withdrawal. reports that "RIM's BlackBerry Cleared For U.S. Markets." From the article: "Research In Motion (RIM) said it has reached an agreement with NTP Inc., a closely held Virginia patent holding company, to resolve all current and future patent infringement issues between the two companies. RIM was facing an injunction that would have prohibited it from selling its BlackBerry products in the United States."
Fun With SEC Filings. Reuters reports that " Says Received FTC Inquiry." From the article: "Online retailer Inc. said on Wednesday it received an inquiry from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission regarding its shipping policies and systems and other matters."
That'll Spur Settlement. Reuters reports that "EBay May Face Injunction in Patent Case." From the article: "In a wide-ranging, 30-page ruling on Wednesday, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals found one MercExchange patent invalid but reversed a lower court's rejection of MercExchange's motion for a permanent injunction." Full disclosure: my previous firm represented MercExchange, and, if memory serves me correctly, I probably billed a few hours to the case...

Monday, March 14, 2005

Microsoft Showing a Weak Spot? Reuters reports in "Microsoft in $60 Million Settlement with" From the article: "Microsoft has been settling outstanding antitrust claims against the company. In November, it agreed to pay Novell Inc. $536 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit."
Lawyer's Employment Program Comes to the Netherlands. The AP is reporting that "Dutch Internet Cracks Down on File-Sharing." From the article: "The providers said they will forward letters from the Brain Institute, which represents the entertainment industry in the Netherlands, warning clients that sharing copyrighted material is against the law."
I'm Detecting a Trend. Reuters reports that "Swedish Raid on ISP Called Major Blow to Piracy." From the article: "Authorities in Sweden seized four computer servers -- one reputed to be the biggest pirate server in Europe -- containing enough digital film and music content for up to 3-1/2 years of uninterrupted play, the organization said."

Friday, March 11, 2005

P2P Fight Spreads Across the Pond. Reuters reports that "British Court Forces ISPs to Reveal Music Sharers." From the article: "British music companies said on Friday they had won the right to force Internet service providers to disclose the names and addresses of individuals accused of uploading large numbers of songs onto file-sharing networks."
IM Patents in the Courts. Reuters reports that "Video Game Firm Xfire Countersues Yahoo on Patents." From the article: "Xfire also filed its own charges, alleging that Yahoo's lawsuit was an attempt to drive Xfire out of business or to force Xfire to sell or license its technology to Yahoo for far less than fair market value to settle the litigation."

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Preliminary Ruling in USANext Right of Privacy Case. AmericaBlog reports that "BREAKING NEWS: Judge grants Temporary Restraining Order against USA Next in anti-gay anti-AARP ad lawsuit." From the page: "In Washington, DC today, US District Judge Reggie Walton (an appointee of President Bush (41)) granted the gay couple’s request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against USA Next. The TRO requires USA Next to cease and desist from further use of the couple's photos for any purpose."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What Took Them So Long? The AP reports that "Feds Crack Down on Software Piracy Sites." From the article: "The men pleaded guilty in U.S. District court to federal copyright charges, becoming the first people convicted in what the U.S. Justice Department said was the largest-ever investigation into software piracy. "

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Microsoft Scores Partial Victory. reports that "Federal Circuit Grants Microsoft New Patent Trial." From the article: "The Federal Circuit said the district court should have allowed Microsoft to present evidence that Perry Pei-Yuan Wei, of O'Reilly and Associates, had invented a version of the Web browser in 1993, a year before UC filed a patent application on the technology, and that Wei had demonstrated the invention to engineers at Sun Microsystems. Microsoft contends that this prior art would invalidate UC's patent. Finally, the Federal Circuit agreed with the lower court that software code on a golden master disk is a component of a computer program invention."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Filings in Grokster. Reuters reports that "Anti-Piracy Case Could Harm Innovation - Groups." From the article: "Efforts to stamp out online copying of music and movies could give Hollywood a veto over new technology and stifle innovation, file-trading software companies and their supporters told the Supreme Court on Tuesday."