Friday, March 30, 2007

Who's doing the spamming?

You might be surprised, So who sent you that spam? HP or Oracle? | The Register

When it comes to bot-infested PCs that spew spam, most of us assume the owners are newbie users too naive or careless to follow basic security measures. Think again. There's a good chance that the penis enlargement email that just landed in your inbox is from a network maintained by Oracle, Hewlett-Packard or some other Fortune 1000 company.

DMCA protects service providers...

... from third party intellectual property claims: Perfect 10 v. CCBill

Hat tip: » 9th Cir. Decides Perfect 10 v. CCBill

Thursday, March 29, 2007

TJX (TJ Maxx) security breach details...

Perhaps the largest security breach to date: TJX data breach: At 45.6M card numbers, it's the biggest ever

After more than two months of refusing to reveal the size and scope of its data breach, TJX Companies Inc. is finally offering more details about the extent of the compromise.

In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, the company said 45.6 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen from one of its systems over a period of more than 18 months by an unknown number of intruders. That number eclipses the 40 million records compromised in the mid-2005 breach at CardSystems Solutions and makes the TJX compromise the worst ever involving the loss of personal data.

Anti-plagiarism database, copyright violation?

Seems plausible. They have made slavish copies of works (probably protected by copyright) likely without a license to do so and is using them for commercial services.

The obvious problem: do the cheaters have standing to sue for other's copyrights>
McLean Students Sue Anti-Cheating Service -

Two McLean High School students have launched a court challenge against a California company hired by their school to catch cheaters, claiming the anti-plagiarism service violates copyright laws.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dan Brown wins Da Vinci Code Appeal

Historians lose Da Vinci Code plagiarism appeal | Entertainment | Reuters :

Two historians have lost another legal battle in British courts over claims that U.S. author Dan Brown plagiarized their ideas for his blockbuster novel "The Da Vinci Code."

GPL v. 3

I haven't yet reviewed, but GPLv3 was recently released.

DMCA violation for posting NFL copyright notice?

Fighting fire with fire, law professor and EFF attorney Wendy Seltzer is still fighting a DMCA takedown notice for posting the NFL's copyright notice on YouTube. NFL Clip Down Again:
In apparent defiance of my counter-notification, the NFL sent YouTube another takedown notice, which YouTube followed with another takedown a few days ago, giving notice to me yesterday. Now when I sent my counter-notification to the first NFL notice, on February 14, YouTube forwarded it on to the NFL per the DMCA's specification. Since my counter-notification included a description of the clip, "an educational excerpt featuring the NFL's overreaching copyright warning aired during the Super Bowl," it put the NFL on clear notice of my fair use claim.

Finding Peer-to-peer infringers unreliable?

So says this attorney in response to the RIAA Dear RIAA:

I know of no facts on which a good faith finding of probable cause by either your clients or your law firm could be based to support a claim for relief against Mr. Merchant.

It is well documented that your clients' reliance on MediaSecurity (an admitted "non-expert;" UMG v. Lidor, East Dist NY No. 1:05-cv-01095-DGT-RML) and its overall method of identifying P2P copyright infringers is wholly unreliable and inadequate. See, e.g., February 23, 2007, deposition of the RIAA's expert. See also expert witness statement of Prof. Pouwelse and Dr. Sips: filename=foundation_upcnederland_witnessdeclaration and amicus curiae brief of the ACLU, Public Citizen, Electronic Frontier Foundation, American Association of Law Libraries, and ACLU Foundation of Oklahoma, in Capitol v. Foster decrying the RIAA's "driftnet" litigation strategy:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Taste infringement.

Heh: - Frivolous Litigation: How Coke 'Punk'd' Its Lawyers:
"You don't have valid claim!" Johnson shouts at one point.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Remote DVR is a direct infringement...

... or at least so says federal judge Denny Chin in Twentieth Century Fox v. Cablevision Systems:

The RS-DVR is clearly a service, and I hold that, in providing this service, it is Cablevision that does the copying.

User-generated advertising, "uncharted legal waters"

Everyone likes, YouTube (well, not Viacom), but is user generated content really a good advertising strategy? Consumer-Created Ads Cause Grief for Companies

Money quotes:

"The idea of doing that is fraught with all sorts of risks that aren't worth the business benefit," said Douglas Wood, a New York-based attorney who is a co-chairman for the advertising, technology and media law group at Reed Smith. "If clients listen, they won't do it."
"You need to step back and say: What negative impact could this have on my brand?"

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Washington joins Streamlined Sales Tax

Wash. Governor Signs Internet Tax Bill -

Washington will join 21 other states that have passed legislation to become members of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project.


The state Department of Revenue predicts that by joining the program,
Washington will initially see an additional $35 million to $40 million
in sales taxes from out-of-state companies that sell products to
Washington residents.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Spiders and terms of use

While the plaintiff in this case seems a little over the edge, the Wayback Machine v. Shell case presents some interesting legal questions: to what extent can a spider be bound to the terms of use of a website.

I think that it's fairly safe to say that most think terms of use are probably enforceable. However, it is possible that a spider can be an agent?

Hat tip Eric Goldman.


Judge puts one more nail into the Child Online Protection Act, - Internet Porn Law Ruled Unconstitutional.

National Security Letters

In an unusual anonymous letter to the editor, "My National Security Letter Gag Order," the president of a small internet service provider said:

I found it particularly difficult to be silent about my concerns while Congress was debating the reauthorization of the Patriot Act in 2005 and early 2006. If I hadn't been under a gag order, I would have contacted members of Congress to discuss my experiences and to advocate changes in the law.

Google wins; Kinderstart sanctioned

In a long, well-reasoned opinion, Google wins it's motion to dismiss against Kinderstart.

After having a really bad day, Gregory Yu, counsel for Kinderstart, is then sanctioned subject to Google's motion for attorney's fees.

Hat tip, Eric Goldman: KinderStart v. Google Dismissed--With Sanctions Against KinderStart's Counsel

Oracle sues SAP

Oracle sues SAP for "corporate theft on a grand scale": complaint.

CAN-SPAM and vicarious liability

An advertiser can be vicariously liable for another party's CAN-SPAM violations