Friday, April 27, 2007

Words can be indecent...

.... so says a New York court in a case involving only the transcripts of ab internet chat.

Read the opinion here.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Funniest legitimate Exhibit ever...

... filed by IBM in the IBM v. SCO case: "Selected Copyright Principles..

IBM uses it thusly:
Moreover, there is no question that preparing a defense to SCO’s allegations would require a line-by-line analysis of the code at issue, even if that code is not alleged to have been literally copied, as illustrated by the cases IBM provided to Judge Wells (and previously provided to this Court) (see Addendum A) and by SCO’s own cases.

Hattip: Groklaw.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dick Butkus as...

... intellectual property licensing plaintiff?

I should see if I can dig up the complaint to see what it says about the license granted.

Word to the wise, if you're licensing something valuable, like your name or persona, run it by a lawyer first.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Open WiFi probably not a defense...

The dubious defense of an open wireless network as grounds to avoid criminal prosecution just got more dubious: Child porn case shows that an open WiFi network is no defense

The merits of leaving your wireless access point (WAP) open have been discussed and debated at length, especially when it comes to law enforcement. There is a growing belief that file sharers can protect themselves against lawsuits by keeping their wireless access points open. The problem is, it won't necessarily.

The point of clarification here is that: it's still probable cause to go to the place of the open connection.

Read the opinion.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Use of print-out may be hearsay or lacking foundation...

.... Internet 'Wayback Machine' Printouts Held:
Printouts of Web pages purporting to indicate how a Web page appeared at a prior point in time, supplied by the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine" service, are inadmissible without authenticating testimony from someone familiar with how the pages were created, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York held March 26 (Novak v., E.D.N.Y., No. 06-cv-1901, 3/26/07).

Good-faith in pay-per-click advertising...

... who'd have thunk it? Apparently the Southern District of New York.

Because this tactic would allow Findwhat to increase its profits solely at its discretion and with no benefit to Payday, it is
plausible that it could be found to “destroy[] or injur[e]” Payday’s rights under the contract. Dalton, 663 N.E.2d at 291. It is furthermore likely that a reasonable advertiser entering into such a contract would expect that, whatever the external risks of unproductive “clicks,” it would not be subjected to unbounded increases in its prices at the hands of its promisor or at its promisor’s direction.

Open records law requires...

... village to provide a company with the database of property assessments, not just a pdf, WIREdata Inc. v. Village of Sussex.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Duh... is generic trademark: opinion

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Myth of the superhacker?

Paul Ohmwrites that too much law and policy is based on a fictious person that doesn't exist.
For example, law enforcement officials talk about the spread of zombie “botnets” to support broader computer crime laws. Privacy advocates fret about super-hackers who can steal millions of identities with a few keystrokes. Digital rights management opponents argue that DRM is inherently flawed, because some hacker will always find an exploit. (The DRM debate is unusual, because the power-user trope appears on both sides: DRM proponents argue that because they can never win the arms race against powerful users, they need laws like the DMCA.)

These stories could usefully contribute to these debates if they were cited for what they were: interesting anecdotes that open a window into the empirical realities of online conflict.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Terms of Use and copyright misuse...

Author of World of Warcraft tool, WoWGlider, sues for declaratory judgment that the development use of the software was not copyright infringement, and rather, that the terms of use constitutes copyright misuse:

Although defendants‟ EULA and TOU prohibit circumvention of the Warden software for interoperability purposes, such restrictions in the defendants‟ agreements constitute copyright misuse. And such restrictions are preempted by the interoperability exception in the DMCA. 17 U.S.C. § 1201(f). Thus, because the defendants‟ Warden software attempts to preclude third-parties from independently writing software that lawfully interacts with World of Warcraft, the defendants have misused their copyright.

Court pleading.

Myspace speech is free speech...

In a common sense ruling, a student's speech on a page is free speech: Court: MySpace postings are free speech -

A judge violated a juvenile's free-speech rights when he placed her on probation for posting an expletive-laden entry on MySpace criticizing a school principal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

The three-judge panel on Monday ordered the Putnam Circuit Court to set aside its penalty against the girl, referred to only as A.B. in court records.

Friday, April 6, 2007

UK bans XBOX 360 ad

Read about it here and see it here:

UW-Madison's retaliatory hacking...

... justified under the Fourth Amendment, or so says the 9th Circuit.


Battle of the Gassy: 'Fartman' Doll Loses on Appeal
In the competitive and lucrative market for farting dolls, Pull My Finger Fred has won out over Fartman, with a federal appeals court ruling that Fartman infringed Fred and that Fred's maker is entitled to attorney fees.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit affirmed a jury award of nearly $300,000 in damages and $575,000 attorney fees to JCW Investments Inc. in its copyright and trademark infringement suit against Novelty Inc.

Yet another, click-wrap agreement enforced.

Forum Selection, Other Click-Wrap Terms

So long as a forum selection clause in an online contract's terms is readily accessible and clear, requiring users to scroll down or print the contract to see it and other terms is acceptable, and will not absolve a party who clicks "I Agree" without taking the time to view the whole agreement, the U.S. District court for the Northern District of Pennsylvania held March 28 (Feldman v. Google Inc., N.D. Pa., No. 06-2540, 3/28/07).

Read the full opinion.

Conversion is a valid tort for electronic media

New York Expands Common Law Conversion

The common law tort of conversion applies to deletions and misappropriations of documents and data stored on electronic media, the New York Court of Appeals held March 22 (Thyroff v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., N.Y., No. 41, 3/22/07).

Read the full opinion.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Higher price for music without DRM

So says EMI and Apple: BBC NEWS | Technology | EMI takes locks off music tracks

EMI said every song in its catalogue will be available in the "premium" format. It said the tracks without locks will cost more and be of higher quality than those it offers now.

Popular EMI artists include Lily Allen, Joss Stone, Robbie Williams, Coldplay and Corinne Bailey Rae.