Thursday, May 31, 2007

If you're selling games in New York...

... you risk being put in jail for life. Under a proposed New York law, it would be a felony to dissemintate violent and indecent video games to minors: 3 Games and You've Got 25 to Life

While the law does give some leeway for the sentencing court, it theoretically allows a judge to put someone away for life for selling a copy of, say, Gears of War to a 16 year old who looks 18. Yes, selling a game could come with a life sentence under the new law.

Hmmm... yikes!

WARF responds to stem cell reexam...

... by saying, paraphrasing, of course, "uh, you're wrong. Mouse stuff is not human stuff."

You can read the whole 113 page response here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New bill = new standards for IT in healthcare?

I haven't reviewed the proposed rules, but it seems so: Federal bill would set healthcare IT standards | WTN:

Asserting that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has failed to advance President Bush's goal of widespread electronic medical record adoption, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., has introduced a bill that would require a federal technology agency to accelerate the integration of healthcare information technology.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

CAN-SPAM has few private remedies...

... or at least that's what Western District of Washington seems to imply: Gordon v. Virtumundo, Inc..

The court held that even if a private entity can qualify as an "internet access service" (something the court calls "ambiguous), that entity needs to provide some evidence as to actual harm to "bandwidth, hardware, Internet connectivity, network integrity, overhead costs, fees, staffing, or equipment costs" or other "financial hardships" beyond mere inconvenience.

Hat tip spam notes.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Disclosing a public URL prompts non-lawyer nasty-gram...

... stating that a copy of a blog disclosing the URL has been turned over to the lawyers.

I can only imagine that the lawyer will probably not have a clue. Though, if he did, he'd probably give the client a really weird look.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Can spyware makers sue...

... anti-spyware companies? Zango seems to think so.

Without having seen the complaint, the two "obvious" causes of action might be:

  • DMCA
  • Tortious Interference
Of course, the defenses are probably better.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Can structured text...

... preclude immunity under the Communications Decency Act? The Ninth Circuit (quickly becoming the CDA clearinghouse circuit) seems to think so.
As we previously explained, an entity cannot qualify for CDA immunity when it is “responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of [the] information” at issue. 47 U.S.C. § 230(c), (f)(3); see also Batzel, 333 F.3d at 1031. Roommate is “responsible” for these questionnaires because it “creat[ed] or develop[ed]” the forms and answer choices. As a result, Roommate is a content provider of these questionnaires and does not qualify for CDA immunity for their publication.

In this case, the structured text was in the form of pre-defined content that a user selects in response to a questionnaire. created the questionnaire. The questionnaire contained questions about living preferences that referred to things like sex and sexual orientation. Arguably, those characteristics are not appropriate criteria under the Fair Housing Act (not an expert, nor do I really know anything about the law).

Too harsh? Maybe. Right decision? Probably.

Can you actually "delete" online predators?'s security officer seems to think so, MySpace won't turn over names of sex offenders:
"Everybody needs to get together and delete online predators," Nigam said, adding that MySpace supports state and federal legislation requiring sex offenders to register e-mail addresses. "The attorneys general's concerns and our concerns are exactly the same."

To be honest, I'm not sure what to make of's Electronic Communications Privacy Act argument. Seems a bit frivilous, perhaps I'll have to look at it a bit more, but it doesn't seem that they AG's are asking for intercepted information.

What is probably true, however, is that they don't have to turn over records without a subpoena, and they may be using this as a reason not to do so. I may have to look at Myspace's terms of use as well.

Did KSR open the gates for many high-profile...

... demands for a new trial? Microsoft seems to think so.

A "rainbow" of trouble...

... heh.

Man charged with stealing $250,000 worth of Skittles -

A man caught removing tires from a truck has been charged with stealing the tractor-trailer containing $250,000 worth of Skittles, police said.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Porn is fair use as Open Record...

... so says the Wisconsin Court of Appeals requiring that porn caught up in a school-teachers' firing is an open record:
We hold that a person aggrieved by a request made under the Open Records Law has standing to raise a challenge that the requested materials are not "records" because they are copyrighted. We further hold that the language of the statute, when viewed in light of the "fair use" exception to copyright infringement, applies so that the CD and the memo are "records" within the statutory definition of Wis. Stat. § 19.32(2)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Malkin + EFF + UMG + YouTUBE = DMCA fight

What do you get when you mix one crazy rightwing pundit, an online rights organization, a music company and YouTube?  One gigantic copyright mess mess: YouTube Caught In Malkin, EFF, UMG Crossfire:
Between Malkin and UMG is a hard enough spot to be in, but add the EFF into the melee and you've got yourself a first class nightmare. The EFF called UMG's actions an "improper attempt to silence her online criticism of one of its artists."

Hat tip: The Trademark blog.

Friday, May 11, 2007

DMCA violation for NOT using a DRM system...

... huh? Apple, Microsoft threatened with possible digital copyright lawsuit -

MRT and Bluebeat said the failure to use an available copyright protection solution contravenes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prohibits the manufacture of any product or technology designed to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a copyrighted work or protects the rights of copyright owners.

They said a failure to comply with the cease and desist order could result in in a federal court injunction and/or the imposition of statutory damages of 200-2,500 usd per product distributed or sold.

If there were ever a lawsuit that should see lawyers sanctioned, it would be this on.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Internet jurisidiction...

... in EBay cases, a primer.

Most people believe the law is pretty clear on Internet jurisdiction. That is simply not the case. The variety of Internet related disputes expands far faster than legislators could ever react. Judges are often left, therefore, applying bricks and motor jurisdictional principles to Internet disputes.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The problem with the RIAA and RICO...

... is that it's going to be hard to, among other things, show that a file-sharer has an expectation of privacy. So says, an Ars techica.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

KSR fallout...

... in the Vonage case: Vonage asks for retrial:
Internet phone company Vonage Holdings Corp. (VG.N: Quote, Profile , Research) said on Tuesday it is seeking a retrial of a key patent infringement case against the company in light of a landmark patent ruling by the Supreme Court on Monday.

Google's Viacom response's...

... money quote:

Viacom's complaint in this action challenges the careful balance established by Congress when it enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA balances the rights of copyright holders and the need to protect the internet as an important new form of
communication. By seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for internet
communications, Viacom's complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people
legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression.
Google and YouTube respect the importance of intellectual property rights, and not only comply with their safe harbor obligations under the DMCA, but go well above and beyond what the law requires.