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Google Refuses to Expand the Right to be Forgotten

By Leonidas Angelakos – Edited by Henry Thomas

Last Thursday, Google announced its refusal to comply with a June 2015 right-t0-be-forgotten order issued by a French regulatory agency. The tech giant called the order, which demanded that it remove qualifying links from all Google search results, not just those on its European domains,  “a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web.”

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German Commission Orders Facebook to Allow Fake Names

By Annie Woodworth – Edited by Ariane Moss

Last Tuesday, the Hamburg Data Protection Authority, a German regulatory body, ordered Facebook to lift its policy prohibiting users from choosing pseudonyms. Although there was some dispute over whether the order applied to Facebook, the social media giant agreed to change the policy and issued an apology.

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Nintendo Wins Summary Judgment Based on Doctrine of Prosecution History Estoppel

By Yaping Zhang – Edited by Stacy Ruegilin

On July 17, 2015, the Northern District Court of California granted a summary judgment motion in Nintendo’s favor in a patent suit, construing disputed term in accordance with Nintendo’s interpretation and finding that the patent had not been infringed. The court based its decision on prosecution history estoppel, highlighting differences between the processes of obtaining and enforcing a patent.

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District Court Holds that Internet-Based Television Provider, FilmOn X is Entitled to a Compulsory License

By Anne Woodworth – Edited by Henry Thomas

The U.S. District court for the Central District of California ruled that an online streaming service that rebroadcasted network television fit the definition of a cable company, and was entitled to compulsory licensing under § 111 of the Copyright Act.  The order relied on the Supreme Court’s Aereo decision, which held that internet streaming was fundamentally the same as cable. The ruling conflicts with a Second Circuit case decided on similar facts, and is immediately appealable.

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Data Breach Victims, Rejoice: Seventh Circuit Finds that Threat of Injury is Sufficient for Article III Standing in Data Breach Class Actions

By Brittany Doyle – Edited by Ariane Moss

Last Monday, the Seventh Circuit Courto of Appeals ruled that victims of a data breach had standing to pursue a class action even when they had not suffered direct financial harm as a result of the breach or when they had already been compensated for financial harm resulting from the breach. The opinion reversed a contrary district court decision, which the Seventh Circuit said had incorrectly read the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA.

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Google FranceBy Leonidas Angelakos – Edited by Henry Thomas

CNIL Order (France’s National Commission of Information and Liberties, June, 12 2015)

Google v. AEPD, Case C‑131/12, (Court of Justice of the European Union, May, 13 2014) (opinion hosted by CURIA)

Google has taken an affirmative step against expanding the right to be forgotten in a move that has been called a step against online censorship.

In a clash that pits users’ privacy rights against the West’s disdain for censorship, Google has decided that limiting internet censorship is more important, refusing to comply with a French regulator’s order to expand the right to be forgotten.  On May 13, 2014, Europe’s top court ruled that Google had to honor the EU’s right to be forgotten. The right to be forgotten—also known as the right to delist—allows users to remove “irrelevant” or “inadequate” search results associated with their identities. While Google has been removing qualifying links from the European versions of its search engine (such as Google.fr), it refuses to remove those links from its international domains (such as Google.com, ranked by Alexa.com as the world’s most popular website).

In June 2015, the Commission Nationale de L’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL)—the French administrative body that regulates data privacy—ordered Google to begin removing qualifying links from all of Google’s domains worldwide. Google refused in an official blog post by its Global Privacy Counsel, Peter Fleischer. Fleischer called the CNIL order “a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web,” and argues that, while the right to be forgotten is the law in Europe, it is not the law worldwide. Thus Google refuses to remove qualifying links from non-European domains, which it argues are not governed by Europe’s delisting laws.

The New York Times provides an overview of the clash between Google and French privacy regulators. Fortune offers additional commentary, calling Google’s move a “bold challenge to France” and a “dramatic gesture to oppose censorship of its search results.”

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Posted On Aug - 4 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Facebook InternationalBy Annie Woodworth – Edited by Ariane Moss

The Hamburg Data Protection Authority, a German regulatory body tasked with protecting data and privacy, said last Tuesday that Facebook is violating the privacy rights of its users by banning pseudonyms. The group ordered Facebook to allow users to choose fake names and has forbidden the company from changing usernames or asking users for their IDs. Facebook has issued an apology to affected users and will allow the use of preferred names.

The order came after a woman complained to the agency when Facebook blocked her account that used a fake name. Facebook then requested a copy of her ID and unilaterally changed her profile to display her real name. The woman purportedly used the pseudonym to avoid receiving business related contact through the site. Other business owners are worried about setting up business pages that must be associated with their real names.

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Posted On Aug - 4 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Nintendo 3DSBy Yaping Zhang – Edited by Stacy Ruegilin

On July 17, 2015, the Court for the Northern District of California issued an opinion granting summary judgment in favor of Nintendo in a patent infringement suit, construing the disputed claim term in accordance with Nintendo’s interpretation and finding non-infringement based on the doctrine of prosecution history estoppel.

The patent at issue is No. 7,425,944 (‘944 Patent), entitled “Computerized Information Retrieval System”, which was assigned to plaintiff Quintal Research Group from its inventor. The patent related to handheld computing devices, and particularly to “a portable handheld communication device for rapid retrieval of computerized information.” The patent described a handheld device with a display screen and ergonomically placed finger controls, including thumb controls “symmetrically arranged” on either side of the display screen. Renderings of the patent show two buttons, identical in size and shape, along the outer casing of a handheld device. Nintendo’s handheld devices also have ergonomically placed finger controls that are evenly placed on either side of a display screen, though one set of controls is a cross-shaped joystick, and the other is a cluster of circular buttons. The case thus boiled down to a dispute about the meaning of “symmetrically arranged”.

Quintal Research Group argued that “symmetrically arranged” referred merely to the placement or location of controls on the device, while Nintendo contended that “symmetrically arranged” means that the controls are mirror images of one another, having the same size and shape. Judge Armstrong agreed with Nintendo based on the specifications of the ‘944 Patent, and further held that extrinsic evidence supported Nintendo’s interpretation.

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Posted On Aug - 3 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST

TelevisionBy Anne Woodworth – Edited by Henry Thomas

Order: Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FilmOn X, LLC, No. CV-12-6921 (C.D. Cal. July 16, 2015) hosted by loeb.com

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled last week granted summary judgement for defendant FilmOn X, finding that the internet-based television provider is entitled to a compulsory license under § 111 of the Copyright Act to re-transmit broadcast television. The ruling is at odds with both a Second Circuit ruling and the position of the Copyright Office. Recognizing that the legal issues were close and of “significant commercial importance”, the judge authorized an immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit and chose to maintain the existing preliminary injunction against FilmOn X.

FilmOn X gives subscribers access to remote antennae which pick up TV signals and broadcast the programs online where users can view in DVR format.  Though the service is currently free, FilmOn maintains that this is because the service is offering free trials.  Plaintiffs Fox Television Stations, Inc., NBCUniversal Media, LLC, and a host of other broadcasting companies moved for summary judgement, arguing that FilmOn X was not entitled to a compulsory license under § 111 of the Copyright Act. FilmOn X cross-moved that they were entitled to the license. § 111 allows cable broadcast companies to transmit copyrighted media, without negotiating with every copyright holder, as long as they follow specified rules and pay set royalties.

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Posted On Jul - 27 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Neiman MarcusBy Brittany Doyle – Edited by Ariane Moss

Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Grp., LLC, No. 14-3122, 2015 WL 4394814 (7th Cir. July 20, 2015)

The Seventh Circuit reversed the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, which had held that Neiman Marcus cardholders who fell victim to a data breach, but had either been compensated by their credit card companies for any fraudulent activities or had not suffered fraudulent activities on their accounts at all, did not have standing to bring a putative class action against the retailer.

The Seventh Circuit disagreed, finding that the cardholders did have standing: the allegation of impending future harm and the concrete injury they had suffered in taking steps to mitigate or prevent that harm is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Article III. In so holding, the court rejected the district court’s “overreading” of Clapper v. Amnesty Int’l USA, which has buttressed many 12(b)(1) dismissals in data breach class action suits. In Clapper, the Supreme Court found that a group of human rights organizations could not assert standing based on suspicions that the government had intercepted their communications with terrorists. The Seventh Circuit urged the lower courts to recognize an important distinction between mere suspicion of injury and a “substantial risk” of injury. Substantial risk of injury, the court held, was not “jettison[ed]” by the Supreme Court, since a substantial risk “may prompt plaintiffs to reasonably incur costs to mitigate or avoid that harm.” The court accordingly held that in the case of a data breach, where “the purpose . . . is, sooner or later, to make fraudulent charges or assume those consumers’ identities,” plaintiffs may properly assert Article III standing based on a substantial risk of injury.

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Posted On Jul - 27 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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Google France

Google Refuses to Ex

By Leonidas Angelakos – Edited by Henry Thomas CNIL Order (France’s ...

Facebook International

German Commission Or

By Annie Woodworth – Edited by Ariane Moss The Hamburg Data ...

Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo Wins Summar

By Yaping Zhang – Edited by Stacy Ruegilin On July 17, ...

Television

District Court Holds

By Anne Woodworth – Edited by Henry Thomas Order: Fox Television ...

Neiman Marcus

Data Breach Victims,

By Brittany Doyle – Edited by Ariane Moss Remijas v. Neiman ...