A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Daniel Etcovitch – Edited by Emily Chan

Florida Judge Rules Bitcoin Is Not Equivalent to Money

Illinois Governor Signs Bill Restricting Use of Stingrays

DMCA DRM Circumvention Provision’s Constitutionality Being Challenged

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Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Yuan Cao – Edited by Frederick Ding

Mere Commercial Benefit Not Enough to Trigger The On-Sale Bar

Technology-Based Software Solution Can Be Patentable 

Patent Disputes about Siri, iTunes, Notification Push, and Location

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Sixth Circuit Finds Privacy Interest in Mugshots under FOIA

By Filippo Raso – Edited by Ariane Moss

A split en banc Sixth Circuit reversed the lower courts’ ruling, holding individuals have a privacy interest in their booking photos for the purposes of Exemption 7(C) of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552. In so doing, the Court overruled Circuit precedent established two decades ago. The case was remanded with instructions to balance the public interests against the individual’s privacy interest.

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The EFF Challenges the DMCA Anti-Circumvention Provision: A First Amendment Fight

By Priyanka Nawathe – Edited by Kayla Haran

On July 21, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the United States government to overturn DMCA Section 1201, commonly referred to as the anti-circumvention provision. The EFF argues that this provision, designed to prevent circumvention of “technological protection measures,” actually chills research and free speech, and thus is a violation of the First Amendment.

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By Jaehwan Park – Edited by Kayla Haran

Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Bill Encouraging U.S. Government Agencies to Use the Cloud as a Secure Alternative to Legacy Systems

Snapchat Accused of Violating Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Announces New Policy Group to Promote Global Digital Trade

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Sony Settles Lawsuit with PlayStation 3 Hacker
By Vivian Tao – Edited by Chinh Vo

Sony Computer Entm’t Am. v. Hotz, No. CV11-0167 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 11, 2011)
Final Judgment hosted by Electronic Frontier Foundation

On April 11, 2011, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered a final judgment for plaintiff Sony Computer Entertainment America (“Sony”), granting Sony a permanent injunction against defendant George Hotz. The injunction prevents Hotz, a notorious hacker, from engaging in any unauthorized access to Sony products, circumventing security measures in those products, or trafficking and posting any information, service, or product that would lead to such circumvention.

While a motion to dismiss regarding Hotz’s claim over lack of personal jurisdiction is pending, this final judgment comes on the heels of a March 31 settlement agreement between Sony and Hotz. Both parties have agreed to accept this judgment and to waive their rights to appeal.

Ars Technica provides an overview of the case. PC World criticizes the judgment, stating that the injunction’s effect will be constrained by other sites that have already listed and can continue to include information from Hotz’s hacking efforts.

(more…)

Posted On Apr - 17 - 2011 1 Comment READ FULL POST

by Alea J. Mitchell

Obama Seeks Secure Online Identities

The White House Blog announced that President Obama released the “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” (PDF), a plan to improve online security and e-commerce. The proposal is aimed at combating online fraud and identity theft, and calls on the private sector to design a trusted identity system to better protect an increasingly wired culture. Wired reports the proposal distances itself from a national ID approach and instead urges the private sector to develop ways for consumers to create privacy-enhancing secure identity credentials that will enable safer online transactions.

Senators Kerry and McCain Propose Online Privacy Legislation

Wired reports that Senators John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and John McCain (R-Arizona) introduced on Tuesday the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights, online privacy legislation that would allow web users to demand websites stop tracking and selling their online behavior.  The bill aims to regulate how identifiable information is used, stored, and distributed. Ars Technica reports that consumer groups criticize the bill for shying away from overt “Do Not Track” legislation, giving special interest treatment to social media marketers, and creating a conflict of interest by allowing the Department of Commerce to influence privacy policies.

House Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules

Reuters reports that the House of Representatives voted last Friday to reject the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which were adopted last year and bar Internet service providers from blocking or interfering with traffic on their networks. The Hill reports that Republicans, who oppose the rules, claim the FCC lacks authority to regulate the Internet and that net neutrality rules impose unwarranted government regulation over an open and thriving Internet. The largely partisan effort is expected to fail once the legislation reaches the Democratic-controlled Senate. As Wired reports, the vote is largely symbolic, as President Obama has promised to veto any legislation proposing to reverse the rules.

Congress Revisits COICA

Ars Technica reports that the battle over the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is heating up again as both chambers draft amended versions of COICA, set to be rolled out in coming weeks. Last November, JOLT reported on the bill, which would grant the Attorney General power to seize domain names through in rem action and require online ad services and credit card companies to stop working with blacklisted sites, with the goal of targeting foreign piracy and counterfeiting sites not easily reached by US courts. While the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill, it never made it to the Senate floor, owing to efforts of Senator Ron Wyden, who has again vowed to oppose the billWired reports that Google’s Kent Walker testified at one of two recently held House hearings to oppose the Act, particularly the private right of action a COICA claim would give rightsholders. The Citizen Media Law Project laments the bill’s return.

Posted On Apr - 16 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Second Circuit Holds that Submission of Entire Copyrighted Work in Judicial Proceedings Constitutes Fair Use

By Kaethin Prizer – Edited by Esther Kang
Hollander v. Steinberg, No. 10-1140-cv (2d Cir. Apr. 5, 2011)
Summary Order hosted by Scribd.com

The Second Circuit affirmed the decision of the District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which had granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant in a copyright infringement suit.

The Second Circuit applied the traditional four-factor fair use test, 17 U.S.C. § 107, to filings in judicial proceedings. The court held that the grant of summary judgment for non-infringement was appropriate, because the filing of an author’s essays in their entirety in judicial proceedings constituted fair use.

The Copyright Litigation Blog provides an overview of the case.  (more…)

Posted On Apr - 15 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Federal Circuit Hears Oral Arguments for Myriad Gene Patent Case

By Elina Saviharju – Edited by Esther Kang
Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. USPTO, No. 2010-1406 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 4, 2011)
Oral Argument Recording

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard oral arguments on April 4, 2011, for Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. USPTO. The court focused on the issues of jurisdiction and patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §101, although it also briefly addressed the nature of the process claims.

The Digest has covered the earlier course of the proceedings on several occasions. The oral arguments before the court have also been discussed in Patent Docs, PatentlyO and by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, among others.  (more…)

Posted On Apr - 14 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Emily Hootkins

Federal Judge Overturns $625.5 Million Judgment against Apple

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis reversed an October 2010 decision requiring Apple to pay over $625.5 million in patent infringement damages, CNET news and PC Magazine report. This reversal is the latest decision in a three-year battle between Mirror Worlds and Apple. Last October, a jury handed found Apple liable for infringing Mirror Worlds’ patents with its Cover Flow, Spotlight, and Time Machine software. Judge Davis reversed this decision, holding that there was insufficient evidence to support the patent infringement claims.

Federal Appellate Court Hears Oral Arguments in Music Piracy Case

Computer World and Boston.com report that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit heard oral arguments on Monday challenging a damage award for music piracy. This is the first case of its kind to make it to a federal appellate court. In 2009, a jury verdict of $675,000 was entered against Joel Tenenbaum for illegally downloading 30 copyrighted songs. A district judge later reduced that award to $67,500; both the defendant and the plaintiff, the Recording Industry of America, appealed. During Monday’s oral argument, the parties revisited the appropriateness of this damage award. The court should issue a judgment sometime later this year.

Calls for Changes to Electronic Communications Privacy Act

PC World reports that several Democratic members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee have called for changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”). These senators contend that the 25-year-old law is outdated in light of current privacy and national security concerns. According to CNET, ECPA is “notoriously convoluted and difficult even for judges to follow.” Among other provisions, ECPA gives internet users who store data locally more privacy rights than users of cloud-based services.  However, the Justice Department has expressed opposition to the proposed changes in the law.

 

Posted On Apr - 9 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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