A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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ITC’s review of an ALJ’s order was not procedurally sound
By Mengyi Wang – Edited by Sarah O’Loughlin

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimously vacated and remanded a decision of the International Trade Commission (“ITC”), finding that the ITC exceeded its authority in reviewing an administrative law judge’s (“ALJ”) order denying a motion for termination. In so holding, the Court rejected the ITC’s attempt to characterize the ALJ’s decision as an initial determination, which would be subject to review.

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Facebook’s experiment of emotional contagion raises concerns
By Jenny Choi – Edited by Sarah O’Loughlin

On June 17, 2014, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences released a study in which Facebook reduced positive and negative posts on News Feeds to observe any changes in the participants’ posts to test whether emotional states are contagious through verbal expressions. Many have criticized Facebook for the experiment,  finding that Facebook has deceived its users, violated past Consent Orders, and stretched the users’ terms of service agreements too far.

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Georgia Supreme Court Takes Chan v. Ellis Appeal to Redefine First Amendment Right on the Internet
By Yixuan Long – Edited by Emma Winer

The Georgia Court of Appeals ordered the appeal in Ellis v. Chan be transferred to the Georgia Supreme Court. Chan, an interactive website owner, appealed the trial court’s permanent protective order, which commanded him to take down more than 2000 posts on his website, and forbade him from coming within 1000 yards of Ellis. The Court of Appeals decided that the case raised significant constitutional issues regarding the First Amendment right on the internet.

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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Ken Winterbottom

Access to nude photos is a ‘perk’ of working at the NSA, Snowden says

Record label slams YouTube star with copyright infringement suit

Study shows women are still underrepresented among technology leaders

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SDNY Holds Bitcoins Fall Under Purview of Federal Money Laundering Statute

By Amanda Liverzani  Edited by Mengyi Wang

The debate surrounding the legal status of Bitcoins continued to heat up, as the Southern District of New York weighed in on whether the virtual currency could be used to launder money under 18 U.S.C. §1956(h). In a July 9, 2014 opinion penned by Judge Forrest in United States v. Ulbricht, the court held that exchanges involving Bitcoins constitute “financial transactions” for purposes of the money laundering statute, noting that “[a]ny other reading would—in light of Bitcoins’ sole raison d’etre—be nonsensical.”

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District Court Finds FISA Preempts State Secrets Doctrine; Government Wiretap Litigation To Continue
By Anna Lamut – Edited by Andrew Ungberg
Al-Haramain v. Bush, No 06-1791 VRW,
District Court for the Northern District of California, January 5, 2009
Order

On Monday, January 5, 2009, Chief Judge Vaughn* Walker of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California denied the U.S. government’s third motion to dismiss the Al-Haramain v. Bush litigation, in which the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation sued the Bush administration for illegal surveillance of the organization.  The original suit was based on an inadvertently revealed, top-secret government call log which indicated Al-Haramain had been the subject of wiretapping.  However, the case was nearly dismissed after the court found the log to be a state secret, and thus would not be admissible due to national security concerns.  Al-Haramain claimed the document showed the organization was subject to surveillance outside of the scope of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Ed Brayton of Scienceblogs states that this case may finally end use of the secrets privilege as a means of avoiding all judicial scrutiny of the NSA’s wiretapping program.

Julian Sanchez of Ars Technica points out that the suit is unique in that the Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose attorneys represent the Foundation’s directors, does not normally represent clients who they know were targeted by the NSA for warrantless surveillance. Sanchez also notes that in the opinion, Chief Judge Walker pointed out that in writing the FISA, Congress would not have provided for in camera review of classified documents if it meant to allow the government to use the state secrets provision in each case.
(more…)

Posted On Jan - 10 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Harvard Journal of Law & Technology Vol. 22.1 

Happy New Year!  The Digest Staff has returned to start the new year, and we’re thirlled to begin our coverage with the newest volume of the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology! Volume 22.1 is now available online, featuring: 

Rethinking Broadband Internet Access
Daniel F. Spulber & Christopher S. Yoo
Professors Spulber and Yoo discuss the regulation of broadband Internet access and the reasons why the traditional model based on telecommunication regulation is not applicable to broadband internet using a branch of mathematics called graph theory. Spulber and Yoo argue that the failure to properly adjust to this fact has led to current issues regarding the availability of last-mile broadband systems, most notably the recent conflict between the FCC and Comcast.

The Layers of Obviousness in Patent Law
Jeanne C. Fromer 
Professor Fromer reviews recent developments in the obviousness standard for patents arguing that the examination for obvious should be layered – the court should consider both the obviousness of the conception and the obviousness of the reduction to practice of the invention. She then discusses the implication of such a layered process on patentability of inventions in specific subject areas such as biotechnology and software.

Finding a Cure: The Case for Regulation and Oversight of Electronic Health Records Systems 
Sharona Hoffman & Andy Podgurski 
In the past couple of years, both Congress and the President have promoted programs that would incentivize the creation of electronic health records systems that would allow doctors easy access to all of a patient’s medical background. Professor Hoffman and Podgurski argue both that these systems should and will be created.  However, they also propose a system of regulation not only to ensure the privacy and security of patient records, but to make certain that the systems are reliable and contain accurate information.

Electronically Manufacture Law
Katrina Fischer Kuh
The advent of legal databases such as Westlaw and Lexis have substantially altered the way that legal research is performed. Professor Kuh uses principles of cognitive psychology to examine several specific differences in the approach to legal research and the consequences that these changes will have on the practice of law.

Toward a Culture of Cybersecurity Research
Aaron J. Burstein
Burstein argues that while cybersecurity researchers are making great stride in the protection of data, the progress in this field is actually being inhibited by statutory and informal measures aimed at protecting individual privacy. Burstein promotes the creation of research exception to federal privacy laws so that cybersecurity researchers may have access to data that improve security for all. 

Making Available as Distribution: File Sharing and the Copyright Act
John Horsfield-Bradbury
Student Note discussing several recent copyright cases, specifically, whether simply making a copyrighted work available, but not actually transferring it, counts as infringement.

The Web Difference: A Non-CDA-230 Rationale Against Liability for Online Reproduction of Third-Party Defamatory Content
Matt Sanchez 
Student Note arguing that, regardless of how courts and lawmakers end up interpreting the Communications Decency Act, internet speakers should be immune from liability for reproducing defamatory content. The Note supports this through an analysis of the unique nature and benefits of online speech and reproduction. 

Posted On Jan - 3 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Dear Digest Readers,

It’s once again that time of year: The Digest will be taking a short break in the coming weeks as our Staff Writers prepare for final exams and head home for a well-deserved holiday break. We’ll be back shortly after the New Year with the same quality and coverage you’ve come to expect in addition to brand-new student commentary. 

Also this winter, the Digest celebrates our one-year anniversary! Since January 2007 we have grown from a dedicated group of five to a staff of more than twenty-five; this past semester we’ve worked to bring our readers more content, faster than before, all while maintaining our high editorial standards. 

We sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage this year - Stay Tuned!  

- The Digest Staff 

Posted On Dec - 11 - 2008 Comments Off READ FULL POST

RDR Books Withdraws Appeal in Harry Potter Lexicon Case

RDR Books withdrew its appeal to the Second Circuit on Thursday, December 4th.  The trial court, in an opinion by Judge Patterson, had permanently enjoined its publication of a Harry Potter Lexicon book, along with awarding statutory damages to plaintiffs Warner Brothers and J.K. Rowling.

Anthony Falzone, of the Stanford Fair Use Project and counsel for the defendant, released a blog post entitled “Lexicon Resurrected,” noting that RDR plans to publish a new Lexicon.  The new manuscript addresses concerns expressed by J.K. Rowling at trial as well as those expressed in Judge Patterson’s opinion.  According to Mr. Falzone, both RDR and the author of the Lexicon, Steven Vander Ark, like the new manuscript much more than the old one.

As reported by the Associated Press, Neil Blair, a lawyer for J.K. Rowling’s literary agency, stated that he was “delighted that this matter is finally and favorably resolved and that J.K. Rowling’s rights – and indeed the rights of all authors of creative works – have been protected.”  “We are also pleased to hear that rather than continue to litigate, RDR have themselves decided to publish a different book prepared with reference to Judge Patterson’s decision.”

Previously: Harry Potter Lexicon Found to Infringe J.K. Rowling’s Copyright

Posted On Dec - 8 - 2008 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Federal Circuit Affirms Judgment Against Qualcomm, Limits Remedy of Patent Unenforceability
By Aaron Dulles – Edited By Stephanie Weiner
Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., Federal Circuit, December 1, 2008, No. 2007-1545 & 2008-1162
Slip opinion

On December 1, 2008, the Federal Circuit affirmed in part the District Court for the Southern District of California, no. 05-CV-1958, holding that Qualcomm breached its duty to disclose relevant video-compression technology patents during its participation in a standards-setting organization (“SSO”). However the Federal Circuit limited the scope of the remedy; rather than make the patent unenforceable against the world, the court held the patent unenforceable only against products compliant with the standard created by the SSO.

The judgment arises from a patent infringement suit brought against Broadcom in which Qualcomm asserted two patents concerning video compression technology. After a concealment effort that resulted in sanctions for litigation misconduct, it came to light that Qualcomm had participated in an SSO called the Joint Video Team (“JVT”) that was responsible for creating a video compression standard known as H.264. The H.264 standard was intended to be achievable at a baseline by anyone without requiring them to pay royalties. The court found that Qualcomm was required to disclose to the members of JVT any patents it held covering technology that “reasonably might be necessary” to practice the standard. Qualcomm was held to have waived its rights to the two patents by not disclosing those patents to JVT.

The case provides some clarity in a previously murky area: The Wall Street Journal Law Blog notes that this case clarifies the court’s willingness to find a duty to disclose in the SSO context, while Zusha Ellinson of The Recorder observes that it also clarifies the penalties for failing to disclose. The case is also being held up as a demonstration of the disastrous results of withholding evidence. (more…)

Posted On Dec - 6 - 2008 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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ITC’s review of an

ITC’s review of an ALJ’s order was not procedurally sound By ...

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Facebook’s experim

Facebook’s experiment of emotional contagion raises concerns By Jenny Choi – ...

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Georgia Supreme Cour

Georgia Supreme Court Takes Chan v. Ellis Appeal to Redefine ...

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Flash Digest: News i

By Ken Winterbottom Access to nude photos is a ‘perk’ of ...

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SDNY Holds Bitcoins

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Mengyi Wang United States v. Ulbricht, ...