A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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By Ellora Israni – Edited by Filippo Raso

IMDb is challenging the constitutionality of Assembly Bill 1687 (“AB 1687”), a California law requiring IMDb to remove ages from its website upon request from paid subscribers, claiming that the law violates the First Amendment’s free speech protections.

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Facebook Blocks British Insurance Company from Basing Premiums on Posts and Likes

By Javier Careaga– Edited by Mila Owen

Admiral Insurance has created an initiative called firstcarquote, which analyzes Facebook activity of first-time car owners. The firstcarquote algorithm determines risk based on personality traits and habits that are linked to safe driving. Firstcarquote was recalled two hours before its official launch and then was launched with reduced functionality after Facebook denied authorization, stating that the initiative breaches Facebook’s platform policy.

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Airbnb challenges New York law regulating short-term rentals

By Daisy Joo – Edited by Nehaa Chaudhari

Airbnb filed a complaint in the Federal District Court of the Southern District of New York seeking to “enjoin and declare unlawful the enforcement against Airbnb” of the recent law that prohibits  the advertising of short-term rentals on Airbnb and other similar websites.  Airbnb argued that the new law violated its rights to free speech and due process, and that it was inconsistent with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online intermediaries that host or republish speech from a range of liabilities.

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Medtronic v. Bosch post-Cuozzo: PTAB continues to have the final say on inter partes review

By Nehaa Chaudhari – Edited by Grace Truong

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“the Federal Circuit”) reaffirmed its earlier order, dismissing Medtronic’s appeal against a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). The PTAB had dismissed Medtronic’s petition for inter partes review of Bosch’s patents, since Medtronic had failed to disclose all real parties in interest, as required by 35 U.S.C. §312(a)(2).

 

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California DMV Discuss Rules on Autonomous Vehicles

DOJ Release Guidelines on CFAA Prosecutions

Illinois Supreme Court Rule in Favor of State Provisions Requiring Disclosure of Online Identities of Sex Offenders

Research Shows Concerns for Crucial Infrastructure Information Leaks

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California and Federal FlagsBy Ann Kristin Glenster – Edited by Stacy Ruegilin

Home to Silicon Valley, California has been at the forefront of protecting privacy with three new laws in as many years. According to the website Lexology, the most recent piece of legislation, coming into effect on January 1 2016, will give the sunshine state “the strongest digital privacy rights in the U.S.” Yet, the brunt of the new measures concern strengthening privacy breach notification regimes, hardly a major shift in legislative intent. Rather, these changes represent an incremental updating of the law in order to make its language and application more fit for purpose.

However, that cannot be said for the flagship in this sea battalion of privacy measures, the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA). Introduced by Democratic Senator Mark Leno in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Riley v. California, the new Act requires a search warrant for law enforcement officials to access digital personal communication. The Act also extends the definition of personal information to include metadata, thereby bringing the Californian legal framework more closely in line with European data protection laws.

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Posted On Nov - 11 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

3293465641_b6c5081e87_qBy Danielle Kehl – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk

Maximillian Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner, C‐362/14
(Court of Justice of the European Union Oct. 2015)

In what some are calling a victory against NSA surveillance, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) invalidated a key part of the current transatlantic “Safe Harbor” agreement between the United States and the European Union earlier this month. The case began in 2013 when privacy activist Maximillian Schrems filed a complaint against Facebook with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, alleging based on evidence disclosed by then-NSA contractor Edward Snowden that American companies were not adequately protecting Europeans’ data from government snooping. Although Schrems’ complaint was initially rejected by the Irish data authority, the High Court of Ireland eventually referred the case to the top court in the European Union, which handed down the unexpected decision on October 6, 2015.

The CJEU held in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner that the privacy principles adopted under U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor agreement violate the 1995 European Data Protection Directive, which provides a level of baseline protections to safeguard the privacy of all European citizens’ data. Since 2000, the Safe Harbor arrangement has allowed American companies to process the personal data of European citizens by self-certifying to the U.S. Department of Commerce that they adhered to certain guidelines and principles, including notice, choice, access, security, data integrity, and enforcement. Over 4,000 American technology companies rely on the Safe Harbor framework to operate in Europe without violating the continent’s privacy laws. Without it, those companies may not be able to send data from their European users back to the United States, a prohibition that could be incredibly costly.

Privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and New America’s Open Technology Institute have characterized the decision as a clear signal that further reform of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs is needed. NSA whisteblower Edward Snowden even told Schrems he had “changed the world for the better” via Twitter. But many have also expressed concern about the economic ramifications that American technology companies will experience unless and until the United States successfully negotiates a new Safe Harbor agreement with the E.U. As U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker noted in a press release following the ruling, the decision “creates significant uncertainty for both U.S. and E.U. companies and consumers, and puts at risk the thriving transatlantic digital economy.” Just Security provides a nuanced overview of the ruling and its implications.

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Posted On Nov - 4 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Fed. Cir. Flash Digest

By Mila Owen – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk

Senate CISA Debates End

The Senate voted Thursday to end debate on a package of amendments to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). CISA allows businesses to share private consumer data with the federal government in exchange for information on security vulnerabilities and immunity from associated lawsuits. Because CISA covers all consumer data shared with U.S. companies regardless of origin, CISA would allow foreigners to be prosecuted and jailed for crimes outside of the United States. The bill is due to come up for vote the week of 10/26. The bill faces broad opposition from the technology industry and privacy advocates.

The FDA CDRH released its Regulatory Science Priorities for 2016

The FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) has released its Regulatory Science Priorities for 2016, aimed at improving safety and effectiveness of medical devices. Priorities include harnessing big data for scientific advancement, improving device cyber security and performance. CDRH aims to inform strategic funding for regulators and external stakeholders.

Germany requires all Internet companies to make metadata available to its law enforcement agencies

The German parliament has passed a controversial law requiring telecoms and Internet companies to share metadata with law enforcement agencies, allowing agencies to access data without a warrant for citizens who are suspects of “severe crimes”. This bill revises a 2010 attempt to introduce such measures in Germany. It contains a short data retention period, a localization requirement, and strict security protections for the metadata German law enforcement would obtain. Once the bill is signed by President Gauk, it may still face opposition from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), where it must meet the requirement of limitation to what is “strictly necessary” laid down as a standard last year in the CJEU invalidation of the EU data retention directive last year.

Posted On Nov - 4 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Supreme CourtBy Adi Kamdar – Edited by Travis West

The Supreme Court announced it would take up two parallel patent cases this term: Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc. and Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. The Court will consider the Federal Circuit’s strict standard for awarding enhanced damages for willful patent infringement — a standard that does not comport with recent high court rulings. This discrepancy has most commentators predicting the Supreme Court will overrule the Federal Circuit, continuing a clear trend that materialized through the Court’s last few terms.

Overruling the Federal Circuit, the appeals court that hears all patent issues, in this consolidated case would be a win for plaintiffs — a marked difference from prior Supreme Court rulings, which have tended to favor defendants. Loosening the Federal Circuit’s standard for willful patent infringement will make it easier for patent owners to secure treble damages, making infringement much more expensive.

And higher damages is exactly what the plaintiffs in these cases want, as Ars Technica reports. Halo Electronics, a small transformer manufacturer, took on the much-larger Pulse Electronics for infringing a patent on a particular component — an “electronic surface-mount package.” Halo won and was awarded $1.5 million, but both the trial court and Federal Circuit threw out its willful infringement claim. Stryker has a very similar case against Zimmer regarding patents covering a medical lavage device used for cleaning wounds and bones. While the plaintiff was awarded $210 million dollars, the Federal Circuit reversed the lower court’s finding of willfulness and lowered the award to $70 million.

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Posted On Nov - 4 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

hammerBy Feiran (Felicia) Chen – Edited by Yiran Zhang

Equals Three, LLC. v. Jukin Media, Inc., Case No. 2: 14-cv-09041-SVW-MAN, United States District Court Central District of California, October 13 2015

The rest of the content will be available by clicking this link.

The United States District Court Central District of California granted in part Jukin’s motion for summary judgment to the extent that Jukin asserts Sheep to Balls is not a fair use of Jukin’s videos, and denies Jukin’s motion regarding fair use in all other episodes.

Though at a summary judgment stage, the court almost resolved fair use claims in favor of Equals Three. The court found almost all of Equals Three’s episodes highly transformative as “the jokes, narration, graphics, editing, and other elements that Equals Three adds to Jukin’s videos add something new to Jukin’s videos with a different purpose or character”. The only exception lies when the Sheep to Balls video was used as “news footage without adding transformative to what made the footage valuable”. The court also found speculative employees’ testimony insufficient evidence for market harm despite possibility of substitution. Based on a weighing of the four factors, the court held that the factors weighed in favor of Equals Three’s use within all its videos except the episode titled Sheep to Balls. The court, by ruling this way, noted that commenting on viral videos constituted transformative works, which usually further copyright’s goal to promote the arts and sciences..

Todd Spangler provides an overview of the case. Venkat Balasubramani features a thorough analysis of the decision, especially regarding potential implications this case might have.

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Posted On Nov - 4 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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