A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news

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.



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.



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.



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).




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


June Nam – Edited by Ding Ding

TCA Television Corp. v. McCollum, — F.3d –, 2016 WL 5899174 (2d Cir. 2016). Opinion hosted by Law360.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the judgment but rejected the reasoning of the district court, which dismissed allegations of copyright infringement. The district court granted the defendant’s 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, finding the defendant’s play, Hand to God, qualified as a non-infringing fair use. The district court found that Hand to God’s incorporation of the routine was “highly transformative”, qualifying as non-infringing fair use. TCA Television Corp. v. McCollum, 151 F. Supp. 3d 419, 434, 437 (S.D.N.Y. 2015). (more…)

Posted On Oct - 23 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Fed. Cir. Flash DigestBy Wendy Chu – Edited by Kayla Haran

Delaware Supreme Court Dismisses a Case For Lack of Online Personal Jurisdiction

The Delaware Supreme Court ruled that it does not have personal jurisdiction over the author of an allegedly defamatory article or the owner of the host website, when the only connection to the state was the injury to a Delaware corporation. Although the plaintiffs argued that Delaware’s long-arm statute allowed for personal jurisdiction and that the website targeted its content to Delaware readers, they did not show that the injury was caused by an act or omission in Delaware. As the court noted, this case “highlight[s] the reality that the Internet, which increasingly forms an important part of our day-to-day interactions, exists outside of the state boundaries that define considerations of jurisdiction.” (more…)

Posted On Oct - 17 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

infringementBy Haydn Forrest – Edited by Henry Thomas

Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC, v. Amazon.com, Inc. (Fed. Cir. Sep. 23, 2016)

Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC, v. DirecTV, LLC (Fed. Cir. Sep. 23, 2016)

Affinity Labs filed patent infringement suits against Amazon, DirecTV, and the media arms of a host of major league sports organization, alleging infringement of two streaming media patents. The suits were consolidated and heard by a magistrate judge, who recommended granting a motion to dismiss. Both cases were then appealed and heard by the Western District of Texas, which accepted the magistrate judge’s findings and ruled against Affinity. The Federal Circuit affirmed, finding that in both cases, the patents at issue did not pass the standard for patentability laid out by the Supreme Court in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd., v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014). (more…)

Posted On Oct - 17 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

smartphone-fingerprintBy Nehaa Chaudhari – Edited by Ellora Israni

Commonwealth v. Onyx White SJC-11917 (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court September 28, 2016)

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed last month a lower court’s decision to suppress information found on a cell phone seized without warrant or probable cause. (more…)

Posted On Oct - 17 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

UnknownBy Daniel Etcovitch – Edited by Emily Chan

Florida Judge Rules Bitcoin Is Not Equivalent to Money

In Florida’s first money-laundering case to involve Bitcoin, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler declared that Bitcoin do not qualify as a “monetary instrument” and that their transfer is not a “financial transaction” under state criminal law. While this precedent is only binding in Florida, the analysis may be a signal to federal regulators who have yet to take a definitive stance on this issue, catalyzing them to take some action. It is certainly an important consideration for tech industry players with an interest in Bitcoin. The judge decided bitcoins are not equivalent to money because they “are not a commonly used means of exchange,”  “does not have a central authority” managing them in the way a currency would, and they are not “tangible wealth.”

Illinois Governor Signs Bill Restricting Use of Stingrays

With a new law that will take effect on January 1, 2017, Illinois joins the growing group of states that are limiting law enforcement use of cell-site simulators (also called Stingrays). These devices emulate cell towers and collect data from unsuspecting phone users in the area. Under the new law, entitled the “Citizen Privacy Protection Act,” in order to use a Stingray, law enforcement not only must submit to the court an application that describes the device and its intended use, such as “whether it will obtain data from non-target communications devices,” but also must immediately delete any data that is obtained using the Stingray from non-target communications devices.

DMCA DRM Circumvention Provision’s Constitutionality Being Challenged

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is suing the federal government, challenging the constitutionality of the portion of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that prohibits circumventing digital locks on content (often called DRM). Their case centers around the fact that the only way to get an exception to the DRM ban is to apply to the Librarian of Congress, a process that takes place only once every three years and sometimes leads to inconsistent results. According to EFF, the current law does sufficiently allow content to be used in ways that would qualify for the fair use exception, including for political commentary or creation of educational content, conflicting with freedom of speech under the First Amendment. EFF also challenges the anti-trafficking provision of the DMCA, which bans distribution of tools that would help circumvent DRM, on the basis that there is absolutely no way to get an exception. Under that provision, even if the Librarian of Congress gave an exception allowing the petitioner to legally circumvent DRM, nobody is allowed to distribute the technology by which to do so. JOLT Digest provides more in-depth coverage.


Posted On Aug - 4 - 2016 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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