A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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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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Second Circuit Prohibits Extraterritorial Application of Stored Communication Act’s Warrant Provision

The Second Circuit reversed a U.S. Magistrate Judge’s warrant ordering Microsoft to produce customer content stored in Ireland. The Second Circuit held that the warrant provisions in § 2703 of the Stored Communications Act, 18 USC §§2701-2712 (1986) (“SCA”), cannot be used to compel a service provider to disclose user e-mail content stored exclusively on a foreign server.

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U.S. District Court Denied TC Heartland’s Writ of Mandamus to Transfer Patent Infringement Suit

 

In April 2016, the Federal Circuit denied TC Heartland LLC’s writ of mandamus. Hartland requested the court order the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to dismiss or transfer the patent infringement suit initiated by Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC. In rejecting Hartland’s request, the court explained that a writ of mandamus is an “extraordinary remedy appropriate only in exceptional circumstances” and Hartland did not meet this bar.

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Congresswoman Speier’s Revenge Pornography Bill: Crossing the First Amendment Line?

On July 14, 2016, Congresswoman Speier proposed the Intimate Privacy Protection Act, a bill designed to make revenge pornography a federal crime punishable with up to five years in prison. Although the current version is narrower in scope than previous iterations, there are still some concerns that this bill violates the First Amendment’s right to free speech.

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Following an unfavorable verdict from a second jury and the Court’s denial of the first motion for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”), Oracle America, Inc. (“Oracle”) filed a renewed motion for JMOL pursuant to FRCP Rule 50(b). Oracle’s second motion, filed July 6, 2016, claimed that “no reasonable jury” could find that Google’s “verbatim [and] entirely commercial” copying of Oracle’s code, in order to compete with Oracle, was fair use.[1] The motion will be heard on August 18, 2016.

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Department of Justice (DOJ)By Kevin Crenny – Edited by Mila Owen

United States of America v. Safya Roe Yassin, No. 16-mj-2009-DPR (W. D. Mo.) Criminal Complaint available here; Opposition to Motion to Revoke the Detention Order available here (hosted by Washington Post).

In a recent filing, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri argued for the continued pre-trial detention of Safya Roe Yassin, who has been charged with making threatening statements online in support of ISIS. The filing was noteworthy for its reliance not only on the tweets Yassin had published, but those of other ISIS supporters that she had retweeted.

The government’s filing states that in August 2015, Yassin posted a series of tweets indicating support for the “Caliphate State” of ISIS, including calls to violence and releases of names, addresses, and contact information for U.S. military personnel. On August 24, she retweeted tweets from another account that contained the names, cities, and phone numbers of two FBI employees under the heading “Wanted to kill”.

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Posted On Apr - 18 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

UnknownBy Gia Velasquez – Edited by Yunnan Jiang

New Jersey Bill Seeks to Ban Texting While Walking

Though 46 states have banned texting while driving, New Jersey Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt introduced a bill that seeks to extend the texting ban to pedestrians.  Since a 2013 nationwide study at The Ohio State University reported 1,500 emergency room visits in 2010 for injuries sustained texting while walking, the problem has grown. Though a recent survey reported 78 percent of adults agree distracted walking is a serious problem, 49 percent believe they do “not at all” text, read emails/websites, play games, or take selfies. If passed, violators of the texting while walking statute could be fined up to $50 or imprisoned.

“Unreasonable” Behavior During Litigation Cost Video Website $30,000

In September 2015, Garfum.com, a small video website, claimed a Pennsylvania photographer infringed on their patent, entitled “Method of sharing multi-media content among users in a global computer network” by hosting photo contests on her website, Bytephoto. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) took on Ruth Taylor’s case pro bono, and Garfum.com dropped the case. The EFF then sued Garfum.com for attorney’s fees, for which a New Jersey District Court has awarded Taylor $30,000. U.S. Chief District Judge Jerome Simandle found Garfum.com’s conduct during litigation was “unreasonable” and that the suit was brought in bad faith.

California Medical Device Company Fails to Meet Internal Standards

Theranos, Inc., a California-based medical testing company, is under scrutiny after a 121-page report issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed the company failed to meet their own internal standards regarding the accuracy of their Edison testing device. Valued at $9 billion in February 2014, Theranos promised only a few finger pricks could produce results for over 200 medical tests. CMS showed that 29% of the quality-control checks fell short of the expectations set forth by Theranos. Theranos responded to the report by “proactively suspending testing associated with any affected areas last year after learning of the issues” and planning to hire a new full-time lab director.

Posted On Apr - 11 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

YouTubeBy Sheri Pan – Edited by Henry Thomas

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., Nos. 13-16106, 13-16107 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2016), slip opinion hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”)

The Ninth Circuit issued an amended opinion in Lenz v. Universal Music that broadened the scope of the holding requiring copyright holders to consider fair use before sending takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).  The dispute arose when Universal Music sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube directing YouTube to remove a video taken by Stephanie Lenz featuring her toddler dancing to a song by the artist Prince.  Lenz, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, subsequently sued Universal for sending an improper takedown notice.  JD Supra and Techdirt provide commentary.

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Posted On Apr - 4 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Georgia CapitalBy Felicia (Feiran) Chen – Edited by Colette Ghazarian

House Bill 5 – A bill to be entitled an Act to amend Article 3 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the O.C.G.A.

During the Georgia General Assembly 2015-2016 Regular Session, Representatives Geisinger, Kidd, McCall, Rice, and Bentley have proposed a bill to be entitled an act to amend Article 3 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.),which regulates invasions of privacy, including wiretapping, eavesdropping, and surveillance. On February 12, 2015, the bill entered the House’s second reading. This house bill is an amendment to provide a definition of invasions of privacy and clarify its current law on drones.

The bill defines the term “image” and clarifies the situations under which it would be lawful to capture an image using an unmanned aircraft (16-11-95.1), and the situations under which it prohibits the capturing of certain images by unmanned aircraft (16-11-95.2). For those who are found guilty for violating 16-11-95.3(a)(1), their violation will result in either a misdemeanor or a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The amendment then provides for defenses to prosecution. The amendment restricts the use of such images in legal proceedings (16-11-95.4), and provides for civil actions against those who commit violations under the proposed bill (16-11-95.5). Furthermore, the amendment provides for rulemaking authority for the Department of Public Safety for law enforcement use of such unmanned aircraft.

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Posted On Apr - 4 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

infringementBy Yaping Zhang – Edited by Danielle Kehl

On March 14, 2016, Judge Selya, writing for a unanimous bench on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, affirmed the District Court of Massachusetts’ decision dismissing the complaint filed by three victims of child sex trafficking against online forum Backpage.com. Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Souter serves as a judge by designation.

The First Circuit Court opinion can be found here, and the District Court of Massachusetts’ opinion can be found here.

The three anonymous plaintiffs, victims of child sex trafficking, alleged that they were molested and repeatedly raped after being advertised as sexual wares on Backpage.com. They sued Backpage.com, a website that hosts online classified adds, alleging that it had violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (“TVPRA”), 18 U.S.C. §1595, which applies to anyone that “knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture which that person knew or should have known has engaged in an act in violation of this chapter.” The defendant invoked Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (“CDA”), which shields online service providers from liability for material posted by users of the site, and allows website operators to engage in blocking and screening of third-party content free from liability for such good-faith efforts. 47 U.S.C. §230. In addition, the CDA includes an immunity clause that exempts enforcement of a federal criminal statute, which plaintiffs argued applicable in a civil case such as this one.

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Posted On Apr - 4 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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