Technically Legal

Technology and the law. Done right.

Podcast Special: Bilski

In this special episode we discuss the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Bilski v. Kappos.

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Comments Off Posted in: Podcast on June 29, 2010

Episode 56: Hotel California

Google and YouTube win First Round, Congress Can Take Works out of the Public Domain, Apple Sharing Location Data

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Google, YouTube Win First Round Against Viacom

The Opinon

Congress Can Take Works Out of Public Domain

Terrible News: Court Says It’s Okay To Remove Content From The Public Domain And Put It Back Under Copyright
The Opinion

Apple Sharing iPhone Location Data

Apple Now Storing and Sharing Your Location With Others
Congressmen Ask Apple To Explain Privacy Policy Changes
Lawmakers To Introduce New Internet Privacy Bill

Comments Off Posted in: Podcast on June 28, 2010

Bilski Coverage

We hope to have some analysis up this afternoon. Our typical podcast, which was recorded Sunday, will post late tonight. We’ll be recording a special podcast to discuss Bilski tomorrow, after we’ve all had a chance to read and digest it. That should post late Tuesday night.

Comments Off Posted in: Commentary on June 28, 2010

Bilski: Business Method Patent Invalid

Today the Supreme Court handed down its long awaited opinion in Bilski v. Kappos.

The opinion, authored by Justce Kennedy, affirms the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that the patent on hedging investments was invalid.

We discussed this way back in November on podcast episode 25. We’ll be doing more detailed analysis over the next few days.

Comments Off Posted in: Links on June 28, 2010

First Thoughts on Viacom v. Google

I’ve finally had an opportunity to sit down a read the opinion in Viacom v. Google. I wanted to share a few thoughts about it.

First, the judge distilled the issue down to one clear question of law: does knowledge of infringing content on the site mean specific, actual, knowledge of each item, or generalized knowledge that there is a lot of infringing activity going on? The judge spent about half the opinion reciting legislative history to inform his answer to the question.

In the end, he came to the same conclusion that many other judges have: that it would ruin DMCA safe harbor, and be contrary to Congress’ intent, if generalized knowledge, or even a duty to investigate files uploaded, could constitute knowledge of infringing works under the DMCA.

All that being said, Viacom has promised to appeal, and this opinion carries no weight on appeal. This opinion is only as useful as it is persuasive to the panel that hears the appeal.

We’ll follow the appeal closely, but these do not move quickly.

Comments Off Posted in: Analysis on June 24, 2010

Google wins case against Viacom

Google has won the $1 billion lawsuit brought by Viacom against Google it’s YouTube site. There will be more coverage over the next day.

You can find Google’s official announcement on their YouTube blog, where you will also find the 30-page opinion.

1 Comment Posted in: Links on June 23, 2010

Google and Twitter Weigh In on Hot News

It seems like we just talked about the hot news doctrine on the podcast, and here it is, cropping up again.

Back in March, a Federal district court breathed new life into the dying hot news doctrine. The hot news doctrine grants a kind of copyright over facts for a short period of time, in order to reward the person who first reported those facts. The problem is that the doctrine was developed decades ago, and isn’t a good fit for modern technology.

The district court judge’s ruling was appealed, and TechDirt is reporting that Google and Twitter have argued that the doctrine is arbitrary and out moded. It’s not terribly surprising that content providers are trying to ressurect this doctrine, but courts will hopefully do the right thing, and put it to rest.

Comments Off Posted in: Commentary on June 22, 2010

Episode 55: It’s Just Like Starcraft!

Quon and SMS Privacy, AT&T Security Breaches, and FTC Wants to Save the Newspaper

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Quon and SMS Privacy

Analysis: Hints on texting privacy
The Opinion

AT&T Security Breaches

iPhone 4 Order Security Breach Exposes Personal Information
FBI Investigates iPad Data Breach
AT&T Explains iPad Security Breach

FTC Wants to Save Newspaper

Potential Policy Recommendations To Support The Reinvention Of Journalism

1 Comment Posted in: Podcast on June 21, 2010

City of Ontario v. Quon Released

In a bit of a surprise, the Supreme Court released its opinion in Quon today. The case was argued in April, and the court reverses the 9th Circuit. The Supreme Court held that the search of the officer’s text messages was constitutional.

The court realized that there was some significance in the case, but resolved it purely on a whether the search was reasonable. More detailed analysis to come. We last discussed this case in podcast episode 31.

As of writing, we’re still waiting on Bilski, which was argued in November. It’s the only outstanding case from November.

Comments Off Posted in: Links on June 17, 2010

Episode 54: Apple Sandwich

Apple revises their advertising policy, Traffic Cam Gripe Site, New York Times Demands Apple Takedown a RSS Reader App

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Apple Revises Rules for in App Advertising

Apple revises iOS rules on outside advertisers, cuts out Google, Adobe by implication
FTC Preps Investigation Against Apple’s Ad Tactics
Apple’s Mobile Rules To Get FTC Scrutiny

Traffic Cam Gripe Site

Anti-speed camera activist nabs Bluff City PD’s expiring web domain
Bluff City, TN Speed Camera information
UDRP Policy

NY Times Demands App Takedown

New York Times to iPad App Developers: Hands Off Our RSS
NYT demands Pulse app be pulled from App Store
Pulse app cheered, then pulled, now back
The Takedown Notices

Comments Off Posted in: Podcast on June 14, 2010

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