Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 1 (IP)

Trademark * Barton Beebe has posted a new free casebook, Trademark Law: An Open-Source Casebook. Quite possibly the new gold standard of trademark casebooks. Check it out! * Hollywood, Esq.: Chubby Checker Settles Penis Size App Lawsuit. Prior blog post. *…

Another Blogger Wins a Fair Use Defense For a Photo--Leveyfilm v. Fox Sports

Danielle Wysocki blogged at “The Jersey Catcher,” a sports blog for women. On December 6, 2010, she blogged about a lawsuit over the 1985 novelty rap song “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” sung by members of the Chicago Bears football team….

TCPA Claim Against Taco Bell Fails For Lack of Agency

I mentioned before that a court said Taco Bell wasn’t liable for texts sent on its behalf because the plaintiff didn’t adequately allege the sender was Taco Bell’s agent (See “Franchisor Isn’t Liable Under the TCPA for Franchisees’ Text Message…

I have been exploring teaching a one unit course in the undergraduate Engineering School called something like “IP for Engineers.” As part of researching this course, I flagged several books for closer review. Here are some mini-reviews of the books…

Lawyer’s Suit Over “Professional Recognition” Spam Flops

Say you’re a lawyer and you receive a promotional email intimating that you’re one of the “Top Lawyers in California.” You probably just delete it and move on, right? That would be too easy. Nicholas Bontrager sued Showmark alleging that…

First Amendment Precludes Disorderly Conduct Conviction for Ranting on Police Department Facebook Page

Smith was convicted following a jury trial of disorderly conduct and unlawful use of a computerized communication system. His charge stemmed for comments to the local police department’s Facebook page (access the town’s webpage here). The police department initially posted…

The Supreme Court ruled that Aereo infringed broadcasters’ copyrights by transmitting, in near-real-time, the stream of over-the-air television broadcasts, even when it did so at viewers’ direction. Adopting a pragmatic and functional assessment of Aereo’s activities, the majority held that…

Republishing Litigation Brief Is Fair Use--White v. Westlaw

It’s a perennial question in copyright law: to what extent does copyright law protect attorney-drafted documents such as litigation briefs or contracts? Despite the venerability of the issue (I tested on copyrightability of contracts in my 2002 copyright class), we…

Want To Encourage Gossipy Content Online? Go For It--Jones v. TheDirty (Forbes Cross-Post)

In 1996, Congress enacted a crucial Internet law, 47 USC 230 (Section 230), which says that websites aren’t liable for third party content. This law, though sometimes counterintuitive, has played a huge and helpful role in the Internet’s growth by…

Criminal Cyberbullying Statute Violates First Amendment--New York v. Marquan

Albany County enacted a criminal cyberbulling statute, which defined cyberbulling as: any act of communicating or causing a communication to be sent by mechanical or electronic means, including posting statements on the internet or through a computer or email network,…