Patent Reform Act of 2005 Introduced

The Patent Reform Act of 2005 has been introduced. The bill itself is fairly complicated. Rep. Lamar Smith’s press release summarizes the key features: “· Provides that the right to a patent will be awarded to the first inventor to…

Groups Sue to Strike Down Utah’s Anti-Internet Porn Law

King’s English, Inc. v. Shurtleff (D. Utah complaint filed June 9, 2005). As expected, the ACLU is leading a charge against Utah for their latest anti-porn initiative (HB 260). The AP story. Declan’s News.com story. I have already predicted that…

Do You Want Pictures With That Download?

By John Ottaviani OK, maybe it’s just a slow news day, or maybe it’s because I’m working on a presentation for next week on the implications of open source software for attorneys involved in mergers and acquisitions of software companies,…

Wal-Mart Won’t Print Photos If They Are Too Good

Because copyright is a strict liability tort, “photofinishers” who print photos (like Wal-Mart and Kmart) can be liable if the customer asks to print photos owned by third parties. As a result, photofinishers are now bouncing photos that look professional…

Talk on 47 USC 230

I’m giving a talk later today on 47 USC 230 at Southwestern Law School. This talk allowed me to organize my thoughts on the state of the law. My slides.

Web Gambling Advertising Suit Against Search Engines Allowed to Proceed

By John Ottaviani Business Wire is reporting that Judge Richard Kramer of the San Francisco County Superior Court has denied a motion to dismiss certain of the allegations in a class action lawsuit filed last summer against Google, Yahoo! and…

Google’s Human Algorithm

Henk van Ess has been running a series of blog posts at Search Bistro about how Google uses international students to QA the relevancy of its search results. See, for example, his initial post including the advertising that Google ran…

Why I’m Not Excited About a New .xxx TLD

I’m not really a fan of new TLDs. Mostly, I see them increasingly irrelevant, so they generate a fair amount of activity but little benefit. As a result, not surprisingly, I am not excited about a .xxx TLD. Indeed, not…

Judge Patel: Maintaining An Index of Downloadable Files is Not “Distributing” the Files

By John Ottaviani Although there was some confusion over Judge Patel’s May 11th ruling in the Napster investor litigation, her May 31 ruling leaves no doubt that the Section 106(3) distribution right is not infringed merely by maintaining an index…