Q3 2009 Quick Links, Part 4

By Eric Goldman

Spam

* Ars Technica: “a disturbing number of e-mail users respond to spam, and not just because they’re dumb—some of them did so because they were actually interested in the product or service.” I collected some empirical research establishing this point in 2004.

* SpamFighter: Software Creator Admits to Aiding & Abetting Spam

Fraud

* Reuters: A virtual bank rips off depositors in EVE Online.

* Click fraud concerns at Facebook: TechCrunch; Unified ECM v. Facebook complaint (one of at least three pending).

* There can be legitimate circumstances where it makes sense for a vendor to automatically pass a user’s credit card number to another vendor, but the practice seems ripe for regulation.

Contracts

* BNA: End of the Notice Paradigm?: FTC’s Proposed Sears Settlement Casts Doubt On the Sufficiency of Disclosures in Privacy Policies and User Agreements (BNA Subscription required)

* In August, the NYT interviewed David Vladeck, who suggests that the FTC v. Sears settlement could signal a changing of the guard at the FTC.

* Jonathan Ezor on common drafting mistakes in privacy policies.

* Hines v. Overstock.com, Inc., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81204 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 4, 2009). Browsewrap terms aren’t enforceable “because the website did not prompt her to review the Terms and Conditions and because the link to the Terms and Conditions was not prominently displayed so as to provide reasonable notice of the Terms and conditions.”

* Timothy D. Cedrone, Morals? Who Cares About Morals? An Examination of Morals Clauses in Talent Contracts and What Talent Needs to Know, Seton Hall Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law. I have given my first year contracts students an exercise involving morals clauses that I think worked pretty well (see the links on this page under the “endorsement contract” bullet).

Miscellaneous

* The USPTO has not renewed the peer-to-patent program.

* ABA Journal: E-Discovery is $4B/yr industry but is experiencing consolidation.

* Paul Ohm’s paper on re-identification of putatively anonymous databases. This may be one of the more important privacy law papers in some time, as it indicates that we cannot meaningfully distinguish between personally identifiable and non-personally identifiable information.

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