'Silk Road' Ruling Will Hurt Online Commerce (Forbes Cross-Post)

‘Silk Road’ Ruling Will Hurt Online Commerce (Forbes Cross-Post)

You may have heard of Silk Road, an online marketplace that enabled hard-to-trace buying and selling of illegal goods. The court says it was “as if the purchases were occurring on eBay;” buyers and sellers could even leave feedback about…

Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 4 (Content Regulation, Prostitution & More)

Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 4 (Content Regulation, Prostitution & More)

Content Regulation * Jancik v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, 2014 WL 1920751 (C.D. Cal. May 14, 2014) (cites omitted). Another websites-and-ADA case diverging from the troubling 2012 Netflix ruling: However, the Redbox Instant website and the Redbox kiosks cannot be…

Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 3 (Privacy, Marketing, E-Commerce & More)

Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 3 (Privacy, Marketing, E-Commerce & More)

Privacy * Snapchat’s basic value proposition (“Disappearing digital photos”) has been deceptive from the beginning. The FTC busted them for it. (I saw James Grimmelmann added this to his Internet Law casebook. We’ve also added it to our Advertising Law…

Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 2 (Consumer Reviews, Defamation & More)

Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 2 (Consumer Reviews, Defamation & More)

Consumer Reviews * In re Margrett A. Skinner (Ga. Sup. Ct. May 19, 2014). Lawyer publicly reprimanded for disclosing client confidential information to rebut the client’s online reviews. See my Forbes post. * Loftus v. Nazari, 2:10-cv-00279-WOB-JGW (E.D. Ky. May…

Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 1 (IP)

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

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….

Textbooks For An “Intellectual Property For Engineers” Course

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…

Four Unanswered Questions From Aereo’s Supreme Court Loss (Forbes Cross-Post)

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

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)

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…