Some 47 USC 230 Cases From the Past Year You Might Have Missed (Because I Didn’t Blog Them)

By Eric Goldman How do you celebrate the Fourth of July? I spent the holiday thinking about how 47 USC 230 enhances my freedoms. However, I’ve been feeling a little guilty because I try to blog every Section 230 case…

Recap of Washington State’s Employer Social Media Password Bill

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] SB 5211 (passed by Senate April 27, 2013) Both chambers of the Washington legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5211, and it now awaits the Governor’s signature. No Washington legislators voted against it. Here are the key…

Nosal Convicted of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Crime Despite His Ninth Circuit Win – US v. Nosal

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani, with a comment from Eric] US v. Nosal, CR 08-0237 EMC (N.D. Cal. Mar. 12, 2013) (.pdf, denying motion to dismiss) US v. Nosal, a case that spawned two Ninth Circuit opinions and that’s sure to…

Online Trespass to Chattels Needs Structural Reform (Forbes Cross-Post)

By Eric Goldman In light of Aaron Swartz’s tragic suicide, there has been a lot of discussion–some productive, some not–about reforming the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (the “CFAA”).  I support some of the reform proposals, but they don’t go…

Employer Fails to State Stored Communications Act Claims Absent Allegations That Employees Interfered With Company Accounts – Castle Megastore v. Wilson

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Castle Megastore Group, Inc. v. Wilson, et al., 2013 WL 672895 (D. Ariz. Feb. 25, 2013) Castle Megastore is going after three of its former employees for their alleged breaches of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets,…

Facebook Posts and Twitter Invites Don’t Violate Non-Solicitation Clause — Pre-Paid Legal v. Cahill

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani with a comment from Eric] Pre-Paid Legal Services v. Cahill, Civ-12-346-JHP (E.D. Ok. Jan. 22, 2013) Cahill was an associate of Pre-Paid Legal Services, described by the court as a multi-level marketing company. Cahill joined and…

Q4 2012 Quick Links, Part 1 (IP Edition)

By Eric Goldman Copyright * Author’s Guild v. HathiTrust, 1:11-cv-06351-HB (SDNY Oct. 10, 2012). James Grimmelmann’s take. * Hillicon Valley: ‘Shell-shocked’ lawmakers shy away from online piracy in new Congress * Ars Technica: Voters boot three SOPA-sponsoring Hollywood allies from…

Let’s Stop Using the Term “Soft IP”

By Eric Goldman You may have heard–or even used–the phrase “soft IP.” I’m not a fan of it, and I think we should retire the term. The term “soft IP” is inherently ambiguous. Sometimes, people use “soft IP” to refer…

When Will We Give Up the Charade That Numbers Are Copyrightable?–National Football Scouting v. Rang

By Eric Goldman National Football Scouting, Inc. v. Rang, 11-cv-5762-RBL (W.D. Wash. Dec. 13, 2012) Individual numbers aren’t copyrightable, no matter how much work or judgment went into producing them. This proposition seems so obvious, I feel silly even mentioning…

The Problems With Software Patents (Forbes Cross-Post)

By Eric Goldman The U.S. patent system largely treats all innovations equally, but innovation often works quite differently in different industries.  In particular, the software industry differs from other major innovative industries–such as computer hardware and biotech/pharmaceuticals–in several key ways,…