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,…

Engaging Facebook Friends Doesn’t Violate Non-Solicitation Clause–Invidia v. DiFonzo

By Eric Goldman Invidia, LLC, v. Maren DiFonzo, 2012 WL 5576406 (Mass. Super. Ct. Oct. 22, 2012) Let me start with a baseline proposition: we in California have it so much better than the rest of the country because employer-employee…

Q3 2012 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks/Domain Names, Patents, Trade Secrets)

By Eric Goldman and Jake McGowan Trademarks/Domain Names * AdAge: “Consumers Don’t Really Know Who Sponsors the Olympics.” This reminds us that trying to protect against “sponsorship confusion” is futile. For example: 16% believed Google sponsors the Olympics; and of…