STLR Link Roundup – October 19, 2018

Federal Judge Approves SEC’s Settlement with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan approved Elon Musk and Tesla’s securities fraud settlement with the SEC. As part of the settlement, Musk and Tesla will each pay $20 million in civil penalties. Musk must also step down as chairman of the board within 45 days for at least 3 years. The SEC sued Musk on September 27, 2018 alleging Continue Reading →

The Emerging Question of AI Legal Personhood Asked of Us by the Likes of Google Duplex and Sophia

At Google’s I/O developer conference this past May, CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled Duplex, an incredibly human-sounding phone bot that appeared, upon first impression, to pass Alan Turing’s Imitation Game, which tests the “intelligence” of a computer by judging its ability to answer a series of questions well enough to fool a human interrogator of its true nature. In the demo, an appreciative crowd listens as Pichai plays a recording of two calls made by Duplex Continue Reading →

The Truth About OSS-FRAND: By All Indications, Compatible Models in Standards Settings

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest contributors David J. Kappos and Miling Y. Harrington. Mr. Kappos is a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Previously, he served as the Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office from August 2009 – January 2013. Ms. Harrington is an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. A PDF of the following article can be found here and will be published in a forthcoming edition of Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 12, 2018

President Trump Signs Landmark Audio Streaming Bill Into Law On October 11th, President Trump signed the Music Modernization Act (MMA), along with two companion bills into law. The MMA and its companion bills should make it easier for artists to get paid by allowing artists to receive royalties from songs written prior to 1972, creating a single music licensing database, and making the legal process easier for artists to receive royalties. It also guarantees producers and Continue Reading →

Has a Federal Circuit Decision Ended the CRIPSR/Cas Patent Battle?

On September 10, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in Regents of the University of California v. Broad Institute, Inc. may have ended perhaps the most heated biotech patent battle today: who owns the fundamental patents for the powerful CRISPR/Cas gene-editing tool. Unless University of California, Berkeley (UCB) successfully appeals the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Broad Institute will keep its patents on CRISPR/Cas technology.   History of Continue Reading →

A Federal Anti-SLAPP Law Would Make CDA 230 More Effective

This article was published originally on Techdirt.com, and was co-authored with Evan Mascagni, the Policy Director at the Public Participation Project. Re-published with the permission of Techdirt. Collateral Censorship and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act Lawsuits against institutions that transmit speech, such as newspapers and blogs, impose costs that those institutions act to avoid—if necessary, by preemptively censoring any third-party speech that increases their exposure to legal liability. The purpose of Section 230 of Continue Reading →

Bitcoin’s Myth of Anonymity and the Rise of Other “Anonymous” Cryptocurrencies

Introduction Many cryptocurrencies tout their “anonymous” qualities and lure users with general promises of untraceable transactions. Users of cryptocurrencies seek anonymity, not necessarily because they want to deal in illegal activity (although there are plenty of criminals turning to digital currencies to hide transactions) but because they desire privacy and security in knowing that they control the release of their personal data and spending history. Bitcoin has gained the most traction as a digital currency Continue Reading →

Reflections on Recent SEC Enforcement Actions against ICOs

  In 2017, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) raised approximately $4 billion of capital worldwide. ICOs are a digital asset fundraising mechanism where issuers sell to investors digital tokens or coins that are supported by the blockchain technology, and investors make the payment using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies or fiat currency. ICOs, by their nature, are exposed to high risks, including fraud and cyberattack, making investor protection an eminent concern. In 2018, the Securities and Exchange Continue Reading →

Crash Course: Recent Proposals for Comprehensive Privacy Reform

Introduction Google searches for the term “privacy” reached new highs over the past month. The ascension of privacy issues in the national consciousness comes as no surprise considering recent revelations of Cambridge Analytica’s data scandals, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent testimony before Congress, and prospects of increased regulation on privacy and data. The concern over privacy is not new. The phrase, “If you’re not paying for it, you are the product,” and similar analogues have Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup-April 21, 2018

California Federal Judge Certifies Privacy Class Action Lawsuit Against Facebook  On Monday, Judge Donato of the Northern District of California certified a class action suit against Facebook under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The class is comprised of all Illinois Facebook users for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011, through Facebook’s “Tag Suggestions” program. Through “Tag Suggestions,” Facebook scans uploaded photographs, identifies faces in photographs, and then Continue Reading →