Taking Games Online Highlights Holes in Current Property Regime

For video games, the horizon may hold more than the promise of superior graphics, improved audio bitrates, and expanded narrative. Following the rise of increasingly complex and inclusive second-life simulations, i.e., MMORPGs (“massively multiplayer online role playing games”), gamers and developers alike are now faced with a variety of legal troubles both novel and daunting. Who owns an in-game sword: the person who found it or the company that coded it? If that sword is Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 27, 2010

A federal appeals court held that federal agents need not get warrants to search files shared over peer-to-peer networks, reports Wired. The Pentagon will now allow troops access to online social media like Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace, Business Weekly reports. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given Google a license to trade energy on the wholesale market, as The Register reports. Notifications of website privacy policies do not appear to actually protect online privacy, the Continue Reading →

STLR-Published Article Selected as One of the Best Patent Articles in the Last Year

Congratulations to Professor Andrew B. Dzeguze (and to us)! Last year, we published his article, The Devil in the Details: A Critique of KSR’s Unwarranted Reinterpretation of “Person Having Ordinary Skill”.  It has since been selected for inclusion in the Patent Law Review, an annual anthology published by West, as one of the best patent articles published in the last year. Congratulations Professor Dzeguze! Scridb filter

STLR Link Roundup – February 19, 2010

The latest on the STLR radar: As it launches its cloud computing platform, Azure, Microsoft calls for federal regulation to clarify many of the open legal questions surrounding cloud computing, says the MTTLR Blog. Ten years after it applies, TiVo is granted patent for season pass subscriptions, writes Gizmodo (see our recent post on TiVo’s patent battle with Microsoft here). INFO/LAW recommends a Paul Ohm paper arguing that statistical techniques are eroding the effectiveness of Continue Reading →

Google Buzz: A Recap of the Controversy and the Current Legal Issues

Google’s launch last week of Buzz, its social networking tool for Gmail, raised a furor over its privacy effects. As the New York Times reports, many Gmail users were outraged that their Gmail address books were turned into a public contact list, viewable to everyone in their address books, in Buzz.  Furthermore, Buzz is opt-out rather than opt-in. Google automatically enrolled all Gmail users into Buzz without notice or opportunity to decline enrollment. This ill-starred Continue Reading →

Is the iPad’s Exclusion of Flash Unlawful?

Last month, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad to an eager crowd of Apple faithful, promising it would be magical and revolutionary.   Minutes into the presentation, Jobs browsed to a New York Times article only to find that in place of a large central image was a blank space with a small blue cube.   Some audience members seemed to laugh out loud at this all-too-familiar sight, realizing that the iPad, like the iPhone, lacked Flash capabilities. Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 12, 2010

The latest on the STLR radar: Wired reports on Max Ray Vision’s thirteen-year sentence for hacking – the longest yet in U.S. legal history. The District Court for the Western District of Washington dismisses a lawsuit alleging that Microsoft misled its customers by representing anti-piracy code as a critical security update. ComputerWorld reports. The E-Commerce Times looks into codec licensing issues and what it means for the development of the next generation of HTML. The Register Continue Reading →

Wounded Soldiers Returning Home Face a New Battle

Some wounded soldiers leaving the war-zones in Iraq and Afghanistan have arrived home only to find themselves caught in the crossfire of a new battle – a legal one. For some of the 300,000 or more members of the armed forces who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the legal battle ensuing from the Veterans Administration’s denial of long-term disability benefits is extremely important.  Without these government benefits, vulnerable veterans who are not prepared to Continue Reading →

Australian Federal Court Finds ISP Not Liable For Users’ Copyright Infringements

In a decision delivered on February 4, 2010, the Federal Court of Australia (see Wikipedia entry here) ruled that Australian Internet Service Provider (ISP) iiNet could not be held liable for unauthorized downloads of copyrighted movies by its customers (Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited (No. 3)). The applicants were a coalition of thirty-four Australian and U.S. motion picture production companies, assisted in the conduct of their claim by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 5, 2010

This week on the STLR radar: Freedom to Tinker conducts a “census” of files shared through BitTorrent, finding 99% of them to infringe copyright. From Business Week: a Pittsburgh couple is suing Google for trespass because Google posted pictures of their residence, including their pool and driveway. Italy will hold YouTube liable for uploads that infringe copyright or are libelous, Ars Technica reports, which would eliminate “safe harbor” rules that protect websites with user-generated content Continue Reading →