STLR Link Roundup – April 24, 2010

The latest on the STLR radar: Authorities in San Mateo, California, contemplate filing criminal charges in connection with the sale of an Apple prototype (of a new iPhone), lost by and possibly stolen from an Apple software engineer and bought for $5,000 by the website Gizmodo.com, the New York Times reports. From the San Francisco Chronicle: citing a desire to help fight censorship, Google has launched a tool that discloses requests the company receives from Continue Reading →

Semantic Lawyering: How the Semantic Web Will Transform the Practice of Law (Part 5)

(Links to parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.) Smart document generation If giving legal advice is one of the two core skills of legal practitioners, the other is drafting legal documents. No matter what area of the law you practice in, you will need to generate a brief, a lease, a will, a contract, a certificate of incorporation—you name it. It is no surprise therefore that ever since PCs were first introduced into law firms, Continue Reading →

Semantic Lawyering: How the Semantic Web Will Transform the Practice of Law (Part 4)

(Links to parts 1, 2, and 3.) What can you do with the Semantic Web that you can’t do without it? The Semantic Web is a powerful way of structuring data and giving it a precise, machine-readable meaning. The most obvious and immediate benefit of semantic technologies is in organizing large quantities of information in a particular domain to make it easier to retrieve and analyze. This is reflected in the contexts in which these Continue Reading →

How Much Protection from Search and Seizure Does Your Email Have?

Does the government need a search warrant, requiring a showing of probable cause, in order to read your email—as it would if it wanted to read a physical letter? Not if the email has been “in electronic storage” for more than 180 days, under the 1986 Stored Communications Act (18 U.S.C. Section 2703). The Stored Communications Act (SCA) is Title II of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).  In contrast, that same Act states that Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 16, 2010

The latest on the STLR radar: Ephemeral Law takes a look at the court documents in Microsoft’s challenge to the Waledac botnet, which it describes as on the “cutting edge of legal efforts to shut down hacking operations.” The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Department of Justice is stepping up its antitrust investigation into technology firms’ “no-poach” policy and salary fixing. Eric Goldman reports on a decision of the California Court of Appeals Continue Reading →

A Legal Setback for Net Neutrality Advocates

On Tuesday April 6th, a three-judge panel from the federal appeals bench ruled that the Federal Communications Commission has no authority to place “net neutrality” requirements on Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The unanimous ruling overturned the FCC’s August 2008 order for Comcast to cease slowing BitTorrent transfers. Comcast later voluntarily changed its own policy and agreed to treat BitTorrent traffic no differently from other traffic. However, the issue of the FCC’s legal authority still remained, Continue Reading →

STLR is on Twitter

If regular RSS and Google reader aren’t your preferred methods of consumption, you can receive a tweet each time we post a new story, which will be once or twice per week during the academic year.  Our Twitter name is columbiastlr, and you can find our Twitter page here. To any aspiring Twitter-ers: signing up for Twitter is free and pretty easy.  You can read more about it on Wikipedia or on Twitter’s About page. Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 9, 2010

The latest on the STLR radar: The British Parliament has approved a law authorizing temporary suspension of internet access for those accused of repeated copyright infringement, reports the New York Times. Opponents of the law, such as the Open Rights Group, promise to turn this into an election issue in Great Britain. Canadian company Wi-Lan has filed suit in the Eastern District of Texas against 19 high-tech companies—including heavyweights Apple, Dell, Motorola, Acer, and others—for Continue Reading →

Semantic Lawyering: How the Semantic Web Will Transform the Practice of Law (Part 3)

(Check out Part 1 and Part 2, if you missed them.) A machine-readable version of the law? David Siegel, an entrepreneur and early blogger, recently published a book entitled Pull, The Power of the Semantic Web to Transform Your Business, the first “business” book about the Semantic Web. Siegel devotes one chapter to exploring the possible impact of the Semantic Web on the law and lawyers. An enthusiastic backer of the new technology, Siegel sees Continue Reading →

Semantic Lawyering: How the Semantic Web Will Transform the Practice of Law (Part 2)

(If you missed part 1 of the series, check it out here.) What is the Semantic Web? The Semantic Web is a way of making data smart. The idea is, rather than building smart applications that can analyze “dumb” data, you make the data smart in the first place. The problem with dumb data is that the ability of applications to make sense of human language is limited. Currently, the information in most web pages Continue Reading →