STLR Link Roundup – February 27, 2013

Copyright Alert: ISPs Join the Fight This week marks the launch of the Copyright Alert System, a cooperative effort between internet service providers and content owners to proactively limit piracy and file-sharing  via peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent. A beefed-up version of the three-strike system that universities like Stanford are internally implementing to protect their own users from the legal consequences of illegal file-sharing, the system involves content owners sharing offending IP addresses with service providers Continue Reading →

The Future of Google’s self-driving car in Texas

The future of the automobile is here, and states will have to adapt soon. Google showcased a prototype of its self-driving car emblazoned with a “Don’t Mess With Texas” bumper sticker as it hit the streets Austin, Texas on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Google employees brought the car to Texas from the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. On Tuesday, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Police Chief Art Acevedo, and TxDOT officials took turns being driven Continue Reading →

Will the Newly Proposed Amendment to Rule 37(e) Provide a True “Safe Harbor”?

A lawyer’s greatest fear is sanction by a court.  This fear is justifiable because sanctioned lawyers become “toxic” to employers and clients even if the sanctions are later vacated, as in the Qualcomm case.  Sanctions related to electronic discovery (“e-discovery”) have become a hotly-debated topic in the last few years because the number of sanctions has increased dramatically.  In November 2012, the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules proposed an amendment to Rule 37(e) of the Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 20, 2013

Bowman v. Monsanto: A Patent That Just Keeps On Growing On Tuesday February 19, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Bowman v. Monsanto concerning patent rights of self-replicating technology. Monsanto created and patented a genetically altered soybean resistant to the herbicide Roundup, coined Roundup Ready.  Vernon Hugh Bowman, an Indiana farmer, obtained second-generation Roundup Ready seeds lawfully, planted the seeds, and then saved the seeds from his grown soybean plants for subsequent planting.  Bowman Continue Reading →

Lanham Act Implications of the “USDA Organic” Label

The industrialization of food has radically changed the way Americans eat.  Some changes have been for the better: industrialized food production almost guarantees a steady food supply year round at a relatively low cost to both producers and consumers.  Food manufacturing processes remove pathogens from certain foods, making them safer to eat.  Nevertheless, the convenience and security the modern food industry provides come at a price.  We as consumers have very little control over what Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 18, 2013

Privacy Concern over Google Play Arise as Developer Claims User Information Shared without Consent Australian software developer Dan Nolan claimed in a February 13 blog post that Google shares personal information without the proper consent of users who download applications. The information sent to app developers includes the full name, location, and e-mail address of users. Sharing such information may be useful for developers to directly handle customer service issues, as developer Barry Schwartz points Continue Reading →

STLR Guest Speaker – February 21, 2013

The Science and Technology Law Review will host a lunchtime lecture by author Russell Jacobs, entitled Non-Digital Copyright in the Digital Millennium Thursday, February 21 at 12:10pm William and June Warren Hall 103 1125 Amsterdam Avenue Lunch will be provided The presentation will be based in part on Mr. Jacobs’s Fall 2011 article, “Copyright Fraud in the Internet Age: Copyright Management Information for Non-Digital Works Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” published in the Fall Continue Reading →

Is Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” Streaming Service Statutorily Discriminatory Against the Deaf? The Answer is Yes and No.

Netflix has established itself as the world’s premier on-demand Internet streaming media service, with thousands of movies and TV episodes available for unlimited and instant download and more than 33 million subscribers around the world. Yet, despite its overall popularity, over the past year Netflix has found itself defending against allegations that its “Watch Instantly” video stream service is statutorily discriminatory against deaf and hearing-impaired subscribers in Nat’l Ass’n of the Deaf v. Netflix, Inc., Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 13, 2013

eShopping and the Constitution: How Far Does State Taxation Power Extend? Last week, Amazon and Overstock.com challenged a New York state law requiring the collection and payment of sales tax on all online transactions for which a New York-based entity “directly or indirectly refer[ed the] customers.” States have the authority to tax sales that occur within their borders. However, “virtual presence” has blurred state lines and created a valuable, tax-free e-commerce market. In the 1992 Continue Reading →

There’s a Law for That: Mobile Ridesharing Services Encounter Legal Troubles

Those who live in parts of cities that lack regular taxi traffic may know about Uber, the car service that will send a well-maintained black car to your location with a quick tap of your mobile touchscreen. Those who live outside of San Francisco may be less familiar with two new mobile based “rideshare” companies: Lyft and SideCar. Unlike Uber, which uses licensed limousine drivers, Lyft and SideCar rely on ordinary car owners. Accordingly, unlike Continue Reading →