Starbucks Not So “Dumb” After All

Last weekend in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, it appeared that coffee mogul Starbucks opened a new franchise. However, this new store proudly named itself “Dumb Starbucks,” and every menu item was preceded by the word “dumb.” Patrons could order Dumb Honey Blonde roast coffee or Dumb Chai Lattes, to name a few, in size Dumb Tall, Dumb Grande, or Dumb Venti. Oddly enough, Starbucks has decided not to go after the perpetrator of this stunt, Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 25, 2014

Comcast is causing a stir On February 13, 2014, Comcast announced that it would acquire Time Warner Cable, making the largest broadband cable provider even bigger. Despite growing concerns that the F.C.C. will pursue an antitrust claim against the proposed merger due to the creation of a monopsomy market, Comcast is acting like a market leader. Yesterday, February 24, 2014, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for smoother streaming of its online video. (See a recent STLR Continue Reading →

F.C.C. Net Neutrality Rule, Struck Down by Court, May Need Major Overhaul

Note: Readers will find STLR’s earlier blog posts on “The Law and Politics of Net Neutrality,” and the discussion of net neutrality on Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu’s personal website to be extremely helpful. On January 14th, the D.C. Circuit enjoined the F.C.C. from enforcing “net neutrality” rules on Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Unless it is appealed to the Supreme Court, the ruling in Verizon v. F.C.C., 740 F.3d 623 (D.C. Cir. 2014), brings an Continue Reading →

New Patent Law Cheered by Large Corporations May Prove Beneficial to Small Entities As Well

On December 5, 2013, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3309, the “Innovation Act” sponsored by Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. The law has moved quickly through committee and made it to the floor of the house in just over a month. The bill has been interpreted as an attack on Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), more commonly known as patent trolls, and numerous commentators have addressed the potential implications of the bill’s modification of infringement suits Continue Reading →

The Senate’s violent video games bill: witch hunt or legitimate concern?

Last January, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, Sen. Jay Rockefeller proposed S. 134: Violent Content Research Act of 2013, which has since worked its way through the Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee. Freshly amended in December, the bill would require various governmental agencies to work with the National Academy of Sciences in researching the effects of video game violence on children, and the possible disproportionate impact they have on Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 12, 2014

District Courts Disagree on Constitutionality of NSA Call Tracking Program Two December rulings show stark disagreement by courts on whether the National Security Agency’s call tracking program violates the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.  The program collected time records and phone numbers of every call made in the U.S to be searchable on a database by the NSA.  Judge Richard Leon of the District Court for the District of Columbia called the Continue Reading →