Will Petrella Apply Beyond Copyright?

For those who concern themselves with remedies, the case law concerning the equitable defense of laches was, until recently, rather somnolent. Two wake-up calls, one loud, the other muted to near silence, have changed largely settled expectations and produced questions about the relationship between laches and federal statutes of limitation. In particular, it is now clear from that laches does not, except in “extraordinary circumstances,” bar actions for damages that are instituted within the three-year statute Continue Reading →

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 →

Aereo’s latest victory: what does it mean for the future of broadcast television?

Earlier this month, a Boston federal judge denied Hearst-owned Boston-station WCVB-TV a preliminary injunction motion against Aereo, strengthening Aereo’s Second Circuit victory in WNET v. Aereo, Inc., decided in April.  Aereo provides both live and time-shifted streaming of over-the-air television channels to paying subscribers.  To provide this service, Aereo relies on its use of tiny antennae, which are individually assigned to one user at a time.  When a user decides to record a program, an Continue Reading →

Aereo: Signaling Television’s New Frontier

Earlier this month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of Aereo, a groundbreaking company providing live and time-shifted streaming of free, over-the-air television channels to paying Aereo customers. To provide this service, Aereo relies on its use of tiny antennae – none of which is used at the same time by more than one user. The signal received by each antenna creates an individual copy of the program in each Continue Reading →

Freedom “2” Speak

Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz. *Silence.* The smart phone apocalypse has come. The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) criminalizes electronically decoupling a mobile phone from its contracted service provider, otherwise known as “unlocking”:“No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.” “Section 1201 also makes it illegal to circumvent the access controls on DVDs, e-books and video games to make bootlegged copies for sale on the Continue Reading →

The Far Reach of Copyright: Unlocked Smartphones and the DMCA

The Library of Congress Ruling Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Congress set up a mechanism to allow copyright holders to enforce penalties against individuals who bypass “copyright protection systems” (i.e. the digital locks that copyright holders use to restrict access or manipulation to copyrighted content). DMCA § 1201 grants the Library of Congress the ability to grant exemptions for certain actions bypassing copyright protection systems if the Librarian of Congress believed that the 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 →

STLR Link Roundup – February 3, 2012

In Washington, the House and the Senate backed competing spectrum incentive auction bills, which would encourage current licensees to sell their under-utilized frequencies at auction to wireless carriers.  Lawmakers in both chambers want to package it with the payroll tax extension, which is expected to pass before the end of February.  Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt called the House legislation “the single worst telecom bill” he’d ever seen and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) called on Continue Reading →

English Premier League Loses Match in European Court

This week, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a hotly anticipated ruling in Football Association Premier League v. Murphy, et al. The case pitted the English Premier League (EPL), the highest tier of club soccer competition in England, against, among others, Karen Murphy, a Portsmouth-area pub owner. Why would a billion-dollar sports juggernaut be bothered to take a small-time Portsmouth publican to court? As it turns out, a simple piece of satellite technology Continue Reading →

Vernor v. Autodesk and the End of the First Sale Doctrine

The 9th Circuit’s Vernor v. Autodesk test demolishes the first sale doctrine by making its application contingent solely on the licensing agreement written by the copyright holder. Though the Vernor case centers on the distribution of software, there is no limiting principle that prevents the Vernor test from being applied broadly to all copyrighted works. Thus, the Vernor test, if upheld, it could mean the end of all markets for used copyrighted works. The First Continue Reading →