Legal Issues in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is when a user provides an input for a program, but some or all of the program’s processing is outsourced to another computer or set of computers (the “cloud server”). Google Maps is an easy example of this – the user provides an input, which Google’s cloud server processes in order to provide the user an output. Cloud servers, in processing inputs, will acquire data, some of which may be highly sensitive (i.e., Continue Reading →

The Problem of Overbroad Technology Legislation

The charges Aaron Swartz faced may have caused his untimely death. Those closest to Aaron certainly believe so. His family, in a statement, decried the “intimidation and prosecutorial overreach” of the US Attorney’s Office. At the funeral, Aaron’s father remarkedthat his son had been “killed by the government.” On the other hand, it has been widely documented — perhaps no more poignantly than by Aaron, himself — that the young programmer had long suffered from depression. Regardless, we 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 →

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 →

RIAA File-Sharing Suit Will Go To A Third Trial

The RIAA’s suit against Jammie Thomas-Rasset for sharing music files looks like it is headed for a third trial. In order to avoid this trial, Thomas-Rasset would have to accept the settlement offered by the RIAA. Her lawyers have stated that she will not accept it, reports Wired, making another trial likely.  The lawsuit has attracted critical attention because of the massive damages awarded in two earlier trials, and because it is part of a Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – January 8, 2010

Here’s the latest on the STLR radar: Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco decided to allow showing the trial challenging California’s Proposition 8 on YouTube, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.  The Wall Street Journal Law Blog questions whether that’s a good thing. Patent Librarian notes that Wikipedia citations in patent applications are up 59%, but Patently-O puts that increase in perspective. A report commissioned by the French government recommends taxing Google on Continue Reading →

Legal Trouble for Torrents

In recent years, file-sharing has spurred a bitter battle between proponents of free media and enforcers of intellectual property rights. After the Napster file-sharing model collapsed under numerous lawsuits, a new file-sharing method known as torrent websites emerged to fill the void. Now these immensely popular torrent websites are facing legal problems of their own. What’s a Torrent? In 2001, Bram Cohen developed the BitTorrent protocol. The BitTorrent protocol transfers information by breaking it up, Continue Reading →