STLR Link Roundup – August 15, 2013

California Environmental Laws Do Not Apply To Bullet Train Project A brief was filed by the California state attorney general’s office in the Third District Court of Appeals arguing that the state’s high-speed rail project is no longer subject to the California Environmental Quality Act after the federal Surface Transportation Board ruled that it has jurisdiction over the project.  The state is asking the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the San Francisco Bay Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – August 6, 2013

Spies, Whistleblowers, and Computer Fraud In a case with implications for national security, whistleblowing, and free press, Pfc. Bradley Manning was recently convicted by a military tribunal of six counts under the Espionage Act as well as a variety of other crimes for the leak of sensitive government information, including diplomatic cables, Afghan and Iraqi war logs, and a video of an American helicopter attack which killed a Reuters journalist. Among these crimes was one count under Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – July 24, 2013

Moto X Coming August 1 Motorola, the recently acquired mobile hardware unit of Google, is set to unveil its new family of smartphones at a Moto X Event in New York City on August 1.  Android Police provides a complete list of confirmed specs for the Moto X, including a 4.7 inch-display (1280×720 resolution), 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, running Android OS 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.  Other leaked information also confirms that Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – April 2, 2013

First Sale Doctrine: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb In Mid-March, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., ruling that a consumer’s rights to resell a purchased copyrighted work under the “First Sale Doctrine” preempts an author’s right to control the importation of his works. This decision was met with cheer from those seeking weaker copyright protection and the freer movement of content, including librarians. It Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 13, 2013

Harvard Defends Email Search Harvard faculty reacted angrily to Harvard’s search of Resident Deans’ emails. (Resident Deans are administrators who oversee the affairs of Harvard’s residential dorms.) Harvard conducted the search, without notice to the deans whose accounts were searched, in order to determine how confidential information regarding last year’s cheating scandal leaked to the press. Through the search, Harvard determined that the memo was forwarded by one Resident Dean to two students. Harvard faculty criticized the search Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 6, 2012

F.C.C. Backs Consumers in Unlocking Cellphones The F.C.C. announced that it supports unlocking of cellphones for consumers not bound by a service agreement. Under a ruling from last fall by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress, unlocking cellphones would be in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Circumvention of Technological Protection Measures. R. David Edleman, an Obama administration adviser on Internet and privacy issues, said that the F.C.C.’s position was “common sense Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 4, 2013

SHIELD Act Congressmen Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) have introduced the Saving High-tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act, an act that attempts to fight back against patent trolls. The bill would force plaintiffs to pay for the defendant’s attorney fees and other legal costs if their patent lawsuit fails in court.  Plaintiffs would be exempt if they invented the patent themselves or could show that they had made a substantial investment Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →