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 →

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 →

STLR Link Roundup – February 6, 2013

Apple v. Samsung The intellectual property battle between Apple and Samsung continues. On January 29, the US federal court has refused Apple’s request to increase the $1 billion in damages. The court ruled that Samsung did not “willfully” violate Apple’s patents and refused to triple the damages that were owed by Samsung. Furthermore, the court has refused to impose a sales ban on Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which had been banned in June of 2012 and Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 22, 2012

3D Printing, Homemade Guns, and a Race for Control 3D printing is all the rage these days – as our own Darren Haber mused, the technology democratizes production while bringing up some interesting questions on the intellectual property front. Printers that used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars now cost as little as $2,200 shipped. Benign 3D artists are attracting a following by creating open-source puzzles and guitars, while more aggressive thinkers are turning 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 →