• The Supreme Court Punts On Business Method Patents

    The Supreme Court Punts On Business Method Patents

    Amazon and other holders of business method patents can breathe easy for now. (One of the most famous business method patents is Amazon’s One-Click shopping cart patent). In a ruling today, the Supreme Court basically punted on whether or not business method patents, in general, should be upheld. Instead, it ruled narrowly on the business method patent in question in the case, Bilski v. Read More

  • Relax: President Obama will not flip an Internet kill switch

    Part of me wishes President Obama would flip that so-called “Internet kill switch.” Imagine: a world without the Internet! That would be grand, indeed. But let’s not indulge in fantasies: there is no such kill switch. Well, there is, but it’s not as if the president is going to say, “I disagree with Nicholas’ opinion of anti-virus protection, I’m going… Read More

  • We're doomed: The U.S. Supreme Court doesn't know the difference between text messages and pagers

    So this is either great or dumb, and I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind. The Supreme Court is currently hearing a sexting case, in which police officers have sued their sergeant for reading sexually explicit messages that were supposed to be privately read amongst themselves. The question is, did the sergeant violate the officers’ privacy by reading the messages? It… Read More

  • Should we even bother going after cyber-criminals?

    At what point do you stop trying to track and prosecute cyber-criminals? Obviously, you can’t let criminals run around willy-nilly, but when you look at the resources involved in bringing those guys to justice—and are you really nabbing the right guys in the first place?—it’s worth at least talking about. Is fighting cyber-crime about as futile as fighting the war on drugs? Read More

  • Outrage: School accused of using laptop to take photos of student at his home without his knowledge

    It’s the start of yet another lazy Saturday, so let’s make things a little more interesting with a side dish of outrage. A 15-year-old student in Pennsylvania has accused his high school of spying on him using a school-supplied MacBook. The school had accused the boy “inappropriate behavior” that it found him engaged in via the built-in Webcam. Lawsuits are flying, as… Read More

  • Should mobile phones be subject to warrantless police search?

    At what point do you consider something “unreasonable”? Let’s say you’re pulled over while speeding—do the police have the right to search your mobile phone? And let’s say they do, and they find other verboten material on the phone? Should you also be on the hook for that, on top of your speeding ticket? It’s a pretty important debate, and it’s… Read More

  • Judge: RealDVD is totally illegal as per the DMCA

    Yesterday, August 11, wasn’t just Joe Rogan’s birthday. Nope, it was also the date when a judge in San Francisco ruled that RealDVD was illegal, and reiterated that it was illegal to manufacture or traffic software that makes it possible to copy DVDs. So, every time you fire up DVD Copier on your PC, make a copy of a DVD that you bought, well, you’re breaking the law. The… Read More

  • Greek Bloggers to give up anonymity? Not without a fight

    Back in 2004, one of the most well known members of the English House of Lords, Baroness Hale, stated that it is always difficult for the courts to make balanced judgements when more than one fundamental Human Right is in play. It seems, however, that today there are still people who cannot accept that in the era of social media and the Web the Law as applied by some European governments… Read More

  • French National Assembly rejects anti-piracy law (for now)

    Another day, another twist in that proposed French anti-piracy law. While the French upper house, the Senate, approved the bill as it was presented earlier today, the lower house, the National Assembly, rejected it. Oh don’t worry, since the Government said it will present a revised edition of the bill that would remove the main clause that upset the National Assembly. Read More

  • Utah's anti-video game bill has Jack Thompson written all over it

    Have any of you guys been following this anti-video game/movie bill that’s currently bouncing around Utah’s legislature? It’s gotten attention for a few reasons, one of which is because the original version of the bill—it has since been amended—was either written by or conceived by (depending on to whom you talk) famous video game hater (and disbarred lawyer)… Read More

  • Got a few minutes? Then read up on the law students who are taking on the RIAA

    Ars Technica is usually one of the better sites to read if you’re looking for a “serious” take on technology, but its profile of the Harvard Law students working on the RIAA v. Joel Tenenbaum case is in a league of its own. It’s a little on the long side, in this age of Twitter, but well worth the time invested if you’re interested in any of the following topics… Read More

  • Is breathalyzer source code fair game?

    Kentucky-based CMI has come under fire on more than one occasion for not turning over the source code used in the breathalyzers that it sells to various law enforcement agencies, citing trade secrets as the reason for keeping the code under wraps. Well that hasn’t sat too well with people who have been pulled over and cited with DUIs, as some of them have claimed that the machines… Read More

  • The RIAA will stop its policy of filing lawsuits every 2 seconds (but now it's working with your ISP)

    The RIAA has decided to stop filing pointless lawsuits against John and Jane Doe for alleged copyright infringement. Rather, the bullying cartel will work with ISPs to get you kids to stop downloading Fallout Boy, the All American Rejects and other self-described popular music. Read More

  • Annoyed at airport security searching your iPod? You're not the only one

    From the Department of Public Safety and General Preparedness comes this story of one man, a Cisco engineer, and his headline-making ordeal of having his possessions searched upon re-entry to the U.S. following an international flight. (It’s also the story of run-on sentences.) The man, Mohamed Shommo, told the Associated Press that border agents rifled through his digital… Read More

  • Apple on its ads: "What, you believed that stuff?"

    This is great. There’s something to be said for the defense of exaggeration or idiom in advertising — for instance, Red Bull doesn’t literally give you wings. Of course, nobody’s suing Red Bull for false advertising. But when the statement is the totally believable “Twice as fast, half the price,” and you support the ad with fraudulent video showing the… Read More

  • No more embarrassment: Non-nude body scanner to undergo tests this week in Germany

    Last week’s attacks in India have reminded us all of the keen danger that terrorism poses. But one tool that was to be employed at airports to combat terrorism, those body scanners that sometimes reveal a person’s, well, person, came under criticism. Fighting terror (inasmuch as you can fight it) is great and all, but should people literally be exposed in the process? The Germans… Read More

  • Apple sends baseless takedown notice to hackers discussing iTunesDB code

    It’s no secret that Apple wants everyone to use iTunes, especially to sync with their iPod. I personally can’t stand iTunes and prefer Winamp, and many others share my view but have enjoyed Apple hardware. Some more code-savvy people than myself have in years past determined how to read and write to the proprietary iTunesDB file, allowing non-Apple software to sync with… Read More

  • Judge: Papermaster could cause "irreparable harm" to IBM at Apple

    When this legal melee began earlier this month, I guessed that the judge was simply taking IBM at its word and ordering Papermaster to stop work essentially at their whim. Well, you can’t blame me for underestimating the Judicial Branch, can you? Recently revealed records show that the judge had pretty solid reasoning for believing Papermaster was a serious threat to IBM in his new… Read More

  • Cellphone jammers come under scrutiny in Canada

    We can jokingly say things like “buy a cellphone jammer to silence those annoying people on the bus” but that would be irresponsible. Quite irresponsible, it turns out, as criminals are now using such devices to impede law enforcement efforts. It happened last month in Canada. Two Mounties had pulled over a car, and as they approached to car their radios went out. It turns out that… Read More

  • Kodak suing Samsung and LG over patent infringement

    Good lord, sir. There are so many lawsuits about that you can’t swing a cat without hitting a lawyer. IBM is suing Papermaster, Papermaster is suing IBM, Apple and Psystar are suing each other, the US is suing LCD makers, Spansion is suing Samsung, and god knows what else just from the last couple weeks has escaped my memory.
    And now Kodak is getting in on the feeding frenzy, and is… Read More