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law Articles

What is Fair Use? You Tell Us.
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What is fair use? It’s a question that doesn’t seem to go away. Traditional media publications often throw blogs under the bus for borrowing quotes and spreading news to their own audiences. While there are certainly plenty of cases in which blogs do trample on the concept of fair use, to say that blogs in general follow this practice is simply absurd.

Are You Blogging Within Your Fair Use Rights?
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With all of the struggles and controversies surrounding the news industry these days, there is a lot of confusion out there about what falls under fair use and what doesn’t. The more savvy bloggers who have been in the game for a while usually have a better grasp on the concept, but there are still plenty of others who aren’t so well versed. After all, anyone can start a blog, and not everyone comes from a news or legal background.

Developer Shares Story of Being Threatened by Facebook for Crawling
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Pete Warden, a former software engineer at Apple, who is now working on his own start-up, posted an interesting story about how Facebook threatened to sue him for crawling the social network. I reached out to both Warden and Facebook for more details, but so far have only received response from Facebook, who calls  the incident as "violation of our terms."

Google, Microsoft Part of Coalition to Get Privacy Law Updated

A coalition that includes Google and Microsoft is aiming to get the Electronic Communications Privacy Act updated to reflect the needs of today’s technologically fast-paced world, where much consumer and business data resides in the cloud. I listened in on a conference call this afternoon, which featured several members of the coalition, including representatives from both companies.

Justin Bieber’s Manager Arrested for Not Tweeting Quickly Enough
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Justin Bieber’s manager was arrested today, and WebProNews talked to his lawyer as they awaited arraignment.

FTC Sues Intel, Intel Says “Misguided”
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The Federal Trade Commission has sued Intel, saying it has "abused its market dominance" according to the LA Times. Richard A. Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition is quoted as saying:

"Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly. It’s been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits."

Perfect 10 Comes Out Swinging at Google Again
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Those who have been following the search industry for some time, may recall that Google had some legal issues with the (former) magazine Perfect 10 (nsfw). The company, which ceased publication of its magazine, but still operates on the web, has issued a press release saying that its five year battle with the search giant is "about to heat up."

Google Takes us to Law School
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As you know, Google’s ultimate goal is to organize the world’s information. With this in mind, it should be no surprise that Google is organizing full-text legal opinions from United States federal and state district, appellate and supreme courts. The company is using its Google Scholar service to do so.

Facebook Not Living Up To Canada’s Privacy Law

It wouldn’t be a day in business any more if the main focus wasn’t government intervention, would it? It appears that all of the freedom that the Internet was supposed to offer is maybe a little too much for the folks to our north. The Canadian government has issued a report that tells Facebook that many areas concerning privacy for the social networking site don’t meet the standards of Canadian privacy law.

Tweeting vs. Disclaimer Laws

Today the WSJ tells the tale of eBay and its foray into social media that began in April 2008 with a blog then quickly moved to the world of tweets and tweeple in Twitter. The author of much of the content, Richard Brewer-Hay, spent most of the past year pretty well ‘on his own’ with what he was writing in both vehicles then the corporate version of a buzzkill took place.

Law Firm Purges DoubleClick References
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The demand for the FTC chair to recuse herself from the Google and DoubleClick antitrust review yielded a surprising little twist.

Copyright Law and Common Sense

Jeremy Toeman asks for common sense in copyright laws and warns his congresscritter against the PRO IP act: “Common sense tells me that the maximum penalty for transmitting an MP3 file should not be over 1000-fold the maximum penalty of shoplifting a CD from a store.”

We aren’t going to have common sense in this, sorry. The political system is jiggered by those who have money and can pay for lobbyists, etc.

Facebook Loses Advertisers As Concerns Deepen

Things just keep looking worse for Facebook’s Beacon: Coca-Cola and other advertisers are opting out of the program; there may be legal troubles ahead; and some investigative security work shows that Beacon sends information about user activity even when logged out of Facebook.

Virtual Furniture Thief Arrested

 The question of who has metaphysical jurisdiction in virtual worlds is not one so carefully addressed in Amsterdam as police have arrested a virtual criminal. In the Netherlands, at least, theft is theft and has real-world consequences.

Tiffany Smacks eBay Over Counterfeit Sales

One of the most exclusive brands on the planet considers eBay an enabler of sales of thousands of fake Tiffany items, which Tiffany considers trademark infringement.

Senate Considers Better Spidering As Law

Federal agencies may have the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) helping guide their efforts to make web information more accessible to search engines.

Facebook Ads Break The Law?

Social networking site Facebook’s new advertising program "Social Ads" may be illegal because it violates a little known 100-year-old New York privacy law.

EU Says U.S. Needs To Change Net Gambling Law

The European Union Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson said the Untied States should change the Internet gambling law that discriminates against European companies by not allowing them to offer their services in the U.S.

Yes, Virginia, Bloggers Can Be Journalists
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A recent lawsuit judgment provided evidence for two things: a blogger may qualify as a journalist; and just because you’re a lawyer doesn’t mean you have to act like one. Advice: being mean is no way to get through court.

Shield Law Passes House

The U.S. House of Representatives today voted on and passed a journalist shield bill which also covers bloggers. While still a long way from a law, this is an important step in the process toward becoming a law.

House Passes Law Shielding Bloggers

The House passed the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 on Tuesday, a federal shield bill that would protect reporters from having to divulge their confidential sources in federal court.