law Articles

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.

Comcast “Law Enforcement Handbook”

The Federation of American Scientists released yesterday Comcast’s confidential “Handbook for Law Enforcement” which describes the company’s policies for turning over customer’s information to the authorities.

You Didn’t Read This In The Newspaper
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Newspaper publishers have retreated to a local focus that gives them the best chance of retaining subscribers and favorable advertising rates. It’s meant something different for readers when it comes to news topics beyond the city limits.

Court Says Keywords Not ‘Use In Commerce’

A fifth federal court has declared that keyword advertisements and use in website metatags are not considered "use in commerce," providing a bigger shield for those that would use competitor keywords in their campaign.

Google and Trademark Laws

Greg Lastowka is an Associate Professor of Law at the Rutgers School of Law, Camden, and he finished a (draft) paper titled Google’s Law [PDF], which he says is a discussion of trademark law matters and the suits against Google for its AdWords practices (with some general Google history thrown in). Greg wraps it up for us: 

Major Law Firm Funds Social Network
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When dealing with a powerful law firm and a social network for lawyers, you should watch your words very, very carefully.  Or so I imagine, and I’m not going to attempt any other approach.  So here’s the news in its least editorialized form: Orrick has invested in Legal OnRamp.

It’s Official: Blogs Are Media

Forget waiting for some federal shield law to be passed: the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has determined in two separate rulings yesterday, that blogs are, in fact, media, as reported by TechCrunch.

American Airlines Jets Google To Court
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The whole keyword-advertising-violates-our-trademark debate has been brought to court more than once and more than once has been unsuccessful. American Airlines, though, is perhaps the largest company to make the claim, filing a trademark violation suit against Google.

Viacom, Google A Father-Son Fight?

Once new Google employee Philippe Dauman Jr wraps up his summer vacation and takes up his new post, Googlers may want to keep any negative opinions of Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman Sr to themselves.

‘Instant Lawsuit’ Not As Good As The Real Thing

A lawsuit filed in the name of the Federal CAN-SPAM Act backfired on the plaintiff to the tune of $111,000. This is thought to be the first verdict to award legal fees to a defendant falsely accused of spamming.

The Ban on Employees Accessing Facebook

Earlier this month, in FIR #254, Shel and I discussed quite an interesting story of what one company did regarding employee access to and use of Facebook.

Yahoo Denies RSF China Claim

The saga of jailed Chinese journalist Shi Tao took a sharp twist when Reporters Without Borders accused a Yahoo executive of lying to Congress about Yahoo’s knowledge of Beijing’s investigation.

Chinese Company Wants Google to Change Name

It’s not too much to ask, is it? If Google would just change the name of their company, a small Chinese business will drop their law suit. Seems fair, don’t you think? ;-)

Domainers Get A Legal Lesson

If you’re going to play the domain game, there are some things you need to know. Legal things. Important legal things.

The Wisdom of Wikis
Julian distinguishes between Wisdom of Crowds and what you could call the Wisdom of Wikis:

Attorney General Shows Interest In Copyright Law

I have to wonder if Alberto Gonzales has been watching “Wag the Dog”; the attorney general lacks the power to start a military conflict, but he has put forth a proposal that attacks various forms of copyright infringement.  Some onlookers see this as little more than an attempt to divert attention from Gonzales’s own problems.

Social Technographics & a Power Law of Participation
Charlene Li at Forrester just came out with a report on Social Technographics that surveyed user engagement.  The framework is very similar to my Power Law of Participation, but it is an entirely different thing to have some data behind it.

Canadian Sues The Messenger
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Wayne Crookes, a former campaign manager of the Green Party of Canada, is suing Google, Wikipedia and openpolitics.ca for libel. He is suing the sites for posting made by anonymous users on Google’s Blogspot, for an entry under his name on Wikipedia, and on openpolitics.ca, a political forum run by Michael Pilling a Green Party activist.

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