Waller TIPS

Waller TIPS

Perspectives on Intellectual Property Issues

Category Archives: Internet

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“Transformative Use” Following the Google Books Decision

Posted in Copyright, Internet
On November 14, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the plaintiff’s copyright suit in The Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google, Inc.  The decision was based on the Court’s determination that Google engaged in “fair use” of the plaintiffs’ copyrighted materials when it scanned over 20 million books and … Continue Reading

The Danger of Outsourcing DMCA Take-Down Notices

Posted in Copyright, Internet, Trademark
A couple of famous, publicly-traded companies have been a bit embarrassed recently when third parties they have engaged to make sure no one is improperly using their trademarks or copyrights online have instead demanded shut downs of legitimate uses. Companies faced with rampant theft of their intellectual property frequently outsource the DMCA Take-Down Notice process … Continue Reading

Electronic Signatures Permissible for Copyright Transfer

Posted in Copyright, Internet
The Fourth Circuit recently held that electronic signatures are permissible for copyright transfers, in its July 19, 2013 decision in Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. v. American Home Realty Network Inc.  This decision clarifies that the E-Sign Act, which mandates that no signature be denied legal effect simply because it is in electronic form, applies … Continue Reading

Electronic Arts Steps Up Its Defense of Its Sims Franchise Against A Popular Social Media Game Developer

Posted in Copyright, Internet, Technology
On August 3, 2012, Electronic Arts filed a copyright infringement complaint against Zynga, Inc. for infringing its copyrights in the Sims franchise, specifically for infringing on the game The Sims Social with Zynga’s The Ville. As the  complaint details, The Sims Social launched in August 2011 on Facebook.  The Sims Social allows players to create … Continue Reading

CSUSA Panel on Digital Activism

Posted in Copyright, Internet
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending time with some of my favorite copyright lawyers at the Copyright Society of the USA (CSUSA) annual meeting. On Tuesday morning, Jay Rosenthal of NMPA, Mitch Glazier of RIAA, professor Robert Brauneis and author Robert Levine discussed the politics of copyright. The following is a summary of … Continue Reading

Have You Recently Considered Whether Your Website Complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act?

Posted in Internet, Privacy
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is not new, but it seems that many new startups have either not given it much thought or don’t know about it.  As a refresher, COPPA applies to you if: (i) you operate a website directed to children under the age of 13; or (ii) your website has … Continue Reading

Healthcare Data Breaches on the Rise

Posted in Internet, Privacy, Technology
The Healthcare Information and Management System Society (“HIMSS”) recently released its “Analytics Report: Security of Patient Data,” the third installment of the report in the last six years.  Despite increased confidence in security safeguards, healthcare providers reported more breaches than in past years.  In 2008, only 13% of respondents reported a security breach.  In 2012, … Continue Reading

DOJ Files Antitrust Suit Against Apple and Major Publishers Regarding E-Book Pricing

Posted in Internet, Technology
Yesterday, the Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against Apple and five major publishing companies (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster) regarding the defendants’ practices with regard to e-books.  The DOJ Complaint, available here, alleges that the publishers and Apple conspired to set pricing for e-books in violation of Section 1 … Continue Reading

App Platforms to Require Privacy Policies

Posted in Internet, Privacy, Technology
Yesterday, it was announced that the California Attorney General has reached an agreement with the “big six” of mobile app platforms (Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research in Motion) providing that the companies will require mobile apps that collect personal information to have written privacy policies.  In announcing the agreement, the AG’s office cited … Continue Reading

NLRB Report on Social Media Policies

Posted in Internet
It is now commonplace for employers to adopt social media policies pertaining to its employees.  These policies can help avoid disputes after an employee departs and help set standards to protect a company’s public relations.  For example, a federal district court in Pennsylvania is currently presented with a dispute between a company and its former … Continue Reading

The Trials and Tribulations of Navigating Federal Privacy Law in the Internet Age

Posted in Internet, Privacy
Netflix made headlines this week when it asked the U.S. Congress to change the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (VPPA) so that Netflix can offer a Facebook app to consumers in the United States.  The app, introduced by Netflix outside the U.S.  last year, gives Facebook users movie recommendations based on the viewing habits … Continue Reading

Wikipedia and Other Sites Down in Protest of U.S. Anti-Piracy Bills

Posted in Copyright, Internet
Websites including the English version of Wikipedia, Reddit and BoingBoing have gone dark for a period of twenty-four hours today, in protest of anti-piracy bills currently making their way through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.   According to a statement posted by Wikipedia, the Stop Online Privacy Act (“SOPA,” as the House version … Continue Reading

FTC/Facebook Settlement Reportedly Imminent

Posted in Internet, Privacy
According to The Wall Street Journal (article here) and The New York Times (article here), Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are nearing a settlement related to privacy concerns that would require Facebook to obtain “express affirmative consent” before implementing “material retroactive changes” to user privacy settings, as well as submit to two decades of … Continue Reading

Trademark Protection in the Advent of .XXX

Posted in Internet, Trademark
As may readers may be aware, the new .XXX top level domain (TLD) is set to launch this December. It is intended that this top level domain will be used exclusively by responsible members of the adult entertainment industry. Many trademark owners are rightfully concerned regarding the prospects of typo-squatting and trademark infringement in this … Continue Reading

FTC Ramps Up Online Privacy Enforcement

Posted in Advertising, Internet
The FTC has been busy in 2011 with a flurry of investigations and settlements for online privacy violations. Below is a summary of two of the more publicized investigations and settlements. Glitch in Opt-Out Program. Chitika, an online advertising company, claims to have promptly corrected a “glitch” in their opt-out program that removed users from … Continue Reading