opinions, everybody's got one...
Friday, April 25, 2003
substantial noninfringing uses
Is peer-to-peer file sharing software illegal, in and of itself? If you're going to ask yourself that question, you need to keep in mind at least a couple of things. One of them is that the software can be used legally by people to share files that aren't copyright protected, and it has been.
The other is that the software can do this from one computer directly to another without using a centralized network.
Why does that make a difference? Well, when you're being sued for contributory copyright infringment after releasing software that can be used in substantial noninfringing ways, and you don't have knowledge of nor control the connection between people who might be using it to infringe upon someone else copyright, it might. At least, that's what a federal judge in Los Angeles appears to believe.
journalism and blogging
Is is possible for a journalist to also maintain a blog? Is there a conflict of interest when you're in the information reporting and disseminating field, and you do for free at home what you get paid for at work? Does what you write about make a difference? (via blogdex).
commercial free speech and sneakers
The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday in a case involving the world's largest sneaker manufacturer, Nike. It's been characterized as a case involving questions of whether a corporation has a right to free speech, or a right to lie to the public.
Will the case be a landmark decision involving a clear cut definition of the constitutionality of commercial speech? What roles does the Supreme Court, the State Court, and the court of public opinion have in the case? Will the Court base their decision on a right to free speech, or as the U.S. Solicitor General argued, whether or not the plaintiff should have standing to sue under the law since he wasn't directly harmed.
The free-speech cause of Nike and other corporations got a major boost from the Bush administration, as Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson urged the court to strike down the California fraud law because it allows private individuals to sue to enforce it.If I had to guess, I'd say the later.
for the dogs
The judges don't wear black robes, and the judged are dogs. That's the setting this Friday and Saturday at Lums Pond in Delaware as the Wilmington Kennel Club brings an all breed dog show to the State. The judging starts at 9:00 am.
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Happy Secretary/ Administrative Assistant/ Administrative Professional's Day!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is a team effort to manage a busy law firm. We couldn't do it without each and every one of you! Thank you.
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
amazon unfriendly to children?
Should Amazon.com be collecting information about peoples' ages when they sign up with the site? If those people are under the age of 13, should the site deny them the opportunity to participate in discussions online rather than risk violating COPPA? What part might the FTC have in enforcing the law against an e-commerce giant like Amazon?
If you operate a commercial Web site or an online service directed to children under 13 that collects personal information from children or if you operate a general audience Web site and have actual knowledge that you are collecting personal information from children, you must comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.If you have children under the age of thirteen, you may want to review the list of items on the FTC's Kidz Privacy site's page for children. It's a good, common sense springboard for discussion.
Celebrated in over 180 countries, Earthday is a day to think about how much impact your life has upon the shared resources of the planet. Happy Earthday!
making a list
The Center for Democracy and Technology is coming to loggerjams with the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Pennsylvania. They are trying to use legal proceedings to get information about which web sites might be unreachable because of an effort on the part of Pennsylvania to block web sites that allegedly contain child pornography.
The state is blocking Internet Protocol (IP) addresses rather than specific domain names. It's not unusual for more than one site to share an IP address with a number of others. Actually, it's fairly common these days. It's quite possible that there are innocent sites blocked because the effort on the part of Pennsylvania.
A study released in February by Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society concluded that because modern Web standards permit thousands of domain names to share one Internet address, blocking illegal sites tends to lead to innocuous ones being targeted as well. It said the practice of Web sites sharing IP addresses is so commonplace that Yahoo hosts 74,000 Web sites at one address and Tucows.com uses one address for 68,000 domains.