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Administrative Proceeedings

Once Again, with Feeling This Time: You Cannot Enact a State Law Making Interactive Services Liable for Third Party Content
There is a lot of darkness out there. And it makes us mad. And it makes us want to do something. And sometimes we cant reach the bad people who do bad things. But we can reach intermediaries who have nothing to do with the bad things. Sometimes, in order to "something," we do the wrong thing. State laws imposing liability on interactive services for third party content is the wrong thing.

Duty to Secure your WiFi Access Point?
Something bad happens online. It happens. Plaintiff has the IP Address of the perp. Does plaintiff know whodoit? Is the account owner of an Internet access account liable for anything that happens on that account? Do you have a duty to secure your WiFi access point?

Dial "L" for Liability :: Sec. 230 Protects Online Service for Errant Phone Number
If someone's phone number gets incorrectly published in an online phone book and the result is that person's phone ringing off the hook (essentially a phone DDOS), could the publisher be liable for the errant phone number?

No Cybersquatting Liability where Defendant Set up Gripe Website to Criticize Plaintiff
There is a difference between cyberpirates - and griping - a Founding Father granted first American right and responsibility. The subject of the gripe may not like it much; but that doesnt make it a violation of the ACPA.

Data and Text on Cell Phone Not Protected by Stored Communications Act
You know all that data you keep on your smart phone? Addresses? Notes? Secret messages. Think its private??? Heh heh heh.... well maybe not.

No, Virginia, You Have No Duty to Secure Your WiFi Access Point
ThirdParty walks up to an open WiFi access point and downloads a bunch of copyrighted stuff. Copyright Owner sues the open WiFi access point for negligently failing to secure the access point. Name three things wrong with Copyright Owner's cause of action. See WiFi Security :: Negligence

Where the Wiretap Act and WiFi Collide
The story of the consternation over open WiFi access points continues to unfold. In this episode, Plaintiff wants to snoop on open WiFi access points to see if Defendant hotels and coffee shops are violating Plaintiff's patents. Is it a violation of the Wiretap Act to snoop on an open WiFi access point? Is it a violation of the Wiretap Act to overhear someone else's conversation on a walkie talkie? Isnt WiFi spectrum the equivolent of a wireless commons, a public park - where there is no expectation of privacy to conversations? See ECPA Exceptions WiFi

In Which the Court Finds a "Get Out of ACPA Cause of Action Free Card"
Seems pretty simple: If I registered my domain name before your registered your trademark, then my use of the domain name could not be a bad faith violation of the AntiCybersquatter Consumer Protection Act. Right? See ACPA :: Elements of Cause of Action :: Registration

Ken Burns Prohibition: Olmstead
Do you have an expectation of privacy in electronic communications? Olmstead 1928: No. Katz 1967: Yes. ECPA 1986: Yes. Facebook 2011: M'eh??

In a Time When Email Costs 26c and Takes Two Days to Deliver
The USPS is rumored to be running ads attacking email, attempting to install fear in the public that email is "insecure." This is not the first time the USPS felt threatened by email. In the late 1970s the USPS attempted to solved the email problem by suggestion that there ought to be a law against it.

In Which We Learn the Difference Between "Being Slow" and "Bad Faith"
A guy becomes a real estate franchisee and sets up some websites. But then the franchisee agreement lapses. Those websites with the plaintiff's trademark pointed to the guy's new real estate website. Was he just slow to take down his old website, or was it "bad faith"?

In Which We Learn Whether a Sour Relationship Constitutes a Breach of Contract or a Violation of the AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protect Act
So a guy hirers a web designer to build a web site, which the web designer does. And everything is good, until, of course, the relationship between the guy and the web designer "sours." And the web designer says, "okay, pay me what you owe me, and I will turn over the website and the domain name to you." Pop Quiz: Did the web designer just violate the Anti Cybersquatting Consumer Protect Act? No really, that's a serious question.

The Wayward AntCybersquatter Consumer Protection Act
The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) has lost its way. The ACPA was passed in an era of domain name land grabs, where nefarious individuals would register and warehouse oodles of valuable domain names, and then extract ransom from bewildered-trademark owners. These nefarious individuals are known as " cybersquatters ", and, according to the ACPA , they are bad.

The Threat From Within
The security vendor-phobe at the head of the conference bangs on the podium with his shoe declaring that "The greatest threat comes from within! (buy our product for your network's salvation)."

Cybersquatting Bad!
The first of a series of posts on the Anti Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, starting with a review of the ACPA's legislative history. "On-line extortion in any form is unacceptable and outrageous. Whether it's people extorting companies by registering company names, misdirecting Internet users to inappropriate sites, or otherwise attempting to damage a trademark that a business has spent decades building into a recognizable brand, anyone engaging in cyber-squatting activity should be held accountable for their actions." --Sen. Abraham, Sponsor of the ACPA

In Which We Learn the Cost of Letting a Domain Name Expire During a Litigation
If you let a domain name expire during a pending Anti Cybersquatter Consumer Protection Act case, and are ordered to transfer that domain name to plaintiff, is now impossible for you to transfer the expired domain name? Apparently not.

October is CyberSecurity Month
"National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), conducted every October since 2004, is a national public awareness campaign to encourage everyone to protect their computers and our nation's critical cyber infrastructure. Cyber security requires vigilance 365 days per year. However, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), the primary drivers of NCSAM, coordinate to shed a brighter light in October on what home users, schools, businesses and governments need to do in order to protect their computers, children, and data." See CT's information on Cybersecurity.

WHOIS Dat who say WHOIS Dat when I say WHOIS Dat?
Using WHOIS a discovery technique to discover who is messing with you, and learning the subpoena's used in limited discovery generally wont get you full server logs.

ReTweet ReLawsuit?
If Joe comes to my Web 2.0 site and posts a defamatory comment about Jane, I am not a publisher of that comment pursuant to Sec. 230 even though it is on my site, and therefore am not liable. But what happens if I retweet Joe's comment?

A Hack. A Scrape. A Crash. A Lawsuit. Snap-On Business Solutions, Inc., v O'Neil Associates, Inc., (ND Ohio April 16, 2010)
In today's story , we hear a tale of a business deal gone sour, the alleged hacking and crashing of a computer system, data that are free except when it's not, and words that don't always mean what they appear to mean. Can Daffy's access to a database be unauthorized if Thurston controls who has access, and Thurston gave Daffy permission to access? Does Thurston violate copyright law when the data in the database is his, and he makes a copy of it? This sounds like a case for Motion-to-Dismiss-Man and his somewhat incredible superpowers!

1910 Navy Radio Station in Arlington, VA
This short history story comes from Arlington Virginia, home town of the 1910 US Navy Radio station. Back in the day, before broadcast radio - before the Federal Communications Commission - heck even before the Federal Radio Commission -- folk were interested in "wireless" as a means for ship-to-shore communications. Marconi monopolized commercial wireless telegraph service to shipping - while the US Navy took interest in the ability to communicate with the fleet at sea. The first federal agency to exercise regulatory spectrum authority was in fact not the FCC but the US Navy . Anyway, on with this great story....

Virtual Banishment and the First Amendment: Estavillo v. Sony Computer Entertainment of America
Many of us host or sponsor online communities of one form or another. On occasion, this means we must engage in moderation of the discourse in that community, and, as chance may arise, on occasion, we must give some chap the boot from the community for violating the AP or the TOS. Inevitable, the booted chap screams "First Amendment Violation," to which we must respond, "The First Amendment restrains government actors - we are not government actors." Apparently, we are correct.

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