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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Canadian Anti-Spam Bill C-27

CAUCE just posted a blog entry about C-27; we will be speaking to the Industry, Science, and Technology committee reviewing the bill this afternoon. The meeting will be webcast starting at 15:30 eastern... more

Tony La Russa’s Legal Claims Against Twitter Look Tenuous

It was bound to happen of course - someone sued Twitter for not verifying a "celebrity" or brand account. Mashable reports on a lawsuit brought by Tony La Russa, who is apparently a manager for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Mashable and others initially reported that La Russa and Twitter had resolved this one. It turns out they haven't after all. So what to make of Mr. La Russa's claims? more

Do You Care About Your Privacy?

ICANN is currently going through a complicated process in order to introduce more Top-Level Domains (TLDs). While the launch of new TLDs is something that a lot of people will welcome it is not without its issues. One of the areas that has been receiving quite a bit of attention is in relation to intellectual property rights. So what has this got to do with privacy? more

Virtual Extortion?

Maybe you saw this story: A Chinese man (whose name is not given) has been sentenced to serve three years in prison for extorting "virtual items and currency" from a "fellow Internet café user." The currency was worth 100,000 yuan or $14,700. The man who's sentenced to three years and the three friends who helped him also "extorted virtual equipment for online games" from their victim. The friends only seem to have been given a fine; the primary extortionist got both a fine and a jail time. The virtual currency was QQ coins... As I'm sure all of us know, there's a thriving market in virtual goods and currency... more

Valuing Trademarks in Domain Names

My new essay, "Valuing Trademarks in Domain Names," outlines the various approaches to valuing trademarks, pointing out the approaches’ different strengths and weaknesses, with emphasis on domain names. Using court cases, the essay points out that there is no one right way to value intangible assets but there are wrong ways. more

Google Book Search Settlement: Another Digital Pandora’s Box

A very good friend of mine is an archivist with the Ontario government, and we share similar views on how technology is impacting modern life. He passed a really interesting item along that ran in yesterday's Washington Post. Some of you may be following this – Google's Book Search Settlement. I can definitely see how this has a direct bearing on the archive space, but also how it touches on a few tangents of my world – emerging communications technologies. more

Gillette.ro WIPO Decision Provides Interesting Comments

One of the WIPO decisions published today relates to gillette.ro. The registrant (respondent) didn't make any submissions in their defence, so the decision could have been quite banal. However some of the panelist's comments under the "Registered and Used in Bad Faith" section are quite interesting... more

Hannaford Data Breach Plaintiffs Rebuffed in Maine

A US District Judge in Maine largely granted a motion to dismiss brought by Hannaford in a big data breach case... According to the court, around March 2008, third parties stole up to 4.2 million debit and credit card numbers, expiration dates, security codes, PIN numbers, and other information relating to cardholders "who had used debit cards and credit cards to transact purchases at supermarkets owned or operated by Hannaford." more

Canadian Spam Law Update

As you may know, there are two laws currently being discussed in Canadian legislative assemblies: Senate Bill S-220, a private member’s bill with private right of action and criminal remedies; Parliamentary Bill C-27, tabled by the government, with private right of action, coordination between various enforcement agencies... more

Crime vs. Cybercrime: Is the Law Adequate?

In 2001, I published an article on "virtual crime." It analyzed the extent to which we needed to create a new vocabulary -- and a new law -- of "cybercrimes." The article consequently focused on whether there is a difference between "crime" and "cybercrime." It's been a long time, and cybercrime has come a long way, since I wrote that article. I thought I'd use this post to look at what I said then and see how it's held up, i.e., see if we have any additional perspective on the relationship between crime and cybercrime... more

ICANN IRT Report Open for Comment With Short Timeframe?

The Intellectual Property Constituency's draft report on trademark issues is now available for comment. The draft report was put together behind closed doors, which would appear to go against the normal policy development process at ICANN, which is quite worrying. Its contents, however, are even more disturbing... more

Sweden’s Internet Traffic Drops by a Third as New Anti-Piracy Law Kicks In

April 1st was the start of a new anti-piracy law in Sweden where, according to traffic data, an immediate and significant drop (over 30%) occurred in the nation's overall Internet traffic. Reported today by Royal Pingdom: "The combined traffic passing through Sweden's Internet Exchange Points usually peaks around 160 Gbit/s, but on Wednesday it peaked at around 110 Gbit/s. That's a huge drop in traffic, and is presumably a direct result of less file sharing taking place. ... Another interesting observation is that there was more traffic than usual during the last days before the law took effect. Were people hoarding films and music? On Tuesday (the day before the law went live) traffic peaked at nearly 200 GBit/s, roughly 25% above normal levels." more

The Jaynes Case is Finally Over

Last September the Virginia Supreme Court issued a surprise ruling that reversed its previous decision and threw out the state’s anti-spam law on First Amendment grounds. The Commonwealth made a last ditch appeal to the US Supreme Court, which I predicted they’d be unlikely to accept. I guessed right... more

Internet Records Retention Bill

A lot of pixels have been spilled lately over an Internet records retention bill recently introduced in both the House and the Senate. The goal is to fight child pornography. That's a worthwhile goal; however, I think these bills will do little to further it. Worse yet, I think that at least two of the provisions of the bill are likely to have bad side effects... more

WIPO’s Misleading Release

The World Intellectual Property Organization put out a release yesterday trumpeting an eight percent increase in domain name disputes handled by WIPO. In 2008 there were 2329 complaints filed with WIPO, the most ever. WIPO uses the increase to raise questions about the possible increase in the number of available generic top-level domains... more