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Canada's Anti-Spam Law Coming Into Force July 01, 2014

Canada's Anti-Spam Law, CASL, is now a done deal. Last Thursday, Treasury Board of Canada President (and champion of CASL) Tony Clement approved Industry Canada regulations in their final form. Today, Minister of Industry the Honourable James Moore announced CASL will come into force in July 1, 2014. more»

Don't Let Patent Wars Widen Digital Divide

For generations, large pockets of Africa were isolated from things many of us take for granted: access to medical treatment and advances that can make the difference between a healthy, productive life or debilitating illness -- or even an early death. These problems still persist, but over the last two decades technology has helped break through and enable medical professionals to reach the poorest and most remote populations and offer some hope. more»

TPP IP Chapter Leaks Reveal New U.S. Proposed Regulations for Country-Code Domain Names

The leaked Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter has revealed a number of U.S. proposals including U.S. demands for Internet provider liability that could lead to subscriber termination, content blocking, and ISP monitoring, copyright term extension and anti-counterfeiting provisions. This post discusses Article QQ.C.12 on domain names. more»

Anti-Consumer ICANN Can Not be Trusted To Protect Domain Registrants' Property Interests

Domain name registrants who purchase a name in any of the present or pending generic (gTLD) top level domains should think twice before entrusting a domain name property interest to ICANN, even though ICANN levies a money tariff on each domain registration. ICANN has no policy language that indemnifies domain name registrants. ICANN language does not even contemplate the possibility of domain theft by an ICANN registrar. more»

Is 47 USC 230(c) an Immunity or an Affirmative Defense (Does it Matter?)

Procedure matters. It matters whether a defendant can dispose of a litigation right out of the gate, or whether the defendant must suffer the slings and arrows of discovery, motions, and trial before presenting a successful defense. Procedurally, once a litigation has been initiated, defendant has a chance to say, "hey, wait a minute, there isn't actually a cause of action here." It's like someone suing me for being tall. Well, yeah, but there is no recognized cause of action against being tall. more»

The Internet and OpenStand: The Internet Didn't Happen by Accident

On the World Standards Day of 2013 it seems appropriate to recognize that on the Internet and throughout the Web, nothing goes anywhere without standards. These technical standards - communication protocols, data exchange formats, and interfaces - allow different computers and networks to talk to each other. They are the lifeblood around the world for multibillion dollar industries that didn't exist 20 years ago. They are born of a collaborative, open process that prides itself on technical expertise and measures success by the depth and breadth of their acceptance across a hodgepodge of vastly different technologies all interconnected to what we euphemistically call "the Global Internet." more»

The Boundary Between Sec. 230 Immunity and Liability: Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment Recordings

Out in the wilderness of cyberspace is a boundary, marking the limits of Sec. 230 immunity. On the one side roams interactive services hosting third party content immune from liability for that third party content. On the other sides is the frontier, where interactive content hosts and creators meet, merge, and become one. Here host and author blend, collaborating to give rise to new creations. more»

Registrars That Complied With "Shakedown" Requests May Now Be in Violation of ICANN Transfers Policy

At the time we posted 'Whatever Happened To Due Process,' we were unaware that we were just one of many registrars receiving these notices from the London (UK) Police. We have since been made aware that this was part of a larger initiative against the BitTorrent space as a whole, and that most if not all of the other registrars in receipt of the same email as us folded rather quickly and acquiesced to the shakedown orders. more»

Filtering the Internet Is Still a Bad Idea: DCA, ABC, and Steroid Searches

A few days ago, ABC News ran an "investigative" piece called "Group Probes Ease and Danger of Buying Steroids Online." ABC describes the "group" at issue as "an online watchdog," the Digital Citizens Alliance. That group determined that some of the millions of available YouTube videos encourage steroid use and that YouTube (which is owned by Google) places ads next to steroid-related videos and search results. They argue that Google and YouTube should be held legally responsible for any illegal content linked or posted. more»

In Which We Consider the Meaning of 'Authorized': GIVAUDAN FRAGRANCES CORPORATION v. Krivda

What does authorized access mean? If an employee with authorized access to a computer system goes into that system, downloads company secrets, and hands that information over to the company's competitor, did that alleged misappropriation of company information constitute unauthorized access? This is no small question. If the access is unauthorized, the employee potentially violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (the CFAA contains both criminal and civil causes of action). But courts get uncomfortable here. more»