On The Media

Patent Holders Strike Again

Monday, February 03, 2014

Last week brought us two patent troll stories.

Do you remember Lycos? It was sort of the proto-Google, and was, for a time in the late 90's, the most visited site on the web. Those days are now long gone, but patents that were once owned by Lycos are now being used to force Google to fork over a hefty chunk  of its revenue.

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On The Media

New Frontiers in Child Porn Law

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Supreme Court is weighing how much defendants convicted of possessing images of child pornography should have to pay in restitution to the victims depicted in those images. The case involves a woman known as “Amy,” whose uncle raped her when she was a young girl and circulated photographs of the abuse online. He eventually went to jail, but those photos became among the most widely viewed child porn in the world. Karen Duffin reports on Amy’s quest for restitution.


Middlesex Times

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On The Media

Revenge Porn Pioneer Hunter Moore Indicted

Thursday, January 23, 2014

UPDATE: read indictment below.

Time Magazine is reporting that Hunter Moore has been indicted by a grand jury for conspiracy to “access a protected computer without authorization to obtain information for private financial gain.” There aren't many details available and I haven't seen a copy of the indictment online, but will update the story as that information comes in. In the meantime, I've embedded Bob's interview with Moore from December of 2011 below:


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On The Media

Twitter + Libel = Twibel?

Friday, January 17, 2014

The first Twitter Libel case in the United States went on trial last week. The actress and recording artist Courtney Love is accused of defaming her former lawyer in a 2010 tweet. Bob speaks to Ellyn Angelotti, a lawyer and member of the Poynter Institute's faculty, who says the decision in this case could set a social media precedent for defamation -- and explains how the libel standard for print could apply to an 140-character format.

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On The Media

Assistant Principal Loses Lawsuit Against Students Who Teased Him On Facebook

Monday, September 30, 2013

Adam Matot is an Assistant Principal in Oregon. Last summer, he was arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident while driving under the influence. Some of his students created a parody Facebook account mocking him, and he filed a lawsuit against them under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, arguing that they'd damaged his reputation by impersonating him online. 

This week, the case was dismissed. The judge ruled that parody Facebook accounts aren't illegal. Or at least this one isn't. Here's Venkat Balasubramani, from the Technology & Marketing Law Blog:

Reviewing the CFAA case law, the court says that plaintiff’s cause of action is premised on defendants’ use of protected computers beyond the scope of authorization (i.e., use in a way that “exceeded authorized access”). Finding that Nosal, Brekka, and US v. Drew all frowned upon this as a legal theory (particularly when restrictions are contained in terms of use agreements), the court rejects the claim. 

Middle schoolers of the world, please continue to tease your administrators online. 

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On The Media

National Security Letters and Gag Orders

Friday, January 04, 2013

The most serious kind of subpoena - called a 'National Security Letter' - used to have a lifetime gag-order automatically attached. That is until Nicholas Merrill appealed his and won the right to talk about it. Despite 50,000 national security letters a year, there are only three organizations that have ever won the right to say they got one. In a segment that originally aired in January of 2011, Nick Merrill tells Bob why he's the exception and the rule.

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