Oracle copied Amazon’s API—was that copyright infringement?

29 03 2020

ars technica
Charles Duan
January 3, 2020

Early this year, the Supreme Court will hear an important case that will determine the legal status of application programming interfaces under copyright law. If the high court sides with Oracle in its multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Google’s Android platform, it could stifle competition and entrench dominant technology firms—possibly including Google itself.

Oracle has accused Google of infringing copyright law by copying the API of the Java programming language. An API is essentially a language for instructing a computer on what to do. It includes a vocabulary of named commands tied to grammatical structures for how those commands are to be used. To cause Java software to perform pre-defined tasks, such as calculating a sine function or encrypting a message, a programmer must use those named commands and grammatical structures with precision, much in the same way that a Waffle House diner invokes exact code words like “scattered, smothered, chunked, and diced” to get a hash brown order correct.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/oracle-copied-amazons-api-was-that-copyright-infringement/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.co

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The Joys and Dangers of Tweeting: A CDA Immunity Update

29 03 2020

LexBlog
J. Alexander Lawrence
November 12, 2019

A recent decision from a federal court in New York highlights the limits social media users enjoy under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The case involves Joy Reid, the popular host of MSNBC’s AM Joy who has more than two million Twitter and Instagram followers, and the interaction between a young Hispanic boy and a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA)–hat wearing woman named Roslyn La Liberte at a Simi Valley, California, City Council meeting.

The case centers on a single re-tweet by Reid and two of her Instagram posts.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2019/11/12/the-joys-and-dangers-of-tweeting-a-cda-immunity-update/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Apple targets jailbreaking in lawsuit against iOS virtualization company

28 03 2020

ars technica
Jon Brodkin –
January 3, 2020

Apple has expanded a lawsuit against an iOS virtualization company, claiming that its actions facilitate jailbreaking and violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prohibition on circumvention of copyright-protection systems.

Apple sued Corellium, a company that sells access to virtual machines that run copies of the operating system used in iPhones and iPads, in August 2019.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/apple-targets-jailbreaking-in-lawsuit-against-ios-virtualization-company/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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USPTO Urges Supreme Court to Reverse in Now-Delayed Booking.com Case

28 03 2020
IP Watchdog
IPWatchdog
March 27, 2020
On March 13, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filed a reply brief urging the Supreme Court on to reverse a judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that held BOOKING.COM to be a registrable trademark. The case was set to be argued on Monday, March 23, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fifteen parties have filed amicus briefs in the case, most of those in support of Booking.com. In response to Booking.com’s brief of February 20, the USPTO primarily argued that, 1) Goodyear Co. v. Goodyear Rubber Co. remains good law and resolves the question presented in the present case, 2) Sound trademark policy supports the conclusion that adding a top-level domain, such as .com, to a generic term does not lead to a protectable trademark, and 3) Booking.com’s survey evidence does not provide a sound basis for treating the term “Booking.com” as a registrable trademark.
The content in this post was found at https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/03/27/uspto-urges-supreme-court-reverse-now-delayed-booking-com-case/id=120205/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Redbox’s Terms of Use Fail (OUCH)–Wilson v. Redbox

28 03 2020

Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Eric Goldman
March 27, 2020

Redbox allegedly sent unwanted texts to Wilson. Wilson sued for TCPA violations. Redbox invoked the arbitration clause in its TOU. The court says the TOU did not properly form and denies the arbitration request. Ouch.

Wilson joined Redbox in 2007 using its web interface. From March 2010 to December 2018, she rented 125 movies using both the web interface and in-store kiosk. In November 2016, Redbox added a mandatory arbitration provision to its TOU and emailed 120M customers to notify them of the addition. These facts gave Redbox 3 different places where it might have formed the contract: the web screen, the kiosk interface, and the amendment email. All of them fail.

The “Wrap” Nonsense

Once again, the “wrap” taxonomy provides no help. The court says “[m]any online contracts do not fit neatly into the clickwrap or browsewrap categories but instead share characteristics with both.” Naturally, that’s the case here:

the My Bag and Sign in screens are both hybrid agreements. Neither screen displays the full Terms of Use, but both make them accessible via a hyperlink. Moreover, both screens tie assent to the Terms of Use to some additional action—hitting “Pay Now” for customers using a kiosk or signing into their Redbox account for customers renting online.

At this point, why even bother with the clickwrap/browsewrap distinction if every contract ends up being a tertium quid? FFS.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2020/03/redboxs-terms-of-use-fail-ouch-wilson-v-redbox.htm Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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GEICO Earns Victory at Intersection Between Copyright and Trade Secret Law Covering Source Code

28 03 2020

LexBlog
Robert B. Kornweiss, Raija Horstman & Mark A. Klapow
March 27, 2020

A recent decision by the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York reinforces that owners of trade secret computer programs should carefully approach copyright registration in order to maintain both copyright and trade secret protection. This includes being conscious of copyright regulations allowing the partial and redacted registration of computer code with the Copyright Office.

In a recent manifestation of this principle, Capricorn Management Systems accused GEICO of misappropriating Capricorn’s trade secret source code for medical billing software. Last week, the court granted GEICO’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the code was not entitled to trade secret protection, in part because it was registered, unredacted, with the U.S. Copyright Office, and was therefore publicly available.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/03/27/geico-earns-victory-at-intersection-between-copyright-and-trade-secret-law-covering-source-code/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Disney Sued in Trademark Spat Over Frozen 2

27 03 2020

LexBlog
Mike Willee
January 7, 2020

There’s a dichotomy to being big, a paradox that comes with size relative to those around you: it’s understood and expected that you should take the care to look out for those smaller than you as you make your way through the world, and yet being big gives you the option to simply do as you choose by virtue of the fact that you can make others get out of your way, lest they be knocked over or crushed.

In these terms, Disney would be the Gulliver of Jonathan Swift’s famous tome, with the overwhelming majority of other companies Lilliputians, to say nothing of us ordinary citizens who would be smaller still. Disney can choose to watch its step so as to not trod on other companies, or it can do and go as it pleases, unconcerned that any real damage could be done to it by the diminutive bodies barely perceptible from its perspective.

It’s unclear whether Disney choose to take the latter approach in this particular case, but whatever its intent, it has found itself caught in a copyright case involving its latest billion-dollar blockbuster hit. The suit comes from a Nevada-based cancer charity called Trust Your Journey, which is claiming that Disney is infringing upon its trademark on its company name by using that phrase in both Frozen 2 and merchandise related to the film.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/01/07/disney-sued-in-trademark-spat-over-frozen-2/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Top Internet Law Developments of 2019

27 03 2020

Technology & Marketing Law Blog
Eric Goldman
Jan. 7, 2020

It’s increasingly hard to find good news in Internet law, so I organized this year’s Internet Law roundup by categories of doom. Trigger warning: you should grab some tissues before proceeding.

Doomed (in a Bad Way)

Doomed: User-Generated Content.

Doomed: Print-on-Demand Services.

Doomed: Online Marketplaces.

Doomed: Internet Access Providers.

Doomed: Cybersecurity.

Doomed: Sex Workers and Sex Trafficking Victims.

Doomed: the CCPA. 

Doomed (in a not-terrible sense)

Doomed: “Must-Carry” Obligations for Publishers Who Aren’t State Actors. 

Doomed: the Roommates.com Section 230 Exception.

Doomed: Cases Against Social Media Services for Terrorist Content.

Doomed: the Liebowitz Copyright Litigation Machine.

Doomed: Politicians Banning Constituents on Social Media. T

Other

Online Political Content and Ads.

hiQ v. LinkedIn.

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The content in this post was found at https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2020/01/top-internet-law-developments-of-2019.htm Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Cox Faces Staggering $1 Billion Verdict in Copyright Case

27 03 2020

LexBlog
Mike Willee
January 14, 2020

Culpability has become has become an ever-more-relevant question in cases of copyright violation, with technology making both the dissemination of creative works and the subsequent violation of creators’ rights easier than ever. The ultimate blame in those belongs to those actually perpetrating the acts, but our sense of justice and the system put in place around that notion seeks both to assign some responsibility and punishment to those who might have enabled misdeeds through direct action or negligent inaction. It’s something that we see from large corporations, where inaction is often the norm for a variety of reasons, although in light of one recent case, those same companies might feel compelled to get proactive.

Cox Communications is facing a colossal judgment from the jury in a case of copyright infringement, to the tune of $1 billion; not for infringing upon copyright themselves, but for not doing enough to stem violations committed by their customers. It’s an amount that defies logic and reason, as Techdirt suggests, and certainly stands as a case where the punishment far exceeds the crime, given that the crime is not stopping crimes, which most any internet service provider or tech platform is almost certainly guilty of in some measure.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/01/14/cox-faces-staggering-1-billion-verdict-in-copyright-case/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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Can Booking.com Trademark Its Company Name? How Will the U.S. Supreme Court Resolve Whether a Generic Term Plus a Top-Level Domain Is Protectable?

27 03 2020

LexBlog
Jason Oliver
January 15, 2020

The legal battle between Booking.com BV and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began more than five years ago and concerns whether the online hotel booking company can secure a trademark registration for its name. After filing for trademark protection, Booking.com commenced a federal lawsuit in connection with the USPTO’s refusal to issue a trademark on the grounds that “BOOKING.COM” was too generic. Thereafter, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held that the company’s “BOOKING.COM” trademarks could be registrable as descriptive trademarks that have acquired distinctiveness. The district court reasoned that the trademark “BOOKING.COM” had the potential to be non-generic when the public understood the trademark in its totality to refer to Booking.com’s brand. Significantly, the district court reviewed Booking.com’s survey evidence to conclude that the consuming public did not associate “BOOKING.COM” with general online hotel booking services. Rather, the district court noted that survey evidence indicated that participants associated the trademark, which included the top-level domain “.COM” with the specific source of the services.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling on this issue. The appellate court wrote that “when [“.COM”] is combined with [a second term], even a generic [second term], the resulting composite may be non-generic where evidence demonstrates that the mark’s primary significance to the public as a whole is the source, not the product.”

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The content in this post was found at https://www.lexblog.com/2020/01/15/can-booking-com-trademark-its-company-name-how-will-the-u-s-supreme-court-resolve-whether-a-generic-term-plus-a-top-level-domain-is-protectable/ Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com

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