China: Tough Luck, Journalists – the Net Stays Filtered

In the not-exactly-a-surprise category: China announced that, despite the IOC’s reassurances, it would filter the Internet connections available to journalists. What’s unavailable? The usual: sites criticizing China’s atrocious human rights record, or discussing Taiwan, or telling people how to get around China’s censorship. (See ONI’s complete report for the full list of what’s off-limits in […]

The Most Thorough Trademark Policing Ever

One of the stupendous librarians at the University of Minnesota Law School sent me a news story that shows just how far some trademark policing will go. Specifically, to Talkeetna, Alaska, which, according to Wikipedia, has a population of 772 and lies a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Anchorage. (Cue Michelle Shocked ballad.) The extraordinary zeal […]

On Max Mosley’s Privacy Verdict

Big news in London, where Max Mosley, president of the body that oversees Formula One auto racing, won a large court victory against the British tabloid News of the World. The case has garnered enormous attention in Britain, partly because it was seen as potentially an important decision about the balance between privacy and free […]

Facebook Ads Overhaul?

Last November, when powerhouse social networking site Facebook unveiled its new “Facebook Ads” programs, company founder Mark Zuckerberg declared, “Once every hundred years, media changes.” (This absurd hyperbole immediately became a punch line, as in the hilarious response from Nicholas Carr at the time.) I have criticized these programs before from a privacy perspective and […]

Free Wi-Fi and Forbidden Pants

For 10 more days, I’m a resident of Oakland County, Michigan, which has just pulled the plug on its experiment with free municipal wi-fi. The problem? Cost (duh). The county didn’t want to sink taxpayer money into the project, and the bandwidth provider, MichTel, seems to have miscalculated its likely profit margins: it’s losing $100K […]

“Rethinking Trademark Fair Use” Now Posted

My full-length article about the practical problems with trademark fair use (and possible reforms) is now available on SSRN. It will appear in the Iowa Law Review at the end of 2008. A shorter “prequel” was published earlier this year. This is the abstract of the new paper, entitled Rethinking Trademark Fair Use: The ever-expanding […]

Still More Online Salary Data

I have complained before (here and here) about private entities that make public employee salary data available online. Now my local newspaper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, has jumped on the bandwagon, plopping data about the paychecks of at least 52,000 state, county, and city employees into an online database, conveniently searchable by name. (Actually, […]

Textbook Kickbacks and the First Sale Doctrine

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports another infuriating example of universities betraying their key role in the dissemination of knowledge and becoming just another greedy content provider. (The converse of this, I guess…) Apparently some universities now cut deals with publishers to sponsor “custom” versions of textbooks and then require their students to purchase those special […]

The Next Domino: Qwest filters the Web

I wrote posts discussing the agreement between ISPs and the State of New York to cordon off Usenet to reduce access to child porn (at the cost of serious overblocking), and noting that states such as California were launching copycat efforts. Now, the latest domino to fall: Qwest has agreed to block access to known […]

Tracking Trademark Scholarship

If you follow trademark law you must bookmark this invaluable web site at the University of Texas at Austin Law Library. It lists every new trademark law article weekly. Fabulous (though I wish it linked to online versions of the articles too).