Beacon Lawsuit Faces Uphill Climb

This post analyzes a new privacy lawsuit against Facebook. But first, some context: I received an e-mail from a friend this weekend that read, in part: Subject: Privacy Code Red! How do I make it so that my Fandango purchases don’t show up on Facebook???? Is it going to happen if I buy a book [...]

Brave New World of Digital Intimacy

Several acquaintances have mentioned, or e-mailed, or (appropriately enough) posted on Facebook this New York Times Magazine article from Sunday about Facebook, Twitter, and “ambient awareness.” A lot of it will be fairly old news to many readers here, and ground that I am sure will be covered more completely by John Palfrey and Urs [...]

Rowling 1, Lexicon 0

J.K. Rowling has won her copyright lawsuit against RDR Books, the (now former) publisher of the Harry Potter Lexicon book. The decision is 68 pages long and is available courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. I thought Rowling would, and should, win, but I’m not impressed by the court’s reasoning, especially on the key question [...]

California: wacka wacka huna kuna, redux?

Last spring, I blogged here about the State of Oregon’s attempt to assert copyright over the language and organization of the statutes enacted by its legislature — an attempt that seemed to contradict over 100 years of precedent recognizing that state and federal laws are in the public domain. That particular story ended happily, with the [...]

Loose E-mail, Fast E-mail

(With apologies to Melville) The Wall Street Journal notes a career-enhancing moment by an executive at Carat International, who sent an e-mail with confidential information about restructuring (= large-scale firings) to the entire firm, rather than the (more limited) intended recipients. Fortunately, Carat’s IT department managed to “pull back” the message (known to geeks as [...]