Filtering and the Thin Edge of the Wedge

I’ve long argued that one reason to be cautious about turning to Internet filtering as a means of regulation – of dealing with social problems such as child pornography distribution or IP infringement – is that it inevitably expands. A judge in the United Kingdom is helping me make my point: he has ordered British [...]

What Is A “Hack”?

Rick Reilly. (Sorry, that’s *who* is a hack.) But, Adam Penenberg has a great article at Fast Company about the increasingly amorphous definition of “hacking”: it can cover everything from social engineering to Denial of Service attacks to SQL injection attacks to cyberweapons. Penenberg doesn’t have much in the way of alternative definition, but he [...]

Magic Numbers and Copyright Infringement

Round Three of the Jammie Thomas-Rasset trial is over. The recording industry both won and lost: it won on infringement, but lost on its efforts to protect the jury’s damages award of $62,500 per song (work) infringed. Judge Michael Davis of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota reduced the damages award to $2,250 per song [...]

One Kim Kardashian Is Enough, Thank You

Kim Kardashian, possessor of the world’s most famous Armenian-American posterior, has sued Old Navy over a television commercial featuring an actress with an uncanny resemblance to her. You can read a Washington Post account of the suit, and watch the ad, here, and read New York Daily News coverage here. Celebrity impersonators can be a [...]

Protecting Hackers from Lawyers

Oliver Day and I presented the idea behind our article The Hacker’s Aegis (now available from Emory Law Journal – the cite, for law nerds, is 60 Emory L.J. 1051 (2011)) at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School yesterday. The Webcast of the talk should be available soon. We had [...]

Google Books 3.0?

James Grimmelmann, the guru of all things Google Books, reported in a blog post that yesterday’s status conference in the case was relatively uneventful save for two developments. For one, it sounds like Judge Chin is irritated with the parties. He noted that the case is six years old and threatened to set a “relatively [...]

Tracking the Trackers

This is a must-read for privacy people. Computer scientists at the Stanford Security Lab are developing a platform for documenting the tracking conducted by various online third parties, particularly advertising companies. They have some highly preliminary findings about the response of different firms to users who opt out of tracking through the industry’s self-regulatory mechanism, [...]

Sunshine, Elections, and Privacy (Again)

I’ve been thinking and writing again about the topic of my very first full law review article: the role of “sunshine” in our election system and the way it can compromise individual privacy. In the internet era, personal convictions and associations may be burned by too much sunshine. Of course, the public deserves to know [...]

Letter on PROTECT IP Act

David Post, Mark Lemley, and David Levine have drafted a terrific letter opposing the PROTECT IP Act, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and seemed headed for President Obama’s desk until Senator Ron Wyden placed a hold on it. I’ve signed the letter, along with pretty much every other Internet law and IP professor [...]

Abusing Anonymity

The sexual assault case against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn is famously falling apart; the alleged victim faces credibility problems from lying on her asylum application, among other things. Here in New York City, the district attorney, Cy Vance, is under considerable scrutiny for his decision to charge Strauss-Kahn in the first place. Unsurprisingly, the [...]