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- The Supreme Court grants cert in the Aereo case, which pits the over-the-air TV streaming upstart against the big broadcasting companies. [H/T Hollywood, Esq.]
- The high court also grants cert in POM Wonderful v. Coca-Cola, a trademark case (can a private party bring a Lanham Act false-and-misleading case based on labels regulated by the FDA?), and two patent cases: Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments (on indefiniteness), and Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies (whether inducement requires underlying direct infringement).
- Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) writes a letter to the NSA asking whether it is “spying” on members of Congress. Former General Counsel to the NSA Stewart Baker is having none of it, calling Sanders’ letter a “dumb stunt” for asking a question everyone already knows the answer to — of course it does! It spies on every American, doesn’t it?
- A copy of the Ben Stiller vehicle The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which has not yet been released to DVD, surfaces online — apparently watermarked with the name of Ellen DeGeneres, who will host the Academy Awards show in March, and who had Stiller on her show in December. No word yet on whether it really was Ms. Degeneres’ copy, or on how it leaked.
- Target suffered an enormous data breach as hackers absconded with personal or credit card information on upwards of 100 million customers.
- A Virginia court requires online review platform Yelp! to reveal the identities of some negative reviewers. Yelp! itself has been accused of some shady activities in the past — namely, calling small businesses and asking for a monthly fee to hide negative reviews — which it officially denies. The theory in the Virginia case seems extremely flimsy: a dry cleaners received some negative reviews, searched its customer records to try to figure out who might have posted them, and couldn’t match the reported issues with any customers in its database. Then it argued that it has a reasonable belief that the reviews are false (i.e., were not written by real customers) and therefore libelous. This speculation seems… speculative… but Virginia has no anti-SLAPP laws, and the dissent’s reasoning could not carry the day:
A business subject to critical commentary, commentary here not even claimed to be false in substance, should not be permitted to force the disclosure of the identity of anonymous commentators simply by alleging that those commentators may not be customers because they cannot identify them in their database.
- The NBA reportedly reaches a settlement deal in a controversy stemming from its merger with the collapsing ABA in 1976. That deal required that most ABA teams to take a lump sum and fold, but one disappearing team held out for a better deal and won a share of future visual media rights. After paying out nearly $1 billion to the former owners of that team, the NBA will finally be able to tell them goodbye.
- The Supreme Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest judicial arbiter, acquits several Google employees in a criminal privacy law case stemming entirely from a user-submitted video. The case had drawn broad criticism for ignoring the safe harbors normally accorded service providers and for threatening to stifle free speech on the internet.
Tagged with: Aereo • anonymous speech • data breach • digital piracy • digital tv • FDA • Fourth Amendment • Lanham Act • metadata • Monday Morning JETLawg • NBA • NSA • nsa-spying-scandal • patent claim indefiniteness • patent infringement inducement • patents • privacy law • safe harbor • search & seizure • SLAPP • standing • streaming • Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) • Target • trademarks • yelp
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