Antitrust

  • Comcast agrees to settle 11-year-old class action antitrust suit for $50 million settlement.

Constitution

  • The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agrees to hear arguments en banc in a lawsuit over the constitutionality of the California Resale Royalties Act, potentially providing conclusions over how far California laws, such as ones meant to curb climate change, may discriminate against out-of-state interests.

Copyright

  • A U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt denies Pharrell and Robin Thicke’s motion for summary judgment in the lawsuit over the similarity of their hit “Blurred Lines” to Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”
  • French Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin introduces a bill that may extend copyright protection for music performers and producers from 50 to 70 years.
  • Video streaming and torrent websites drop in rankings after Google changes it’s search algorithms.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation gives Facbook, Twitter, Etsy, and Flickr high marks for standing against intellectual property trolls.
  • The Motion Picture Association of America bans the use of wearable devices in theaters.

Drones

  • The Federal Aviation Administration announces new restrictions on the use of drones near racetracks and sports stadiums.

Litigation

  • A judge rules against investors claiming that Paramount made misrepresentations regarding distribution agreements involving 25 films, including Mean Girls, Coach Carter, and Alfie.
  • A science journalist and former staff writer of The New Yorker files a $1 million lawsuit against companies involved with the production and distribution of the film American Hustle over the film’s incorrect attribution of faulty microwave science to him.

Patents

  • A report from Unified Patents notes a significant drop in the number of patent cases filed in the third quarter of 2014.
  • Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York orders patent troll Lumen View to pay double the fee award in order to deter from pursuing predatory and baseless claims.

Privacy & Cybersecurity

  • The family of late celebrity photographer Bert Stern battle over the use of family footage showing his children and grandchildren in a documentary made by Bert Stern’s secret wife.
  • A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers reveals that cyberattacks are up by 48% from 2013.
  • A report from The New York Times reveals that the U.S. Postal Service allowed law enforcement agencies to monitor mail almost 50,000 times in 2013.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation sends a letter to the superintendent of schools in Williamson County, Tennessee, regarding the Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) policy which restricts student speech online by prohibiting students from posting pictures of school employees or students on social media sites without a school official’s permission, gives them the right to search personal electronic devices and monitor a student’s network traffic.
  • The Seattle Times reports that according to documents acquired and published by the EFF, the FBI misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to create a fake news story in order to plant spyware on a suspect’s computer.
  • The Washington Post reports that, according to sources, the breach of the unclassified White House computer networks may have been performed by hackers working for the Russian government.
  • A Virginia Circuit Court judge rules that police may demand a suspect to provide a fingerprint to unlock a phone.

Telecommunications

  • FCC chairman Tom Wheeler expresses his support of a rule change that would alter the applicability of “multichannel video distributor” to include online video providers, effectively providing such services access to programming enjoyed by cable and satellite providers.
  • The FCC announces it intends to fine TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc. for failing to protect customer “proprietary information” on publicly accessible servers.
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) files a complaint against AT&T alleging that the provider misled consumers by throttling mobile users using their “unlimited” data plan.
  • Verizon agrees to settle a class action lawsuit, which alleged the provider billed customers for supposedly free phone calls, for $64.2 million.

Trade Secrets

  • A judge issues a temporary restraining order forbidding Lindsay Lohan and her brother from promoting Vigne, an alleged clone of Spotted Friend, an app aimed at promoting celebrity wardrobe items.

Trademark

  • A judge declines to issue a declaration of non-infringement, permanent injunctive relief, and cancellation of trademarks to a playwright seeking to avoid infringement claims over his use of “Zorro.”
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