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Deeplinks Blog

You, Your Boss, and Your Blog

Whenever there's talk about blogging horror stories, inevitably the conversation turns to people getting fired for blogging. What kinds of things can your boss fire you for? Aren't there laws to protect you for whistle-blogging about the rotten things your company is doing to the environment? If you...

First Post-Grokster Cold Front?

As mentioned last week, the post-Grokster world may create new concerns for companies creating technologies that enable new digital uses like "place-shifting." Because these companies forthrightly promote activities that should qualify as fair uses, but have generally never been ruled on by a court, they are put in a...

EU Parliament Votes Down Software Patents, 648-14

Big news. As reported by the BBC, the European Parliament has voted down the Computer-Implemented Inventions Directive, a law that would have given broad authority to the European Patent Office to start issuing US-style software patents in the EU. Rejection of this law is a huge, huge victory for...

A Worthy First Step

Neither the MGM v. Grokster ruling nor the 12,000+ lawsuits filed against individuals will succeed in solving the P2P problem: getting artists fairly compensated for filesharing. EFF advocates collective licensing as a better solution for the P2P dilemma, a solution that aligns the incentives of copyright owners with, rather...

Yet More Lost in the Shuffle

Imagine if "Macworld" couldn't be used to name a publication devoted to Macintosh-related products. Sounds bizarre, no? Some don't seem to think so. EFF announced Monday that it has filed a lawsuit against French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis Group on behalf of Medical Week News, publishers of the medical news website...

Grokster = More Fair Use Cases?

One potential consequence of the MGM v. Grokster ruling may be an uptick in courts deciding fair use cases involving personal, noncommercial activities like "time-shifting" and "space-shifting." A variety of new digital technologies are advertised and promoted for uses that the technology vendors believe to be fair uses. For example...

Clarifying Inducement: What's the Remedy?

The Court also leaves open precisely what the remedy is if one is found to have actively induced infringement. Here, too, the relationship to patent law may be relevant. In that context, the appropriate remedy has not included forbidding distribution of the defendant's technology. Rather, the remedies have prohibited the...

Clarifying Inducement: How Is Patent Law Relevant?

Justice Stevens' Sony opinion discusses in some detail how patent law's "staple article of commerce" doctrine will be imported into copyright. The Grokster decision purports to import the active inducement standard from patent law, too. But it's unclear whether the Court actually has done so. First, patent law requires a...

Fear Mongering

Today, during an interview on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, lead counsel for the movie studios and record labels, Don Verrilli, accused me of "fear-mongering." While I suspect his barb may be something out of MPAA/RIAA talking points, others who I respect have suggested that the ruling...

Unavoidable Inducement?

In light of the decision, some on the petitioners' side argue (once again) that the standard only targets "bad actors," not harming any legitimate businesses. However, in some ways, the decision may make it difficult for legitimate businesses to avoid inducement. In the respondents' press conference, Grokster counsel Michael...

What is "Inducement"?

At the least, one could hope that the Supreme Court's decision in December to hear the Grokster case was a first step in bringing clarity to secondary copyright infringement doctrines. Instead, the Court introduced a new doctrine, the contours of which are entirely unclear. The ambiguity invites more lawsuits and...

Supreme Court Sows Uncertainty

Let's measure today's opinion against the chief issues mentioned in the "Grokster Reader's Guide" last week. It's Not About P2P: It's still not about P2P. Whether or not today's ruling unleashes new litigation against innovators, it will have no effect on the tens of millions of Americans who...

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