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September 24, 2013

Intellectual Property Theft: Prevention and Recovery

Matt: Hi, and welcome back to Copyright Law Radio! I'm Matt Plessner. The laws of copyrighting and theft on the internet can be very undefined sometimes. The internet is a medium that's still very young, and thus can be subject to, I guess, kaleidoscope of different legal issues. We've referred to the internet as the "wild, wild west" in many of the interviews past, and that is very true. One such issue is intellectual property theft. Today, we're going to be discussing what this means, as well as some preventive and recovery methods. And of course, at Traverse Legal, we work with COPYSHIELD.COM which is a site that helps with matters such as these. And to help us with these we are welcoming Copyshields's very own Justin Mikula. Justin, we appreciate you taking some time to talk with us today.

Justin: Thanks for having me.

Matt: Now Justin....Well, for those people who haven't heard, I guess, our other interviews, can you just give us a little brief overview of Copyshield and what you do exactly?

Continue reading Intellectual Property Theft: Prevention and Recovery >>
August 06, 2013

Privacy and Notice Considerations for Mobile Tracking in Applications

The Digital Advertising Alliance recently released guidance to provide further direction to companies operating mobile applications. The guidance applies to companies that engage in behavioral targeting, with use of cross app tracking to serve advertisements, app base tracking of geo location data, collection of address book information from social networking accounts, and behavioral tracking on mobile websites. Fundamentally speaking, the guidance remains the same; give notice and choice on mobile devices. 

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Unauthorized Use of the Name or Likeness of an Individual

There are various causes of action under what is commonly referred to as invasion of privacy. The first, false light invasion of privacy, occurs when information is published about a person that is false. Although similar to defamation, it is different because particular statement need not be defamatory but instead embellished, distort, or otherwise alter information in such a way that it amounts to a false light invasion of privacy.

Continue reading Unauthorized Use of the Name or Likeness of an Individual >>
January 30, 2013

Revenge Porn Website Faces Copyright Infringement, Invasion of Privacy and Defamation Claims

Copyright infringement, invasion of privacy and potentially defamation claims could exist when your photo, naked, pornographic or otherwise, is posted on a website without your permission. CNN Reports on one lawsuit which is being brought against a revenge porn website where ex-boyfriends can post naked or pornographic pictures of girlfriends who have broken up with them. The website allegedly will take the picture down if you pay them money. For many web visitors, this smacks of extortion.

Continue reading Revenge Porn Website Faces Copyright Infringement, Invasion of Privacy and Defamation Claims >>
June 09, 2011

Internet Privacy Update: Tennessee Passes Bill Making Password Sharing Illegal

As reported in the ABA Journal, Tennessee law makers have passed a bill making it illegal to share a friend’s login to listen to music or download and watch movies from services such as Netflix and Rhapsody.  The bill, which takes effect on July 1, was pushed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in light of the billions of dollars it loses as a result of illegal music sharing.  The bill was proposed to battle hackers who sell passwords in bulk.  However, it may be employed against people who share their subscriptions with family members and friends.

Under the bill, violators caught stealing $500 or less will be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.  Theft over $500 would be a felony with more serious penalties.  The RIAA hopes the bill will spread throughout the states but specifically targeted Tennessee because of its close ties with Nashville. 

March 04, 2011

Privacy Policy Lawyer | Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011 Proposed

Online privacy is being harder to come by as we all continue to suffer under the "Facebook Effect."  Essentially, Facebook has lowered the bar so much for internet privacy, we can only expect that other companies will follow.    Will the Untied States Federal Government step in?  Will individual States pass laws to mandate online privacy and privacy policy regulations?

Continue reading Privacy Policy Lawyer | Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011 Proposed >>
October 01, 2010

Breach of Privacy Across Social Media Sites Addressed by Two Court Rulings in New York and California

Anita Ramasastry’s article posted Wednesday on Facebook and MySpace Postings pointed out two cases that highlight a schism in the U.S. court system over the handling of the admissibility of comments, pictures and other information hosted on social-networking sites.

The first is a New York court decision wherein the court reached the determination that comments and posts across social networking Websites are not protected under the SCA because such social networking communications are not ‘private communications.’

The federal Stored Communications Act (SCA) acts as congressionally created bar to limit the U.S. government’s ability to compel Internet Service Providers (ISP) to “disclose information in their possession about their customers and subscribers.”

New York Court Finds No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in "Private" Facebook and MySpace Postings;

In the New York lawsuit between plaintiff Kathleen Romano and defendant Steelcase, Inc. (the manufacturer of office chairs, founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1912 and assumed its current name in 1954), over injuries and loss of enjoyment of life suffered by Romano as a result of her Steelcase chair collapsing during the normal course of carrying out her clerical duties.

Continue reading Breach of Privacy Across Social Media Sites Addressed by Two Court Rulings in New York and California >>
August 05, 2010

Stored Communications Act Prohibits Service Providers from Divulging Electronically Stored Information to Third-Parties

In Crispin v. Audigier Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52832 (C.D. Cal. May 26, 2010) the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled that third-party civil discovery subpoenas issued to Web mail service providers and providers of social networking services is unenforceable under the Stored Communications Act.

The Crispin decision is worth looking at because the court promulgated an extensive analysis of the applicability of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) to recent technologies including web mail and social networking sites (ex: Facebook). It is important to note that the SCA was drafted before these technologies were in mainstream use and as such this court’s handling of the SCA can be likened to the historical handling by the U.S. legislature and the U.S. judicial system of the interaction between other developing technologies and aging rules and regulations.

Continue reading Stored Communications Act Prohibits Service Providers from Divulging Electronically Stored Information to Third-Parties >>
August 03, 2010

District Court Ruling Reinforces Recent Trend in Caselaw Suggesting Internet Users Have No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Concerning Their ISP

Another district court has delivered a ruling that follows a pattern of similar rulings holding that an internet user does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy concerning subscriber information conveyed to a third party (the Internet Service Provider (ISP)).

This most recent case is Worldwide Film Entertainment, LLC v. Does 1-749, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47238 (D.D.C., May 13, 2010). A PDF of the full ruling is can be found here courtesy of Docs.Justia.com.

In this case Plaintiff Worldwide Film Entertainment, LLC., served a subpoena upon an internet user’s ISP in another multi-defendant copyright infringement allegation alleging the internet user is liable for copyright infringement. Allegedly, the user (and the other Defendants in the suit) downloaded Plaintiff’s copyrighted movies without authorization.

Continue reading District Court Ruling Reinforces Recent Trend in Caselaw Suggesting Internet Users Have No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Concerning Their ISP >>
July 15, 2010

US Supreme Court Attempts to Tackle Employees Right to Privacy in Electronic Communications via Company-Issued Devices, Gets its Feet Wet

United States Supreme Court (USSC) recently decided a case involving a government employee’s right to privacy of electronic communications made over a company-issued device. The Court delivered a narrowly tailored decision and held that a police department’s review of an employee’s text messages did not violate the employee’s Fourth Amendment rights.

The USSC rendered its verdict on June 17, 2010 for the case of City of Ontario, California v. Quon, No. 08- 1332, (it is important to keep in mind the plaintiff in this suit is the California located City of Ontario, not to be confused with the Canadian Province).

Defendant in this suit is Jeff Quon who was a police officer and member of the SWAT team for and employed by the City of Ontario. The cause of action accrued after the City issued pagers to its SWAT team in 2001 so the team could more quickly respond in cases of emergency. Apparently the City paid for a limited number of characters to be electronically transmitted monthly for each pager it handed out. Quon quickly exceeded this limited number (from the first month on) and was given an option by his supervisor either to pay the overage costs or have the City to conduct an audit of his texts to determine whether the overages were work-related or personal. Quon chose and continued to pay the overage fees.

Continue reading US Supreme Court Attempts to Tackle Employees Right to Privacy in Electronic Communications via Company-Issued Devices, Gets its Feet Wet >>
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  • Cyber Law Summit 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Game Developers Conference 2011, San Francisco, California
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Recent Attorney Speaking Engagements:
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  • West LegalEdcenter Midwestern Law Firm Management, Chicago, Illinois
  • Internet Advertising under Part 255, Altitude Design Summit, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Online Defamation and Reputation Management, News Talk 650 AM, The Cory Kolt Show, Canada Public Radio Saskatewan Canada
  • Alternative Fee Structures, Center for Competitive Management, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • FTC Part 255 Advertising Requirements, Mom 2.0 Conference, Houston, Texas
  • Webmaster Radio, Cybersquatting & Domain Monetization, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Notable Complex Litigation Cases Handled By Our Lawyers:
  • Trademark Infringement, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Cybersquatting Law, Trademark Law and Dilution Detroit, Michigan
  • Internet Defamation & Online Libel Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Trade Secret Theft, Chicago, Illinois
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Miami, Florida
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Eastern Dist. of Virginia, Alexandria
  • Stolen Domain Name, Orlando, Florida
  • Commercial Litigation, Tampa, Florida
  • Copyright Infringement and Cybersquatting Law, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Mass Tort Litigation, Los Angeles, California
  • Stolen Domain Name, Detroit, Michigan
  • Adwords Keyword Trademark Infringement, Los Angeles, California
  • Trademark Infringement & Unfair Competition, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Non-Compete Agreement and Trade Secret Theft, Detroit, Michigan
  • Mass Tort, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Mass Tort, Tyler, Texas
  • Insurance Indemnity, New York
  • Copyright Infringement, Detroit, Michigan