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Category Archives: Courts

Supreme Court Establishes A First Amendment Framework For Social Media

Benton Foundation – Andrew Jay Schwartzman, June 21, 2017: “On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States used an unlikely vehicle to expand the scope of First Amendment protection for Internet users. In Peckingham v. North Carolina, speaking for five members of the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy started with the general principle that the Court has always recognized the “fundamental principle of the First Amendment … that all persons have access to places where they can speak and listen, and then, after reflection, speak and listen once more.” Then, using soaring language that will surely be widely quoted in future cases, he said While in the past there may have been difficulty in identifying the most important places (in a spatial sense) for the exchange of views, today the answer is clear. It is cyberspace–the “vast democratic forums of the Internet” in general, and social media in particular. (citation omitted) The case arose as a challenge to a North Carolina statute that prohibits registered sex offenders from accessing social media sites. In 2002, Lester Peckingham, who was 21 years years-old at the time, pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a 13 year-old girl. He received a suspended jail sentence and completed a term of probation. Eight years later, Peckingham was convicted of violating the social media statute after a police officer saw Peckingham’s Facebook post joyfully announcing dismissal of a speeding ticket Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they dismissed the ticket before court even started? No fine, no court cost, no nothing spent. . . . . . Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks JESUS! The Court unanimously found North Carolina’s law to be unconstitutional. This is the second important Supreme Court opinion addressing the role of the Internet in American life. The first, Reno v. ACLU, was issued in 1997, during the Internet’s dial-up era. Its depiction of the Internet as a medium deserving the same high degree of First Amendment protection as traditional print media played an essential role in the legal framework for the Internet’s evolution over the last two decades.”

The 2017 EU Justice Scoreboard

“The EU Justice Scoreboard is an information tool aiming to assist the EU and Member States to achieve more effective justice by providing objective, reliable and comparable data on the quality, independence and efficiency of justice systems in all Member States. Such data is essential to support reforms in national justice systems required to render… Continue Reading

How Many Cases? Assessing the Comparability of EU Judicial Datasets

Ontanu, Elena Alina and Velicogna, Marco and Contini, Francesco, How Many Cases? Assessing the Comparability of EU Judicial Datasets (June 17, 2017). Presented at the Conference Ius Dicere in a Globalized World XXIV Bi-Annual Colloquium of the Italian Association of Comparative Law (AIDC), Naples, 15-17 June 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2990558 “Efficiency is often considered… Continue Reading

DC and Maryland sue Trump citing emoluents clause

Washington Post: “Attorneys general for the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland sued President Trump on Monday, alleging that he has violated anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments since moving into the White House. The lawsuit, the first of its kind brought by government… Continue Reading

EFF – Supreme Court Victory for Case in Right to Refill Printer Cartridge

EFF – “The Supreme Court struck a blow today [PDF] for your right to own the things you buy, reversing a lower court decision that had given patent owners the power to sue customers who paid in full for a patented item but then used it in a way the patent owner didn’t care for.… Continue Reading

4th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Freeze of Trump Travel Plan

Washington Post: “A federal appeals court on Thursday left in place the freeze on President Trump’s revised entry ban, handing the administration another legal setback in its efforts to block the issuance of new visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries. The broad, decisive ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit… Continue Reading

Marshall Project – New Tool That Could Revolutionize How We Measure Justice

Beth Schwartzapfel – The Marshall Project: “The enormity of the country’s criminal justice system — 15,000 state and local courts, 18,000 local law enforcement agencies, more than two million prisoners — looks even more daunting when you consider how little we know about what is actually going on in there. Want to know who we… Continue Reading

Paper – Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling

Sag, Matthew and Haskell, Jake, Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling (March 28, 2017). Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2933200 “In this Article, we offer both a legal and a pragmatic framework for defending against copyright trolls. Lawsuits alleging online copyright infringement by John Doe defendants have accounted for roughly half… Continue Reading

EFF – Supreme Court Ends Texas Grip On Patent Cases

Daniel Nazer – EFF: “Today the Supreme Court issued a decision that will have a massive impact on patent troll litigation. In TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, the court ruled that patent owners can sue corporate defendants only in districts where the defendant is incorporated or has committed acts of infringement and has a regular… Continue Reading

Another commentary on Google Books

How Google Book Search Got Lost – Google Books was the company’s first moonshot. But 15 years later, the project is stuck in low-Earth orbit. Scott Rosenberg, April 11, 2017. “…Two things happened to Google Books on the way from moonshot vision to mundane reality. Soon after launch, it quickly fell from the idealistic ether into… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals opinion – Google is not a generic name

Elliott v. Google, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 15-15809 D.C. No. 2:12-cv-01072-SMM – OPINION, May 16, 2017. “The panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of Google, Inc., in an action under the Lanham Act, seeking cancellation of the GOOGLE trademark on the ground that it is generic.… Continue Reading

US Courts – Interactive Database Aids the Study of Judiciary Trends

“A recently enhanced database that houses information about civil and criminal federal cases dating to 1970 is now available to researchers and the public on the Federal Judicial Center’s website as part of a partnership with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The interactive database contains docket information from district, appellate, and bankruptcy court… Continue Reading