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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

Paper – Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling

Sag, Matthew and Haskell, Jake, Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling (March 14, 2017). 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 of all copyright cases filed in the United States over the past three years. In the typical case, the plaintiff’s claims of infringement rely on a poorly substantiated form pleading and are targeted indiscriminately at non-infringers as well as infringers. This practice is a sub-set of the broader problem of opportunistic litigation, but it persists due to certain unique features of copyright law and the technical complexity of Internet technology. The plaintiffs bringing these cases target hundreds or thousands of defendants nationwide and seek quick settlements priced just low enough that it is less expensive for the defendant to pay rather than to defend the claim, regardless of the merits of the claim. We report new empirical data on the continued growth of this form of copyright trolling in the United States. We also undertake a detailed analysis of the legal and factual underpinnings of these cases. Despite their underlying weakness, plaintiffs have exploited information asymmetries, the high cost of federal court litigation, and the extravagant threat of statutory damages for copyright infringement to leverage settlements from the guilty and the innocent alike. We analyze the weaknesses of the typical plaintiff’s case and integrate that analysis into a comprehensive strategy roadmap for defense lawyers and pro se defendants. In short, as our title suggests, we provide a comprehensive and useful guide to the defense against the dark arts of copyright trolling.”

U.S. Copyright Office launches updated website

“Today, the U.S. Copyright Office launched its updated website, www.copyright.gov. The website has been redesigned to be more organized, more responsive, and easier to digest. It now features a new header with global navigation and search, and expanded width in all sections to maximize screen usage. Several individual pages have been consolidated for improved navigation.… Continue Reading

Publishers Still Fighting to Bury Universities, Libraries in Fees for Making Fair Use of Academic Excerpts

EFF – “On behalf of three national library associations, EFF today urged a federal appeals court for the second time to protect librarians’ and students’ rights to make fair use of excerpts from academic books and research. Nearly a decade ago, three of the largest academic publishers in the world— backed by the Association of… Continue Reading

Free for All: NYPL Enhances Public Domain Collections For Sharing and Reuse

New York Public Library – “Today we are proud to announce that out-of-copyright materials in NYPL Digital Collections are now available as high-resolution downloads. No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!  The release of more than 180,000 digitized items represents both a simplification and an enhancement of digital access to a… Continue Reading

EFF on Shadow Internet Regulations

EFF – “Shadow Regulations are voluntary agreements between companies (sometimes described as codes, principles, standards, or guidelines) to regulate your use of the Internet, often without your knowledge. Shadow Regulation has become increasingly popular after the monumental failure of restrictive Internet laws such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA. This is because Shadow Regulation can involve… Continue Reading

Large German research consortium boycotts Elsevier journals seeking open source access

BoingBoing – “Germany’s DEAL project, which includes over 60 major research institutions, has announced that all of its members are canceling their subscriptions to all of Elsevier’s academic and scientific journals, effective January 1, 2017. The boycott is in response to Elsevier’s refusal to adopt “transparent business models” to “make publications more openly accessible.” No… Continue Reading

BeSpacific joins ABA Top 100 Blawgs 2016

“BeSpacific NEW, Top 100 Blawgs: “No one better has her finger on the pulse of the legal information world than Sabrina Pacifici, law librarian and author of the blog BeSpacific,” writes blogger Robert Ambrogi. “Launched in 2002, BeSpacific is one of the longest-running legal blogs and, remarkably, Sabrina seems more prolific today than ever. She… Continue Reading

BNA 2017 Outlook on IP Privacy Tech and Telecom

“2017 promises to set the course for potentially seismic regulatory shifts due to the incoming Trump administration’s policies and a shifting European regulatory mindset.  From new administration regulatory shifts that will impact corporate giants such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. to the way U.S. multinationals do business with Europe, 2017 will likely bring legal and regulatory changes… Continue Reading

Enterprise Risk Management: Selected Agencies’ Experiences Illustrate Good Practices in Managing Risk

Enterprise Risk Management: Selected Agencies’ Experiences Illustrate Good Practices in Managing Risk, GAO-17-63: Published: Dec 1, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 2016. “Federal managers often handle complex and risky missions, such as preparing for and responding to natural disasters, and building and managing safe transportation systems. While it is not possible to eliminate all uncertainties… Continue Reading

Report – IBM and Ponemon Study Reveals Organizations Remain Unprepared to Respond to Cyberattacks

PRNewswire – “Resilient, an IBM Company and the Ponemon Institute unveiled the results of the annual Cyber Resilient Organization study, which found that only 32 percent of IT and security professionals say their organization has a high level of Cyber Resilience – down slightly from 35 percent in 2015. The 2016 study also found that… Continue Reading

Copyright Infringement Litigation Fell 22 Percent in FY 2016

“New federal lawsuits over issues of copyright infringement fell 22 percent last year. Case-by-case court records compiled and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University found a total of 3,944 new federal copyright infringement cases were filed in the U.S. District Courts during fiscal year 2016. This is down from the… Continue Reading

Paper – Challenge Restraints and the Scope of the Patent

Hovenkamp, Erik, Challenge Restraints and the Scope of the Patent (November 8, 2016). Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2866630 “Patent rights are not the only important legal entitlements conferred by the Patent Act. It also vests “challenge rights” in third parties, permitting them to challenge granted patents as invalid or uninfringed, and potentially clearing a… Continue Reading