General Counsel to Employees: Think Before You Send

Katheryn Hayes Tucker Fulton County Daily Report E-discovery rules have caused in-house counsel to take a harder line with some of the e-mails that workers think are private "Don't put this in writing, but ... " Those are the opening words of an e-mail that got the writer's company in legal hot water. And there are plenty more where that came from. "This is off the record," started the e-mail that in fact put it all on the record. How about this one? "We may be in breach of contract, and here's … [Read more...]

Virtual Worlds, Real Litigation

Roger Parloff June 1, 2007 - Though the U.S. Supreme Court cut back this week on Americans’ rights to sue for equal pay in the real-world workplace, our rights to sue for wrongs visited upon our imaginary selves in imaginary game worlds made some modestly countervailing gains. “This has been one of the most important weeks in US virtual-world law in memory, perhaps ever,” says S. Gregory Boyd, an intellectual property attorney and games law expert at Kenyon & Kenyon. … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Music: DRM, iTunes and the iPod

by Steve Jobs February 6, 2007: With the stunning global success of Apple’s iPod music player and iTunes online music store, some have called for Apple to “open” the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft, so that music purchased from iTunes can be played on digital devices purchased from other companies, and protected music purchased from other online music stores can play on iPods. Let’s examine the current situation and how we … [Read more...]

US Senate Introduces Strong Privacy Bill

by Vidura Panditaratne Press Esc February 7, 2007: US Senators yesterday introduced a bill that better protects the privacy of citizens’ personal information in the face of data security breaches across the country. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) co-sponsored the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, which was first introduced in 2005 with co-sponsorship from Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) following serious data breaches at ChoicePoint and LexisNexis. Senator Specter, … [Read more...]

Health Care vs. High-Tech in War over Obvious Patents?

by John Timmer Ars Technica It's not often that Science contains an analysis penned by a lawyer. But the lawyer in question, Michael R. Samardzija of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Intellectual Property office, suggests that the US Supreme Court is weighing an issue that may pit parts of Science's readership against each other. At issue are cases where a patent covers a development that is obvious, and the analysis suggests that while the health care industry (including biotech) likes the … [Read more...]

FRCP Amendments: Discovery of Electronically Stored Information

By Christy M. Thornton Lang, Richert and Patch Introduction Effective December 1, 2006, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure place new obligations on attorneys using electronically stored information (“ESI”) in federal courts. The amendments force parties to address, early in the case, issues of how to best preserve, collect, and produce ESI. The amendments were created in response to recognition that ESI raises different issues from conventional paper discovery. Characterized … [Read more...]

Federal Court Finds NSA Wiretaps Unconstitutional

By Wayne Rash August 18, 2006 A federal judge in Detroit has rejected the Bush administration's argument that the National Security Agency's wiretap program, which has been conducted for nearly five years, is allowed by the U.S. Constitution. In a sharply worded statement that cites precedents from as far back as the late 18th century, and quotes extensively from the Framers of the Constitution, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of … [Read more...]