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CLIP-ings: November 1, 2013

 

Internet Governance

AT&T Agrees To Share: This week, the FCC formally adopted an agreement by AT&T and other wireless companies to allow smaller regional operators access to coveted and more-effective airwaves owned by AT&T.
Caps Off To You: A German court ruled that telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom cannot reduce Internet connection speeds once “flat rate” users exceed a certain monthly data limit.

Privacy

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide: Police in Iowa and Florida are testing Starchase, a new method of tracking cars, by allowing officers to use a compressed air gun to fire “bullets” with enclosed GPS devices that stick to the exterior of the car being pursued.
No, Seriously, You Can’t Hide: Facebook may increase its collection of behavioral data to include how long a user’s cursor hovers over a certain ad or whether a user’s newsfeed is in a visible area.
Information Security & Cyberthreats
CaPtChA CrAcKeD: A software company claims to have created a computer algorithm that cracks text-based CAPTCHAs – the wavy, distorted letters websites use to prove users are human – with over 90% accuracy.
Afternoon Tea in St. Petersburg: Customs officials in Russia intercepted a shipment of tea kettles and home appliances bugged with spy microchips capable of spreading malware to Wi-Fi enabled devices within 200 meters.
Intellectual Property
Can We Please Have Our Name Back? The African Maasai tribe is campaigning to own the rights to commercial use of its name, which has been used by companies around the world to sell a variety of products ranging from sneakers to legal services.
Price Check:  In a novel – potentially groundbreaking – defense against Intellectual Ventures’ $310 million demand for using a patent license that the firm purchased for only $750,000, Symantec and Trend Micro are arguing that by definition, a patent license is less valuable than ownership of that patent.
Free Expression & Censorship
Court Sacks NCAA’s First Amendment Defense: A U.S. district judge denied the NCAA’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by collegiate athletes over the use of their images by holding that the organization could not prevail on a First Amendment defense because its use of the athletes’ likenesses was primarily commercial.
Vendor Sues For Right To Parody NSA, DHS: A vendor selling t-shirts and knick-knacks parodying the Department of Homeland Security and the NSA is suing those agencies after they sent his manufacturer a cease-and-desist order.
Practice Note
Hyperlinking Defamation: The court opinion dismissing Sheldon Adelson’s defamation suit against a political advocacy group highlighted an emerging trend: supporting a negative factual assertion with hyperlinked citations reduces the risks of a successful defamation claim.  
On the Lighter Side
A Poem For The NSA: A new website generates haikus from words on the NSA’s watch list.
Editorial Fellows: Victoria Geronimo, Adiella Stadler

Dean's Fellow: Daniela Alvarado