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Net Neutrality -- Privacy Silver Bullet, or Can of Worms?

When FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced last week that he would eliminate the "fair play" rules known as Net neutrality, he took a step that some economists and technologists worry will eventually lead to the monopolization of Internet services in America. What, if any, impact would the elimination of Net neutrality rules have on consumer privacy? The answer, in short, is that consumers would simply be forced to pay more for it.

The Practical Impact of Carpenter v. United States

An enormous amount of attention has been paid to the oral argument before the Supreme Court in Carpenter v. United States. The transcript provides tantalizing tea leaves as to whether the Court will find a protectable right to privacy in a cell phone subscriber’s location and many pundits seem to think the day went to Carpenter while I haven’t heard anyone touting a government homerun.

A New Front in the Set-Top Box Piracy Wars: Can Sony’s Safe Harbor Save TickBox TV?

(NB: This headline does not obey Betteridge’s Law.)

Hollywood studios, led by Universal, have sued TickBox TV in federal district court in California, bringing their campaign against set-top box (STB) piracy stateside after a big win earlier this year in the EU. Last spring, the Dutch film and recording industry trade association BREIN prevailed in copyright litigation against the distributor of a STB called the Filmspeler. The CJEU held that the Filmspeler’s distributor, Wullems, directly infringed the plaintiffs’ copyrights—specifically, their right of communication to the public—by selling STBs loaded with software add-ons that provided easy access to infringing programming online. (I blogged about the Filmspeler case here.)

Tool Without A Handle: Taking Space Seriously

As I’ve been writing about networked information technologies as “tools,” it’s worth reiterating that metaphors of space are not entirely without value, including in areas of the law that derive from laws relating to real property.  Having noted in multiple prior posts the weaknesses of spatial metaphors, here I discuss some of their common applications in ways that are productive.  There are two particular applications of the physical space metaphor to online platforms and services that are interesting:

1) Content moderation questions - including vetting of advertisers and user-submitted content;

2) Data Rights questions - if content is posted is it free to copy?  To commercialize?

Academics Recommend to Drop Filtering Obligations from the EU Copyright Reform

As you might have noticed, there is a lot of activism on the copyright/intermediary liability side in Europe at the moment. Hence, I'm here announcing another opinion that I have co-drafted with an amazing team of scholars, including Martin Senftleben (lead author), Christina Angelopoulos, Valentina Moscon, Miquel Peguera and Ole Rognstad, and has been endorsed by more than sixty other acadamics so far:

A Response to “Responsible Encryption”

On October 10, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy about encryption. I have a lot to say about his remarks, so this will be a long post. Much of Rosenstein’s speech recycled the same old chestnuts that law enforcement’s been repeating about crypto for years. I’m happy to roast those chestnuts.

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