Court grants summary judgment in favor of music companies against a direct infringer for downloading songs

BMG Music along with other recording companies brought an action for infringement of copyright against Cecilia Gonzalez, for having downloaded 30 songs onto her home computer. The defendant admitted to having downloaded the songs, thereby directly infringing the copyright of the plaintiff recording companies. She sought immunity for her actions, however, under the dual defenses of fair use and innocent infringement. The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois rejected her defenses and granted summary judgement in favor of the plaintiffs.

Utah Appeals Court Holds Internet Pop-Up Ads Not Regulated by State Statute Governing Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

Jesse Riddle filed an action under Utah’s Unsolicited Commercial and Sexually Explict Email Act (the Act) (repealed effective May 3, 2004) in the Third District Court of Utah against Celebrity Cruises, Inc. (Celebrity), claiming that a Celebrity pop-up ad that he had received while web-surfing violates the Act’s provision that unsolicited commercial e-mail be appropriately marked so that users can delete the e-mail without ever viewing its content.

8th Circuit Rules Against RIAA In DMCA Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that subpoenas ordering Charter Communications, an Internet service provider (ISP), to turn over personal information on users suspected of copyright infringement, were improperly issued and therefore not enforceable.

District of Columbia Circuit Upholds Determination of Web Broadcasting Copyright Royalty Rates by Librarian of Congress

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a final rule issued by the Librarian of Congress that set copyright license rates for non-subscription-based Internet broadcasters for a period from October 1998 through December 2002. At issue was the legitimacy of the first ever determination of royalty rates and terms for "webcasting," the practice of streaming music over the Internet, and "simulcasting," the concurrent broadcast of music over both radio waves and the Internet.

No Right to Privacy in Employer’s Computer, Washington Appeals Court Rules

Appellant, Jack Leck II, was convicted of 46 counts of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct under Washington law. Prior to arrest, the appellant had spent one week volunteering with the World Peace Ambassadors. During that time he had access to a computer in an unlocked area of the office. He was the primary user of the computer, but he did not have a password for the computer, nor a key to the office area.

US Court of Appeals finds that the receipt and storage of customer e-mails by ISPs does not constitute “interception” under the

Plaintiff Peter Hall intended to promote via e-mail the premiere of his first produced movie “Delinquent” at the Chicago Underground Film Festival on August 13,1997. On August 5, 1997 the Defendant Earthlink was notified by UUNet (a backbone provider) that Hall’s account was sending mass junk mail, which led to the (i) termination of Hall’s access to the account; and (ii) placement of his e-mail address on “Net Abuse Report” – weblist of e-mail abusers.

Court Finds Signals Captured by Keylogger Device are Not “Electronic Communications” where Keystrokes are Not Transmitted to the

The defendant attempted to intercept electronic communications in alleged violation of 18 U.S.C § 2511 (1) (a), known as the Wiretap Act. This Act was written to protect the privacy of electronic, oral, and wire communications. The defendant installed a device called a KeyKatcher. This device was placed on the cable that connects the keyboard to the central processing unit (CPU). The KeyKatcher records the electronic impulses that are sent to the CPU when a key is depressed. These impulses can be translated into text so that a transcript of everything that was typed can be obtained.

U.S. District Court Holds that Florida Electronic Voting Procedures Meet Constitutional and Statutory Requirements

Florida Congressman Robert Wexler filed an action in Florida circuit court against Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore, Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood, and the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Wexler was seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the use of the Sequoia electronic voting system in Palm Beach County, on grounds that this system does not enable manual recounts in compliance with Florida statutes. The suit was dismissed for lack of standing and for lack of a cause of action.

Claim Term is Defined by Specification and Prosecution History rather than Dictionary Definition

This case concerns how patent claim interpretation can be narrowed by the specification and prosecution history. The invention at issue was a surgical mesh plug that is placed on the weakened muscle wall area of a hernia so that muscle cells can grow on the plug and restore the strength of the muscle wall in the affected area. C. R. Bard, Inc. obtained U.S. Patent No. 5,356,432 on the surgical plug. When U.S. Surgical made a similar surgical plug, Bard sued for infringement.

European Court of Justice defines the scope of Database Directive protection to exclude obtaining, verifying or presenting data

The European Court of Justice interpreted and clarified the scope of the sui generis right (a custom-made legislation) in database as provided for in the Directive 96/9/EC – Legal Protection of Databases as excluding football fixture lists or horseracing lists from protection on November 9, 2004 in four similar matters.Fixtures Marketing licenses fixture lists for the top English and Scottish football leagues outside the UK on behalf of the professional football leagues.


Subscribe to Stanford CIS Blog