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Below are the 9 most recent journal entries recorded in Unknown Tech Lawyer's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004
5:38 pm
The First Felony Spam Convictions Could Bring 15 Year Prison Term
In Leesburg Virginia, A brother and sister who sent unsolicited junk e-mail to millions of America Online customers were convicted today in the nation's first felony prosecution of distributors of spam. Virginia has the toughest spam law in the country. In one month alone, the defendants collected 10,000 credit card orders, at $39.95 apiece, for a bogus "FedEx refund processor" business opportunity that would allow Net Potatoes to get rich while working at home in their underwear. The Bro could face 15 years.

Monday, November 1st, 2004
9:33 am
6th Circuit Holds ACCPA Victory Not a Taking Under Fifth Amendment
Prison inmate registered 4aDodge.com, and Dodge sued under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACCPA). The court held the prisoner did bad, and Dodge wins, but the case is interesting in that it treats a the arguement that the ACCPA effects a taking in violaiton of the Fifth Amendment.

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution provides that "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation".

The Court references several District Court opinions on application of the takings clause to the ACPA, and several general takings clause cases. It concluded that "the ACPA does not effect a taking."

The Court also upheld a fairly broad injunction against using the marks DODGE and 4ADODGE in any communications against a claim that it was too broad. The Court held that "a plaintiff is entitled to an injunction that is somewhat broader than the scope of its ACPA claim in order to protect the reputation and goodwill it has established in its marks and to prevent defendants from infringing on, or otherwise harming, those marks".

9:29 am
Check Voting Records on Tech Issues
Republicans trounced Democrats in a scorecard of key technology votes compiled by CNET News.com that illuminates stark differences in the two parties' voting history in the U.S. Congress over nearly a decade.

Thursday, October 28th, 2004
3:44 pm
Undecided?? See what Bush and Kerry have to say about Tech Issues
Bush and Kerry weigh in on everything from protecting IP to Privacy to Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam . . . . wonderful Spam!


Thursday, October 7th, 2004
1:55 pm
Suprise FACTs on New Identity Theft Legislation - Did ya know?
This one is flying under the radar. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT) imposes significant obligations on most businesses, such as any business that might be notified by a consumer that the consumer has been a victim of identity theft, or any business that prints credit card receipts for its customers. It becomes effective over dates staggered between March 31, 2004, and December 31, 2004. The Act consists of 61 pages, covering seven separate titles, with detailed implementing regulations contemplated.

Under the new law, consumers have significant new rights, such as the right to receive a "risk-based pricing notice" when any user of a credit report extends credit to the consumer on terms less favorable that offered to most customers. Businesses are prohibited from printing any more than the last five digits of credit card or debit card numbers on any receipt provided at the point of sale. AND, significantly, it seems to me, subject to limited exceptions, anyone receiving consumer information from affiliates may not use that information for marketing purposes unless clear and conspicuous disclosure was made that the information would be shared, and the consumer is provided with an opportunity to opt out. I would guess that only about 99.973696% of online "privacy" policies are failing on that point alone.

We should all be hearing more about this one . . .


Wednesday, October 6th, 2004
1:48 pm
Copyright Smackdown: $2.7 Mil. awarded to the Copier
Background: Compaq copies 7 phrases and 4 illustrations from Ergonome's 100 page book, sues Ergonome for declaratory judgment in Texas to establish fair use, ultimately wins, and wins award of $2.7 million in attorney's fees, not just against the defendant corporation, but also against its owner under an "alter ego" theory. Upheld on appeal. Texas and the 5th Circuit - love 'em or hate 'em, just keep this in mind in choosing or avoiding this jurisdiction!

Friday, October 1st, 2004
11:12 am
Deibold Misused Copyright Threat
A federal judge in this case involving hundreds of company memos that called into question the security of the company's voting system held that "no reasonable copyright holder could have believed that portions of the e-mail archive discussing possible technical problems with Diebold's voting machines were protected by copyright."

Last October, students at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania posted copies and links to some 13,000 internal Diebold company memos that an anonymous source had leaked to Wired News. The memos suggested that the company was aware of security flaws in its voting system when it sold the system to states. Although I like the idea that this info is available, why would the company not have a copyright in those memos? I will try to find a link to the decision.


Thursday, September 30th, 2004
2:01 pm
The Spaminator
Schwarzemagigger Signs Anti-Spyware Bill

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an anti-spyware bill on Tuesday banning unauthorized installation of deceptive software that hides in personal computers and secretly monitors user activity.

Spyware, which users have unknowingly accepted while downloading online games or using such sites as online music-swapping service Kazaa, can be difficult to remove and may cause computers to run slowly or crash. More malicious programs track computer users' keystrokes to collect passwords, credit card information and other potentially valuable personal information. A variant referred to as "malware" is able to send viruses.

This stuff ends up on my machines when my kids download games from the Interent. Really bad stuff. I still can't get rid of ClientMan.


1:06 pm
Anonymity on Line
Cindy Cohn, legal director of the the Electronic Frontier Foundation says anonymity is a bedrock principal of public commentary in the United States . . . What's up with that?? Give me a case site for that "bedrock principal". Prior to the Internet, since when did anyone have a right of anonymity? Don't you remember those black and white images from the "old days" showing a guy in the public square standing on his soap box pontificating - with a bag on his head? It is the fact that people know who you are that makes you accountable and therefore act in a responsible manner. Give me a case site for that "bedrock principal". Lack of anonymity is is good for the community, be it the street you live on, or the on-line world. We should abolish anonymity! Just ask the Unknown Tech Lawyer ;-)


By the way, the Wall Street Journal today has an interesting article on anonymous registrations of domains becoming more popular, and some of the issues surrounding that.

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