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CLIP-ings: October 4, 2013


Internet Governance

Government Shutdown Goes Viral:  Due to differing interpretations of OMB guidelines, several government websites such as those for NASA, the Library of Congress, and the FTC, have shut down, while others like the Department of Education site are up-and-running without further updates.
Virtual Drug Haven Seized by FBI:  The FBI seized Silk Road, a Bitcoin-powered drug marketplace based on the Tor Network, and arrested its operator, known under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts.


Droning On And On:  The flight and subsequent crash of the “Phantom Quadcopter,” a small camera-equipped drone, raised privacy and safety concerns when a businessman, who was nearly struck by the falling object, recovered its memory card.
Reviewing Facebook Privacy . . . Again:  The updated Facebook Graph Search now allows users to search for photo captions, check-ins, comments, status updates, and posts from a certain time or place.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Security Giant Combats Massive Botnet:  A “sinkhole operation” by security researchers at Symantec detached over 500,000 infected computers from the ZeroAccess botnet, which controlled more than 1.9 million infected computers to perform Bitcoin mining and click fraud.
High School Students Circumvent iPad Blocks:  In under a week, Los Angeles high school students have bypassed software blocks placed on school-issued iPads.

Intellectual Property

Apple Patents Not Just For iPhones:  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple a patent for the design and structure of its glass cylinder entrance to the Apple Store in Shanghai.
“Raging” Copyright Fight:  In agreeing to hear a copyright infringement case over the 1980 boxing flick Raging Bull, brought by the daughter of deceased screenwriter Frank Petrella, the Supreme Court will explore under what timeframe the heir of a copyright owner may assert her claim.

Free Expression & Censorship

To Serve, Protect and Censor:  A lower court decision to deactivate a website created by current and former Lafayette Police Department members, one which described various allegations of department corruption, was overturned by the Fifth Circuit on First Amendment grounds.
No Detention for E-Personation:  The Oregon District Court dismissed a lawsuit by a middle school principal against several students impersonating him in social media accounts since the acts alleged do not state a cause of action under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Practice Note

Patenting Attorney Fees:  The Supreme Court granted writs of certiorari in two patent-related cases on the issue of awarding attorney fees to the successful party.

On the Lighter Side

Requiem For A Blackberry:  A recovering ‘crackberry’ addict reminisces on his first smartphone and the cultural changes behind its demise.

Editorial Fellows: Victoria Geronimo, Adiella Stadler