Legal Issues

AOL Narrowly Escapes Conviction 4-3 in Child Porn Case

David McGuire writes...

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday narrowly absolved America Online in a child pornography case, ruling 4-3 that the Internet giant should not be held responsible for the illicit activities of its customers. [more...] from NewsBytes.

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CIPA Will Be Put to Legal Test

Gary
Price
sent word of This Story from The Standard on twin lawsuits
filed on March 20.
Filed in Philly, against The Children\'s Internet
Protection Act [CIPA], by the ALA and
the ACLU, the
groups hope to overturn the law.

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UCITA Fight ON in TX

The fight is on in TX over the proposed new Uniform
Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA). The
law got passed easily last year in Virginia and
Maryland, but now people have smartened up, and are
fighting it as hard as they can.

InfoWorld
has the Full Story.

\"Long before the bill was filed, members in
both houses had already received a barrage of e-mails
and letters expressing opposition,\"

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Address by Boucher re Fair Use Doctrine and Digital Media

TechLawJournal has an interesting Speech Transcript given by Rep. Rick Boucher.

He starts the speech by saying:\"I want to spend a few minutes this afternoon talking about the importance of fair use rights -- not just to equipment manufacturers -- but to all consumers of information of in our society\"Sounds like he is someone in politics who is on our side.

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Patent This!

ABA Network has a Story on all the stupid patents the the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been issuing. 1-Click ordering is of course the most famous example. People like NoWebPatents.org try to talk some sense, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

\"Law professor Pamela Samuelson of the University of California, Berkeley, charges that the PTO \"simply can’t be competent in issuing [business-method] patents\" because of examiners’ insufficient training and \"woefully inadequate prior art\"—the legal term for previously published descriptions of a patented invention. \"Besides,\" she says, \"the Constitution was intended to allow patents for technology. And business methods aren’t that.\"

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ACLU v. Copa v. Aschcroft

If you speak leagalease, Tim says there is a copy of the DOJ \"Petition for Writ of Certiorari\" that went to the Supreme Court
about going after the
the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). This
proceeding is now titled Ashcroft v. ACLU.
HTML Version and the PDF Version

The original on the case is here:Third Circuit\'s opinion.

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Bad Laws Down In Australia

So you thought the US was the only one passing stupid laws? (UCITA), well Here\'s A Story on one in Australia. This one may be even worse for libraries than the UCITA.

\"Libraries will have exemptions similar to the ones they already hold for distributing information but they will not be able to build up searchable collections, or provide material in competition with commercial providers.\"

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Aligning Against UCITA

Slashdot told me Infoworld is running This Story on UCITA.

There\'s a new coalition called Americans for Fair
Electronic Commerce Transactions (AFFECT), formed by merging several anti-UCITA groups. If you are in the states of California, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Arizona or Texas you need to be aware of this law.

AFFECT\'s website is at http://affect.ucita.com, check it out.

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Copyright or Copy Wrong?

Wired has a Story on The DMCA and the looming showdown in the US congress. Orrin Hatch wants to open up hearings to discuss the effects of the Napster ruling.

\"I have been troubled by the possible practical problems that may arise from this decision,\" Hatch said. \"I am troubled as a strong supporter and prime author of much of our copyright law and intellectual property rights.\"

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Libraries becoming battlefield over Internet pornography

A Story from the Washington Times talks about
what they call the \"cultural war raging inside America\'s
libraries\", piting Conservative groups that watn
unrestricted access to Internet indecency in the nation\'s
public schools and libraries threatens to create virtual
sanctuaries of smut across the land against the
American Library Association and others who say
patrons have a right to view pornographic material.

\"There is no constitutional right to view this kind of
obscenity in public places like our towns\' libraries,\"
says Janet LaRue, senior legal studies director at the
Family Research Council (FRC).\"

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