Tag Archives: constitutional rights

Why deleting your Pinterest boards over copyright concerns is an overreaction

Kirsten Kowalski of DDK Portraits wrote a blog post about why she  “tearfully” took down her Pinterest boards. The reason she gave was her concern over copyright infringement and the liability she felt she had opened up. Her blog post went viral, including an article on the ABA Journal about it, in part (I believe) […]

Strip searches of the mind: Why the government can search your laptop at the border

Can the Government search your laptop computer when you cross the border?  Yep. It’s called the border search exception.1 No warrant or reasonable suspicion is required, and it doesn’t just apply to laptops.  Anything, including your international mail,2 may be searched without a warrant if it crosses the U.S. border. The U.S. government’s greatest power […]

What’s the point of the DMCA if I have to keep taking down content?

Infringing copyright content isn’t always cut and dry. Sometimes people try and abuse copyright law to silence critics or competition. Sometimes there is a genuine dispute over what elements of a work are copyrightable. One of the complaints about the DMCA’s notice provisions is that it chills free speech and harms folks by reversing the […]

TSA Scans & Patdowns: Do these violate the 4th Amendment? Maybe.

Searches performed at airports prior to boarding planes have just gotten more intrusive—both physically and pictorially.1   The TSA2 has implemented new rules requiring airplane passengers to submit to either a full-body scanner or an ‘enhanced’ pat-down procedure.  Janet Napolitano, head of the TSA’s parent Department, the Department of Homeland Security, has defended the new […]

DMCA Takedowns versus Free Speech

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, gets a lot of bad press.  Digital rights management software, or DRM, is blamed on the DMCA’s anti-circumvention clause.  The MPAA went so far as to argue that the DMCA’s anti-circumvention clause even prevents fair use defenses.1  But it is not all bad. Wired went so far as […]

Ownership vs. License: How an English Pub highlights copyright ownership shifts

Karen Murphy, the landlord of a British Pub, wanted to provide her customers the ability to watch British Premiere League football (soccer).  The commercial licenses offered by the exclusive UK broadcaster of BPL football –  Sky — became too expensive.  Murphy turned to a Greek broadcaster, NOVA, to supply her the broadcasts for a tenth […]

The problem of viewing Copyrights as property

I.  There is no Property in Intellectual Property Slashdot used to have a contributor/user who went by the name “I Don’t Believe In Imaginary Property.”  This user seemed most interested in issues surrounding copyright and patent law.  The implication was always that he, or she, didn’t believe copyrights should be viewed as property. I agree. […]

Cell Phones, the Fourth Amendment, and the Ohio Supreme Court

Arrested with an iPhone, Blackberry, Palm Pre, or some other smartphone on you?  Were you carrying your fancy new Netbook? Officers can search you upon arrest in order to protect themselves, inventory your stuff, and prevent evidence from disappearing.  All of these searches can be done without a warrant. What about your searching your electronic […]