Eric Sinrod - Legal Technology - Technologist
Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Eric Sinrod

Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP (http://www.duanemorris.com) where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. His Web site is http://www.sinrodlaw.com and he can be reached at ejsinrod@duanemorris.com. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line.

These columns are prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in these columns are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.



Recently in Eric Sinrod Category

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

Social media sites host many thousands of photos posted by people on a daily basis. An obvious issue arises as to whether and when these sites might be liable for copyright infringement with respect to any of the posted photos.

A recent case is worthy of consideration.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

The Ashley Madison site declares on its home page that "Life is short. Have an affair." The home page goes on to state that "Ashley Madison is the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters." The site also boasts "over 38,050,000 anonymous members!" But how anonymous are those members, really?

People engage in all sorts of communications and transactions on the Internet. Generally, they like to believe that their personal information is handled confidentially. For example, if someone buys an item from Amazon, she hopes that her name, credit card information, and address will not be publicly disseminated.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

Internet service providers (ISPs) like to believe that in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) Congress afforded them broad immunity from any liability potentially caused by third-party content posted on ISP sites. But how secure is that immunity? Let's explore a few important cases to explore the answer to that question.

Zeran v. America Online, 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997), was an early case to address the scope of immunity provided to ISPs by CDA Section 230. In that case, an anonymous poster urged the public to call Kenneth Zeran to buy goods displaying disgusting expressions of celebration of the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

Selfies -- are you a fan or a hater? Either way, selfies may soon not only be personal, but they may also have a business function. Stay with me here.

Yes, there are people who take photos of themselves on their smartphones on practically a constant basis so that we can see them in every life activity imaginable on social media or mobile-friendly blogs. And yes, this can be annoying, even if some of these photos might actually be interesting if we were not otherwise inundated by mundane selfie photos.

Mitigating Cyber Risks

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

Let's face it, the Internet can be a scary place from a risk standpoint. Indeed, it seems that on practically a daily basis we hear about a massive security breach and the theft of sensitive and personal data.

Big Everything

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

We keep hearing about what is going to be "the next big thing." That concept seems ever-illusive, perhaps because there has been a constant state of "bigness," if I may call it that, since long before humankind developed the notion of time.

I was fortunate enough last week to participate in the immersive, five-day Big History Institute at Dominican University of California. Scholars from around the country convened to contemplate, share and discuss big history issues, past, present and even future.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

We all know that Facebook is the social networking beast - with approximately 1.4 billion users across the globe. Who doesn't have a Facebook page? But if that were not enough, Facebook also is becoming an instant-messaging major player.

Indeed, according to CNET, Facebook Messenger already has as many as 700 million monthly users, as reported by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a recent company annual meeting.

Self-Driving Cars -- Are We Ready?

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

Many of us feel the need for control - we need to be behind the wheel when in a car. We do not like others to drive us, and when they do, we become the classic backseat drivers - constantly critiquing the technique of whoever is driving besides ourselves.

And then there is the issue of people beyond the wheel in other cars. So many people can be seen screaming in their cars and gesturing angrily at other drivers. This frustration sometimes boils over into true road rage, and unfortunately there have been instances of true violence that have erupted simply because of quarrels about getting cut off in traffic, road speed and other driving issues.

But is that all about to change? Are we willing to relinquish control and give ourselves up to self-driving vehicles? Technological efforts already are moving in that direction - but will that technology be embraced?

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

Perhaps by now you have seen the recent movie, Ex Machina. If you have not, suffice it to say, an Internet coder is drawn into an unusual experiment in which he engages with a true artificial intelligence (AI) being delivered in the form of an attractive female robot. Is this the stuff of science fiction, or is it possible that humans may transform themselves fundamentally based on human design?

Historically speaking, it was not that long ago that Homo sapiens were not the only human species walking the planet. Indeed, Homo sapiens existed contemporaneously with Neanderthals, and there were other human species along the way as well. As we of course know, Homo sapiens are the only currently surviving human species. But is that about to change? By way of our own ability to create and invent, are we about to change Homo sapiens, or at least some Homo sapiens, into yet a new form?

Drones, Drones Everywhere ...

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

What are we going to do with all these drones? Indeed, drones are coming at us from all sorts of angles. As a consequence, law firms are even coming up with practice groups devoted to the legal issues presented by drones.

Let's explore just a few of the many issues that may arise from drones.