Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

September 2011 Archives

Righthaven Fails to Pay Judgment: Could It Be Bankrupt?

Is copyright troll Righthaven bankrupt?

That seems to be the million dollar question after the company recently failed to pay $48,000 in court-ordered legal fees and interest to Wayne Hoehn, one of the few to successfully defend himself against claims of copyright infringement.

Over the weekend, Hoehn filed papers asking the judge to grant him permission to seize Righthaven's "bank accounts, real and personal property, and intangible intellectual property rights."

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

Borders has long collected personal information from customers and promised that such information would not be disclosed without consent. In light of that and Borders' current bankruptcy proceedings, the FTC has sent a letter to the consumer privacy ombudsman overseeing the Borders bankruptcy that seeks the protection of customer personal information.

The FTC's letter appears prompted by its understanding that customer personal information held by Borders is scheduled to be auctioned and thereafter there will be a sale hearing.

Netflix Lobbies to Change Video Privacy Law to Team with Facebook

Netflix/Facebook announced a deal last Thursday: an integration feature that would allow users to share their video streaming history with their friends.

While the Facebook sharing feature will soon be available in about 44 countries, the U.S. won't be one of them.

Why? Standing in Netflix's way is a pesky 1998 law called the Video Privacy Protection Act that prohibits disclosure of video rental information without explicit consent.

It comes as little surprise that the video streaming company is now lobbying to change the law.

GOP Lawyers Oppose Courtroom Cameras in DOMA Case

Challenging the Defense of Marriage Act after being denied spousal benefits, Karen Golinski appeared eager to participate in a federal courtroom camera pilot program.

Though she gave her consent to the broadcast of an October 21 hearing in the Northern District of California, that broadcast will not be happening.

Without explaining why, Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives last week declined to allow the recording.

iPhone 5 Should be Blocked in S. Korea, Samsung Says

The Samsung/Apple legal dispute continues.

Apple's iPhone 5 is still unreleased and unannounced, but Samsung already has the product in its crosshairs. Samsung wants to block the iPhone 5 in South Korea once the much-anticipated phone is released.

The company plans on taking Apple to court for its "violations of Samsung's wireless technology related patents," an unnamed senior Samsung executive told The Korea Times.

It would be a preemptive strike in the much-publicized worldwide patent war between the two tech giants.

iCloud for Attorneys: Legal Documents in the iCloud

What can Apple's iCloud do for attorneys?

That's the question on the mind of technology-savvy attorneys everywhere - especially those with several Apple devices.

And, with the iPad, iPhone, MacBook, iMac and iPhone all popular tech products, many attorneys are mini Apple-aficionados. The iCloud can integrate all of an attorney's Apple iOS products together, leading to a more organized and streamlined life. Theoretically, at least.

Apple Stole iPad Idea from Stanley Kubrick's 2001, Samsung Argues

Samsung's iPad dispute with Apple has taken a creative turn. Samsung is now alleging that someone else dreamed up the iPad - Stanley Kubrick, director of the classic science fiction film  2001: A Space Odyssey.

Samsung and Apple have been locked in disputes across the globe over their respective tablet computers.

Apple has been trying to block Samsung from selling some of its tablet computer and smartphone devices. They claim that the iPad's tablet design is exclusive to Apple. Currently, they're seeking to get four of Samsung's devices blocked from sale in the United States.

Now Samsung is throwing out their Kubrick defense.

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

You have heard about computer hacking, and you know about carjacking, but what about car hacking?

That's right, car hacking could become a growing problem, as a new study indicates that electronics used in newer automobiles make them susceptible to a variety of hack attacks.

The study, titled Caution Malware Ahead by McAfee, details that embedded systems, for systems such as airbags, engine management and cruise control, co-exist with vehicle connections to wireless communication devices that remotely can unlock doors or start or turn off automobiles.

This environment presents vulnerabilities for intrusion.

File Sharing Site Hotfile Sues Warner Bros. Over DMCA Abuse

Digital locker site Hotfile has sued Warner Brothers for alleged abuse and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).


Typically, you'd think a company like Hotfile would be the one under the crosshairs of the DMCA. As a file-sharing site, Hotfile users are known to upload copyrighted works onto the site. Some of these files include Hollywood films - and Hollywood studios have taken notice.

How to Uncover Hidden Data Gems in E-Discovery

What do you know about the role of structured data in e-discovery?

What many attorneys do not realize is that structured data can be a great way to find information during the discovery process.

Structured data is data that resides in fields. The data is contained in a format or structure and can be placed into rows or columns. A common example of structured data is a contact list.

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

The Second Annual Cost of Cyber Crime Study by the Ponemon Institute makes plain that cyber attacks are not going away and are financially painful for victim companies. Indeed, the median annualized cost of cyber crime for a company is $5.9 million, with a range of between $1.5 million $36.5 million per company. This represents a 56% increase from the 2010 median cost.

It is no wonder that cyber crime comes with a serious price tag for victim companies, as cyber attacks occur on a frequent basis. During just a four-week period, the companies that were part of the study suffered 72 successful attacks per week - a 45% increase from 2010. The vast majority of the attacks consisted of malicious code, denial of service, web-based attacks and stolen devices.

Three Easy Steps to e-Discovery Bliss

E-discovery. The very word can mean salvation for lawyers who are tired of dredging through thousands of pages of hard copy documents during the lengthy, time-consuming discovery process.

But, e-discovery is not as simple as it seems.

Sanctions for e-discovery violations are steep, and attorneys now also have to work in conjunction with IT teams to produce the discovery and map out how to produce the electronic documents.

In the first few phases of gathering and preparing your e-discovery, there are three easy steps that you can keep in mind to smooth over the process.

Apple May Have Lost Another iPhone Prototype

Apple really needs to keep a closer eye on their iPhone prototypes.

Reports are surfacing that an iPhone 5 prototype was lost in a tequila bar in San Francisco by an Apple employee.

Does this story bring you sense of déjà vu? Maybe it should, since it was only last year that an iPhone 4 prototype was lost in a beer garden in Redwood City, California.

Attorney Time, Money Saver: How to Print Postage Stamps Online

Let's face it: a trip to the post office is something that most professionals (attorneys especially) dread. Long lines, crowded offices, and horrendous wait times are all qualities that we tend to associate with the postal service. But, did you know that online postage is now more convenient than ever?

While many of us tend to think that the post office is outdated and antiquated, there have been improvements to the post office's website over the last few years.

Now the post office offers the ability to print shipping labels directly off their website.