Category Archives: Law

Slap on the Wrist

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on a security camera dragging his unconscious wife-to-be Janay Palmer by the hair, after knocking her unconscious, and the National Football League has chosen to suspend him for two games. Rice in fact will return to the field just in time to wear the NFL’s pink-festooned uniforms […]


—Me, I said this. Maybe it’s time the Supreme Court rethought handing down its decisions a week before we’re supposed to be celebrating as one nation.

Monkeys With Guns

At The Guardian, Trevor Timm points out technology law will soon be reshaped by people who don’t use email: This is not the first time justices have opened themselves up to mockery for their uninitiated take on tech issues. Just last week, in the copyright case against Aereo, the justices’ verbal reach seemed to exceed […]

“it’s copyright law that leads to this bizarre result…”

At Techdirt, Mike Masnick on the Aereo court case: We mentioned this briefly in our writeup of the oral arguments at the Supreme Court in the Aereo case, but I wanted to focus in on one particularly annoying issue that has come up repeatedly throughout this company’s history: the idea that its compliance with the […]

Fair Use

As someone who appropriates the imagery of others in his artwork, I keep a close eye on cases like the one between Richard Prince and Patrick Cariou: The appeals court ruled that of the 30 works by Mr. Prince in question, 25 were permissible under the fair use exception because they manifested “an entirely different […]

Coffee Is For Closers

Bloomberg: Apple Defeats Patent Claim Over Invention of Smartphone: Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable technology company, was found by a federal jury not to infringe the patent of a 70-year-old electrical engineer who claims he came up with the idea for the smartphone. The whole patent system is screwed up, and this is just […]

Copyright Law Myths

Andy Baio breaks down the myths around the Goldieblox vs. Beastie Boys lawsuit: It’s entirely possible that the Goldieblox video is simultaneously: A parody An advertisement A derivative of the Beastie Boys’ copyrighted work A violation of MCA’s dying wishes And, yet, perfectly legal under the fair use doctrine. Only a judge can decide whether […]

Kick It Over Here, Baby Pop

So, the Beastie Boys are suing Goldieblox for riffing off the classic ‘Girls’ track in their new promo video/commercial. The B-Boys have released a statement (via GigaOm): As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision […]


In the last few years I’ve become more and more interested in and copyright law, both on the tecnology/patent side and the art/imitation side. Kirby Ferguson’s TED Talk, Embace The Remix, is required viewing if you’re interested. According to The Center for the Study of the Public Domain nothing entered the public domain in 2013: […]

F.A.A. Horseshit

Nick Bilton writing about the F.A.A.’s bullshit rules for electronic devices on planes: Dealing with the F.A.A. on this topic is like arguing with a stubborn teenager. The agency has no proof that electronic devices can harm a plane’s avionics, but it still perpetuates such claims, spreading irrational fear among millions of fliers. My frustrations […]