All posts by Sandra A. Jeskie

Second Circuit Addresses DMCA Safeharbor in Landmark Case

A new Second Circuit decision could change the way some service providers conduct business on the internet, imposing a greater burden to assess specific infringing activity.

In Viacom v. YouTube, Viacom sought $1 billion in damages for direct and secondary copyright infringement based on claims that its users improperly uploaded thousands of Viacom’s videos. The district previously held that YouTube was protected against claims of copyright infringement under the DMCA safe harbor primarily because it had insufficient notice of the particular infringement at issue. Essentially, it held that under the DMCA, service providers did not have a responsibility to identify which of its users’ postings infringed a copyright.

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FTC Released its Final Report Today on Best Practices for Businesses to Protect Consumer Privacy

Today, the Federal Trade Commission released its final report titled “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations For Businesses and Policymakers.” http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/03/privacyframework.shtm

The report details best practices for businesses to protect the privacy of consumers. Recognizing the burden on small businesses, the FTC says that the framework should not apply to companies that collect and do not transfer only non-sensitive data from fewer than 5,000 consumers a year.

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E-discovery Taxation Costs Slashed by the 3rd Circuit

Previously, we reported that a federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania held that the two prevailing defendants may recover more than $365,000 in e-discovery costs because such costs are the modern-day equivalent of duplication costs. That decision has now been vacated and remanded back to the District Court to re-tax costs. According to the panel, only the scanning of hard copy documents, the conversion of native file to TIFF and the transfer of VHS tapes to DVD involved taxable “copying” costs, which are recoverable.

The Ever Expanding Data Breach Notification Laws…

Just when you thought the state breach notification laws could not get more cumbersome, states continue to amend their breach notification laws in an effort to expand the content and reach of the notice.

Texas Amendment Requires Notification to Affected Residents in All 50 States

Texas recently amended its data breach notification law by expanding the notification requirements to cover affected non-residents. Prior to the amendment, Texas required that entities conducting business in Texas notify residents when sensitive personal information was believed to have been acquired by an unauthorized person. Continue reading The Ever Expanding Data Breach Notification Laws…

Employee Theft of Trade Secrets – Protecting the Family Jewels

One of the most valuable assets of any company is its intellectual property. Although technology has led to great efficiencies, it has also created new exposures for businesses, particularly with respect to the protection of valuable trade secrets. One of the key tools in a litigator’s arsenal in the fight against theft of trade secrets is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). It prohibits a person from intentionally accessing a computer without authorization or exceeding authorized access to obtain information, perpetrate a fraud, or cause damage. Unfortunately, the issues are not always straightforward. Issues have arisen about the extent to which a business can use the CFAA to protect its information because there are conflicting views among the courts on the meaning of “authorization.”

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Geotagging and Other Electronic Tracking – Worth the Risk to Privacy?

Congress is currently considering a bill to prevent the abuse of location data collected by electronic devices. In the mean time, we all have to question how much privacy are we willing to give up to get the types of services and apps we have come to love?

For example, did you know that when you take a picture with your smartphone and post that picture to the web, that photo could be tagged with geolocation data (i.e. Latitude and Longitude). Automatic geotagging is generally enabled by default on smartphones. While it sounds desirable to know where and when you took a vacation photo, consider the adorable photo you took of your children playing in your backyard and posted on line or the expensive piece of jewelry you just posted on e-Bay. Do you really want to give your location to everyone online?

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The Changing Face of Litigation – Can the Loser Be Charged With the Other Party’s E-Discovery Costs?

While it may surprise some, the answer to that question is YES. As a result of the expanding volume of electronic data that must be produced in litigation, e-discovery costs have been one of the biggest concerns of both clients and lawyers for some time. Now, clients and lawyers alike have reason to stress about the costs even more. Recently, a federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania held that the two prevailing defendants may recover e-discovery costs because such costs are the modern-day equivalent of duplication costs. While the judge took care to limit the ruling to the “unique” facts associated with this case, it has not stopped lawyers from speculating about what other cases might similarly fall within the purview of this ruling.

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