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Posts Tagged: "Twitter"

Will Trump Class Actions Against Social Media Platforms Revive Section 230 Debate?

Former President Donald J. Trump announced today that he is suing Facebook, Twitter and Google/YouTube in separate class action suits, claiming, among other allegations, that the platforms have “increasingly engaged in impermissible censorship resulting from threatened legislative action, a misguided reliance upon Section 230 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, and willful participation in joint activity with federal actors.”… All three complaints take aim at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, dubbing it “[l]egislation passed twenty-five (25) years ago intended to protect minors from the transmission of obscene materials on the Internet, and to promote the growth and development of social media companies” that has outgrown its original intent and enabled each of the companies to become behemoths who censor content of their choosing.

Dorsey Responses to Senators on Copyright Reform Show Contempt for Congress and IP

On December 28, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chair of the Senate IP Subcommittee, and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Ranking Member of the Senate IP Subcommittee, sent another letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressing disappointment over the company’s continued refusal to cooperate on hearings around copyright reform. Tillis and Coons were joined by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), as they often are on IP issues. The letter reiterated the senators’ frustration that Twitter refused to provide a witness for the IP Subcommittee hearing on December 15 focused on the role existing technology plays in curbing online piracy. In an all too kind characterization, the letter sent by Senators Tillis, Coons and Hirono also expressed disappointment with the “incomplete responses to written questions sent by Chairman Tillis in advance of the hearing.” Frankly, the “answers” to the questions presented by Chairman Tillis by Dorsey for the record were completely non-responsive. Indeed, Dorsey demonstrated complete disinterest in substantive engagement, an absolute lack of good faith, and conscious disregard—near contempt really—for the duty of candor owed by witnesses to the Subcommittee.

‘We Want Action’: Rightsholder Reps Address Platforms in IP Subcommittee Hearing, as DMCA Reform Draft Looms

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property held its last hearing of the year on reforms to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) today, three days before Subcommittee Chairman Thom Tillis (R-NC) is set to release a discussion draft of a DMCA reform bill he has said will contain “revolutionary changes to online copyright law.” Tuesday’s hearing included representatives of YouTube and Facebook; Twitter refused to participate, and Tillis recently published a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressing his disappointment with the decision.

Federal Circuit Affirms Admissibility of Evidence Supporting Availability of Prior Art Submitted in IPR Reply Brief

On November 25, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in VidStream LLC v. Twitter, Inc., in which the PTAB held VidStream’s patent claims unpatentable as obvious over the applied prior art. In particular, the CAFC affirmed the PTAB’s holding that Twitter properly established an earlier filing date of a reference based on evidence submitted in a reply brief.

USPTO Steps Into Social Media Controversy

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) doesn’t often get much action on social media, but last week, five days before the U.S. Presidential election, the Office came under fire for its social media posts touting the United States’ record on intellectual property under the Trump Administration. The posts featured the following quote from USPTO Director Andrei Iancu: “Just a reminder, under President Trump’s leadership, the U.S. intellectual property ecosystem ranks #1 in the world, according to the 2020 International IP Index.”

The Right to be Wrong: Public Opinions, Private Data and Twitter’s Proposed Flagging Policy

Twitter officials recently announced they’ll begin placing a notice over tweets that violate their standards regarding abusive or bullying behavior, but that they still deem to have some public value.  Users will have to click through the notice in order to view the original tweet, and also see a link to the following message: “The Twitter rules about abusive behavior apply to this Tweet. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain available.” On the surface, this may not seem significantly different from the motion picture industry’s rating system or the advisory notices posted prior to most on-demand programming.  But dig a little deeper and what makes Twitter’s proposed flagging policy particularly unsettling is their intention to apply it very selectively.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, April 12: Global Music Copyright Revenues Up, Copyright Office Examines Online Infringement Issues, and China’s ‘Reverse Patent Troll’ Problem

This week in other IP news, recently released data shows that worldwide revenues for music copyright exceeded $28 billion in 2017, up $2 billion over 2016; reports surface about the  “reverse patent trolling” issue in China; Google retains Williams & Connolly for Supreme Court battle with Oracle despite Shanmugam exit; the Copyright Office holds roundtable discussions on detecting online copyright infringement; Twitter takes down a tweet from President Donald Trump after a copyright complaint; “KINKEDIN” trademark for computer dating site successfully opposed in the UK by LinkedIn; EU antitrust regulators are petitioned to look into Nokia patent licensing practices; and loss of patent exclusivity leads to major job cuts at Gilead Sciences. 

This Week on Capitol Hill: Clean Energy Innovation, More Debate on Prescription Drug Pricing and Technological Censorship of Free Speech

The Senate has a busy schedule related to tech and innovation topics for the week of April 8, including hearings on prescription drug pricing, broadband Internet coverage maps developed by the U.S. government, free speech on social media and tech platforms, and clean energy innovations to address climate change. The Senate Environment Committee also has a business meeting this week to discuss a piece of legislation that would support innovation in direct air carbon capture. This week’s tech and innovation lineup at the House of Representatives is a bit lighter, although there are hearings looking at a proposed bill to restore net neutrality, as well as a review of the 2020 budget request for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Elsewhere, the Brookings Institution hosts events on EU-U.S. digital data collaboration and the impact of automation on the future of work, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation explores funding issues for the National Institutes of Health and their impact on American biomedical innovation.

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, April 5: Senators Introduce FLAG Act, Apple Wins iPad Trademark Case, Poland May Ignore New EU Copyright Rules

This week in Other Barks & Bites: a trio of U.S. Senators introduce a bill for countries and municipal governments that want to register trademarks; Williams-Sonoma and Amazon go to court in trademark case over rights to resell merchandise; Apple wins a ruling that ends a seven-year long dispute over the iPad trademark; Prenda Law attorney at the center of a copyright settlement mill scheme could receive a prison term of 12.5 years; the Kardashians avoid an adverse ruling in a trademark case over the Khroma cosmetic line; the World Intellectual Property Organization unveils new AI-powered tools for trademark searches; and Poland’s ruling conservative party indicates freedom of speech concerns over the new EU copyright reforms.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, March 1

This week in Other Barks and Bites: the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to go after drug patents to promote access to generic medications; Apple faces another patent suit in the Eastern District of Texas in the midst of attempts to remove its business presence from the district; China enacts a code of conduct for patent agents; Samsung and Huawei enter into an agreement to terminate their multi-year legal battle in the Android sector; the makers of Fortnite face yet another copyright suit over dance moves; Warner Bros. strikes down a Kickstarter campaign intending to distribute edited versions of The Departed; and a Delaware jury upholds cholesterol treatment patents owned by Amgen.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, February 22

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Chinese and U.S. governments hash out intellectual property issues; a prominent New York City politician joins the effort to break the patent on Gilead’s Truvada; Qualcomm tells the ITC that Apple’s design around undermines the agency’s finding that an exclusion order shouldn’t be entered against infringing iPhones; the Fortnite copyright cases take a new turn; Babybel loses the trademark on its red wax cheese coating in the UK; Fisker & Paykel and ResMed settle their worldwide patent dispute; Facebook could face major FTC fines for payments from children playing video games on the platform; and reports indicate that Pinterest is pursuing an initial public offering.

Controlling Your Brand in the Age of Social Media

Trademark protection has never been more important than in today’s increasingly global economy. A company’s name, trademark or service mark, trade dress and website domain name are often its most important and valuable assets, and this applies as well to companies with lesser-known brands since social media has provided them with a platform to reach a worldwide audience. But even companies with well-known brands use social media as a tool to manage their brands’ image and engage with customers directly. In a borderless world economy, brands simply must utilize social media to remain competitive.

Secrets of Social Media: Who owns social media accounts?

Andy Bitter, a former sports journalist covering the travails and triumphs of the Virginia Tech football team, was sued last month by his former employer, a local newspaper, for trade secret theft. According to the plaintiff Roanoke Times he was obligated by the company’s employee handbook to turn over all company property, and this necessarily included the Twitter account he had used to stay in touch with his 17,000+ followers… In spite of the mess it created, the Roanoke Times has reminded us of some important questions for industry in the information age. Who owns social media accounts? What role do they play in building competitive advantage? And how should companies manage their use?

Apple’s Consumer Data Collection Patents Prove that Data Privacy Risks Are Not Just a Facebook Problem

Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has added to the growing choir of critical voices, announcing in early April that he had deleted his Facebook profile over concerns about the company’s data collection practices. But Apple’s hands aren’t entirely clean when it comes to personal data privacy for its consumers. As a recent article published by The Canberra Times in Australia notes, Apple apps pre-installed on the iPhone were able collect personal information, including the name and location of childcare services, despite the fact that the writer attempted to delete those apps and did not give those apps additional data permissions. We recently took a look at Big Brother-style data collection technologies that have been patented by Facebook. Looking at Apple’s filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, it seems clear that, while Cook and Wozniak may be saying the right things in public, Apple itself might be just as culpable of over-collecting user data behind the scenes.

Tom Brady and a Ruling over Embedded Tweets Could Change the Internet and Online Publishing

Of all of the things NFL quarterback Tom Brady has been accused of ruining over the years, the internet is not necessarily at the top of the list, and certainly not based on an alleged copyright infringement that he had no part in perpetuating. Yet, a photograph of him and Danny Ainge, the general manager of the Boston Celtics, could in fact forever change the internet and online publishing as we know it.